Gainesville vacation rentals

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Popular amenities for Gainesville vacation rentals

Stay near Gainesville's top sights

The Oaks Mall60 locals recommend
Celebration Pointe59 locals recommend
Depot Park115 locals recommend
Stephen C. O'Connell Center19 locals recommend
Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park94 locals recommend
Bo Diddley Plaza28 locals recommend

Quick stats about vacation rentals in Gainesville

  • Total rentals

    1.2K properties

  • Rentals with dedicated workspaces

    670 properties have a dedicated workspace

  • Rentals with a pool

    360 properties have a pool

  • Pet-friendly rentals

    380 properties allow pets

  • Family-friendly rentals

    610 properties are a good fit for families

  • Total number of reviews

    50K reviews

Your guide to Gainesville

All About Gainesville

With a state park home to wild bison and alligators, a natural history museum with an internationally-acclaimed fossil collection, and a 125-acre wetland park located right downtown, Gainesville, Florida offers more than your typical college town. One hour from Jacksonville, Gainesville is the biggest city in Alachua County, located in north central Florida. The region is best known for its natural areas, which are perfect for outdoor recreation such as biking, swimming, and boating.

However, Gainesville is also home to well-preserved historic buildings, the oldest of which dates back to 1884. For a small city, Gainesville is a lively place with many festivals scheduled throughout the year, as well as a strong arts scene intertwined in the city’s culture. Street art and full wall murals showcase local talent all over Gainesville. A noteworthy spot to visit is the ever-changing Gainesville Graffiti Wall, a 1,120-foot wall that receives new art added nearly every day.

The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Gainesville

Many of Gainesville’s most popular attractions are outdoors and best explored in the springtime. Warm Florida weather brings life to an array of wildflowers, including the roadside phlox, which blooms from April to June each year. Spring also gets significantly less rainfall than the summer months, making it a good time to plan outdoor picnics and hiking excursions. Spring is also when the Santa Fe Spring Arts Festival takes place, showcasing local art and live music.

Summer is rainy season in Gainesville, and the days are often warm and muggy. The precipitation eases every October, and the weather becomes more comfortable for spending time outdoors. Winter is brief, mild, and dry and worth a trip for the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire that turns the Alachua County Fairgrounds into a medieval marketplace for two weeks every January.

Top things to do in Gainesville

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Just south of Gainesville is the Paynes Prairie Preserve, a state park that protects the habitat of a wide variety of native animals and birds. You may come across wild horses, deer, and bison when walking in the prairie, or alligators in the park’s marshes. A 16-mile paved path makes it possible to bike through the park for a close up view of Floridian nature. For a panoramic view, a 50-foot-high observation tower is open to the public.

Kanapaha Botanical Garden

The city’s 64-acre botanical garden has 24 collections, including the largest public bamboo forest display and the largest herb garden in Florida. With a map in hand, you can wander through gardens that specialize in botanical varieties, such as the Bromeliad Garden, Fern Cobble, Bamboo Garden, Woodland Trail, and more. Three different waterfalls link up the water gardens to the west of the park.

Florida Museum of Natural History

Learn about the last 65 million years on earth as you progress through five geologic periods in the Florida Museum of Natural History’s permanent Florida Fossils exhibit. Many of the fossils here were discovered within a 100-mile radius of Gainesville. Right at the exhibit’s entrance are several sets of shark jaws, including the nine-foot-wide jaws of the extinct Megalodon. Another permanent exhibit encourages children to learn through interactive activity stations and is open weekdays.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is the weather in Gainesville?

    Gainesville has a humid subtropical climate with long hot summers (around 90°F or 32°C) and mild winters (around 42°F to 65°F, or 5°C to 18°C). Rain is common, especially in summer.

  • What are some of the best things to do in Gainesville?

    Visitors often explore the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History, cheer on the Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, or take a stroll in Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.

  • What is the best time of year to visit Gainesville?

    The most popular time to visit Gainesville is from March to May when the weather is comfortable. Events like the Spring Garden Festival in Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and the Downtown Festival & Art Show happen during this period.

  • What are the best places to stay in Gainesville?

    Explore diverse neighborhoods in Gainesville such as Downtown, known for its historic charm, the University Heights for its university vibe, and the Millhopper district for a more peaceful residential setting.

  • What are the best places to visit in Gainesville?

    Frequently suggested places are the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Harn Museum of Art, and the historic Thomas Center.

  • What are some hiking trails in Gainesville?

    Gainesville has Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park featuring many trails, the La Chua Trail known for its wildlife sightings, and the Hogtown Creek Greenway, a canopy road with walking paths.

  • What are some family activities to do in Gainesville?

    Families often explore educational venues like the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, engage in outdoor adventures at Morningside Nature Center, or spend the day at the Depot Park.

  • What are some of the best day trip ideas in Gainesville?

    Day trip ideas include visiting the historic town of Micanopy, exploring the O'Leno State Park, or heading to the coastal city of Cedar Key.

  • Are there vacation rentals with a dedicated workspace in Gainesville?

    Yes! Work meets play with ease at over 670 vacation rentals in Gainesville featuring dedicated workspaces. Stay connected and productive in your home away from home.

  • Are there pet-friendly vacation rentals in Gainesville?

    Four-legged friends are welcome in Gainesville. Choose from more than 380 vacation rentals for guests traveling with pets.

Destinations to explore

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