August 16, 2018

Just Bought a New Home Here; Some Things to Do

New to Gainesville? There’s a lot to do. Here are some ideas.

The city in which you choose to purchase your home is of equal importance as the house itself. A college town, Gainesville’s many activities revolve around the Gator Nation, its most famous coming around every fall semester and rounding up thousands of fans in The Swamp. But what about the rest of the year? What activities can new residents do to make Gainesville their new home? I have compiled a list of treasures known to locals which can introduce new residents to Gainesville’s many charms.

Ichetucknee Springs

            A popular spot for many, this natural wonder welcomes many in its crystal clear, cool waters. Float down this lazy river and gaze into surrounding wooded wetlands and hammocks. Declared a National Natural Landmark by the U.S Department of the Interior, it is open from the end of May to early September for tubing, picnicking, canoeing, snorkeling, hiking, swimming and wildlife viewing. There is an entrance fee: $6 per vehicle of 2-8 people, or $4 per vehicle with a single occupant. Don’t have equipment? That’s okay! Snorkeling, diving and tubing equipment can be rented on site.

Waldo Farmers & Flea Market

            In search for an antique find? The Waldo Flea Market might be for you! Located right outside Gainesville, it houses “over 900 dealers and 40,000 customers each weekend,” and thus prides itself in being north-central Florida’s largest flea market. Founded in 1975, it resides in a 20,000 sq. ft. mall that is open every day of the year, except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. You will be sure to find a piece of history within its walls to decorate your new Gainesville home.

Satchel’s Pizza

Hungry for a classic Gainesville bite? Then try Satchel’s Pizza, the pizza restaurant known and loved by the city’s residents, both young and old. What makes this particular place so special (beyond its delicious pizza) is its unique vibe. You can enjoy your food under a plane, in a van, or in a greenhouse surrounded by local art and stained glass windows while drinking homemade sodas. Order dessert from their reel viewer menu with old and new friends in this cozy pizzeria. Be aware, however, that it is closed on Sunday and Monday and that payment is cash-only (but there is an ATM inside). 

Florida Museum of Natural History and the Harn Museum of Art

These two sister museums sit alongside each other on the edge of the University of Florida campus. Take a walk down the history of Florida at the Florida Museum which holds both limited-time-only featured exhibits as well as interactive exhibits that are always on display. The most famous permanent exhibit is the Butterfly Rainforest, which features hundreds of free-flying butterflies and birds from around the world in a replica of their natural habitat.

The Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art also houses limited-time-only and permanent collections which total more than 10,000 objects in exhibitions on African, Asian, modern and contemporary art, and photography in its 112,800-square-foot facility. It has exhibition space, five gardens, classroom centers, a café, a study center and a museum store. The entrance to both museums is free but donations are strongly recommended; some exhibits, like the Florida Museum’s Butterfly Rainforest, may have a small cover price.

Of course, there’s a lot more. One good resource to find the gems in our area is Visit Gainesville. Have fun learning about your new home and community.

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