Things To Do in Gainesville

In the late afternoon, we finally arrived in Gainesville. We stayed in a bed and breakfast booked through Hotel Planner. It was in the middle of villas and trees. The sight of the white and turquoise main house and the porch with rocking chairs made my heart beat faster.

I wanted to explore the area. I set off on foot and saw one pretty house next to the other. It was good to have found such a quiet place after the hustle and bustle of Miami. Here the clocks definitely slowed down, and the people were more interesting.

Out and About

Then it was time to go for dinner. The downtown area in Gainesville was within a 15-minute walk. I went to an Asian restaurant but just got the last table. Apparently, every Gainesville resident was here in the restaurant.

On the opposite side of the road in the Hippodrome Theater, a musical was showing. Even before the play started, we were already engrossed in conversations with our neighbors. They asked me with interest if I have seen the manatees. I wondered what in the world that is. They said that the big manatees exist in Crystal River and I should see that.

Things To Do in Gainesville

Image via Flickr by hetrickwesley

A New Day

Next morning, the sun was shining brightly. At 9:00 the B&B owner served us our breakfast. We had a delicious meal under the trees, with a fountain splashing next to us. It turned out to be a sumptuous mix of an egg casserole, sausage, cheese, and fruit. The owner joined us and we talked about life in a small town, and about Gainesville's world-famous college football team.

We also wanted to see something of Gainesville. Gainesville is not such a small town. We learn while driving to the "A T-Rex Named Sue" museum that there is actually a famous American football team — the Florida Gators. Originally we wanted to go to the botanical garden, but the 2 km round trip frightened us off with the midday heat.

Dinosaurs in Florida

We were more interested in the dinosaurs in the Florida Museum of Natural History. The main attraction is Sue. At 13 meters, it is the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton replica in the world.

In addition to all sorts of exhibitions from the early days of inhabited geology, the Butterfly Museum is worth seeing. There is a small rainforest in which the butterflies fly around. Outside, it was even hotter. So we decided to go to the adjacent Harn Museum of Art where African, early American, and Asian art pieces can be admired.

The Boat Ride

If you travel to North Florida, then you should not miss a visit to Silver Springs. In a tributary of the Ocklawaha River lies Silver Springs State Park, the perfect getaway for hot days. Here you can rent kayaks and explore the crystal-clear water and nature. We opted for one of the popular glass-bottom boat rides. It was very pleasant.

After that, we headed straight for lunch to the sleepy village of Micanopy. Our time in North Florida ended with this meal.

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