Are you looking for a big city with plenty of jobs, an affordable cost of living and a college-town vibe? Then living in Gainesville might just be perfect for you! Located in Alachua County Florida, the City of Gainesville has something to offer everyone, from young professionals to families with young kids.
What is Gainesville, FL Known For?
First and foremost, Gainesville is known as the home of the University of Florida, the flagship university for Florida State and the home turf of the Florida Gators football team. But this city is more than just a college town. Here are a few more fun facts you should know before moving to Gainesville:
- Gainesville is committed to preserving the natural beauty of Florida, so this city has dozens of municipal parks and over 30 miles of hiking trails available to residents and visitors.
- Gatorade was created by a team of scientists at UF in 1965 and was originally called “Gator-Aid” in reference to the college’s football team.
- It’s the first “Butterfly City” in America. There’s even a butterfly rainforest at the Florida Museum.
Gainesville Population Demographics
Gainesville has a total population of nearly 130,000 people, not counting the hundreds of people who are relocating here every year. Mainly because of college students at the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, as well as an influx of young professionals, the city is dominated by young people. In fact, people between the ages of 20-35 make up about 40% of the total population!
Politically, Gainesville Florida is moderately liberal, and the city has an even balance between religious and secular folks. More than 1 in 5 residents are Black, and 10% of the population is Hispanic, and the cultural communities in Gainesville are loud and proud! Gainesville is also a great place to live with kids, and 38% of the population is made up of families with young children.
Does Gainesville Have Good Weather?
The answer is, this city has amazing weather! Northern Florida benefits from a mild climate, where the average temperature usually stays between the 60s and the 80s. With such high temperatures, you can retire your snow shovel, because you won’t see a single flake here! Like much of the state, Gainesville has tons of sunny days as well, giving you plenty of time to explore this beautiful city.
Another benefit of living in Gainesville is the protection from hurricanes. Hurricanes are powerful Atlantic storms that often hit the coast in Florida and can cause massive damage and even loss of life. But because Gainesville is in the central, northern region of the state, even the worst of these storms have little impact on this community!
Affordable Living in Gainesville
Wondering what it costs to live in this Sunshine State city? Overall, the cost of living in Gainesville is 5% lower than the median for the United States. Housing costs here are lower than both state and national averages, with a median home value of just $147,500. Renters, who make up 38% of the population, also benefit from low living expenses; the average monthly rent here is $858, compared with a national average of $949.
One cost that is higher than average is utilities, which is probably due to the cost of cooling your home during Florida’s many hot, sunny days! Since most families in the area own 2 cars and commute an average of 17 minutes to work, you’ll also want to keep an eye on changing gas prices while living in Gainesville.
Gainesville’s Job Market
No matter why you’re relocating to Gainesville, chances are, you’re going to need a job. Not only is this city’s local economy thriving, but the employment rate continues to grow year over year! The median household income in the municipality is $34,004, which increased 6% from 2016-2017. While the Universities and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center are by and large the top employers in the area, other major industries include software and technology, advanced manufacturing, biotech, and logistics.
With two major Universities in the city limits, it’s no wonder that schools in Gainesville are top-notch. Students attending public institutions will be part of Alachua County Public Schools, which includes a total of 46 schools across elementary, middle and high schools. The two top-rated high schools here are P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School and F. W. Buchholz High School, both of which have been received a College Success Award from Greatschools.org.
Where to Live in Gainesville
House hunting is one of the most exciting and overwhelming parts of any relocation. Gainesville doesn’t make it any easier with the city’s dozens of subdivisions, but you can rest assured that every neighborhood in Gainesville has plenty of amenities, beautiful homes and a welcoming community. Here are just a few of the popular neighborhoods in Gainesville that we love.
- Downtown Gainesville: Young professionals and urbanites are drawn to Downtown because of the areas gorgeous condos and apartments and high walkability score! When you live downtown, you’re not just close to work, you’re also steps away from the city’s best dining and entertainment.
- Duckpond: Home to the Thomas Center Gardens and considered Gainesville’s cultural epicenter, Duckpond features numerous colonial-style homes perfect for families. Home prices range from $100-$400,000, making it easy to find a house that fits your budget.
- Chantilly Acres: This popular Gainesville neighborhood is made up of medium-to-large family homes, mostly built after 1970. It’s one of the best places to live in the city for families and is widely regarded as one of the safest neighborhoods around.
- South Gainesville: Located close to the UF campus, you’ll find plenty of students throughout this neighborhood, giving it a young, hip vibe. Despite the number of young people in the area, South Gainesville is known for being quiet and calm, with less traffic than downtown and reasonably priced single-family homes.
Things to do in Gainesville
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There’s always something fun to do in Gainesville, whether you’re looking for a night out on the town or a family-friendly excursion. We couldn’t possibly list all the city’s attractions in one place, but here are a few of our must-sees.
- Florida Museum of Natural History: Get up close and personal with nature when you visit the Museum of Natural History. This is also where you’ll find Gainesville’s famous butterfly rainforest.
- Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention: The perfect outing for a day with the kids! Explore interactive exhibits and learn about the science behind Gatorade. Camp and educational programs offer even more fun.
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park: Explore more than 2,500 acres or take a dip in one of the park’s eight crystalline springs. You can also paddle and tube down the river!
Restaurants in Gainesville
If there’s one thing Gainesville has plenty of, it’s incredible food! The city is known for dozens of top-tier eateries, with new restaurants popping up all the time. Looking to jumpstart your culinary adventure? Try these two local favorites.
Reggae Shack Cafe
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For quick eats with a Jamaican flair, there’s no place better than the Reggae Shack Cafe. In addition to spicy jerk chicken, favorites include the coconut shrimp, the fried sweet plantains and the mango swirl cheesecake.
- Hours: 11AM-10PM Daily
- Website: https://reggaeshackcafe.com/
- Phone: (352) 377-5464
- Address: 619 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601
When you want some upscale American fare, your next stop should be The Top Restaurant in Downtown Gainesville. There’s also a fantastic Sunday Brunch that will keep you coming back for more!
- Hours: 5PM-2AM Tuesday-Saturday, 10AM-2PM & 5PM-2AM Sunday, Closed on Monday
- Website: http://www.thetopgainesville.com/
- Phone: (352) 337-1188
- Address: 30 N Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601
Tips for Moving to Gainesville
So, should you move to Gainesville? We might be a little biased, but we’re pretty sure the answer is yes! Before making your transition, keep these key points in mind:
- There’s no need for your snow shovel here.
- You’ll want to learn about the Gators and Football, fast.
- Pack some sunblock, we get plenty of sunny days.
Need help with your relocation? 2 College Brothers is the Gainesville moving company you can trust for a stress-free transition. Give us a call today to get started!