What Makes Gainesville Great?

Why Gainesville is Great

As a mid-sized city in the heart of Florida, Gainesville is often described as balanced, with a good mix of culture, things to do and access to professional and educational opportunities. The city is consistently ranked high for best places to live, colleges, health care and technology.

Because of the low cost of living and lack of income tax in the Sunshine State, Florida salaries go a lot further than those of many other places in the U.S.

In Gainesville, low taxes and expenses for housing, health care and child care have brought the city’s cost of living down to 3% below the national average.

Gainesville has some of the shortest commute times in the country. It’s ranked 20th in the nation and first in the state. The average car ride to work is over in about 20 minutes. And if you’re taking the bus, the average ride is about 30 minutes. The city is also bike-friendly, and about 3% of Gainesville residents ride bikes to and from work.

Research at UF has helped launch more than 100 technology companies in recent years, and the school is considered the No. 1 public university for transferring technology to the marketplace. A strong partnership between UF and the City of Gainesville continues to reinforce these efforts. And projects such as Innovation Hub and Innovation Square promise to further promote creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit. Gainesville is fast becoming a tech hub.

Outdoor enthusiasts have fun all year long. The city is studded with parks, gardens, nature preserves and trails. And places like Ichetucknee Springs State Park, with its cool crystalline waters, are only a short jaunt out of town. If you’re a fan of the ocean, Crescent Beach, St. Augustine and Cedar Key are all within one to two hours driving distance. And world-class theme parks like SeaWorld, Disney World and Universal Studios are only a two-hour drive.

Gainesville is also known for its many restaurants and clubs, thriving downtown music and art scene, night life and sporting events. Residents enjoy cultural attractions like the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, as well.

In 2018, Gainesville was ranked as the 4th Best Small University City in the U.S. by the American Institute of Economic Research. In 2017, according to AIER, it was ranked as the No. 5 Top College Destination.

  • University of Florida: ranked second for best value nationally by Forbes magazine in 2016
  • Santa Fe College: ranked No. 1 for community colleges nationally in 2015
  • Gainesville public schools: ranked in top 10 of the state
  • Shands Hospital at the University of Florida: University of Florida Health is the most comprehensive health center in the Southeastern U.S. It employs about 1,300 College of Medicine staff members and doctors and more than 9,000 nurses and support staff members who work in various research facilities and UF Shands hopsitals. UF Health specializes in more than 100 medical areas, including cancer treatment and research, heart care, transplant surgeries, rehab, psychiatry, neuromedicine and women and children’s services.
  • North Florida Regional Medical Center: NFRMC is a fully accredited 432-bed medical and surgical acute care center. Among other services, it offers comprehensive cardiovascular care, oncology, women’s health and wound care.
  • Malcom Randall VA Medical Center: This center is a 480-bed facility that offers comprehensive health care for veterans.

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