University of Florida

The city is dominated by the UF campus, the second largest in the country. Pop in to the Welcome Center for tips on where best to wander around to check out the student vibe.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Bat House & Bat Barn

1.28 MILES

Across from Gainesville's little Lake Alice, adjacent to a student garden, stands what appears to be two oversized birdhouses. However, these stilted gray…

2. Samuel P Harn Museum of Art

1.75 MILES

Peer in at ancient Native American sculptures and contemporary paintings at this excellent art gallery on the University of Florida campus. Also open on…

3. Florida Museum of Natural History

1.77 MILES

The highlight of this excellent natural-history museum is the expansive Butterfly Rainforest (adult/child $13/6). Hundreds of butterflies from 55 to 65…

4. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

4.27 MILES

Central Florida's lush native plants – azaleas, rare double-crowned cabbage palms, southern magnolias – are on proud display at this highly rated 62-acre…

6. Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

8.89 MILES

Wild horses and bison roam the 20 biological communities that constitute 21,000-acre Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. This slightly eerie preserve's…

8. Poe Springs

22.38 MILES

Shallow Poe Springs, which has steps leading all the way down to the bright blue water, is perfect for small children. It's one of the least crowded…