Top things to do

Top Choice American in Gainesville

Southern Charm Kitchen

There's plenty of fancy gastronomy in Gainesville, and cozy, unpretentious, friendly Southern Charm Kitchen gives them all a run for their money. This is food like your mom made, if your mom was an amazing cook who …
Top Choice Museum in Gainesville

Florida Museum of Natural History

The highlight of this excellent natural-history museum is the expansive Butterfly Rainforest (adult/child $13/6). Hundreds of butterflies from 55 to 65 species flutter freely in the soaring, screened vivarium. As yo…
Top Choice Cocktail Bar in Gainesville

Dime

A small bar, some dim lighting, talented bartenders and strong, delicious cocktails – that's what you get at The Dime, a gin joint that feels like it made a wrong turn in 1930s Manhattan and ended up in central Flor…
Landmark in Gainesville

Bat House & Bat Barn

Across from Gainesville's little Lake Alice, adjacent to a student garden, stands what appears to be two oversized birdhouses. However, these stilted gray-roofed structures are actually home to a family of Brazilian…
Pizza in Gainesville

Satchel's Pizza

Satchel's makes a strong claim to the best pizza on Florida's east coast, a reputation buttressed by enormous crowds of happy patrons. Grab a seat at a mosaic courtyard table or in the back of a gutted 1965 Ford Fal…
Fusion in Gainesville

The Top

Combining 1950s kitsch, hunter-lodge decor and giant owl art, this place is both hip and comfortable. Vegetarians will thrill at the options here and everyone will appreciate the working photo booth in the back ($2)…
Japanese in Gainesville

Dragonfly

Head to Dragonfly for excellent sushi, sake and small plates done Japanese style. Grilled tiger shrimp is fire-kissed and savory, miso black cod is a revelation and ginger salad is a delight. The enormous dining spa…
Park in Gainesville

Devil's Millhopper State Geological Site

As the name indicates, this is not your average park. The site centers on a 120ft-deep, 500ft-wide funnel-shaped rainforest which you enter by descending a 232-step wooden staircase. Water trickles down the slopes f…
Cuban in Gainesville

Flaco's Cuban Bakery

It's funny, because 'Flaco' is Spanish for 'skinny,' and if you eat at Flaco's, you will be anything but. That's OK – we still love coming here, especially late at night (because not much else is open, food-wise), f…
International in Gainesville

Civilization

Restaurants with extensive vegan offerings are a relative rarity in north central Florida, which makes this spot a veritable outpost of civilization for non-carnivores (see what we did there?). That's not to say the…