Kelli & Jason

Attractions

While staying in Gainesville, we hope you'll enjoy some of the local attractions and restaurants that we loved while living here and attending the University of Florida! Let us know if you have any questions!

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

(352) 392-9826

Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road

Gainesville, Florida 32611

"The Harn Museum of Art is one of the top ten public university art museums in the US, featuring world-renowned collections of African art, Asian art, contemporary art, modern art and photography. Located in the UF Cultural Plaza alongside the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Butterfly Rainforest and the Phillips Center for Performing Arts, the Harn is dedicated to enhancing the teaching and research activities of the university and serving a culturally diverse and national audience through exhibitions and educational programs."

Florida Museum of Natural History & Butterfly Rainforest

Florida Museum of Natural History & Butterfly Rainforest

(352) 846-2000

Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road

Gainesville, Florida 32611

"Extensive holdings and an array of exhibits distinguish this museum of natural history, one of the region's most prominent facilities. The flora, fauna and terrain of north central Florida are documented through millions of years of history, and fossils, artifacts and specimens provide insight into the march of time. Exhibits trace the movement of water through the landscape, draw parallels between geology and animal migration, and elucidate the Native American tribes that inhabited the area. One of the newest attractions is the butterfly rainforest, a 4-story, landscaped enclosure that houses dozens of colorful species."

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

(386) 497-4690

12087 S.W. US Hwy 27

Fort White, Florida 32038

Tubing on the Ichetucknee is SO much fun! Make sure to pack your sunscreen and take some cash to rent a tube on your way there. You can start from the North Entrance and tube for 3 hours, or start from the South Entrance and tube for an hour and a half. Either way, its loads of fun!

"The crystalline Ichetucknee River flows six miles through shaded hammocks and wetlands before it joins the Santa Fe River. In 1972, the head spring of the river was declared a National Natural Landmark by the U. S. Department of the Interior. From the end of May until early September, tubing down the river is the premier activity in the area. In addition to tubing, visitors can enjoy picnicking, snorkeling, canoeing, swimming, hiking, and wildlife viewing. White-tailed deer, raccoons, wild turkeys, wood ducks and great blue herons can be seen from the river. Picnic areas, equipped with tables and grills, are available throughout the park. A full-service concession offers food, refreshments, and outdoor products from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Tubes plus snorkeling and diving equipment can be rented from private vendors outside the park located four miles northwest of Fort White, off State Roads 47 and 238."

Devil's Millhopper State Park

Devil's Millhopper State Park

(352) 955-2008

4732 Millhopper Road

Gainesville, Florida 32653

"This natural attraction, a world-within-a-world, showcases the lush vegetation that took root in a 120-foot-deep, limestone sinkhole. Along the formation's walls, small waterfalls lend sound and humidity, and the rainforest microcosm lures folks with its unexpected beauty. A visitor center exhibits fossils and relics from the sinkhole, and a nature trail extends along the rim. More adventurous people can descend into the hole via stairs and boardwalks. At the bottom, sit for a while and enjoy the calm coolness."

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

(352) 372-4981

4700 SW 58th Drive

Gainesville, Florida 32608

This gorgeous assemblage of gardens, 62 acres' worth, was first planted in the 1980s and now features sixteen primary sections. A mile-long pathway weaves its way among the collections, allowing visitors to glimpse all the possibilities and then explore to their hearts' content. Specialized gardens focus on roses, ferns, water plants, cycads, herbs, azaleas and camellias. Other areas are planted expressly to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Many varieties of bamboo are also prominently displayed. Floral beauty is at its peak during the summer months

The Yearling Restaurant

The Yearling Restaurant

(352) 466-3999

14501 East County Road 235

Cross Creek, Florida 32640

This is one of Jason's favorite restaurants in the world! It was always his restaurant of choice for birthdays and graduations. Make sure you call ahead and ask if Willy will be playing his banjo and harmonica if you choose to go! It's worth the drive down to Cross Creek. Remember: looks can be deceiving. On the outside it might look like a bunch of lean-to sheds with a rusty tin roof, but inside will be a memorable experience!

"Located near Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' rural home and inspired by her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, this appealing restaurant is a wonderful throwback to Florida's early days. Florida Cracker fare, a variation of soul food, capitalizes on local ingredients and the culinary heritage of farming settlers, as evidenced by venison, steamed crawdads, fried catfish, alligator tail and frog legs. They're joined by USDA Prime steaks and a variety of other seafood options and accompanied by hush puppies, turnip greens, cheese grits and the like. Within the knotty pine-paneled restaurant, a fire blazes and memorabilia adds character. Plus, a staff of locals makes sure that everything's authentic, from citrus-tinged desserts to live blues music played by a talented one-man band."

The Ivy House Restaurant

The Ivy House Restaurant

(386) 418-1155

14603 Main Street

Alachua, Florida 32615

For a big southern meal in a big southern house, this is the place to be! Try the crispy chicken or the pork chops... and definitely order some fried green tomatoes!

"This family owned establishment has perfected the art of comfort food. You won't find an internationally schooled chef, mysterious ingredients, plates decorated with dramatic swirls of sauce, or pricey entrees with names you can't pronounce. What you will find is genuine Southern hospitality and home cooking that makes you close your eyes and sigh with satisfaction. From the stately old house itself to the cozy dining rooms and warm, personable services, this is a spot you'll feel drawn to again and again."

Harry's Seafood Bar and Grille

Harry's Seafood Bar and Grille

(352) 372-1555

110 Southeast 1st Street

Gainesville, Florida 32604

This is a fun cajun-style restaurant in the heart of old Gainesville.

"...an exciting, creative menu done with flair for the fun and ambiance of New Orleans..."

Swamp Restaurant

Swamp Restaurant

(352) 377-9267

1642 West University Avenue

Gainesville, Florida 32603

"The Swamp Restaurant is the #1 college establishment in the country. It is named for its proximity to the legendary Florida field, but offers much more than just a great location. The famous front lawn and intimate decks are great places to soak up the Swamp atmosphere. The Swamp was established in 1994 as a smoke-free restaurant, welcoming locals and visitors looking for a casual dining experience partnered with Gainesville's great Florida Gator traditions."

Emiliano's Cafe

Emiliano's Cafe

(352) 375-7381

7 Southeast 1st Avenue

Gainesville, Florida 32601

"Offers flavorful, authentic Latin cuisine as well as innovative Latin-fusion originals, from Tapas style appetizers and mouth watering main courses to our devastatingly delicious desserts - including our signature sweet, Chipotle Brownie Cake, an Emiliano's original!"

Amelia's Italian Cuisine

Amelia's Italian Cuisine

(352) 373-1919

235 South Main Street, Suite 107

Gainesville, Florida

"Gainesville's finest Italian cuisine in the heart of downtown. Located behind the Hippodrome Theatre, Amelia's has been a Gainesville favorite for over 20 years. If you have never been to visit us, come and enjoy our amazing antipasti, excellent entrees, and delicious desserts."

Cafe Gardens

(352) 376-2233

1643 NW 1st Avenue

Gainesville, Florida 32603

"Hidden away off University Avenue, Café Gardens can be a little hard to spot, but that's one reason locals love it. The other is definitely its private outdoor patio, which is always the best place to enjoy any time spent here. The menu essentially consists of burgers, sandwiches and salads, with a few main courses thrown in for good measure. Whatever you order, don't forgo the sweet potato fries – they're a signature, and for excellent reason. Local art and live music are added perks, and the restrooms are papered in ocean depth charts. Very Florida!"

Leonardo's 706

(352) 378-2001

706 West University Avenue

Gainesville, Florida 32601

"Thanks to impeccable gourmet cuisine and upscale atmosphere, this restaurant has become one of Gainesville's favorites for impressing a date or visiting parents. Pastas garner rave reviews, whether you choose a traditional carbonara or go with the jalapeno-laced agave version. Chicken gorgonzola and filet mignon also provoke loyalty, and thin-crust pizzas are a delightful treat. On Thursdays, live music adds a classy touch, and Sunday brunch is just as good as you'd imagine. Desserts are superb as well."

Leonardo's By the Slice

Leonardo's By the Slice

(352) 375-2007

1245 West University Avenue

Gainesville, Florida 32601

This was Kelli's father's favorite pizza place when he went to UF. You can grab a slice of pizza (Jason likes the deep-dish), or eat at the bistro next door.

"Leonardos pizza comes from the "Chicago style" pizza made famous by "Pizzaria Uno" in Chi-town. It has a thick crust, more than your average amount of sauce, and very generous toppings that are under the cheese, as opposed to on top of the cheese."

Satchel's Pizza

Satchel's Pizza

(352) 335-7272

1800 Northeast 23rd Avenue

Gainesville, Florida 32609

This is a fun and crazy "hippy" pizza joint! It's usually very crowded, so get there early and eat a snack first! They don't do call-ahead seating and they only accept cash. Make sure to visit the junk shop behind the restaurant while you're waiting... and order a salad - they're amazing!

"Satchels Pizza is an amazing, hometown restaurant. The list of available pizza and calzone toppings is almost endless, and their salads are simply wonderful. The atmosphere is what makes Satchels even more special. The decor is very eclectic and fun, and even inclues an old VW van in which customers can sit to eat their meal. There are three separate play areas for kids (2 outdoors and one indoors), so it is a great place for a family night out."

Maude's Classic Cafe

Maude's Classic Cafe

(352) 336-9646

101 Southeast 2nd Place, Suite 101

Gainesville, Florida 32601

This is where Kelli and I had one of our first dates! It's a cute little coffee shop in the heart of old Gainesville, next to the Hippodrome Theatre. Much better than Starbucks across the street. Make sure to get one of their famous desserts!

"Coffee culture is alive and well in Gainesville, and Maude's is the best place to tap into it. Boasting an alternative vibe, the easygoing cafe is adorned inside with movie and music posters while outside, a fantastic patio takes the Hippodrome as its backdrop. Ofttimes, folks gather to play board games, to chat, to indulge in great desserts and coffee, or to sit in the moonlight and enjoy the Saturday night jazz band. Free WiFi is available for patrons who need to stay connected, and a few romances have even been sparked in Maude's relaxed environs."