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Gainesville: A Small Town With A Big City Feel

Gainesville is not the traditional location people think of when envisioning retirement in Florida. It’s located in the heart of North Central Florida and is home to the University of Florida. About an hour away from each Florida coast, Gainesville enjoys a temperate climate without the risks that come from living by the ocean. One of the city’s unofficial slogans is “A City in the Forest” because of all the beautiful trees and foliage featured here. Gainesville is often referred to as “Tree City, USA.”

Gainesville is infused with the energy of a college town, and residents of Gainesville benefit from the mix of arts and sciences that are natural in an academic environment. Residents of Oak Hammock enjoy access to not only the University of Florida, but also UF’s world-class healthcare system. 

Florida is the sunshine state, and you will see why when you take up residence in Gainesville. Spend hours enjoying the outdoors with over 30 miles of biking and hiking trails in seven Florida state parks. There are endless opportunities to get out and explore nature, fish, ride horses, or simply relax in the shade of a live oak and read a book. 

Uncover unlimited possibilities to enjoy the culture of Gainesville and the surrounding small towns, including antiquing, farm-to-fork dining options, breweries and theaters.

Learn more about Gainesville through the Alachua County Visitors & Convention Bureau. Or learn more at Visit Florida!

Gainesville’s Honors Include:

  • In the Top 25 in Forbes’ “Best Places to Retire”
  • #12 “small metros” on Milken Institute’s “Best Cities for Successful Aging”
  • Listed on Kiplinger’s “10 Great College Towns to Retire”
  • #7 as one of the “Happiest Cities in U.S.” by Gallup
  • #35 in Livability’s “Top 100 Best Places to Live”
  • #14 in The Atlantic’s “America’s Brainiest Cities”
  • #7 by The Daily Beast as one of the “Greenest Cities in America”
  • #4 on fDi Magazine’s “American Cities of the Future”
  • #2 in NerdWallet’s “Fastest Growing Cities in the Nation”

The University of Florida and UF Health

  • The University of Florida ranked #5 in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report’s “Top Public Universities”
  • UF Health Shands Hospital has consistently ranked in the top three hospitals in the state for the last five years and the top 25 in the country by U.S. News & World Report