Home to the incredible University of Florida, Gainesville is a bustling vacation destination with a youthful and lively atmosphere. Nicknamed “where nature and culture meet”, Gainesville is the ultimate place to visit for those who want to explore Northern Florida’s natural beauty whilst also having a college-town flare with plenty of culture.
On your epic trip to Gainesville, you can expect to see a variety of awesome wildlife including wild alligators, spectacular bird species, and even Bison! Along with this, you will find a bustling downtown scene home to a variety of live music events and a great selection of local breweries.
Gainesville is home to so many awesome places to stay whether you’re looking to be close to the university, near nature parks, or in the bustling downtown, you won’t be short of choice. In this post, we break down our three favorite neighborhoods to give you a helping hand in choosing where to stay on your epic Floridan getaway.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Gainesville
- Where to stay in Gainesville for your first visit – Downtown Gainesville
- Where to stay in Gainesville on a budget – Near University of Florida
- Best Neighborhood in Gainesville for families – I-75
Where to Stay in Gainesville
The Camellia Rose Inn – The Lady Clare Room
- Gainesville Regional Airport, 6 km from the accommodation
- 3 km from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, 6 km from Regal Cinemas Royal Park Stadium 16, and 9 km from Oaks Mall. 2.8 km from University of Florida
The Camellia Rosie Inn is a traditional and elegant hotel located near the sought-after downtown neighborhood. The hotel is beautifully decorated with oak furnishings and provides comfortable double rooms along with spacious living spaces including an outdoor deck and dining room. Guests are provided with a free continental breakfast each morning which is the perfect way to energize yourself for a day exploring Gainesville.
This modernly designed hotel is located primely near the I-75 and features luxurious facilities and not too expensive prices. On-site guests have access to a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, state-of-the-art fitness center along with a swanky bar. There are plenty of bars, cafes, and restaurants near the property along with this it is just a short drive away from the University of Florida along with Gainesville city center.
Hotel Eleo at the University of Florida
- Bar and Fitness centre
- 6 km from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
- Matheson Historical Center and Hippodrome State Theater are reachable within 3 km and 3.6 km, respectively
Hotel Eleo is home to a warming atmosphere with a range of sleek and modernly designed rooms. The hotel is located at the famous University of Florida making it the perfect place to stay if you want to explore its amazing grounds and facilities. Its central location at the university means you are in a prime position to explore the best of North Florida’s attractions and experience all the epic things to do in Gainesville.
3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Gainesville
Where to stay in Gainesville for your first visit
- Coolest thing to do in Downtown – Watch a sunset at Depot Park
- Best place to visit in Downtown – Historic Matheson House
Downtown Gainesville is the ultimate place to stay if you want to be amongst the hustle and bustle of Florida’s unique northern city. Its epic location near plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes along with it being just a short distance away from the city’s beautiful natural hotspots makes it the perfect place to stay in Gainesville if you’re a first-time visitor.
You will also find plenty of cultural activities to do in Downtown along with awesome foodie hotspots including the Historic Matheson House along with the gorgeous The Top Restaurant.
- Learn some history at Matheson History Museum
- Wander around Roper Park
- Stroll along the historic downtown promenade
- Take in the beauty at The Thomas Center Gardens
Best Budget Accommodation in Downtown
The prize for the best budget hotel in Downtown is probably one that will surprise you with it being beautifully decorated but having incredibly budget-friendly prices. On site you will find a range of deluxe rooms all of which are brightly lit and have unique furnishings. The hotel is also primely located in downtown which means you won’t have to travel far to hit the cultural hotspots or perhaps find a bite to eat.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation in Downtown
If you’re looking for a basic but extremely modern hotel to stay in Downtown with all the facilities for a comfortable night’s sleep but don’t fancy breaking the bank at a luxurious five-star hotel then this is the place to stay. The Hampton Inn Suites is one of the largest hotels in Downtown and boasts a large selection of rooms perfect for a range of travelers. It is also located right in the center of the downtown neighborhood meaning you are just steps away from the bustling atmosphere the city has to offer.
Best Luxury Accommodation in Downtown
The Sweetwater Branch Inn is a luxurious and magical hotel located on the outskirts of the historic downtown neighborhood and has an exterior that resembles a fairytale palace. The Inn is beautifully decorated in a Victorian-style complex and offers a world-class inn experience. On site, you will also find plenty of things to do including the magnificent McKenzie Gardens and House which date back to 1895 and are a true historic treasure.
Where to stay in Gainesville for University Visitors
- Coolest thing to do near the University of Florida – Have a tour around the University of Florida Campus
- Best place to visit near the University of Florida – Lake Alice
It’s pretty clear from the name of the neighborhood what the key draw to staying in this neighborhood is: being situated near the University of Florida! Here you will find a lively student atmosphere with plenty of things to do including sports games, a bar, multiple cafes, and of course a variety of academic areas to observe. Along with this, it has the beautiful Lake Alice which glistens in the Florida sun, this is the perfect place to grab a picnic or perhaps have an ice-cold beer or two.
Being located near the University of Florida means you are also slotted perfectly in between the downtown area and the I-75 meaning you can quickly enjoy the best of both areas.
- Wander around the stunning Wilmot Gardens
- Spot wildlife at Natural Area Teaching Laboratory
- Visit the UF Bat Houses
- Venture out to Loblolly Woods Nature Park
Best Budget Accommodation near the University of Florida
This cute and budget-friendly hotel is situated just two miles from the University of Florida along with just being a short drive to the bustling downtown neighborhood. On-site the hostel offers brightly colored rooms with funky interiors along with this guests have access to a spacious and welcoming living space along with a refreshing outdoor pool.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation near the University of Florida
The popular chain of Hilton opened this stunning hotel just a mile away from the University of Florida making it the perfect place to stay for guests visiting the university. There are also plenty of other awesome attractions nearby the hotel including the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and Oaks Mall. After a day of exploring guests have the option to relax in the hotel’s beautiful outdoor swimming pool and catch some of the epic Florida sun rays.
Best Luxury Accommodation near the University of Florida
If you really want to be in the heart of the University of Florida, then Hotel Eleo is definitely the place to stay. The sleek and sinuous architecture of Hotel Eleo is just steps away from the University of Florida, its incredible water features along with Shands Hospital Complex and Gator athletics. Guests staying at the hotel will get a luxurious and personalized experience with beautifully designed guest rooms featuring a host of thoughtful touches.
Best Neighborhood in Gainesville for families
- Coolest thing to do near I-75 – Go boating on Lake Kanapaha
- Best place to visit near I-75 – Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
The I-75 neighborhood is surrounded by a plethora of outdoor activities making it an awesome place to stay for both families and nature lovers. Here you will find the beautiful Lake Kanapaha where you will have the option to go boating, it is also the perfect place to bathe in the Gainesville Sun and have a picnic. Other epic sites nearby include the Split Rock Conservation Area, Ecopassage Observation Boardwalk, and Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.
There is also plenty of accommodation options here from budget-friendly inns to luxurious hotels. Below we have carefully selected three of our favorites.
- Visit Veterans Memorial Park
- Visit the forested nature sanctuary at Split Rock Conservation Area
- Venture out to explore nature at Ecopassage Observation Boardwalk
- Take a trip into downtown
Best Budget Accommodation near I75
This ultra-modern hotel is the ultimate place to stay if you want a sleek and comfortable place to stay but don’t want to break the bank. The HoM hotel is home to a variety of accommodation options from larger family suites to cute double rooms meaning there is a little something for everyone. The hotel also offers some awesome amenities including a daily hot breakfast buffet, an outdoor swimming pool along with a fitness center.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation near I75
The Fairfield Inn & Suites offers guests a range of top-class facilities including a gorgeous sun deck, glimmering outdoor swimming pool, and modern bar. The hotel is primely located nearby the I-75 making it well connected to plenty of outdoor activities it is also just a short drive away from the University of Florida. Each day the hotel offers an epic continental breakfast which can be enjoyed in its beautiful bar and lounge area.
Best Luxury Accommodation near I75
This luxurious hotel is located in the heart of I-75 in Gainesville’s retail district making it just a short walk to some of Gainesville’s best boutiques, bars, and restaraunts. On site, the hotel offers a spectacular comfort and a relaxing stay.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Gainesville
So that’s the beautiful city of Gainesville located in the sunny northern region of Florida and home to the world-famous University of Florida. The city is host to so many exciting things to do from the university campus itself, the live music scene in the city centre and the beautiful nature parks in the surrounding area.
We hope this ‘where to stay guide’ has helped narrow down some good options for your visit to Gainesville, if you end up booking any of them please do let us know in the comments below we love hearing from you guys
What are you waiting for, your sunny Florida getaway awaits!
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