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Why Fly to Gainesville?
Gainesville is a great destination for vacationers looking for a warm climate and plenty of opportunities to party. The central Florida city is the largest in Alachua County. Much of the city revolves around the University of Florida. Covering more than 2,000 acres and boasting a student body of more than 50,000, the school is one of the largest in the country. The city is also home to many examples of Victorian- and Queen Anne-style residences that date back from the late 19th century. A large movement to maintain Gainesville's downtown has helped preserve a number of historic buildings, including the Bailey Plantation House and the Hippodrome State Theatre, which currently serves as the region's main professional theater. The city claims a vibrant arts scene. Every year, the city plays host to a number of large arts-oriented festivals, including two visual arts festivals and an improv comedy festival. In addition, many musical luminaries have called Gainesville home, including Tom Petty and Steven Stills. There's also ample natural beauty in the area. Visitors can take a day to explore Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park, which features a 120-foot deep sinkhole where many prehistoric animal fossils have been found. As for nightlife, there are plenty of bars and clubs around the university campus that cater to a young crowd. For a more laidback scene, check out downtown's lounges and pubs. Visitors can find affordable Gainesville hotels and inns throughout the city. You can buy flights to Gainesville using Travelzoo's SuperSearch.
Which Airlines Fly to Gainesville?
The Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) serves the Gainesville region. Travelers can search for discount airfare from Miami on American Eagle. Or compare plane tickets from Atlanta on Delta. You can also find flight discounts from Charlotte on US Airways.
Popular Gainesville Flight Routes
Gainesville Flight Tips
Alternatively, you can compare flights to Jacksonville. The Florida city is only about 70 miles northeast of Gainesville. AirTran Airways, American Airlines, American Eagle, Continental, Delta, JetBlue Airways, Southwest, United and US Airways all provide flights to Jacksonville from select departure cities, including Chicago, New York, Baltimore, Dallas and Las Vegas. Or search for low-priced airfare to Orlando and spend a couple days at Disney World before driving two hours north to Gainesville. Orlando boasts two commercial airports and is served by Allegiant Air, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country, United, US Airways and Virgin America.
Quick Travel Guide to Gainesville
If you're visiting Gainesville while school is in session, consider attending a University of Florida sports event. The school's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is a huge complex that seats more than 90,000 football fans. The Stephen C. O'Connell Center is the university's multi-purpose arena, which hosts the school's basketball, gymnastics, in-door track, volleyball, diving and swimming teams. Located just west of the arena is the Alfred A. McKethan Stadium, home of the University of Florida's baseball team.
The university campus is also home to a number of cultural attractions. One popular institution is the Harn Museum of Art. Housing more than 6,200 works, the facility is one of the largest university art museums in the Southeast. The museum's permanent collections focus on Asian, African, modern and contemporary art.
Or observe the area's natural beauty and wildlife along the shores of Lake Alice. Located in the center of the university campus, Lake Alice is one of the few places in the city where you'll see live alligators. Visitors can take a scenic walk along the boardwalk on the northern side of the lake. Lake Alice is also the site of the school's bat house, which serves as a shelter for the area's bats.
Another popular Gainesville destination is the Florida Museum of Natural History. The institution houses a large fossil collection as well as artifacts from Florida Native American tribes. One of the most popular attractions is the Butterfly Rainforest. This large, outdoor enclosed space is filled with fluttering butterflies from around the world.
For a trip out of town, head west of Gainesville to the upscale community of Haile Village. This quaint neighborhood boasts many boutique shops, restaurants and a farmers' market where visitors can purchase farm-direct produce, baked goods, fruits, nuts, honey and more.
In the evening, head to University Avenue, just north of the University of Florida campus. Here, you'll find dozens of bars and restaurants, many of which offer specials throughout the week. For a more subdued outing, head downtown to Main Street. Here, you'll find pool halls, lounges and pubs that cater to locals and tourists alike.