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Where to Stay in Gainesville

Gainesville claims a variety of discount accommodations, intimate bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels. Visitors looking to stay near the University of Florida campus can search for accommodations along US 441. This main thoroughfare features more than a half-dozen discount hotels and motels. For even more convenient access to the university, book reservations at one of the few hotels located on campus.  Gainesville's downtown is home to a number of luxury hotels and inns. All are located near many of the city's top attractions, including restaurants, pubs and the historic Hippodrome State Theatre. A cluster of budget hotels are located southwest of Gainesville near the Interstate 75-Route 24 interchange. These establishments are a short drive from the university campus as well as the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. The 21,000-acre park is home to more than 270 species of birds as well as alligators, bison, horses and cattle. It's also a popular place for hiking, cycling and horseback riding.   Just a few minutes south of Gainesville is the community of Micanopy. The small town is near many large ponds and features a historic inn that makes for an excellent romantic getaway.

Gainesville Hotel Tips

Gainesville is host to several large arts festivals that attract visitors from throughout the region and beyond. The Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival takes place every April  in the city's downtown. The festival spans two days and draws hundreds of artists from more than 25 states. In November, the city puts on the Downtown Festival & Art Show, a two-day celebration that draws more than 100,000 attendees. The Gainesville Improv Festival takes place every January. The event welcomes improv comedians from around the country for four days of performances. If you plan to visit during any of these celebrations, make sure to search for hotels far in advance. Additionally, certain University of Florida events can make hotel vacancies scarce, including homecoming and commencement.

Gainesville Hotel Recommendations

If you're planning on visiting the University of Florida, search for vacancies at the Reitz Union Hotel. Located conveniently on campus, this affordable accommodation sports 36 rooms, including standard rooms and suites. Prices do increase during graduation and special events, such as home football game weekends. All guests can enjoy the hotel's complimentary continental breakfast and beautiful views of the surrounding campus. Suites include sleeper sofas, refrigerators and separate sleeping and living areas. For the convenience of guests, several restaurants and retail stores are housed in the same building. Additionally, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has designated the hotel as a Green Lodging facility.

Or stay downtown at the intimate and elegant Magnolia Plantation Bed & Breakfast. The quaint inn caters to a variety of clientele, from couples in search of a romantic weekend to business travelers. Built in 1885, the Victorian-style mansion has undergone extensive restoration over the past couple decades. It features five uniquely appointed guestrooms as well as a central foyer, a period kitchen, a formal dining room, two sitting rooms and a lush garden. All rooms include private baths, and complimentary beverages and snacks are served throughout the day. Private cottages, some of which are children and pet friendly, are available as well.

Venture south of Gainesville to the small town of Micanopy. Here, within less than a mile from the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, you'll find one of the most exclusive accommodations in Florida. The Herlong Mansion Bed & Breakfast was built around 1845 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A lovely garden and old oak and pecan trees cover the hotel's grounds. Guests can choose from six guestrooms, three spacious suites and three cottages. All rooms are furnished with private baths, and some boast extra-large Jacuzzi tubs. In-room massage services are available. Room rates include a full breakfast, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages and evening wine and cookies.

Gainesville Transportation

Gainesville is served by the Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV). You can search for flight deals to Gainesville using Travelzoo's SuperSearch, or compare low-priced plane tickets to Orlando and Jacksonville, which are located nearby. Gainesville does sport a regional system of buses. There are more than 35 routes, with some running late into the night. Many visitors choose to travel through the city by car. Many major rental agencies are located in Gainesville. Parking is plentiful throughout the city, and with its grid-like network of streets, getting around is relatively easy.

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