Community Information

About Gainesville

Gainesville and the north cental Florida area is a good place to live. Not far from the northern border of Florida and a little more than an hour’s drive from either coast, the city has a pleasant climate. Although it is predominantly warm, in summer the temperature generally drops about 20 degrees at night, in winter there are short but stimulating cold spells, and the seasons change. In spring, the dogwoods are spectacular. The mean temperature is 70.1 (degrees F), ranging from 57.7 in January to 81.1 in August. The average amount of sunshine per day is nearly 7.75 hours and the annual rainfall is 49.97 inches. The coast is not so near that the area is in much danger from tropical storms. The present urban population of the city is more than 85,000. Travel to and from Gainesville is easy. The main highways are Interstate 75, U.S. 441, and U.S. 301. Intercity bus service is provided by Greyhound. Within the city a 10-route, half-hourly bus service operates on weekdays, with hourly service on Saturdays. The Gainesville Regional Airport provides convenient service to all major hubs.

Because of its hospitals and the University, Gainesville is the state’s main center for medical research and treatment. It has four hospitals: Shands Teaching Hospital, the Veterans Administration Hospital, Alachua General Hospital, and North Florida Regional Medical Center. There are also clinics and nursing homes, and over 450 physicians and surgeons and 100 dentists in private practice.

There are about 100 churches in Gainesville and 15 student chapels and religious centers near campus. The largest educational institutions in Gainesville are the University, with an enrollment of 35,000, and Santa Fe Community College, with four campuses and an enrollment of more than 12,000. The Alachua County School Board is responsible for 23 elementary, 6 middle, and 6 high schools. There are also more than a dozen private schools and the P. K. Yonge Laboratory School (K-12), which operated in association with the University’s College of Education.

Many of the pleasures of living in the Gainesville area are water-related. The beaches of both coasts (quite different) are easily accessible. But it is not necessary to leave Alachua County to enjoy great golf, fishing, swimming, sailing, and similar sports. Of its 965 square miles, more than one in twenty is covered in water.

There is plenty of opportunity for doing as well as looking. The county and the community college cooperate in offering noncredit courses, held in locations all over the city, many of them in the evening. There are a number of public golf courses and tennis and racquetball courts in Gainesville, as well as those on the UF campus. The city is well supplied with restaurants and movie theaters. The University provides Gainesville with major collegiate spectator sports, and the Gatornational drag races held each spring draw large crowds.

Gainesville is served by more than 15 radio stations, including WUFT-FM, a classical music station. There are two local commercial television channels, and WUFT is the University-owned public television channel. Cable television gives access to over 30 channels. The Gainesville Sun is the local newspaper, and there are several student newspapers, the main one being the Independent Florida Alligator.