Overview of Gainesville
When you're talking about Gainesville, the 200-pound elephant in the room is actually an alligator-specifically a University of Florida Gator. This state school is one of the biggest in the United States. Its presence makes Gainesville a great college town, but it can't take credit for the city's Old South-style charm. To fully appreciate the Spanish moss, shady waterways, and tranquil sunsets on offer in this city, you'll need to rent your own Gainesville apartment.
Living in Gainesville
In 1860, Alachua County had over 8,000 residents, but only around 200 of them lived in Gainesville. It wasn't until after the Civil War that freed slaves and other factors brought prosperity to this part of Florida. At that time, Gainesville became a center for cotton and vegetables. Then it continued to blossom with the growth of the citrus and phosphate industries. By the start of the 20th century, 200 residents had turned into 32,000 people. Then Gainesville was chosen as the site for the University of Florida in 1905 and that was cause for serious celebration. Today, the University is one of the top ten in the country in terms of enrollment.
When choosing a Gainesville apartment, you'll want think about which neighborhood best suits you. Downtown places have a more urban feel, keeping you close to shopping, food, and fun. Mid-Town Gainesville means the area around the campus. It's an area rife with student life. Northwest Gainesville is quieter and good for families. West Gainesville is residential and Sorority Row is up and coming.
Work & Study in Gainesville
The job market in Gainesville isn't too robust. Because of the presence of the University of Florida, college educated job applicants are plentiful and competition can be tough. The city's major employers are the University, Shands HealthCare, the Veterans Health Administration, and the School Board. If you're coming to Gainesville to study and aren't attending the U of F, there's also Santa Fe College and City College.
Cost of Living in Gainesville
You can live reasonably in Gainesville, with cheaper restaurants near the University of Florida and affordable rents throughout. Expect to pay between $625 and $950 for a one-bedroom. Seven percent of residential property in the city tends to be vacant at any given time. That means rentals aren't too hard to find. The downside of living in Gainesville is the scarcity of employment.
Gainesville Attractions & Entertainment
To make the most of your time in Gainesville you'll want to check out Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park. This bowl-like depression contains its own miniature rain forest. The Florida Museum of Natural History will introduce you to the flora, fauna, and culture of the state. There's the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens to tour, the Hippodrome State Theater, and, of course, cheering on the University of Florida Gators in football and basketball. Those sports teams play hard and their fans understand the meaning of the word "exuberant."
Gainesville Special Events
Gainesville's biggest special event is known simply as "The Fest." The Fest ranks near the top of America's indie music festivals, featuring a heavy serving of punk rock. The Spring Arts Festival, Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, the Downtown Festival and Art Show, and the Gainesville Improv Festival help round out the calendar.
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