Our Travel Blog

Enjoy our travel blog full of great worldwide destinations and fun things to do when you get there. Whether planning a last-minute business trip, or planning ahead for your next family vacation, you'll SAVE NOW when you BOOK NOW with TravNow.

The Best Hotels in Gainesville, Florida and Fun Things to Do

iStock-177289074.jpgThe largest city in North Central Florida as well as in Alachua County, Gainesville has been voted and ranked as one of the best places to live and play. Therefore, when looking for a base city while in Florida, Gainesville is the place to choose.

With Gainesville Regional Airport, key cities like Miami, Atlanta, and Charlotte are highly accessible and vice versa. A higher-education town with major universities and college campuses in the city, visitors can expect a youthful and trendy vibe in Gainesville.

This city stays true to their tagline, “ Where culture meets nature” starting with key attractions and things to do for visitors. For nature-themed getaways, top destinations are Santa Fe River, Florida State Parks, Ichetucknee Springs State Park, and Cedar Lakes Woods & Garden. From these attractions, visitors can go kayaking, camping, boating, or spotting wildlife like bison, wild horses, and alligator.


Gainesville is one lively city to visit in Florida!


iStock-139087348.jpgThe city also has more than 30 miles of biking & hiking trails.  One of the popular Gainesville attractions is Paynes Prairie State Park.  Eight trails make way for horseback riding, cycling, and hiking and includes a paved trail that is 16 miles long.  Here, drop an electric powered or paddle boat into Lake Wauburg and spend time on the water fishing or enjoying the scenery.  If you are into camping, the park also offers full-facility sites.


When it comes to culture, must-visits are Florida Museum of Natural History and Hippodrome State Theatre. Home to the visual arts, visit galleries or attend art festivals in Gainesville.  Mix these with the city’s shops, restaurants, bars, and other entertainment and leisure venues, and you'll find there's plenty of fun things to do in Gainesville.


There are numerous restaurants in and around Gainesville.  According to online reviewers, these are some of the best appetite satisfiers:


  • Satchel's Pizza - Italian, vegan, vegetarian-friendly, gluten free (GF) 
  • The Top - American, bar, fusion, vegan, vegetarian-friendly, GF
  • Embers Wood Grill - American, steakhouse, vegetarian-friendly, GF
  • Metro Diner - American, diner, contemporary, international, vegetarian-friendly, GF
  • Manuel's Vintage Room - Italian, European, vegetarian-friendly, GF
  • Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille  - American, bar, Cajun/Creole, vegetarian-friendly, GF
  • Dragonfly Sushi and Sake Company  - Japanese, Sushi, Asian, vegetarian friendly, GF
  • Emiliano's Cafe - Latin, Spanish, Caribbean, Cuban, vegetarian-friendly, GF


There are many hotels in Gainesville with some of them serving nearby neighborhoods and cities. Most of Gainesville's best hotels are on the average, 3-star hotels. Thus, visitors can expect mid-range rates with enough facilities and amenities for a comfortable and convenient stay.


Most hotels in Gainesville are located downtown, giving easy access to top attractions in the city


Home2 Suites by Hilton Gainesville

bigstock-Happy-couple-laying-in-bed-wit-15697322.jpgFor visitors who need a hotel close to the University of Florida, Home2 Suites is a great choice. This hotel is adjacent to the campus and close to hospitals as well as food, shopping, and the entertainment area of Gainesville. It is also close to the airport – only 9 miles away. Guests can choose between studio or one-bedroom suites; all fitted with the most up-to-date in-room amenities.


Home2 Suites has their own kind of accommodation – the Working Wall – where guests have the luxury of enjoying a work area, storage, and a kitchen as well as movable furniture. Traveling with a pet? Home2 Suites is one of the few pet-friendly hotels in Gainesville. In-house guests can enjoy the hotel’s saline swimming pool, outdoor patio complete with fire pits and barbeque, laundry and fitness facilities and free breakfast.


Sleep Inn & Suites University / Shands

iStock-827527932.jpgSleep Inn & Suites University/Shands is one of the cheap hotels in downtown Gainesville. Offering free breakfast, parking, and Wi-Fi, this hotel lies close to the Florida Museum of Natural History. Relaxed and no-frills accommodation with 74 non-smoking guestrooms, each room has a microwave, refrigerator while some have sofa beds and a jetted tub.


This budget hotel has a gym, outdoor pool, and a business center. For inexpensive rates, Sleep Inn & Suites is located at the city center, making this a convenient hotel in downtown Gainesville. Guests can easily find great restaurants and shops nearby. Other local attractions are Kanapaha Botanical Garden and Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.




Hampton Inn & Suites Gainesville-Downtown

Another city center hotel is Hampton Inn & Suites. Perfect for families, this hotel is newly refurbished with modern rooms and suites all fitted with modern entertainment facilities as well as key amenities like fridge and 42-inch Flat scree TV.


The rooms interiors are neat and business-like yet still embodies some coziness. This downtown hotel has a fitness center, and outdoor pool where guests can relax and hang out. Guests can enjoy complimentary beverages (common area) and daily breakfast along with a snack shop and convenient store.


Hilton Garden Inn Gainesville

man at the gym doing exercise on the treadmill.jpegFor business travelers, Hilton Garden Inn Gainesville is one of the best hotels in Gainesville, FL. Close to key offices and medical center, Hilton Garden Inn is also accessible from shopping and dining venues in the city. It also has a 24-hour business center and the hotel has ample spaces for meeting rooms. Face your working day with a hearty breakfast, enjoy a dip in the pool or break a sweat from Hilton’s modern gym.


After a long day, relax by enjoying a few laps from their outdoor pool. For guestrooms, all are within the standard of modern travelers and for business travelers. Rooms have large working desks and are equipped with Wi-Fi with remote printing.



Ready to come check out the vibe in Gainesville, FL?  TravNow can help!




Topics: Florida