Alachua County

Alachua County is located in North Florida, 85 miles from the Georgia state line, 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and 67 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Alachua County was established in 1824 from a portion of St. Johns County and named for a Spanish ranch existing in the vicinity in 1680. The name comes from a Seminole Indian word meaning "sink" and possibly was named for a large sinkhole in Paynes Prairie. 

Alachua County was established in 1824 from a portion of St. Johns County and named for a Spanish ranch existing in the vicinity in 1680. Two derivations have been proposed for the name: La ("the" in Spanish) and Chua ("sink" in Seminole) and Luchuwa ("jug" in Seminole). The name possibly comes from a large sinkhole in Paynes Prairie.

Alachua County Florida Image Map
Population - 2000
217,955
Population - 2010
247,336
Population - 2015 Est
256,380
Land Area (sq mi)
875
Water Area (sq mi)
94
Total Area (sq mi)
969
Average Rainfall
50
Temperature - Average High
90
Temperature - Average Low
65

Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium popularly known as "The Swamp" is located at the University of Florida in Gainesville Florida. Home to the universities Florida Gators football team and hosts other university events throughout the year as well as high school football playoffs. With a seating capacity of 88,548, The Swamp is the 12th largest stadium in American college football. 

Open from Wednesdays to Sundays, this state park is a beautiful area to visit. On the grounds is a natural sinkhole within the mini rain forest. Visitors can learn all about the sinkhole and what research it has provided in a variety of ways through interpretive displays around the park. Apart from the natural sinkhole to check out, there is also a nature trail that is home to many small critters and plant life. With the peaceful setting and smells of nature around you, it's hard not to relax here. 

Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail is a 16 mile trail that goes from Gainesville's Boulware Springs Park through the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. This trail makes for a great day trip and is designed for walking, cycling, and horseback riding. Throughout the trail you're bound to see beautiful overlooks as well as plenty of wildlife and plant communities. They have parking available at four trailheads for your convenience. Fishing is permitted in specific parts of the trail bridges at Prairie Creek and Lochloosa Creek. Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail is perfect for discovering old Florida history.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park dates back to the 1930's when Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings lived in a community called Cross Creek. It was in this home that she wrote her novel The Yearling which won a Pullitzer Prize. Guests visiting can explore the farm, walk a trail in the wooded area, view the preserved gardens and groves, or take part in a guided tour of the home. Adjacent to the farm, there is a county park where picnic tables, a playground, and a boat ramp to Orange Lake are all available. This Historic State Park is great for families or anyone looking to learn about Florida history.

There is plenty of things to keep you entertained at O'Leno State Park. Some of its amenities include campfire circles, kayak launches, an amphitheater, museum, and playground. There are a few trails to go hiking or biking on as well, and if you would like to experience all of the fun at O'Leno, you can spend the night on the campgrounds! The park is filled with breathtaking views and wildlife, containing eighteen natural communities, which makes it one of the most diverse state parks in all of Florida.

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park offers an amphitheater, shower stations, a playground, and campfire circles, among other amenities. Bicycling, hiking, fishing, and geo-seeking are some of the activities for guests to take part in while at the park. 

Price's Scrub State Park stretches 1000 acres across the Northwest Marion Greenway. The park is known for its lush green landscape and mile long trails for walking and hiking. The park features picnic tables, spacious grass areas, restrooms, and a watering trough. An equestrian trail is available for horseback riding as well as a 9 mile trail, great for bicycling. Whether you want to be active and take a jog, or sit back enjoy the green landscape and bird watch, Price's Scrub State Park has a little something that everyone can enjoy.

What better way to cool off on a hot day than by stopping by Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park!  Some of the onsite springs include Gilchrist Blue, Little Blue Spring, Naked Spring, Kiefer Spring, and Johnson Spring. The main spring is known for it's support of wildlife. However, the springs aren't all the park has to offer, Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park offers paddling, snorkeling, and swimming. 

San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park is known for being one of Florida's best kept secret hiking spots. This state park is also one of the largest remaining hardwood forests in Florida. Along side the hiking trails, San Felasco also has perfect views for birdwatching, the best off road biking, and historical sites available for viewing. Featuring picnic tables and scenic views, this is the perfect spot for a family outing or enjoying some of Florida's natural beauty. 

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This is a country radio station that covers 14 counties in Florida playing a variety of today's best country hits. Listen to win concert tickets and other prizes, or text 877-937-7883 for song requests, questions, or comments. 

The Alachua County Library District has 12 branches located in Alachua, High Springs, Newberry, Archer, Micanopy, Hawthorne, Waldo, and Gainesville. Five branches are located in Gainesville including the Headquarters, which is the largest library. The district also has two bookmobiles, which bring books to other locations throughout the county.

This diverse county places the splendors of nature on proud display. Whether it be in a botanical garden, playground swinging and team sports participation, viewing wildlife in a preserve, or walking Alachua’s trails, come view the wide array of plant and animal life in person.

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Big Top Brewing Company is a Sarasota-based brewery that crafts unique and tasty beers. Big Top Brewing Company's mission is to create beers that reflect the rich and powerful history of Sarasota, Florida. The brewery offers tasting room hours so that visitors are able to try different beers.

Academy of Technology & Gifted Studies Magnet School

A brewing company in Gainesville, FL that specializes in brewing traditional Belgian-style beers and does so in an old-world-style setting, transporting their patrons to a different time and place and providing one of the most unique experiences in the new-age beer world. The owners have won multiple home brew awards and this is their first venture into the professional brewing world. 

A family owned winery specializing in blueberry wine. They started from picking blueberries off of the family farm and since decided to turn this hobby into the place that is known today.

Bolay is a fast-dining restaurant but not fast food. The ingredients are brought in fresh daily to help bring you the fuel you need to power through your day. Each bol (bowl) is 100% gluten free but extremely tasty. Offering four pre-made bols and a wide range of ingredients to craft your own experience over 100 different ways. Bolay is a growing Florida only chain with nearly ten locations statewide. Check their website for the closest location to you.

Butler's three different outdoor retail centers make shopping easier for everyone. Not only does it have great shopping, but you'll also find an incredible selection of restaurants and eateries for every budget and taste.

City College is a Florida college with locations in Altamonte Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, Hollywood, and Miami. It offers associates and bachelors degrees in the fields of business, heath, and legal/justice.

If you are living in Gainesville or planning on visiting and looking for some great service and vegan/vegetarian options, then look no further! Civilization is a wonderful spot for high-quality, organic food and superb service. Keep note that menu items changes weekly, in order to incorporate cuisines from around the world. 

A brewing company in Gainesville that features some core beers brewed in traditional style with the freshest ingredients, using water from a 700ft well which reaches Florida's aquifers, providing some of the cleanest water for their handcrafted brews. 

The Daily Green in Gainesville is a dream spot for all foodies because there are gluten-free, paleo, vegan, and vegetarian options available. The Daily Green holds Sunday brunches and offers different specials each week. All eaters are welcome, so come try some yummy food!

Dragon Rises College of Oriental Medicine is a school in Gainesville that trains students in the field of acupuncture and other oriental medicine practices.

Listed as a historic place in Florida, visitors of this park can learn all about Florida farming from the 1850s to the mid 1940s through the generations of the Dudley family. The property consists of 18 buildings, including the farmhouse that still houses the original furniture, an 1880's kitchen outbuilding, a general store, post office, and a functional cane syrup complex. It's extra fun here since the park staff dress up in period clothing to go about their general chores, like raising the crops and tending to the livestock. If you've ever been curious to how a farm really worked more than one hundred years ago, this is a great throw back in time to check out. There are also some nature trails here that are perfect for hikers and gardens that are beautiful to enjoy when everything is blooming. 

The East End Eatery in Gainesville is known for offering great lunch, breakfast, and brunch options. There are also vegan and vegetarian options available. 

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First Magnitude Brewing Company is located just east of downtown Gainesville, and is an internationally awarded craft brewery committed to crafting excellent beer and being an active and helping member of the community. They have a great list of core beers as well as seasonal releases that are inventive and refreshing. 

The Cambridge Program Magnet School

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Ginnie Springs is a beautiful area to relax in, with its sparkling blue pools of water and canopy of greenery from the trees. With swimming, tubing, kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes, there's not much you can't do in these blue waters. There's also camping available to those who would like to stay a few days and there's often other types of events that go on throughout the year, like the Ginnie Brew Fest in October.

The Hippodrome is a cultural center in Gainesville. It puts on many mainstage theater shows as well as a classic film series and a gallery space for local artists.

Karma Cream in Gainesville offers vegan and organic ice-cream, sandwiches, pastries, and a variety of coffee drinks, among other things. Cupcakes, scones, and donuts are just some of the goodies available at Karma Cream. So, next time you are in Gainesville, make sure to check this spot out!

This Gainesville store will fill all your zero-waste needs (pun definitely intended). Life Unplastic was born in response to the plastic explosion that is plaguing our current world. The owners aren't here to exploit you or your wallet, they just want to help you create less plastic waste. Their website doesn't update often, but follow their active social media sites to keep up to date on products and upcoming workshops. Whether you need dog treats, bathroom essentials, or spices, Life Unplastic has got you covered. Located between downtown and 75, head on over with your refillable containers to participate in the powerful low-waste movement. Don't fret, their staff is extremely warm, helpful, and happy to answer any questions you might have.

Our low student-teacher ratio, one-to-one and small group instruction, and complete Montessori curriculum enable children to have a self-paced, individualized program. Hands-on materials enhance visual and kinesthetic learning, while independence and self-discipline develop through the classroom dynamics. 

Oak Hall School is an independent, college-preparatory school serving approximately 770 students in grades pre-K through 12. 

Center for Advanced Academics & Technology Magnet School

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Center for Fine Arts Magnet School

Roller skating is a great activity not only for kids, but for the adults too! Skate Station is dedicated to making sure you have as much fun as possible while you wheel around on four wheeled skates while also making sure you're being safe. This is a great place to throw birthday parties for younger kids, all you have to do is bring the kids and the cake and Skate Station can take care of the rest! There's also an awesome arcade with games like Ice Ball and Air hockey, a pirate themed mini golf that they call Swamp golf, a two-story soft playground for kids under the age of 10 to play in, and a big rock climbing wall for all ages.

Now with two different locations in Florida, Splitz is a fun bowling center that's perfect with a group of friends. Not only are there 26 bowling lanes, but there is also laser tag, a video arcade, and a sports bar and grill if you're feeling a bit hungry. They often have events here too, like Karaoke, trivia nights, and happy hour for the adults who like to bowl. Be sure to check in with them first if you're planning on bowling with a big group!

STEM Academy Magnet at Stephen Foster offers a comprehensive hands-on curriculum that integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in a real-world context

One of the most successful brewing companies in Gainesville with a major focus on community as well as a drive to be "Florida's brewery." They have been brewing some of the finest Florida beers since 2008 and their cans can be found throughout the state. 

The goal for JOY FM is to help you find the joy within yourself. This Christian radio station starts mornings with The Morning Cruise where they share the big word of the day and devotional. Throughout the day you can listen to the top Christian artists.

Stop by this charming shopping location to find many of your classic mall stores and so much more. Events throughout the year and great dining options keep people coming back time and time again.

The Top Restaurant in Gainesville is a restaurant with a large menu and daily specials. The restaurant offers burgers, build-your-own grilled cheeses, and vegan/vegetarian options among other things. 

University of Florida is a college in Gainesville with more than 51,000. As a leader in higher education, UF focuses on excellence in research, teaching, technology and athletics. 

Vam York Theater is a theater in Gainesville that has been housing the Gainesville Community Playhouse since 2006. The Gainesville Community Playhouse is one of the oldest community theater programs in the country, they produces their first play in 1927.

WCJB-TV is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Gainesville, Florida. Owned by Gray Television, WCJB-TV maintains studios on Northwest 43rd Street in Gainesville.

Gifted Leaders in Engineering and Math Magnet School

WNBW-DT is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Gainesville, Florida. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and VHF channel 9 from a transmitter in Newberry.

WOGX is a Fox owned-and-operated television station serving Gainesville, Florida that is licensed to Ocala.

WUFT-TV is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)-member television station licensed to Gainesville, Florida. The station is owned by the University of Florida, and maintains studios and offices at Weimer Hall on the University's campus.

CCH offers fellowship, encouragement, and academic enrichment for over 40 homeschooling families in Alachua County and surrounding areas.

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