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Gainesville is filled with many wonderful hidden gems that aren't too far from your apartment front door. Paynes Prairie, where you can walk amongst wild horses, buffalo and Florida's most notorious reptile, the alligator. Dine at a plethora of local eateries such as Flacos Tacos, One Love cafe and Satchel's Pizza. Visit another time in Florida at the Museum of Natural History. The list can go on forever. For those that are an adventurer at heart, there are many things to see and do outside of your Gainesville apartment that are just a short trip away!
A short trip north on Interstate 75, you will find High Springs. This small, quaint town is about a thirty minute drive from your apartment in Gainesville. Here you will be reminded that sometimes it is nice to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life. If you like to browse antique stores, then this place is definitely for you. Can you guess what High Springs is known for? Its springs! Here you will find an abundance of fresh water springs you can make a splash at. Poe Springs, Gilchrist Blue Springs and Ginnie Springs all call this place home. Be prepared before you jump in, the water is a cool 72 degrees all year round. O'Leno State Park also calls High Springs home. If you are a nature lover, you can enjoy a walk on one of the shaded trails. This park is one of Florida's oldest state parks and located on the banks of the Santa Fe River.
Cedar Key is located on Florida's west coast. To get here from your Gainesville apartment, it is pretty much a straight shot. Hop on Archer Road and follow it west for just over an hour you will be in Cedar Key. This trip can easily be done if you just want to get out of town for the day. If you are a fan of seafood, Cedar Key has it all! Almost all the local restaurants serve up freshly caught seafood and locally farmed clams and oysters. Since the key is located on the Gulf of Mexico, there are plenty of water related activities to do. Depending on when you visit, you can charter a boat to dive for scallops or rent a kayak and paddle on over to Astena Otie Key. On this lush island you will find the remnants of an old pencil mill and an old cemetery. Remember to bring your bug repellent if you decide to venture into the island! There is so much to do and see at Cedar Key! If you would like to know more about this quiet and charming island, check out this link.
Along 39th Ave you will find Newnans Lake. This 1.12 mile wide lake is home to many forms of Florida wildlife and is considered a protected site in Alachua County. The lake and the area around it is a nature lovers dream! Kayak or Canoe this pristine lake and adventure into its swamps and streams. The state forest that lies just east of the lake has both hiking and biking trails open to the public. If you decide to walk on of the three trails in the park, you might be lucky enough to spot a bald eagles nest. Another notable nature area off this main road is the Devil's Millhopper. Explore the remnants of an ancient sink hole and take in some of the natural beauty Gainesville has to offer.