Gainesville is set up in a really simple grid, so once you figure out your north-south, east-west, you'll know where you are in the universe. Major east-west passages are University Avenue, Archer Road, and 39th Avenue in the north. North-west streets include Main Street, 13th Street, and 24th Street.
All avenues and roads in Gainesville run east-west (except Tower Road for some reason), and all streets and terraces run north-south. Then, if Gainesville were set up into four quadrants, the center would be at the intersection of Main Street and University Avenue. From there, you can easily figure it out. Depending which quadrant you're in, you are either the northwest, northeast, southwest or southeast. And, the larger the number of the road, the farther you are from the center. Get it?
Finally, it's helpful to learn that many secondary roads run parallel to the primaries, and they can help avoid traffic. Some of our favorites includes North 8th Avenue, SW 2nd Avenue, 6th Street, and Williston Road (for circumnavigating the west part of town) or I-75 (for quickly traveling from the northwest to the southwest). Try it sometime—it really does save time.