Get to know…Downtown Gainesville


Gainesville's vibrant downtown community perfectly captures the city's authentic college town vibe, relaxed atmosphere and Southern charm. Neighboring the University of Florida, this part of the Gator Nation extends across University Avenue east from 6th Street to 15th Street and south from 8th Ave. to 5th Ave. This location is ideal for University of Florida students and professors looking to live nearby the campus.

Advantages of Downtown Living

Apartments in Downtown Gainesville are perfect for those in search of a friendly and thriving place to call home. Residents are able to enjoy modern living and amenities in an area surrounded by beautiful, historic architecture and lush trees. This area is home to some of the city's best local eats and brews, boutique shops, art, theater and live music. Here, locals are also able to take full advantage of a wide-array of social activities, events and nightlife fun for all ages.

Downtown Gainesville is an active and social community where there's always something going on. You can enjoy fresh fruit and veggies at the weekly farmers' market, visit Thomas Center's flourishing gardens, take in a show at the Hippodrome, or jam out to a concert at Bo Diddley Plaza. This area is unique in that there are a plethora of local businesses and events within walking distance.

The district's population is very diverse, which adds to the unique flavor of the community. The area has also grown dramatically over the past decade, which has led to more job opportunities and economic development.

Picture of downtown Gainesville during the day

(Clockwise from top left) Bo Diddley Plaza, Harry's Restaurant, bus station behind Bo Diddley Plaza, The Wooly Theater, Gainesville City Hall sign, Pop-A-Top Store.

Things to Consider

Navigating the Downtown area is a breeze, however, public parking is limited. You'll want to allow a bit of extra time to find a spot, especially during events and in the evening. If you have a car, worry not; most apartment communities in the area offer their residents free parking.

Major chain stores like Wal-Mart and Publix are close by but are more easily reached via car or bus. Downtown is equipped with buses that service most areas of Gainesville.  Plus, if you're a student of UF or Santa Fe, you ride for free with your id.

Getting Around Town

It's a quick and easy journey from the Downtown district to the UF campus. University Avenue cuts right through the middle of Downtown creating a path that leads directly into UF. You can easily ride your bike or walk, depending on where you live. There are also several direct bus routes from the Rosa Parks Downtown Station into campus and other parts of the city. The Station's 14 routes make getting around Gainesville stress-free and convenient.

Top Hits and Attractions

Calling all art and music enthusiasts! The Hippodrome is well known for its lively social calendar and top-notch, local entertainment. With a steady stream of plays and cinema, you'll find it easy to escape reality and join in on the fun. This Gainesville staple also houses a gallery for aspiring artists and visionaries. For an upbeat and exciting night on the town, check out Bo Diddley Plaza's free Friday night concert series, available all summer long. Dive in and explore Gainesville's history at the Thomas Center, where you'll find majestic gardens, an art gallery, historical exhibits, concerts and even holiday-themed festivals.


One of Downtown Gainesville's best features is all the delicious food at your fingertips, ranging from Dragonfly Sushi (authentic Asian cuisine) to Emiliano's Café (mouth-watering Latin) to The Top (casual and modern American fare). For drinks and ambience check out the Arcade Bar complete with drinks and classic arcade games like PAC-MAN or The Dime with funky music and craft beers. Pamper yourself with the royal treatment at Mode Salon and then head on over to Alter Ego Fitness to rejuvenate with some yoga.

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of or any of our advertising partners.