West Gainesville extends west of the University of Florida's 34th Street border from NW 8th Avenue down to the border of Butler Plaza and all the way west to 91st Street. It is filled with residential neighborhoods, apartment communities, shopping centers and restaurants.
This area is so diverse that students looking for close access to campus, without the downfalls of living right on campus, find it a good place to rent. West Gainesville is home to many apartments on SW 20th Avenue that host huge pool parties and other resident activities, so you won't be lonely or looking for things to do. Many local families and UF faculty also live in this area, so in addition to major apartment complexes, you'll find houses for rent if you prefer a more "neighborhood" location.
The Oaks Mall is a major destination in West Gainesville, and it is surrounded by restaurants and other shopping centers. Plaza Royale has a large movie theater, plus some great stores and restaurants. It's a quick bus ride from campus, directly west on University.
West Gainesville is incredibly close to most of the major Gainesville hotspots. Newberry Road and 34th Street are both lined with businesses. And the south-eastern part of this area is incredibly close to Butler Plaza – another major destination in Gainesville.
Things to Consider
Traffic on the main thoroughfares can be a bit heavy. Specifically, mall and Tower Road-area traffic during rush hour can be some of Gainesville's busiest. Most heavy traffic heads east in the morning and west in the evening, with 5pm being the worst hour.
You'll probably want to own a car, unless you live in certain areas that receive direct RTS bus access (like the #5 route on University or the 20-22, which feed into major apartments).
How to Get to School
You can ride your bike or ride the bus (or both) to campus, but you'll probably want a car or scooter at some point, depending where you live. If you live in or near a major apartment complex or near the Oaks Mall, chances are a bus comes directly to you. Bus routes that service this area include the 20, 21, 22, 5 and 75.
In addition to the variety of shopping areas within West Gainesville, you'll be lucky to live near the UF Cultural Plaza on the west edge of campus. It's home to the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the Harn Museum of Art, the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Butterfly Rainforest. The Dudley Farm State Park, a historic old Florida cracker home recreated, is on the other edge of West Gainesville. The Cofrin Nature Park is right in the middle on 8th Avenue.
There are too many businesses worth mentioning, but some include Moe's Southwest Grill and Heavenly Ham, both in the aforementioned Plaza Royale. This neighborhood is also home to North Florida Regional Medical Center, a high performing ER and long-term treatment hospital. Then, you'll want to check out the Oaks Mall. Gainesville Health & Fitness Center, the area's largest and most complete health club, is centrally located between the two. Finally, Domino's serves this area from its location at the intersection of University and 34th Street.These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of SwampRentals.com or any of our advertising partners.