Tell me about Gainesville, Florida

Gainesville traffic is nothing compared to what you are used to! As stated up thread there are times that a couple of roads get busy, but honestly it is nothing like what you deal with now.

The town itself is progressive and liberal, it is a major university town. The community in Gainesville has niches for everyone, I found it extremely inclusive. The out lying areas may be more culturally closed but they keep that to their own backyard-live and let live!

The beauty of Payne’s prairie can’t be beat, you have the springs, the river, devils millhopper. Tons of outdoor things to do. Crescent beach isn’t too far and is a low key beach to visit.

There are infinite exhibits and performances to see. The University has a bunch of things going on at any given time. Some are hits, some are misses but as with all things, this is in the eye of the beholder. There is no way, unless you are not even looking, that you can’t find something that piques your curiosity.

The medical community is also pretty top notch. I know from your previous threads that you suffer from PTSD. Shands and the VA are linked and are researching the best treatments for this. It is pretty amazing how closely they cooperate.

To sum this up, there are worse and better places to live, this one has a lot of good and most of your concerns esp re: GLBT issues are unfounded.

Oh, and BTW, Hockey Monkey, there are no wild crocs in Gainesville, bitey or otherwise.

You’ll have access to SEC football, sweet tea, grits, and very reasonable gun laws. Great place to live.

You’re going to think I’m weird for saying this, but strange giant bugs are a bonus.

I’m glad to hear there are other Dopers living in the area!

We have good friends in Gainesville, and have visited a few times. My overview: there’s a divide between the locals and the university community. If you’re looking for culture and activities and interesting things to do and places to go, there are plenty (thanks to the university community.)

I stayed there for a week a few years ago. It is perfectly pleasant place although don’t think people are joking when they tell you it gets hot in the summer. It isn’t a joke at all and chances are you have never felt anything like it before in the U.S. unless you have lived on the Gulf Coast. I know people say the mid-Atlantic region gets hot and muggy during the summer (and it does to a degree sometimes) but it is nothing like that. Air conditioning is not optional for either your home or your vehicle.

It seemed just like a large Southern college town would be to me. That part of Florida is definitely the South like other people have said. I think it would be a good change for you all things considered. The cost of living is low and the driving will be much, much easier. I am sure you can find examples of everything you like to do now there at a lower cost and with more convenience.

So, it’s official. My husband was matched for internship with University of Florida and we’re moving to Gainesville in mid-June. And yes, I think a housewarming Dopefest would be a really, really good idea!

I think there will be some challenges (humid summers, dealing with a sun allergy) but overall we’re pretty excited. I’m especially looking forward to all of the natural beauty, parks, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Right now we live forty minutes from the nearest reservation. It’s not a very outdoors-friendly town. And this Winter has been brutal, so I won’t miss shoveling snow off the top of my car every morning or sitting in traffic for two hours.

I appreciate all the responses here. If any residents have more specific advice for choosing an apartment/looking for work I’m all ears. I write grants for a living, I absolutely love it, and I wish to continue doing so.

Grats to you both! I lived in Florida for most of my life, although I’ve been in Vegas for 17 years now. There’s a lot I miss about Florida to this day.

I’d gladly pay a $5/day tax if it would rain here every day sometime between 2pm and 4pm, for instance.

A question for you (or Johnny Bravo or someone else who lives there: is the hobbit wall still up?

Basic tip about FL (aside form the reasons FARK gives it its own tag):

The further south you go, the more Northern you are - IOW: Progressive snowbirds flock to the southern part of the state, leaving the northern part in Deep South.

“if the skitters don’t get him, then the gators will” - Everglades, Kingston Trio.

I lived in Gainesville for a year in the mid 70’s, so ignore anything I’d say about cultureal situation there now.

In addition to the mosquito sprayer trucks every dawn, there are Palmetto bugs - 6" cockroaches - which fly, and have an affinity for human faces.

The chameleons are cute, however.

Magic mushrooms are indigenous and the locals know where the best cow patties (whereupon they spring up after a rain) are located, as do the police. Southern Police. Stay away from the countryside immediately after rain until you know where the traps are.

When I was there, it was a dive with a University, and the two cultures tolerated each other.

Concrete block is popular not only because it is cheap, but because wood will not survive - the few wooden homes are regularly encased in huge tents and a mercury-based poison is injected.
The stuff will, I was told, penetrate a 4x4 in something on the order of 15 seconds.The dosage is measured in days. They might not still use mercury, but the stuff is deadly.

Parades rained on at no cost!

Don’t expect paradise, and you’ll be fine.

Oh, look out for the humidity.

I’m another long time Gainesville resident.

I have never thought of this area as particularly religious. Sure, there are lots of churches. But I’m not of any faith and never had it come up as a problem here.

The regional airport here has been built up in recent years. I don’t know if that’s a plus for you but it has been useful to me.

Salt springs near Ocala is nice, ginnie and blue springs in High Springs area. Gainesville has devils millhopper sink hole. The constant rain (every day pretty much in the summers) is true.

Gainesville is in Alachua County, wherein there is also a town named Alachua. There was a story about a resident of Alachua, born in the nineteenth centuary. As a child, she had visited the big city of Gainesville; otherwise she had never left the town. She was black, which may or may not have explained it completely.
Whenever I think of Gainesville, that story from 40 years ago pops up…

I have one, immediate, dark association with Gainesville. Danny Rolling.

I mention it here because I’m the sort of person who, upon moving to Boston, took a self-conducted bike tour of all the Boston Strangler related spots in the city.

If you’re not into stuff like that, sorry! Of course, it doesn’t have anything to do with Gainesville today unless you’re interested in it.

Have a great move, great time, great future!

Welcome, Spice Weasel! I think you’re going to love it.

Nope, painted over with a mural featuring alligators and Indians, but I think even that is gone now.

You might try http://www.apartmenthunters.com/Homepages/Gainesville.aspx if you’re lookng for a rental. Its been 15 years since I’ve lived in Gainesville (went to college there) but I had used them a few times. Places closer to the college are close to 100% student occupancy (as you’d expect). My suggestion is look north west of town near the Newberry area if you prefer it a little quieter but still a reasonable drive in to campus.

Haile Plantation is probably one of the nicest planned communities in that area of the state - http://www.haileguide.com/ Tioga is nice, too, but was barely there when I left. This website represents the neighboorhoods pretty well:

http://www.swamprentals.com/Neighborhoods.aspx This south/southeast are mostly student oriented areas, and north/northwest/west more rural as a rule of thumb.

Don’t let anyone try to convince you that “love bugs” were invented by the University of Florida :slight_smile:

You may want to look at the Univeristy of Fl (including Shands Hospital) (and Santa Fe community college) for jobs first. I can’t recall any single large employers aside from them and the VA (which is close to campus as well).

Gators should not be a problem (be careful around wetlands/swampy areas) but they generally won’t bother you. Lake Alice is on the UF grounds and has a boardwalk that turns into a pier that goes out onto the lake. Take a flashlight with you at night sometime and shine it on the lake from the pier - you’ll be amazed how many red eyes are watching you.

I can’t recall which year, but some time in the mid 90s we had an incredible amount of rain one summer, and the gators were literally floating off Payne’s Prarie onto I-75 - we had to stop on the interstate and slowly drive around them.

Overall it is a fun place with a young vibe and I think you will enjoy it. Last year was a tough year for the football team, but basketball, baseball and women’s soccer are all really fun programs to watch as well.