Located in northern Florida, Gainesville is a large city and the county seat of Alachua County. The city is most known as the home of the University of Florida, which is one of the country's largest schools. It is believed that the original inhabitants of the area were the Paleo-Native Americans, who inhabited the land approximately 12,000 years ago. The city of Gainesville was officially established in 1854, and it was named in honor of a United States Army officer named Edmund P. Gaines. Gainesville was incorporated as a town in 1869 and chartered as a city in 1907. In 1906, the University of Florida was transferred to the area from Lake City. At the time, it was called the University of the State of Florida.
Many who visit the Gainesville area take the time to tour the university's beautiful campus. The campus is home to quite a few interesting attractions, such as the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, and the University of Florida Bat Houses. Gainesville boasts other fascinating museums as well, like the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, the Matheson History Museum, and the Thomas Center.
The sun is often shining in Gainesville, and when you want to have some outdoor fun, there are lots of excellent options. For example, you could explore the hiking trails of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, stroll through the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, or check out the incredible sinkhole at Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park. If you're traveling with the family, you may want to observe the cool animals at spots like the Lubee Bat Conservancy and the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo.
The Gainesville area offers many fantastic breweries and dining destinations worth checking out. While you're visiting, you should sample restaurants like Curia on the Drag and Harry's Seafood Bar and Grill. When you're in the mood for a drink, stop by the Swamp Head Brewery, the Blackadder Brewing Company, or the Bluefield Estate Winery.
The Gainesville area boasts many lovely campgrounds. One quality option is the Williston Crossings RV Resort, which offers full-hookup RV campsites and a variety of amenities. During your stay, you can utilize the tennis courts, hiking and biking trails, fitness center, and large swimming pool. Plus, the campground offers a large pavilion that's perfect for weddings and get-togethers.
Another superb place to camp in the area is the Grand Lake RV & Golf Resort. The massive campground has 423 RV campsites available for upwards of $33 per night. There are sites with full RV hookups available, and the park's amenities include boat rentals, a nine-hole golf course, a driving range, a putting green, and even a top-notch restaurant.
Travelers Campground is a great camping destination in the Gainesville area, as well. There, you can stay in one of the 105 full-hookup RV campsites for $40 per night. The park is home to a small zoo, making it an excellent destination for camping with the whole family. Plus, the campground is located conveniently close to Alachua Splash Park and the lovely Alachua historic downtown district.
Although many people don't know it, Florida is home to some picturesque prairies, and Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is a perfect example. Located between Gainesville and Ocala, the state park features vivid green prairies and beautiful savannas that seem to go on forever. Visitors to the lovely park can observe the bison, wild horses, and unique bird species that inhabit the area. The park also features several miles of scenic hiking trails and a 50-foot observation tower that offers stunning views.
Silver Springs State Park is known for being the very first tourist attraction in Florida's history. The park is home to one of the largest artesian springs ever discovered, and visitors can enjoy glass-bottom boat tours or take their kayaks and canoes out on the water. If you opt to take a ride in a glass-bottom boat, you can peer through the crystal-clear water and see the area's amazing aquatic life. The unique park is considered the gateway to Ocala National Forest, which offers excellent opportunities for bird-watching, wildlife viewing, and hiking.
Rainbow Springs State Park is one of the most beautiful natural areas in all of northern Florida. The breathtaking park contains lush greenery, pristine waters, man-made waterfalls, and ornamental gardens, offering an exceptionally serene atmosphere for guests to enjoy. In addition to its natural beauty, the park is known for the wide variety of recreational opportunities it offers. Visitors can hike the peaceful nature trails, observe the local birds, or head to the Rainbow River for a day of paddling, swimming, snorkeling, or tubing.
The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, located on the shores of Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine, Florida is the single oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Originally, the monument was a Spanish fort constructed to defend trade routes between Florida and the ocean. During your visit, you can explore the fascinating fort and experience its incredible culture and history. There are a variety of historical exhibits to check out, and there's also a Theater Room that regularly shows informational films. At certain times of the year, visitors can even interact with living history actors who walk around the site.
Another amazing fort that history buffs will want to check out is Fort Matanzas, which is found at Fort Matanzas National Monument. The fort dates back to 1742 when it was built to protect St. Augustine from attacking soldiers. Located on Anastasia Island, the national monument is home to northern river otters, West Indian manatees, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, and other awesome wildlife species. During your visit, you can take a self-guided tour of Fort Matanzas, explore the area's nature trails, or even cast your fishing line for bluefish, flounder, spotted seatrout, and several other fish species.
Fort Caroline National Memorial is a unique historical site that preserves the memory of an unfortunate group of French colonists. The group created a colony in 1564, but within two years, they'd all perished, been taken by Spanish soldiers, or sailed back to France. Today, the memorial to the group features recreations of a Timucuan Village and Fort Caroline itself. In addition to learning about the site's unique history, visitors can go paddling in the nearby backwaters or explore the network of scenic hiking trails.
Although Osceola National Forest is home to lush woodlands and tranquil nature trails, it's primarily known for its history. The forest is located in the area where Florida's largest Civil War battle occurred. Today, though, the peaceful forest is a popular destination for hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and swimming. There are many miles of exceptional nature trails, but a couple of the best ones to visit are the Florida National Scenic Trail and the Osceola Nice Wanderer Trail.
Situated in central Florida, Ocala National Forest covers roughly 387,000 acres and contains wetlands, swamps, highlands, and coastal lowlands. There are several protected wilderness areas to explore in the forest as well as over 600 lakes, ponds, springs, and streams. With so many bodies of water, the area has become a very popular spot for activities like fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, and waterskiing. Ocala National Forest also offers opportunities to observe bobcats, foxes, alligators, otters, gopher tortoises, and other interesting creatures.
Apalachicola National Forest is located in the Florida Panhandle and is known for its diversity. The forest is home to caverns, sinkholes, a scenic byway, and a wide variety of freshwater fish for anglers to catch. The Apalachicola River flows through the woodlands, offering great opportunities for fishing and paddling. During your visit, you could enjoy a relaxing stay at one of the forest's quiet campgrounds. You may also want to explore beautiful trails such as the Munson Hills Trail, the Silver Lake Trail, and the Trail of Lakes.
Motorhomes in Gainesville average around $200 a night and Towable Trailers are around $120 a night.What does RVshare Protection cover with my Gainesville, FL RV rental?
RVshare's protection plan standard package covers up to $300,000 in comprehensive and collision coverage based on the value of the RV. It also includes free 24/7 roadside assistance, towing and tire service. For more information on RVshare insurance, click here.What do I need to know before renting an RV in Gainesville, FL?
Gainesville, FL has plenty of freeway access to make RV driving easier. There are several lakes and other bodies of water just outside the city, along with green space and other outdoor areas. Be sure to save time for the exhibits at the Florida Museum of Natural History while you're there.What are the RV rental requirements in Gainesville, FL?
There is no special license needed to rent an RV, but it never hurts to check state websites if you are unsure about traveling there. and any regulations they may have.What are some tips for first-time RV renters in Gainesville, FL?
Renting an RV in Gainesville, Florida means you'll be in the hometown of the University of Florida, and can enjoy many of the things offered on the campus there. Be mindful of football games when trying to drive around town and plan accordingly for traffic. Winter is a great time to visit, thanks to the city's mild weather, but you'll want to reserve a campsite ahead of time.What are the minimum age requirements for renting an RV in Gainesville, FL?
The minimum age requirement for renting an RV is 25.What is included in my Gainesville, FL RV rental?
You should find any amenities that are included with your rental in the listing details. But it never hurts to check in with the owner before you arrive at the RV or have it delivered to ensure you have everything that is needed to have a fun and enjoyable trip!Are there pet friendly RVs for rent in Gainesville, FL?
Looking for a pet friendly RV rental? Use the pet-friendly filter when searching on RVshare.com to find the perfect one for you!Can I have my Gainesville, FL RV rental delivered to a specified location?
Many owners on RVshare.com offer delivery, and will even set it up for you at the campsite. Choose the 'Delivery' filter to narrow down your search results to RVs that can be brought to your home or destination. Check the listing details for any information regarding extra fees for delivery, or ask the owner if you are unsure.Are there one way rental options from Gainesville, FL?
One way rentals can add flexibility to your trip, but there are typically costs associated with returning the RV back to the owner. Learn more about one way rental options at rvshare.com/one-way-rv-rentals.