iStockPhoto/Sean Pavone

liv score
637
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 62
Demographics 65
Economy 57
Education 74
Health 54
Housing 56
Infrastructure 52

#72. Gainesville, FL

Gainesville is enjoying a creative renaissance that influences the way residents in this college town both work and play. Look no further than the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, a modern space filled with fascinating science and tech exhibits. (It’s named for Dr. James Robert Cade, the lead inventor of Gatorade, which is a piece of local trivia every new resident should know!) Or, how about what’s happening at Innovation Square? Located between downtown Gainesville and the University of Florida, the development is a hub for tech, science, and research. Gainesville excels in the fun department, too, with weekend plans that could include cheering on the Gators or slipping away to the Atlantic of Gulf Coast for a beach getaway. 

Top Industries and Employers: IT, agricultural sciences, life sciences, and biotech are industry biggies and the University of Florida provides a lot of jobs locally.

Best Coffee Shop: Try the Japanese-style cold brew at Wyatt’s Coffee.

Best Local Beer/Brewery: Swamp Head Brewery prides itself on being inherently Floridian, from the ingredients it brews with like local honey and blueberries or a spice from a nearby garden all the way down to the beer names like the Loggerhead Lager.

Must-Have Meal: A classic Italian dish at Amelia’s. The chef will play “Happy Birthday” on his tenor sax to those celebrating in the restaurant. Also, after a night bar-hopping (or Netflix bingeing), Midnight Cookies will satisfy your sweet tooth with its cookie creations, like a Lucky Charms treat and another vegan Bananas Foster cookie topped with bananas and caramelized brown sugar.

Best Co-Working Space: MindSpace Collective, which also has an art gallery and print shop featuring local artists.

Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Build-your-own burgers at Loosey’s. Sync your meet-up with a trivia or karaoke night.

Creative Hub: Catch a theater performance at the Hippodrome, AKA “The Hipp.”

Favorite Weekend Activity: Cheering on the Florida Gators; time to stock up on orange and blue!

Free Way to Have Fun: Birdwatching! Gainesville and Alachua County are part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. See if you can spot a Painted Bunting, beauties covered in bold primary colors.

Local Dream Job: One of the “Croc Docs” biologists at the University of Florida studying crocodiles, alligators and other creatures. 

Read More:
Why Gainesville, FL is One of The Best Places to Live
6 Most Affordable Cities in Florida 
Best Places to Live in Florida

– Brittany Anas

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