Sure, Gainesville’s proximity to all of Atlanta’s attractions is nice. But actually, you never have to leave the city limits of Gainesville to experience some of the region’s best festivals, art shows and family events. Events in the historic downtown square alone fill up the calendar with fun and festivities throughout the year. On summer evenings, Alive After Five! presents events such as Movies on the Green and performances by such groups as the Golden Dragon Acrobats, Mark Collie and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
In the spring and fall, the Blue Sky concerts give downtown workers and visitors a chance to hear live music in a variety of styles during the lunch hour. Autumn brings the Mule Camp Market and Trick or Treat on the Square, while the holiday season ushers in the Upstairs Downtown Holiday Open House, Downtown by Candlelight and the always-popular Mingle with Kringle at the Main Street Market. There is also an annual Art in the Square Juried Art Show and a Main Street Gainesville celebration. You don’t have to wait for one of these special events, however, to get a taste of the city’s cultural offerings.
The Georgia Mountain Museum takes visitors out of downtown Gainesville and right into the arts, culture and history of Appalachian life. And the Brenau University Galleries on the Brenau University campus are known for its permanent and rotating collections of paintings, sculpture and other works of fine art. For the youngsters of the family, the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids – known as INK – is a hands-on children’s museum where kids can be anything from bankers and clerks to doctors and dentists.
Kids also love the activities at the Elachee Nature Science Center, a woodland refuge and interactive museum that promotes environmental education. Thanks to amenities like these and the Lake Lanier Olympic Center and the Gainesville Symphony, Gainesville was named one of the nation’s 50 best commuter towns by Men’s Journal magazine. And you won’t get that in Atlanta.