Gainesville Ranked 3rd Best College Town in the Nation

6, August 2013

Livability, a site focused on highlighting "America's best places to live and visit", has ranked Gainesville the third best college town in the nation. Citing the vibrant community, thriving business climate, vast entertainment options, and near tropical climate, Livability claimed Gainesville the "cultural center of North Central Florida". Liveability also had Gainesville ranked in its other measures, "Top 10 Cities for BBQ" and "Top Farmer's Markets". The low costs of living and doing business in Gainesville, according to Livability, are the key attractors of flourishing industries such as health care, agriculture, and retail, while Gainesville residents enjoy plenty of attractions and restaurants.

Below is an exerpt from Livability's article:

Hundreds of UF students donate their time and talents to better Gainesville and the surrounding community. About 700 students participate in one-day service projects each year, while nearly 400 mentor at-risk children in the Alachua County school system. While many of their peers head to the beach, hundreds of students take what are called “alternative breaks” to do charity work across the state.

Considered the cultural center of North Central Florida, Gainesville's quaint downtown is the city's entertainment epicenter. Spanish moss drapes trees that line streets leading to shops, restaurants, theaters and clubs. University Avenue's bars, dance clubs and music venues appeal to students. Musicians often play at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. The historic Hippodrome State Theatre hosts film screenings, live performances and art shows. The city's culinary scene includes a hefty helping of BBQ restaurants, seafood joints and plenty of organic, locally sourced menus.

Gainesville maintains 37 active parks encompassing more than 450 acres, while opportunities to fish, snorkel, hike and camp are just a short drive away. Bicyclists find Gainesville an easy ride with more than 60 miles of on-street bike lanes.

The University of Florida is the focal point of the City of Gainesville, with a 2,000-acre campus and just over 50,000 students making up about 40% of the population. UF, which is constantly ranked in the top public universities nationally, is a mecca for innovative research. Livability mentioned the university's HiPerGator supercomputer, the fastest computer in the state of Florida, and its ability to create job opportunities and help lure businesses to the city.

The Baugmann Center on UF campus.