Gainesville is a lovely city, with a very reasonable cost of living and a diverse population. Gainesville has an array of restaurants, parks, breweries, and outdoor activities. As a city, Gainesville values education and diversity, with spaces for people of different backgrounds to come together for common goals. Gainesville is home to the major UF research hospitals, including a cancer center, children’s hospital, cardiovascular center, and dental college. Gainesville also houses the North Florida Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital. There are plenty of things to do outdoors in Gainesville, including trail running and mountain biking, golfing, swimming or kayaking in the natural springs, and ultimate frisbee or disc golf. Additionally, UF has nationally ranked sports teams including gymnastics, volleyball, football, basketball, and baseball.
Gainesville is also about 1.5 hours from both the “Nature Coast” to the west where you can go fishing, scalloping, or swim with the manatees or the Atlantic Coast to the east, which boasts beautiful dog-friendly beaches. Gainesville is also a short 2-hour drive to Orlando, Disney World, and Universal Studios. Graduate students routinely plan adventures as a group that take advantage of all the things North Florida has to offer.