Information About Gainesville

Information About Gainesville

Getting There

The Gainesville Regional Airport, (GNV) is 9 miles from the meeting venue (15-20 minutes drive). Visitors can reach the meeting venue via taxi, ride sharing (Uber or Lyft) or via Gainesville’s local bus system, RTS. Several car rental options are also available in the GNV terminal.

Other nearby airports include the Orlando International Airport (120 miles, 2 hour drive), the Tampa International Airport (130 miles, 2 hour 15 minute drive), and the Jacksonville International Airport (90 miles, 1 hour 30 minute drive).

What to Bring

North Florida is officially subtropical because we get freezing temperatures during the winter months. However, when you visit in July it will be decidedly tropical. July’s average low temperature is 71°F and average high temperature is 92°F. July is also a wet month in Gainesville (with an average of 6.5 inches of rain) so please plan for high humidity and afternoon thunderstorms. Some items that might be useful to pack for your trip include an umbrella, mosquito repellant, sun lotion, and a swimsuit. Despite the warm and humid conditions outside, keep in mind that many indoor spaces are kept cool and dehumidified so plan to dress in layers. 

Enjoying Gainesville

For those looking to explore Gainesville and the University of Florida, we have created an abbreviated list of some local activities, attractions, and resources for finding more information. 

  • Visit Gainesville, a website that lists many local attractions and places to visit
  • Searchable and interactive University of Florida campus map
  • The Florida Museum of Natural History is located just 1 block east of the Hilton and is open Monday through Friday 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 1-5 pm. Admission is free although a fee is required to visit the popular Butterfly Rainforest exhibit.
  • The Harn Museum of Art is located next door to the Florida Museum of Natural History and has the same hours. (The Harn Museum is also the site of the opening reception on Sunday night). 
  • The Natural Area Teaching Laboratory (NATL) is a great spot for a quick walk through the woods. This small piece of woodland includes upland hardwood and pine forests as well as a managed wetland and marsh system. This is located 1 block from the Hilton and is directly south of the Florida Museum of Natural History.
  • Lake Alice, a scenic lake located in the middle of University of Florida’s campus, is approximately 1 mile east of the Hilton conference center. This is a great place for stroll but is also home of the University of Florida’s Bat Houses, the largest occupied bat houses in the world. The bats typically emerge during a 15-20 minute period each evening after sunset but before total darkness.
  • Other popular local attractions include the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens (3.6 miles west of the Hilton), Sweetwater Wetlands Park (a great place to see local alligators and birds, 4.6 miles east of the Hilton), and the La Chua Trail in Payne’s Prairie State Park (another alligator hotspot, 6.3 miles east of the Hilton)
  • North Florida is well known for our outstanding fresh water springs. To learn more about these springs and to check out some of the springs that are located near Gainesville, see the website of the Florida Springs Institute.
  • Gainesville has several local breweries, including First Magnitude (4 miles east of the Hilton), Swamphead (2 miles south of the Hilton), and Cypress and Grove (4.5 miles NE of the Hilton). These breweries sometimes host local food truck vendors so check their websites for details. 
  • You will find great restaurants and bars all over town but the greatest concentration of local restaurants and bars is located in Gainesville’s downtown district. The downtown area is located 3.5 miles east of the Hilton in an area roughly spanning the region between Bo Diddley Plaza in the north and the Depot Park in the south. The closest restaurants to the Hilton are located approximately 1 mile north (near University Ave. & NW 34th Street) or 0.5 mile south (near SW 20th Ave. and SW 34th Street). The Archer Road area (located roughly 1.5 miles south of the Hilton) also has a large concentration of shops and franchise restaurants.
  • Mycological historians might be interested to visit the gravesite of Dr. William A. Murrill (1869-1957). Dr. Murrill was a longtime Gainesville resident who described hundreds of Gulf Coast fungi, most with type localities from Gainesville. He was also an early editor of the journal Mycologia and the mycologist who first described the Chestnut Blight fungus (as Diaporthe parasitica Murrill 1906). He is buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in SE Gainesville.