Summer Vacation in Gainesville: Something to Consider

With the world opening up again, people are thinking about vacations.

If Florida is on your mind, there are all the usual suspects. Disney and the other Orlando theme parks may be a possibility. If not, there’s always the beaches. Well, this summer especially, they will all have something in common. They will all be hot, and they will all be crowded – especially after more than a year of mostly staying home.

We’ve got a great alternative for you – Gainesville, Florida. And if you consider a trip to Gainesville, you can also skip the overcrowded, all-the-same hotels. Instead, stay with us at the Laurel Oak Inn Bed & Breakfast.

But why Gainesville, you ask? We’ve got some of the best-kept Florida secrets right here in North Central Florida.

Just north of Gainesville, near High Springs, you can have your choice, including Poe Springs and Ginnie Springs. If you’re willing to travel just a little farther, you can add these options: Rainbow Springs in Dunnellon, Devil’s Den in Williston, Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, Fanning Springs in Fanning (of course), Juniper Springs in the Ocala National Forest, Ichetucknee Springs in Fort White and many more. North Florida is home to some of the greatest springs in the country, and for the most part, while it is 95 degrees outside, the water is 72 degrees.

If you want to enjoy the water without the springs, you can opt for the Depot Park Splashpad (walking distance from the Laurel Oak Inn) or the Hal Brady Recreation Complex Splashpad in Alachua.

Indoors may be a good option during the Florida summer. Gainesville has a great selection of air-conditioned museums, including the Harn Museum of Art, the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Thomas Center, the Cade Museum of Creativity & Invention and the Matheson History Museum (both walking distance from the Laurel Oak Inn).

As far as outdoors, your options can include the Butterfly Rainforest (part of the Florida Museum of Natural History), Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park, Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park, the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo, La Chua Trail and much more. There’s also excellent antiquing in Micanopy or Alachua.

Add to all of that, the great restaurants, nightlife and the theaters coming back to life. That includes the return of Free Fridays, which includes great music at the Bo Diddley Plaza (you guessed it, walking distance from the Laurel Oak Inn). There’s also the Hipp Pop-Up Series, a traveling show featuring professional cabaret performances all over town.

And there’s plenty more. To learn more, check out all the activities by exploring the Things To Do tab on the home page of our website.

See you this summer in Gainesville!