Gainesville has been recognized by high-profile media groups, such as Forbes, Gallup and Business Insider, for the incredible opportunities and quality of life for the area’s residents. The area has proven to be a premier destination for people of all ages. Whether you’re a student, a parent or a retiree, Gainesville has something for everyone. Here are some of the recognitions awarded to our community over the years.
No. 37 on “Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities” 2014
If you’ve ever roamed the streets of Gainesville, chances are you’ve seen someone zooming by on their bicycle. That’s because the city proves to be as bike-friendly as possible. Bicycling magazine lists Gainesville’s unconventional system of urban trails and notes how it stands out from other bike cities in the United States. The trails connect alleyways, parks and paved paths, allowing bike commuters to breeze through the city. There are a high number of bike shops around that offer maintenance and rentals for low prices. The Gainesville Cycling Club offers the chance to join a riding group for different types of rides and also has several interest groups, such as groups for veterans and for commuters. And every year, bicyclists have the opportunity to participate in the Gainesville Cycling Festival. The three-day event includes seminars and a banquet for the participants, and of course, bike rides.
“25 Best Place to Retire in 2013”
Choosing where to retire is a big decision for many people. It is important to find a place that will offer tranquility and activities without breaking the bank. Gainesville made the cut most likely for its low cost of living. With a median home value of just $164,600 and no state income tax, most retirees are finding their way into this peaceful and stress-free part of Florida. Not only is Gainesville an inexpensive place to live, but the weather and air quality make it a place you’ll never want to leave. The various activities enjoyed by its residents are separated by just a couple of miles. Forbes mentions the above-average air quality and high physicians per capita, noting that the nice weather and good health care help Gainesville stand out from other cities.
No. 23 on “America’s Greenest Cities” 2012
Not only does Gainesville offer a beautiful outdoor landscape, but the people in this community are actively working to preserve it. In 2012, The Daily Beast compiled a list of the 25 greenest cities in the United States, and Gainesville made the cut for its environmentally friendly community. Using data from the American Public Transportation Association and the U.S. Census Bureau, the website notes that over 30 percent of Gainesville residents think and act in an eco-conscious way, while nearly 60 percent of its population make an active effort to regularly recycle. Gainesville’s public transportation system allows for residents to find eco-friendly ways to move around the city and a significant number of residents own homes with solar power.
First Butterfly City in the Nation, 2009
Over 60 butterfly and moth species interact in a rich tropical environment in the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Rainforest. Because of this, The Butterfly Education Project awarded Gainesville the nation’s first Butterfly City Certification. The exhibit practices a form of sustainable agriculture that helps protect natural forests from destruction. The species and the landscape change regularly, offering an educational experience for all ages. Similarly, Gainesville was ranked as a Tree City in 2014 by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. These certifications are among the first steps taken to promote eco-tourism in the community.
“Where to Live Next” 2008
In addition to a low cost of living and good access to health care, the Smithsonian also lists Gainesville’s growing art scene as part of the reason it should be your new place to live. Downtown Gainesville hosts a number of art fairs, notably the Downtown Festival and Art Show, and is home to The Hippodrome State Theatre. The Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts hosts a variety of music and theater acts from all over the world, and is located near The Harn Museum and The Florida Museum of Natural History. Gainesville’s restaurants show seasonal and organic options for all types of cuisines, while free shows and concerts add to the city’s nightlife and family activities.
Other Notable Awards
Tree City USA, National Arbor Day Foundation, annually since 1984
Livability.com, No. 15 “Best Cities for Entrepreneurs,” 2017
Niche.com, No. 14 “Best Places to Retire in Florida,” 2017
Niche.com, No. 48 “Best Cities to Live in America,” 2017
American Institute for Economic Research, No. 14 “Employment Destinations Index,” 2016
Business Insider, No. 16 “Top 20 Small Cities for American College Students,” 2015
fDi Intelligence, “American Cities of the Future – Human Capital and Lifestyle Category,” 2015
NerdWallet.com, No. 31 “Best Places for Women-Owned Businesses,” 2015
Livability.com, No. 67 “Best Beers in the Best Cities,” 2015
WalletHub.com, “Best Midsize College City in America,” 2015
FiveThirtyEight.com, No. 14 “Top Public Transit Cities,” 2014
Movoto.com, No. 5 “Top Ten Best Places to Live in Florida,” 2014
Business Insider, No. 6 “Top Ten Cities with the Fastest Growing Incomes in America,” 2013
MSN.com, “Best College Town for Adult-Job Seekers,” 2013
NerdWallet.com, No. 1 “Top Ten Cities on the Rise,” 2013
Amazon.com, No. 8 “Well-Read Cities,” 2012
PARADE Magazine, No. 6 “Hardest Working Cities in America,” 2012
The Atlantic Cities, No. 17 “America’s Leading Creative Class Metros,” 2012
Gallup, No. 8 “Gallup’s U.S. City Well-Being Index,” 2010
Livability.com, “Ten Amazing Local Farmers Markets,” 2010
Men’s Health Magazine, “Best Places to Work Out,” 2010
Forbes Magazine, No. 50 “Best Places for Businesses and Careers,” 2009
Forbes Magazine, No. 22, “America’s Smartest Cities,” 2008