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Why Greater Gainesville

Why Greater Gainesville

Why Greater Gainesville

Greater Gainesville is a paradoxical oasis. Constantly evolving but rooted in history; home to famous artists and musicians, but also home to prestigious academic institutions; a bustling cityscape and luscious landscape; safe for families, exciting for students, prime for young professionals and peaceful for seniors: Greater Gainesville is for everyone.

For life-long inhabitants of GG, the answer to, “why here?” is obvious. Even Forbes Magazine agrees. It ranked Gainesville the number two best place to live in Florida, beating Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami. The area’s affordability, amenities and location helped to earn its high rank. Not to mention, Alachua County had the second lowest crime statistics on the list.

Aside from the titular town, GG is chock full of communities with just as much to offer. From Hawthorne and Waldo to Micanopy and Lacrosse, each municipality is different from the one before. Alachua’s idyllic roads look like they were pulled straight from Main Street, USA. The aptly named High Springs boasts some of the best springs worldwide. And despite Florida’s notoriety for oranges, Newberry is known for its very own prized crop, watermelon.

The result? A total smorgasbord of unique, vibrant, welcoming communities that make Greater Gainesville… well, great.

GG is unmatched in its medical and educational systems. Santa Fe College and The University of Florida both top the charts at every opportunity. UF Health Shands and HCA Florida North Florida are there to care for the simplest ailments and most complex disorders alike. Demonstrably efficient and thorough, these institutions are sought out not only by locals, but also by patients from all over the nation.

The creative scene is not too shabby, either. All genres of live music can be heard any night of the week and colorful murals decorate public walls. Numerous stages and performing arts centers showcase stunning dancers, enchanting singers and the dedicated players. Foodies can satiate their hunger for homey eats and culinary masterpieces. Sommeliers and cicerones are invited to quench their thirst at the local vineyards and crafty breweries.

Given the area’s acclaim for its affordability, it is no wonder the business community is also booming. GG has new businesses and startups popping up like daisies. Industries like agricultural and life sciences, fintech, biotech (all the tech’s, really) are all taking advantage of the growing economic ecosystem.

The residents, on the other hand, take full advantage of the environmental ecosystems. Rich with crystal-clear springs, mossy-Oak-lined trails and the iconic Paynes Prairie, GG is Old Florida at its finest.

Is it really still a wonder as to why?

Dorothy Said It Best…

Contrary to popular belief, small town does not mean small minded. Nowhere proves that more than Greater Gainesville. The eight municipalities that make up the area are all growing quickly. Multi-generational families mingle with the newbies to further an already strong communal bond.

Within each community are notable neighborhoods of all shapes and sizes. From historic houses in walkable districts to manicured mansions in well-planned suburbia, turning a house into a home and neighbors into friends is a piece of cake. Choose between zero-lot line living with luxurious amenities or homes with velvety, green lawns. Research and business parks are being developed side by side with live, work, play communities, bringing new-age sustainability and ease to the districts.

The housing market and costs of living have fluctuated heavily over the last few years, but GG managed to maintain its prices. So much so that the area has repeatedly been ranked among the most affordable places in Florida to live.

Rarely do entire regions comply with all three rules of real estate: location, location, location. Greater Gainesville is one of the lucky few. In the heart of North Central Florida, it is the perfect home base. The best places to visit in Florida are here or in a two-hour radius. Jacksonville and St. Augustine beaches, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, and the happiest place on Earth, Walt Disney World, are all just a simple drive away. All the benefits of “big city” with none of the drawbacks. There really is no place like home.


Live, Learn, Love

Greater Gainesville also just so happens to be an educational epicenter. The University of Florida was ranked the number one public school in the country by the Wall Street Journal.

UF Online has been ranked back to back the number one in the country overall by US News & World Report.

Santa Fe College is also a GG staple and was named the winner of the [prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence as the top community college in the nation. Keeping students as its focal point, SF offers career and technical education, A.A. degrees and bachelor’s degrees. Through its dual enrollment program, SF estimates it has saved $1.8 million in tuition and instructional materials.

Before students can attend GG’s most famous higher education institutions, they need a solid foundation. Alachua County Public School District was given an A+ for college preparedness. By offering STEM/STEAM, magnet, career and technical programs and extracurricular activities, GG schools set students up for success in every facet of life.

Both the public and private educational institutions offer a multitude of pathways. GG’s private schools rival some of the best in the state. The private sector allows students to focus on themselves and their futures, grow with their peers and have more control of their primary experiences.


Genuine, Southern Hospital-ity

Thiago Beduschi, M.D., chief of transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery, is photographed in the operating room at UF Health Shands Hospital.

In life, accidents happen. Loved ones get hurt and get sick, and it can feel like falling without a safety net. The knowledge that UF Health Shands and HCA Florida North Florida are there to help when those moments strike is invaluable.

U.S. News and World Reports ranked UF Health Shands Hospital the number three best hospital in the state. The hospital’s children’s specialties are ranked top 50 in the nation. It works in concert with the university to stay up to date with research, treatments and technology, as well as with physicians and specialists. An impressive amount of innovative medical approaches are performed at UF Health Shands Hospital.

HCA Florida North Florida Hospital is High Performing in five specialties. Formerly North Florida Regional Medical Center, HCA Florida now is connected to over 450 HCA Florida Healthcare hospitals and their communities. They are slated to open an 11-bed freestanding emergency room in 2023, and HCA Gainesville, a 90-bed, full-service hospital with an inpatient rehab facility.

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Time to Set Up Shop!

The entrepreneurial force is strong in GG. Business leaders, local government, the academic community and newcomers all come together to help the economy grow and thrive.

GG is full of incubators and chambers of commerce designed to support local entrepreneurs and startups. It is not uncommon to see different industries work together to form a uniquely productive collaboration.

As the area’s largest employers, the University of Florida and Santa Fe College collaborate with the community, building mutualistic relationships. The schools educate top talent and local businesses give students real world experience; what goes around, comes around.

GG is also an incredibly diverse region. Plenty of women and minority owned and operated businesses excel here. Taking America’s “melting pot” messaging to heart, the area prioritizes a culture of equality and support.


Paint the Town Red (ish Orange… and Also Blue)

And last, but certainly not least, Greater Gainesville is rife with day and nightlife. Artist aficionados and historians have exemplary options to learn and explore. From the Florida Museum of Natural History to Micanopy’s famous antiquing, the best of Old Florida is waiting to be experienced.

Do not assume that because GG is centrally located, it lacks the Sunshine State’s well-known scenery. The area is pocketed with freshwater springs like the sky is with stars (which are easily gazed upon). Stunning green fields and canopy-covered walking trails provide ample opportunity to get back to Earth.

Restaurants, coffee houses, bars and breweries provide endless options to take advantage of the casual, relaxed ambiance. GG’s breweries produce flavorful and rich beers, each in their own unique, tasty style.

There is no “Grator” Gainesville, though, without the Florida Gators. Join the masses as they don their orange-and-blue-best to support their team. In the fall, see the streets lined with tailgaters and in the spring, get taken out to the ballgame. Even the most reluctant of sports fans cannot help but fall in love with the teamsmanship and enthusiasm.

Yes, those who live in GG already know “why.” But for those thumbing through, potentially looking to make this place their home, the easiest answer is just that- Greater Gainesville is home.

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