Gainesville is consistently rated one of the best places to live in the U.S. In 2022, Gainesville received Niche.com’s top honors for best city in Florida. Education is one big reason why. The city boasts a world-class research institution at the University of Florida, and the Alachua County school district is one of the best in Florida. Combine that with warm weather and a network of beautiful parks, nature preserves, and nearby springs, and you can see why more and more people are choosing to call Gainesville home.
With a population of just over 133,000, Gainesville also punches above its weight in terms of cultural attractions, including the Florida Museum of Natural History, The Harn Museum, the Hippodrome Theater, and a thriving restaurant and nightlife scene.
Gainesville’s cost of living is a bit lower than other Florida cities. You can often find great homes in the $300k range in the Alachua County School District.
Not sure which Gainesville neighborhood is right for you? Read on to get a sense of the character and real estate offerings of some of the best neighborhoods in Gainesville!
Covered in this guide:
The Town of Tioga
The Estates at Wilds Plantation
Note: If you don’t see any listings under a neighborhood, there’s still a possibility that more houses are coming to market soon. Inquire with Rabell to learn about upcoming new construction.
Haile Plantation combines a walkable village feel with the leafy charms of a well-planned Southern town.
The 1,700-acre mixed-use development — the largest in Gainesville — features a variety of craftsman homes, townhouses, apartments, and condos anchored by the walkable Haile Village Center.
We may be a little biased because our offices are located in Haile Village, but we love Haile’s strong sense of community, thriving local businesses, and variety of housing options. There’s definitely something for everyone here.
Haile also offers a shopping plaza with everything you need and a golf course/country club. Southern Living has recognized the community for its exemplary traditional town planning andgreat restaurants.
The Duckpond’s lovingly maintained homes are situated along cozy streets shaded by live oaks. Architecturally speaking, homes range from small bungalows to Queen Anne-style Victorians and the occasional new construction home.
Many of the homes of the Duckpond were built in the early 20th century, with significant renovations made in recent years. Thanks to the district’s strong HOAs, upgrades are done with care to preserve the historic district’s original character and charm.
The average sale price in 2020 was in the mid $300k range, with larger historic homes going for $400k – $500k and up. Check out our guide to the Duckpond to learn more.
Grand Oaks is one of Gainesville’s newest planned communities to break ground in the Southwest Gainesville area, which is zoned for some of the best schools in the city. The homes are all built by renowned builder William Weseman.
Downtown Gainesville is where a lot of the magic happens. From art and music events to the farmer’s market, unique shops, great restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, there’s something for everyone in Downtown Gainesville.
Within Gainesville’s urban core, you’ll find a variety of unique neighborhoods, including the Historic Duckpond, Pleasant Street, the Bed and Breakfast District, the Innovation District, University Heights, Porters Community (Depot Park area), Grove Street, and more. Downtown is exceptionally rich in cultural amenities, including the legendary Hippodrome Theater, the Florida Museum of Natural History, and the Harn Museum.
What It's Like in Downtown Gainesville
Bo Diddley Plaza
Downtown Gainesville is easily the most walkable neighborhood in the city. Folks enjoy strolling the restaurant and bar district concentrated along 1st Ave on either side of Main Street. Bo Diddley Plaza (pictured above) is a major hub of the downtown and frequently hosts festivals, outdoor concerts, pop-up sales, and much more throughout the year.
The area also connects with the extensive Gainesville-Hawthorne trail at several points as it meanders through downtown on its way to the La Chua trailhead at Payne’s Prairie Preserve and beyond.
Downtown Gainesville features several great urban parks, including the newly constructed Depot Park, a great picnic spot anchored by the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention. For a leisurely stroll, there’s the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. Locals also enjoy easy access to Sweetwater Wetlands Park, an amazing nature preserve. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a family of wild horses.
Depot Park is a gem in the heart of Gainesville’s former industrial zone and an urban revitalization success story 20 years in the making. For parents with little ones, Depot Park offers the most epic playground in all of Gainesville and the STEM-friendly Cade Museum. Park-goers promenade along paths that wind around the pond and restored wetlands, or grab a beer at Boxcar, a beer and wine garden housed in the former depot station.
Restaurants & Shopping
Some standout downtown restaurants include award-winning Dragonfly Sushi, Crane Ramen, a modern Japanese noodle restaurant with a bar, and The Top, a quirky favorite serving up modern American fare. If you need to grab a bottle of wine on your way to dinner, Downtown Wine and Cheese on Main Street and DTC Liquors are next to Volta Cafe. For everyday shopping, there’s the Publix on Main and Whole Foods and Trader Joe's a short drive away at Butler Plaza.
The Seagle Building
Originally conceived as a hotel, the Seagle building now features five floors of condos with commanding views of the city.
You don’t have to sacrifice quality of life to live in the heart of Gainesville. The vibe is relaxed and friendly. Bo Diddley Plaza plays host to free concerts throughout the year. The farmer’s market at Grove Street offers everything from organic produce to humanely raised meat and fish to freshly baked bread. Live music and local artisans showcasing handcrafted wares add to the festive, family-friendly atmosphere.
By our rough estimate, there’s a bar for every five square blocks of Downtown Gainesville, so you don’t have to hop in your car to find out what’s on tap at your favorite watering hole. With the University of Florida nearby, Downtown Gainesville is a young neighborhood, but the rowdy college-age crowd largely leaves the brewpubs and sit-down restaurants to the grown-ups.
Cafés abound in Downtown Gainesville. Within a few square blocks of Main Street and University Avenue, you can take your pick from Volta (for the connoisseurs), down-home favorite Maude’s, or Wyatt’s, the new kid on the block. When those cafes fill up, the charming Curia on the Drag is a short drive away.
Pretty much everywhere in Downtown Gainesville is within walking distance to coffee, gyms, bars, restaurants, the University of Florida’s flagship downtown campus, and Santa Fe College’s new Blount Center.
Getting Around in Downtown Gainesville
Most people in Gainesville get around by car, with an average commute time of around 20 minutes. UF and Shands are very bikeable from downtown Gainesville. The warm weather, flat landscape, and extensive network of bike trails make cycling an option most of the year. (For recreational cyclists, riding groups meet up at Cypress & Grove Brewing twice a week to tackle 14-20 miles of mountain bike trails connected by pavement. More info on Goodbike’s website.)
Gainesville’s Regional Transit System (RTS) provides bus service, with many lines passing through the downtown area, making the neighborhood one of the better-served parts of the city. The Gainesville Regional Airport is conveniently located a short drive from downtown.
In just the past few years, we’ve seen a flurry of healthy new development in and around Downtown Gainesville, keeping with the place's historic character. We’ve also seen a bunch of new places to eat, drink, and shop, as well as steadily increasing home values, and we don’t see that growth slowing down any time soon. More than a vibrant nightlife destination, Downtown Gainesville is a great place to put down roots.
Arbor Greens is a peaceful planned community located off Newberry Road, just outside of Gainesville. The development comprises 208 single-family homes anchored by a spacious clubhouse and a swimming pool.
The homes of Arbor Greens combine affordability, comfort, and luxury, with most starting in the $300k range.
University Park is a neighborhood of charming single-family homes just north of the University of Florida.
The neighborhood is within easy walking and biking distance to work, libraries, museums, concerts, Gator sports at Ben Griffin Stadium, restaurants, and places of worship. Being one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, University Park’s walkable streets enjoy a lush tree canopy that helps keep residents cool during the summer.
Over the years, many Presidents of the University of Florida and other prominent folks have called University Park home, lending the neighborhood prestige.
Town of Tioga
Not your typical suburban subdivision, Town of Tioga is a walkable tree-lined community full of beautifully crafted homes, shops, and great amenities.
The Duck Pond’s walkability inspired Tioga’s plan. Tioga is a growing community, with new homes being added in new subdivisions while maintaining the community's small ecological footprint.
While the Town of Tioga is walkable and tight-knit, it also features the kind of amenities you would find in neighboring suburban communities, including:
The Estates of Wilds Plantation is a leafy planned community tucked between Haile and Oakmont in Southwest Gainesville. The wildly popular (pun definitely intended) development comprises around 200 single-family homes on large half-acre lots.
Longleaf Village is a master-planned community located off Archer Road in SW Gainesville. Combining affordability and comfort with luxury, the 550-home community is anchored by a stately clubhouse and a resort-style swimming pool.
If you love golf, community, and access to well-maintained green spaces, we highly recommend Turkey Creek. Far enough from Alachua and Gainesville to have a rural feel, Turkey Creek is still close enough to enjoy all of the amenities and conveniences that Gainesville has to offer.
The approximately 1217 single and multifamily homes of Turkey Creek are a mix of established and new construction homes and condos ranging in size from 900 to 3,000+ square feet. Larger estate and villa lots occasionally come on the market as well.
High Springs is a town just outside of Gainesville known for its access to outdoor amenities and quaint downtown. The town of just 5,000 is 20 miles northwest of Gainesville and close to neighboring Alachua, FL. It’s a popular place to stage a scuba excursion in the area’s many famed springs.
Homes in the $300k range are affordable and typically set on large lots.
Suburban Heights is a traditional low-rise suburban neighborhood with tree-lined streets, a family-friendly vibe, and engaged neighbors.
Most homes were built in the 1960s and range in size from 1,750 to 3,000 sq/ft on tidy lawns. The median listing home price in 2022 was $347k, or $158 per sq ft. Learn more here.
Cobblefield is an energy-efficient community of 265 single-family homes on 120 acres of woodland, zoned for some of Alachua County’s best public schools.
The neighborhood was developed and built in the early 2000s by G.W. Robinson, a recognized pioneer in energy-efficient home design. Homes range in size from 1,700 to 4,000+ square feet. The average sale price in 2021 was $529k.
All homes have access to the many neighborhood amenities and Florida-native green spaces maintained with care and distinction. Visit theCobblefield Neighborhood Guideto learn more.
Blues Creek is a tight-knit community of single-family homes in bucolic Northwest Gainesville. Residents enjoy the comforts of suburban living at an affordable price. The homes were built in the 1990s or early 2000s and range in size from 2,000 to 3,000 sq/ft on cozy lots.
Micanopy is as quaint as they come. The small town’s lovingly preserved historic homes are situated on some of Florida's most beautiful Spanish-moss-covered roads. It’s no wonder the Huffington Post included Micanopy in its list of the 12 Cutest Small Towns in America.
Micanopy is located just off I-75, 10 miles south of Gainesville, in growing Alachua County. The town is also accessible from scenic SR 441, which runs through majestic Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park.
Interactive Map Search
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You can save searches and get daily email alerts of new listings, price changes, sold data, and market reports. Our Interactive Map Search allows you to view properties on a map or refine your search by drawing the boundaries around the area you desire.
At Rabell Realty Group, we believe that each and every home purchase, sale, and lease is unique and deserves a skilled touch. Located in Haile Plantation’s Haile Village Center, we’re a small, local real estate firm focused on providing our customers with consistent and outstanding real estate service.
We’re honored to be recognized as the Best Real Estate Agency in Gainesville in 2022 by the Gainesville Award Program. Each year, the awards go to small businesses that have achieved exceptional success in their local community and business category and are helping make the Gainesville area a great place to live, work, and play.