Gainesville Bucket List

Thomas center dogwoods
Over the last couple years, several graduating students have asked me for a "bucket list" of things to do in Gainesville before they leave. There are a few of these floating around - most very University of Florida specific. Here's mine - with a couple additions from this year. I tried to capture a variety of things peculiar to our region that I've really enjoyed over the years. What would your bucket list include? 

  1. Tube down the Ichetucknee - and be able to spell it.  
  2. Rent a canoe at Canoe Outpost and paddle by Lily Springs. Wave hello to Naked Ed
  3. Hike out to Bolen's Bluff on Paynes Prairie, or go a little further down the road to the newly opened Barr Hammock Preserve
  4. Bicycle the 14-mile Hawthorne Trail
  5. Visit the farm and feed the animals at Morningside Nature Center
  6. Go on a wildlower walk at Morningside or one led by herbalist Susan Marynowski
  7. Go to a movie and a play at the Hippodrome State Theater
  8. Contra Dance at the Thelma Boltin Center. 
  9. Do something in "Meeting Room A" at the Downtown Public Library - one of the most beautiful places in Gainesville. There's free yoga on Thusday evenings at 5:30. 
  10. Buy a mock tuna sandwich at Citizen's Co-op and eat it on their back patio. 
  11. Breakfast at The Jones, lunch at Café C, dinner at Civilization
  12. Share tapas at Emiliano's
  13. Order a great coffee at Volta
  14. Picnic on the lawn at the Thomas Center - preferably soon while the azaleas are blooming. 
  15. Get some of your picnic food at Uppercrust Bakery
  16. Watch the bats fly out of the UF Bat House at dusk. 
  17. Walk barefoot around the labrynth at Kanapaha Botanical Center, then continue walking in wonder through this beautiful place. 
  18. Read in the Quiet Room at the Millhopper branch library
  19. Take a hike at San Felasco Hammock - blue or yellow loop. 
  20. Count the alligators on La Chua trail
  21. Drive out to the Alachua County Famers Market on 441 (near the highway patrol) and buy some local oranges from the Henderson's, some incredible hot pepper jelly from the Grahams, and a bag of beautiful, flower-studded salad greens from Mrs. Carlisle. 
  22. Buy an interesting bottle of wine or unusual beer from Wards.  

Additions from Katherine Vickers Edison, Gainesville naturalist and photographer: 

  1. Pizza, music, and fun gift shopping at Satchels Pizza
  2. Museum of Natural History and Butterfly Rainforest
  3. Harn Museum of Art with lunch the café. 
  4. Take advantage of your cheap student tickets to see a great performance at the Phillips Center for Performing Arts
  5. Visit Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' house, just a few miles down the road. 
  6. Eat corn nuggets at The Top
  7. Go for a swim at Manatee Springs

{image: taken at one of our Thomas Center picnics}