Gainesville, Florida Destinations for Nature Lovers

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Gainesville, Florida, is an interesting and unique vacation destination. It’s especially ideal for nature lovers. Botanists, natural history buffs, environmentalists and lovers of plant life will all find something to do in Gainesville. Both indoor and outdoor attractions are available, so you can enjoy Gainesville’s nature offerings no matter the weather or time of year.


Butterfly Rainforest

The Butterfly Rainforest, part of the Florida Museum of Natural History, features hundreds of butterflies and birds, as well as a variety of other animals. If you can’t make it to Gainesville, don’t worry; you can still watch the butterflies live online!


Florida Museum of Natural History

Don’t miss Florida’s state-sponsored and chartered natural history museum. Learn all about the history of Florida’s plant and animal life in the museum’s permanent exhibits. Best of all, admission is free for most exhibits. Combine your trip to the Museum of Natural History with a trip to the Butterfly Rainforest since they’re in the same space.


Paynes Prairie

If museums aren’t your thing, enjoy nature in the great outdoors! Paynes Prairie is a US Natural Landmark, and encompasses a 21,000 acre savanna just south of Gainesville. For those who want to be fully immersed in the great outdoors, camping is also available at the prairie.


Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens includes twenty-five different collections of plant life. It’s also a popular destination for weddings, conferences, and other special events.


Devil’s Milhopper Geological State Park

Stop by and see the 120-foot deep limestone sinkhole, thriving with vegetation and plant and animal life.


Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation

Named for the famed Rachel Carson, the Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation is a conservation and educational facility. Visit rescued exotic animals and stay for activities and educational programming.


As you can see, Gainesville offers something for every type of nature lover. No matter how long you’re in town, you’ll be able to find something for yourself and every member of the family.