Fly To Gainesville, Florida
This university town is a hub of education and culture. In fact, Gainesville is home to the oldest and biggest university in Florida, the University of Florida, as well as the Santa Fe Community College. It is surrounded by lush natural beauty, and visitors enjoy exploring the many parks and lakes as well as the Paynes Prairie State Reserve where one can relax away from the bustling city.
Because of its young student community, Gainesville offers a lively nightlife and the downtown area particularly is fun during the day as well. In fact, the city’s youthful energy is what attracts so many visitors.
Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South African passport holders travelling to the Gainesville, Florida do require a Visa for the U.S.A. Make sure that your SA passport is valid for 6 months from your return and that there are at least 2 free pages available for stamps. Visitors must have return or onward tickets and the necessary documents for further travel.
- The nearest South African Embassy to Gainesville is in Washington DC. 3400 International Drive, NW, Washington DC, 20008. Phone: + 1 202 232 4400. Website: saembassy.org.
See and do
Explore Gainesville’s 13 museums and art galleries, including the Harn Museum of Art and the Florida Museum of Natural History, which is not actually a museum at all, but a park that covers a huge funnel-shaped rainforest that is accessed by climbing down 232 wooden steps. Water trickles down the slopes from the springs that surround the staircase and some of it flows into a natural drain that ultimately flows all the way to the Gulf of Mexico!
Of course, the University of Florida is worth exploring – in fact, its campus is the largest in the country. Aside from observing student life, you’ll also be able to see some ancient Indian sculptures and exquisite contemporary works of art at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.
The city is home to a number of beautiful parks and gardens, including the 22 000 acre Paynes Prairie State Reserve Park where one can enjoy cycling, boating, camping, canoeing and various other outdoor activities. Surrounding Gainesville are 48km of walking trails, including the 1.6km Lake Trail along Lake Wauberg and the slightly longer 5.6km Rim Rambler, a hike led by a ranger that takes one along the edge of an area where wild horses and alligators roam free.
Gainesville Regional Airport – GNV
This small regional airport is situated just 6km from Gainesville’s CBD.
Food and beverage: Tailwind Gainesville food and bar service in the terminal and a beverage vending machine.
Currency Exchange: There is an ATM machine in the passenger terminal in the Baggage Claim Area.
Lost Luggage: Individual airlines maintain liability for lost baggage. Contact your airline to file a claim. If you are in the airport and your bag was not on the carousel, go to the ticket counter of your airline to check for the bag or file a claim.
Airport Hotels: None at the airport. Shuttles are available to the following nearby hotels: Best Western Gateway Grand, Holiday Inn University Centre, Spring Hill Suites, Sweetwater Branch Inn B&B.
Car Hire: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National.