Are you thinking about taking a travel nurse assignment in Gainesville, Florida? This college town is home to the University of Florida, and offers a small-town feel with a youthful, vibrant edge that shows in its assortment of bars, restaurants, cultural and entertainment options. Gainesville, the birthplace of Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is a haven for live music lovers. Additionally, Gainesville provides an opportunity for outdoors enthusiasts and fitness aficionados to experience a wide range of native Florida flora and fauna year-round. Here is our travel guide for nurses wondering what to eat, drink, do and Instagram while on a travel assignment in Gainesville, Florida.
Every city has its most beloved diner, and in Gainesville, that would be the Metro, thanks to service that keeps both regulars and visitors alike coming back for more. Any travel nurse on assignment in Gainesville will definitely want to hit this restaurant up at least once for simple comfort food that is consistently delicious. Their fried chicken and waffles are a huge breakfast hit, but you’ll also find all your favorite pancake, bacon and egg combinations. Lunch and dinner options include all the usual diner staples like BLTs, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese. Feeling especially hungry and also exceptionally bold? Give the Bold City Burger, featuring caramelized onions, provolone cheese, bacon, sausage, fried jalapenos, lettuce, and tomato with garlic aioli on a brioche bun, a try.
If you’re looking for one of those restaurants that includes an experience with your meal, look no further than The Top. With funky vintage furniture and unique menu items at prices that won’t break the bank, you’ll definitely want to give this place a try on your next travel nurse assignment in Gainesville. This establishment features an all-day happy hour, daily food and drink specials and a popular Sunday brunch. An assortment of signature burgers and entrees are created with a variety of surprising ingredients, many of them locally sourced. Additionally, nearly every dish on the menu has a vegetarian or vegan version available to satisfy even the pickiest of palates.
Maude’s Classic Café is one of those places that everyone in town knows and frequents, at least occasionally. In addition to an excellent coffee selection that includes all of the usual suspects plus a variety of teas, Maude’s is the perfect spot to people-watch and get a good feel of the Gainesville vibe. At any given time, you might find any combination of hipsters, students, tourists and locals sipping a beverage while studying or online shopping. The cool, arty vibe is very comforting, and a stack of board games for customers to play adds to the homey atmosphere. Maude’s also features plenty of outlets to plug in your gadgets, free, extremely reliable Wi-Fi and a large outdoor space to enjoy some of Gainesville’s notoriously pleasant weather. If you’re thirsty for something a bit stronger than coffee, head next door to Maude’s Side Car Bar.
With 20 rotating taps that feature a variety of local and regional breweries, Loosey’s is a favorite among beer aficionados in Gainesville. But don’t worry, if a mixed drink is more your style, they also have a full liquor bar and serve a number of signature cocktails, including the Irish Wristwatch and the Blueberry Smash, as well as classic selections such as Old Fashioneds and Moscow Mules. Loosey’s is among a number of establishments in Gainesville that regularly showcase an eclectic assortment of live music, from local bands to nationally known indie favorites. They also serve award-winning burgers, delicious sandwiches and a variety of not-so-typical pub grub, with plenty of options for both vegetarians and vegans.
The Florida Museum of Natural History is the perfect place for travel nurses on assignment in Gainesville to learn about all things Florida. Popular exhibits include Shark Jaw Row, which features shark jaws ranging in height from two to nine feet, including the jaw of the infamous Megalodon, and Walk Through Time, which lets visitors travel through time observing Florida’s fossil history, from its first land animals to the arrival of humans. Limited-time exhibitions include Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World, Gorillas in the Mist: Dian Fossey’s Legacy, and The Lost Bird Project, a sculptural tribute to endangered and extinct bird species. The museum is open seven days a week and admission is free.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to feed a fruit bat, now’s your chance! The Lubee Bat Conservancy in Gainesville, Florida is the ideal stop for travel nurses on assignment here looking for an interesting way to spend a day. Home to a variety of flying fox and bat species, this international, non-profit organization is dedicated to saving bats and their habitats through research, conservation and education. Currently, the conservatory is not open to the public, but offers private tours that can be scheduled online at their website. Their annual Bat Festival is a favorite of both locals and tourists alike and features a costume contest, expanded beer garden and of course, bats!
Is there anything more fascinating to photograph than a beautiful butterfly? The Butterfly Rainforest within the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville is the perfect place to mingle with and photograph these exquisite creatures, as well as some of the most photogenic tropical flowers and foliage you’ll find in the state. The Butterfly Rainforest is home to more than 50 different butterfly species from around the world and is the world’s largest butterfly research facility. Don’t miss the live butterfly spotlight every day at 2:00 pm, with an additional showing at 3:00 pm on weekends. This is an opportunity to take some stunning photos that are sure to blow up your newsfeed.
Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park has a bit of an ominous name, and the park’s main attraction is, in fact, a giant, 120-feet deep, 500-feet wide sinkhole that has been visited by the curious and studied by academics since its discovery in the 1880s. Fossilized sharks teeth and marine shells, as well as the fossilized remains of extinct land animals can be found in its cavernous depths. A boardwalk and staircase leading into the sinkhole needed extensive repairs after Hurricane Irma, and now offer visitors gorgeous views and an excellent workout, to boot! Small streams and waterfalls snake through the walls on the way down, creating a peaceful yet mesmerizing atmosphere and a lush landscape of native plants. Photos taken here when the light is just right tend to have an otherworldly appearance.