There are plenty of equestrian opportunities near Gainesville.
Founded in 1854 and incorporated in 1869, Gainesville has been famous as a college town, home to the prestigious University of Florida since 1905. Home to the Gators, 1996 national champion football team, Gainesville has many attractions to offer to the visitor. Nature trails, botanical gardens, museums and old homes make for interesting day trips for the whole family.

The home of "The Yearling" author Margorie Kinnan Rawling is now a state park.
Being in Florida's horse country, there are several equestrian attractions, including Canterbury, with a year-round schedule of events, shows, clinics and riding opportunities. The Gainesville to Hawthorne Trail is a good place to ride as well, or walk, with lots of changing vistas and wildlife. Gainesville is rich in history, and several museums such as the Archer Community Museum, the Micanopy Historical Society Museum and the lovely Mediterranean-styled Thomas Center offer fascinating views into the past. The Kanapha Plantation House is one of the few remaining antebellum plantation houses remaining in Florida, and the Majorie Kinnan Rawlings (author of "The Yearling" ) remains just as it was when she lived there. The Morningside Nature Center lets you experience the style of a 100 year-old family farm, with beautiful surrounding wildlife habitats.

Race fans can head to Gainesville Raceway, which offers year-round drag racing and motorcycle racing. Bargain hunters will love Waldo Farmers and Flea Market, open on weekends with 800 vendors offering everything "from blue jeans to green beans". The Santa Fe Community College Teaching Zoo is the only one in the USA and houses mammals, reptiles and many endangered species-the zoo keepers lead the daily tours. The Florida Museum of Natural History on the university campus is packed with interesting natural and cultural artifacts.

Downtown Gainesville has Union Street, where you can stroll the brick sidewalks line with fine stores, superb restaurants and cafes. There are nightspots aplenty in this beautifully laid out facility in the heart of the city.