Gainesville’s claim to fame may be the University of Florida sports teams, but this historic city is so much more than Gator athletics. On the cusp of celebrating its 150th anniversary, Gainesville is far from the tiny train depot town of yesteryear. Hotel Indigo in Celebration Pointe is the city’s newest addition, just a stone’s throw away from microbreweries, a diverse music and art scene, as well as some of the tastiest local destinations.
Food & Drink
Gainesville is home to five microbreweries less than a 20-minute drive from Hotel Indigo. Swamp Head Brewery prides itself on its limited-edition Sunshine State-inspired beers that are sustainable to boot. Those looking for an alternative way to cool down can try one of the dozens of gourmet ice pops at The Hyppo or head downtown for Florida-roasted cold brew at Wyatt’s Coffee.
The beloved Liquid Ginger, a 15-year-old Asian Fusion institution, is opening its second location in Celebration Pointe this fall. Treat yourself to grilled lobster tails with Shichimi-spiced butter. You’ll also find locals munching on fried kimchi cauliflower at the vegetarian-friendly spot The Top. The nearby Mojo Hogtown Bar-B-Que boasts the best whiskey menu in the county.
Once a month, Jazz on the Green becomes the heart of Celebration Pointe’s City Walk in the evening. Locals and visitors alike mingle on the lawn every second Saturday as jazz groups play a little night music and kids play bocce and grownups sip local brews and delve into food truck fare on their picnic blankets.
Downtown, High Dive offers more eclectic music offerings, as well as its own beer garden. For more traditional performances, the University of Florida Performing Arts has an annual repertoire of world-class musicians and performers that appeal to all tastes from “Swan Lake” to “Spamalot.”
The central gallery of the Asian Art Wing Harn Museum of Art boasts panoramic floor-to-ceiling views of the verdant waterfall garden—but that’s just a bonus. The free admission galleries have been home to the portraits by Kehinde Wiley and photographs of Frida Kahlo.
Those looking for a more exploratory approach to arts should definitely try to make the monthly Artwalk in downtown. Set up as a self-guided tour, this bustling event opens up local galleries, like Black C Art, to intimate conversations with visual and performing artists. If you miss the Artwalk, the Historic Thomas Center will more than make up for the loss. A 1910 Mediterranean Revival-style villa is now an art gallery, concert space, and gardens.
Architecture buffs will have a field day on the University of Florida campus searching for gargoyles atop Gothic-style trusses or snapping selfies in front of the crystalline cobalt blue facade. Head toward Lake Alice and you’ll spot the Baughman Center, a contemplation space with a modern twist on the historic campus design. By embodying Gainesville’s penchant for nature, this serene chapel is constructed from Florida cypress, creating minimalist lines that nod to medieval cathedral arches.
Drive 15 minutes east toward the old train depot—now a popular festival hub, Depot Park—and you’ll see the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, a Guggenheim-esque copper-and-chrome-hued structure was conceived by the Gatorade inventor Dr. James Cade and is home to a slew of science experiments for all ages. Hop on I-75 South for 20 minutes trip to Micanopy Modern, a treasure trove for mid-century modern finds—like a lust-worthy Herman Miller pieces, Danish ceramics, and vintage Florida prints. While not in Gainesville, you’ll come across amazing finds in this one-street town.
Unwind, adventure, or a little bit of both when you book Hotel Indigo Gainesville-Celebration Pointe.