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Top 7 Ways to Cool Down This Summer in Gainesville, FL
14 Jul 2022
Posted by
Alyssa Hockensmith

Top 7 Ways to Cool Down This Summer in Gainesville, FL

Gainesville is the perfect summer getaway destination with fun places to cool down, jam out, and dive into nature. Splash into the Blue Grotto at Depot Park, swim in crystal-clear Ginnie Springs, tour museums of art and history, and enjoy live music in downtown. From gourmet ice cream shops to fresh natural springs to craft breweries, Gainesville offers endless summer adventure.

1. Grab an Ice Cream in Downtown Gainesville

Stroll through the tree-lined streets of downtown Gainesville and hit one of the local ice cream and sorbet shops. Cool down on a hot summer's day with creamy, frozen treats from Sweet Dreams Ice Cream, D'Lites Emporium, and Karma Cream. Try the Apple Honey Goat at The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops, serving all-natural popsicles in 450 uniquely delicious flavors.

2. Make A Splash at Depot Park

Take the kids to Depot Park in Downtown Gainesville and make a splash in the Blue Grotto. Inspired by the caverns in Central Florida, this splash pad has waterfalls, ground jets, water cannons and hidden fossils for days of summer fun. The scenic 32-acre park also offers biking and hiking trails, a covered picnic pavilion, food trucks, and the Cade Museum, featuring interactive exhibits in innovation and creativity.

3. Walk Through The Butterfly Rainforest

Explore the hundreds of free-flying butterflies and birds at the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. You can also see beautiful orchids, turtles, fish, and colorful flowering plants.

4. Dive into Ginnie Springs

Dive into the natural, clear, cool springs that flow out of the Santa Fe River in North Florida. Just outside of Gainesville, Ginnie Springs is the perfect place to swim, kayak, paddleboard, snorkel, and scuba dive during the hot summers. Explore the underwater caves for a fun and refreshing day of exploration.

5. Kayak Down The Santa Fe River

Go kayaking and canoeing down the Santa Fe River just northeast of Gainesville, Florida. Paddle through picturesque North Florida scenery and take in the wonders of nature.

6. Sip A Cold One at Gainesville Breweries

After a day of summer adventure, explore Gainesville's local breweries, tap rooms and craft beer makers. Enjoy Belgian-inspired brews on the tap at Blackadder Brewing Company. Sip a Big Nose IPA or a Wild Night cream ale at the tap room – The Wetlands - at the Swamp Head Brewery. Relax with a cold pint at the outdoor beer garden at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company, or swing by Big Top Brewing Company and High Springs Brewing Company.

7. Enjoy Local Live Music

When you want to get your groove on, enjoy an evening of live music at the many clubs and venues in Gainesville. Our own Covey Kitchen + Cocktails at Hotel ELEO features live jazz every Wednesday. Enjoy live bands at the legendary High Dive, showcasing everything from rock to country to swamp blues.
Check out local and touring acts at The Atlantic. Jam out at The Jam, featuring a backyard stage for rocking summer nights. Enjoy outdoor shows at the Heartwood Soundstage and the bandshell at Bo Diddley Plaza, as well as big-name concerts at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

8. Tour Gainesville Museums of Art, History and Creativity

Experience the culture, art, and innovations of Florida at the many interesting museums in Gainesville. See fascinating exhibits on natural science and cultural heritage at the Florida Museum of Natural History, including the Butterfly Rainforest and the interactive Discovery Zone.
Explore stunning galleries of art across the ages, from sculpture to photography to Asian contemporary works, at the Harn Museum of Art. Spark your imagination at the Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention in Depot Park with hands-on exhibits and activities for kids.

Make Your Summer Escape to Hotel ELEO

Located on the University of Florida campus in the heart of Gainesville, Hotel ELEO is your perfect summer retreat. Relax in our upscale rooms and suites with modern design and city and lake views. Enjoy refreshing cocktails and Floridan cuisine made from local ingredients at Covey Kitchen + Cocktails. Easily plan your summer getaway with our Spring into Summer Package with 20% off any two-night stay.