Gainesville is located in Alachua County, Florida, a county of nine incorporated cities with a total population of 250,000, according to the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce website. The city mixes both a small and big town feel, with a cultural arts plaza, many shops and restaurants. It is home to the University of Florida, the largest public land grant institution in the state and a key player in education, medicine and sports for the area. It is recognized as one of Florida’s most livable cities. The city has received numerous high rankings including number one in Frommer’s Cities Ranked and Rated, three on NuWire Investor’s list of the “Top 10 Small College Towns for Investment” and one of the “50 Best Places to Live and Play” according to National Geographic Adventure Magazine. The Alachua County school district is first-rate, as it leads the way in preparing its students for an innovative, high-tech future. The school district has gained international acclaim for its use of technology in the classroom. The city’s middle and high schools offer magnet programs, which give students the chance to navigate engaging fields such as entrepreneurship, culinary arts and criminal science. The University of Florida is Florida’s oldest and largest university in addition to the school being a member of the Association of American Universities, an esteemed organization consisting of the top 63 public and private institutions in the country. It is a major public research university, which has received land, sea and space grants. UF is among the five largest universities in the nation. Santa Fe College has seen tremendous growth since its inception. Today, there are more than 14,000 students. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Florida Department of Education. Gainesville is beloved by nature lovers of all ages. The area is comprised of approximately 100 square miles of wetlands and scenic lakes plus nearly 520 miles of forests. People enjoy swimming, snorkeling, canoeing and scuba diving in the city’s local waterways. In addition, Bicycling Magazine has ranked the city among the top 10 bicycling communities in the U.S. Theatergoers can enjoy year-round scheduled productions at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the Hippodrome State Theater, one of the four state-supported theaters in Florida. Patients come from near and far to seek medical care at Gainesville’s health facilities. Alachua County is home to three major hospitals: North Florida Regional Medical Center, UF Health Shands Hospital and the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center. UF Health Shands is one of the premier health systems in the country. According to the hospital’s website, the hospital is tied for first in the U.S. News and World Report hospital rankings. With nearly 900 expert UF College of Medicine and community physicians along with more than 9,000 skilled Shands nursing and support staff, the hospital provides comprehensive high-quality patient care and is extremely committed to serving the community. Gainesville is located on the I-75 corridor, 85 miles south of the Georgia border. It contains four major highways and is fairly close to major cities including Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville. Gainesville Regional Airport is situated 5 miles from downtown Gainesville. The airport offers daily round-trip services from various commercial carriers.
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