We love Gainesville (which is probably why our headquarters are here) and we want to share our love with you! We’ve polled our staff and will be sharing our favorite things about this city every month. Naturally, everyone said their favorite thing about Gainesville is Emmer (we do pay them for that!) but instead of a shameless plug, we’re going to show you the many other wonderful things to fall in love with here.
1. The FOOD:
One might not think that a small city like Gainesville would have great food. Well one would be wrong! Local restaurants have infused this city with an array of flavors, styles, and some of the best ice cream you’ll ever have! I’m talking about Sweet Dreams Homemade Ice Cream. This local shop makes such interesting flavors and they are all so delicious and creamy. Their crazy flavor night featured 31 flavors you can’t get at the grocery including; goat cheese apple butter walnut, super bee, avocado pistachio, maple bacon brittle, crunchy curry peanut butter, and watermelon basil sorbet. Trust me when I say the weirder the flavor mix the better the ice cream! They also have 2 chocolate nights a year (spring and fall) which are my personal weaknesses. Chocolate night is just that, a whole night dedicated to chocolate and all the different delicious flavor combinations that go with chocolate. I’m salivating just thinking about it! Every other day, Sweet Dreams has an array of interesting flavors as well as traditional ones. You’ll be sure to find something that suits you. Their name says it all…the ice cream really is a sweet dream. Learn more about Sweet Dreams here.
2. The Scenery:
The Ichetucknee River is one of North Central Florida’s natural gems. With crystal clear waters, oaks hanging over the river, turtles, deer, and so much more it’d be a crime not to experience it in Gainesville. The park prides itself on being a clean, beautiful, family friendly getaway. The park has 7 springs, picnic tables, full concessions, canoe and kayak rentals, 3 hiking trails, and scenery that will make you appreciate just how beautiful North Central Florida really is. No disposable items are allowed on the river including food and drinks in an effort to keep the river pristine. Crystal clear may seem like a cliché term used to describe beautiful water, but the Ichetucknee springs and river really are crystal clear and extremely refreshing in the hot Florida summer! Learn more about the Ichetucknee River experience here.
3. The Comradery
InnovationGainesville (IG) is more than just a name, it’s a way of life. The initiative is spearheaded by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce (GACC) in an effort to join organizations and make Gainesville a competitive market in the global economy. By bringing together the educational institutions, workforce, incubators, and private sector, IG has been able to spark relationships that lead to innovative programs that raise the quality of life of our citizens. For example, IG helped FloridaWorks, University of Florida’s Office of Technology Licensing (UF OTL), the GACC, and 14 CEO entrepreneurs come together to create StartupQuest, an entrepreneurship training program for out of work professionals. This program trained 80 people how to start and run a technology company, resulting in 19 becoming self-employed and 57 becoming employed. These outcomes have helped better the Gainesville economy and bring a $12 million grant to the area to duplicate this program. Without InnovationGainesville; Startup Quest, technology companies such as MindTree relocating and bringing jobs to Gainesville, and more wouldn’t be possible. It’s only through collaboration that our city can raise the bar and be a hub of innovation in the global market, which is why we have received a plethora of awards on the national level.
These are just a few reasons we love Gainesville. We’ll continue to share more of our favorite things next month. If you have favorite things about Gainesville to add, please comment!