To travelers outside the state, it looks like Florida’s theme parks and coastal cities get all the love. Were you to look around the airport, you’d see most travelers decked out in cheesy tropical shirts on their way to beach bars in Tampa or sporting their Mickey Mouse ears on their way to Walt Disney World.
Of course, the theme parks in Orlando and southern Florida’s soft, flour-soft beaches are plenty of reason to visit the state. But there are many things to do in Gainesville and its surrounding towns, in the northern part of the state, that are arguably more adventurous, more fun, and less busy than Florida’s central and southern destinations. And because they’re not as popular, they’re often more affordable, too.