But really, that all pales in comparison to the profound fandom for the university’s sports teams, including baseball. Football season (Gators!) attracts a particularly fervent — and fun — crowd. The university also creates a vibrant cultural scene in the town, from lectures by speakers like Presidents George H. Bush and Bill Clinton to theater and dance performances.
Though the town is an hour’s drive from the nearest beach, Gainesville still offers a number of outdoor activities, including more than 60 miles of biking trails, at least 7 golf courses and botanical gardens. Additionally, you’ll find the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Hippodrome State Theater and the Harn Museum of Art.
The town is also an affordable option for retirees. Cost of living in Gainesville is nearly 10 percent below the national average, a number of retirement communities are in the area and the median home price is $128,400.
Con: Not every retiree enjoys the town’s college scene
Best For: Sports (college football) lovers
Cost of Living: 9.5% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $128,400
Top State Income Tax: No state income tax
Crime Rate: 25% above national average
Weather in Gainesville is normally mild, though it can get chilly from November through February. Retirees considering a move here should be aware that one of the town’s downsides is a higher than average crime rate.