Five Unique Date Ideas in Gainesville, Florida

Gainesville is definitely an interesting little city. If you look hard enough you’ll find some pretty interesting hole-in-the-wall locations.

Are you tired of taking your boyfriend/girlfriend out to the movies and dinner for a date? Are you trying to find a different way to impress him/her? Well, here is your guide to the five unique places in Gainesville to take your girlfriend/boyfriend on a date. Seeing as this is a college town, many of these locations are budget-friendly.

  1. Depot Park

Depot Park is a new addition to Gainesville. It opened last year and has been attracting people ever since. Located off South East, Depot Avenue, Depot Park is a quaint, little area that is great for a picnic. Depot Park has many open grass areas where you and your date can have a nice afternoon. You’re welcome to make your own food or buy some from the Pop-A-Top: General Store located inside Depot Park. This store is affiliated with The Top restaurant in Gainesville. The store sells your basic park needs, an assortment of unique drinks, snacks, bakery items, and sandwiches. The food is delicious and I highly recommend it. So head to Depot Park for a date in the park.

2. Bo Diddly Plaza

Bo Diddly Plaza is another one of Gainesville’s gems. It’s atmosphere is similar to Depot Park, being that it is an outside, park area. The difference is Bo Diddly Plaza hosts more events, concerts, and is sometimes open at night. It is located at 111 E. University Avenue and is known to be the “heart of Historic Gainesville.” Every Wednesday they host a Farmers Market from 4-7PM. This timeframe is perfect if you and your date have class during the day. You both can go spend the afternoon there, relaxing and enjoying the outdoors. There are a number of restaurants in this area as well. You can take your date out to eat and head over to a concert at Bo Diddly.  They host a number of events monthly. Pick one and go! Most events are free, some you have to purchase tickets for. It is never too expensive so it is a perfect “budget-friendly” date. To find out about events their hosting juts visit their website, Head to Bo Diddly Plaza to experience a classic, true taste of Gainesville.

3. Lake Wauburg 

This is a location that UF students should definitely take advantage of. Lake Wauburg is about 20 minutes from University of Florida and is home to many activities UF students can use for free. All you need to do is bring your Gator 1 ID card and you are good to go. Lake Wauburg has boating, wall climbing, swimming, volleyball, and more. This would be a nice time to tan or enjoy a day on the lake. This would also be either a half a day or full day date so be sure to bring a cooler with refreshments and snacks. Maybe grab yourselves some Pub subs before you go. You can eat some Pub subs by the lake, then challenge your date to some beach volleyball. Winner buys dinner? For more information on activities, days open, and hours visit their website!

4. Ginnie Springs 

Many people have heard of these springs before, but if you haven’t I’ll give some insight on them. Ginnie Springs is located about 45 minutes from University of Florida. It is in a town called High Springs, Florida. The reason it’s a cool date idea is because you and your date will be floating through a natural “lazy river.” The admission fee is $14.02. This may seem pricey to some of you, but I guarantee you it will be worth it. You are able to bring your own tube or rent one from them. A single tube costs $5.60 for the whole day and a double tube costs $11.21. They also have canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards. The prices vary with however many hours you want to rent them. None exceed $25. So, if you enjoy a day of relaxation, floating down a natural spring, this is for you. It will take you about an hour to complete it, so you’ll be here for a while. This trip usually takes up half a day! Visit their website for more information on rentals, camping, and more!

5. Payne’s Prairie 

Last, but not least, we have Payne’s Prairie. This gem of Gainesville is a rather unique one. It is one of Florida’s State Parks. There are plenty of activities for couples to do. Payne’s Prairie has bicycling, campfire circles, camping, canoeing, hiking, fishing, equestrian trail, picnicking, and more. I highly recommend staying till sunset, it is a beautiful sight. This is a great place to really experience Florida’s nature. The park opens at 8AM and closes at sundown. Entrance fees vary, but do not exceed $6.00. Payne’s Prairie would be an adventurous time with your loved one. Make sure to hike on over.

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