Getting Around Gainesville
If you're looking for the perfect Gainesville apartment, you have to know at least a little bit about getting around town. After all, how do you know if your potential apartment is REALLY perfect if you don't know what your commute is going to be like, or if you don't know what kinds of stores and restaurants are close by?
Luckily, you don't need to channel your inner Rand McNally! Instead, all you have to do is take advantage of these 3 tips:
1. Start with the big streets
If you're travelling east-west through Gainesville, you'll likely do it on University Avenue, Archer Road, Newberry Road (also known as State Road 26), or 39th Avenue. If you're travelling north-south, you'll probably be on Main Street, 13th Street (also known as 441), or 24th Street. If you need to travel north-south quickly, you can do it on I-75.
While you won't find EVERYTHING on these main roads, you'll find many of Gainesville's hot spots -- like restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and clothing retailers -- along them. Once you get comfortable with these streets, you'll have no trouble getting around the rest of Gainesville. Luckily, the city is laid out in a grid system that's easy to navigate. Just remember Avenues, Places, Roads and Lanes (APRL) run east and west. Streets, Drives and Terraces run north and south. Boulevards and major thoroughfares such as Archer, Waldo, Hawthorne and Williston Road do not follow the grid system.
2. Expect to spend more time in traffic when school is in session
If you're planning on living in your Gainesville apartment year-round, you'll breathe a sigh of relief when the spring semester ends. After all, nearly 50,000 students go to classes at UF every year, and another 15,800+ students take classes at Santa Fe College. So, when school gets out for the summer, you'll notice a big difference driving around town!
3. There's plenty of public transportation
If you just don't like to drive, there are plenty of opportunities to let people do the driving for you! The Regional Transit System (RTS) has routes all over town for both college students and non-students alike. (If you're a UF or a Santa Fe student, your transportation fee will entitle you to unlimited bus rides.) This is actually one of the most popular ways to get around town. In 2013, more than one million passenger trips were taken on RTS buses each month that school was in session.
And, if you want to get out of town altogether, you can do it on a bus! There are independent bus services that take UF students to Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando.