Alachua is a city in north-central Florida’s Alachua County, just northwest of Gainesville, with a population of about 9,000 people.
It is a fascinating city with a vibrant culture, many magnificent landmarks, breathtaking natural wonders, excellent hiking trails, and more.
It’s also a relatively unspoiled area with several state and national parks nearby, providing a variety of outdoor recreation possibilities for adventure-seeking visitors.
You can check out the Home for Horses at Mill Creek, which is a true blessing for aged horses without homes or prospects.
Bring your youngsters over to have a great time, be it the Waterparks, Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, where they can learn and get themselves educated.
With so many activities to do in Alachua with your families and buddies, here is the list of things to do in Alachua.
Things To do In Alachua
1. Alachua Splash Park
Are you planning on visiting Alachua with your family?. Alachua Splash Park is the first place to go if you want to give your kids a great time.
It’s a fantastic water park where you and your trip companions of various ages can have a great time. It is such a great outdoor water area for families.
The entire facility is spotless and tastefully decorated.
While not huge and extremely popular, this splash park does not lack fun. There are great amenities and a huge shade area with picnic tables for adults and lunch.
This park is outstanding in that there’s more than enough space for everyone to play without being too close to another person. This park’s splash pad portion is enclosed and child-friendly, so no worries, it is secure.
At Alachua Splash Park, there are different splash pads suitable for kids of all ages. Besides frolicking around water fountains, your youngsters won’t get bored as they have other activity venues. These venues include skate parks, baseball fields, basketball courts, and grassy fields, to name a few.
The splash pad’s beach area is also well-designed, and youngsters may bring their beach toys here to double the pleasure.
Parents can watch their kids play under the shade with picnic tables and clean up their kids after play using the park’s shower rooms.
Asides from winter, you can always count on visiting the Alachua Splash Park with your loved ones to cool off, whatever of the season.
Address: 14300 NW 146th Terrace, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
2. Conestogas Restaurant
If you’re looking for huge portions, reasonable prices, fantastic service, and spectacular food, this is the place for you.
There’s a reason this down-home eatery has been a staple in Alachua for over 30-years.
So when you’ve finished seeing landmarks and taking pictures, as well as exploring Alachua’s hiking trails and natural beauties, take a break and dine at one of the city’s beautiful restaurants.
Firstly, you may start by going to the Conestogas Restaurant, which is located on Main Street.
The restaurant is family-owned operated, and they have been a part of the City of Alachua for over 30 years.
The service here is outstanding, has a good atmosphere, excellent food, and fair prices.
It’s a laid-back eatery with a welcoming atmosphere for families.
Once inside, the aesthetics complement the atmosphere and serve as a welcoming introduction to Conestogas’ delectable cuisine. The combination of venue, mood, and delicious food results in a memorable experience at a reasonable price.
Try some of Conestogas Restaurant’s favorites, including the Conestogas Sirloin, Tenderfoot Steak, Trail buster, and more while you’re there.
Reservations are never required, so you all come on in, relax a spell, enjoy some true Southern Hospitality.
Address: 14920 Main St, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
3. Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
Asides from fun things you can do with your children, why not do something entertaining and educating?.
While most attractions used to be only focused on amusing children, this museum focuses on engaging and educating them.
This museum is packed with educationally fun tasks for kids to interact with and learn from. Broken down into several genres of education, this place is staffed with enthusiastic people who can facilitate all age groups to learn and have a good time while doing it.
Although it has only been opened not very long, it has already established itself as a must-see for families traveling with young children.
The museum’s exterior is impressive, very modern, and definitely fits the science theme.
The Interior of the museum starts off unassuming, but as you pass the front desk and the colorful gift shop. It opens up to the breathtaking rotunda, with a wide, cylindrical shape.
It also allows natural light and a beautiful panoramic view of Depot Park via large windows.
The museum’s interactive exhibits cover topics such as teamwork, critical thinking, effective problem solving, and even money in business and entrepreneurship.
The team offers a variety of events and field trips to introduce children to corporate leaders.
Address: 811 S Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601, United States
4. Olustee Battlefield State Park
Olustee Battlefield State Park is a must-see for military history enthusiasts.
This is such a great area to get lost in because not only is there the historical significance of the location but also the fact that a portion of the Florida Trail runs through a large swath of the park.
Several key Civil War battles took place in the area near Alachua and Gainesville, the largest of which took place in Olustee in February 1864.
According to some reports, the combat lasted five hours and involved more than 10,000 Union and Confederate troops from across the country.
When it was all said and done, the Confederates had defeated the Union troops, and approximately 3,000 people had died.
The battlefield is just as described in the primary sources, which is cool. The monuments are pretty clear in their support for the Confederacy and their victory after the Union retreat.
There are two hikes to do here. The first and easiest is an interactive trail that leads you around several placards and takes you to the battle re-enactment field. It’s a nice enjoyable little 1.5-mile hike that’s pretty cool.
The second one is the Florida Trail portion of the park.
While most people come for the monuments to the fallen or the re-enactments, you can do the two. This is a hidden gem that should definitely be on your To-Do list.
It also hosts an annual war reenactment in February that is nothing short of moving and spectacular.
Address: 5815 Battlefield Trail Road, Sanderson, FL 32087, United States
5. Retirement Home For Horses Inc, Alachua
The Retirement Home For Horses Inc is a fantastic non-profit organization that takes excellent care of retired, abused, and abandoned horses.
This Home for Horses at Mill Creek is a true blessing for aged equines without homes or prospects.
Over 100 horses dwell on the property, including dozens of acres of natural pasture where they can live out their days in peace.
Horses are treated as noble animals and are provided with a magnificent home where they can run freely and have the pleasure of their lives.
They even have a “zorse” right now (half horse, half zebra). You will love learning about each horse’s unique story/background. Most of them will come right up to you to get carrots & attention.
Bring a hat & some sunscreen if it’s a sunny day – parts of the paths are full sun.
There is no entry fee, but you will want to bring lots of carrots to feed the horses! It is only open between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Wear comfortable walking shoes!
On visiting days, short, staff-led tours are provided. What a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
Address: 20307 N, Co Rd 235A, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
6. Doxa Coffee Co.
Being on vacation doesn’t mean your coffee habit should be on vacation too.
If you are trying to find local coffee shops throughout North and Central Florida, Doxa is the best one around.
Doxa Coffee, located on US Highway 441, is a famous coffee shop in Gainesville and Alachua.
You’d never expect to find this hidden gem of a coffee shop in Alachua, FL, but walking in, it feels like you’ve just stepped into a fantastic shop in Atlanta or New York.
Their coffee is best in class and also has unique seasonal specials. They use local ingredients and make syrups and more in-house.
Most of your money will stay in the community because it isn’t part of a large chain. Previous visitors described its décor as “modern, fashionable, and inviting.”
This place is truly a gem with a relaxed atmosphere, clean establishment, and friendly counter service.
The baristas take a lot of care to craft each drink, and the result is impressive.
They also serve non-coffee drinks and can produce items that aren’t on the menu, so don’t be afraid to ask if you have a special request.
We highly recommend this spot, whether it’s for a classic espresso or one specialty drink.
Address: 15551 NW US Hwy 441 #7, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
7. Swamp Head Brewery
Swamp Head Brewery, located on SW 42nd Avenue in Gainesville, is the ideal spot to grab a beer after all the sightseeing and activities, especially for those who prefer their beer manufactured locally rather than in a Midwest mega-factory.
The brewery has only been open since 2008, yet it has garnered a devoted fanbase at the time.
Great variety of beers that change seasonally/with special events. There is ample parking in their lot and at adjacent businesses (caution for large events, go early as parking and lines are common but worth it).
There are regularly rotating food trucks, and outside food is welcome. A water fountain is also available for you or your furry friend.
There is also a back room behind the bar with a giant Jenga.
On Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, tours are available that include sampling of the brewery’s diverse beer choices.
Address: 3650 SW 42nd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32608, United States
8. Scuba Monkey Dive Center LLC, Alachua
If you’re looking for a great place to take your kids for a day of fun, consider the Scuba Monkey Dive Center LLC, located at N West 101 Drive.
Scuba Monkey is a great place to learn to dive (and swim), buy equipment, and book scuba trips.
It bills itself as an aquatic supermarket with a variety of water activities for everyone.
Some of these include the Mermaid University curriculum, scuba and freediving classes, aerobics and wellness, and basic swimming instruction, among other things.
Similarly, everything from swimsuits and goggles to dive gear and spearfishing equipment is available for purchase.
They also have a few aquariums with fish and informational signs above them, too. One is about the invasive lionfish.
They are very friendly and professional.
They have one of the nicest showrooms that you might ever see, and they have a large selection of water kinds of stuff.
Scuba Monkey Dive Center LLC is where some individuals celebrate their birthdays and other events.
And, last but not least, they have a beautiful heated indoor pool to learn to dive/swim in, practice your spearfishing skills, and they also have lots of stuff for kids, including movie nights.
Check this place out; it is really nice.
Address: 13585 N West 101 Dr #700, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
9. Tony and Al’s Deli
Do you need another restaurant to cool off? Tony and Al’s Deli is a good place to be.
Tony and Al’s Deli, situated on Main Street, is another wonderful you can visit.
It’s a nice Italian restaurant with a friendly environment and a modest interior style. It has pleasant and ample seating for everyone.
The service at Tony and Al’s is great. The food is always fresh and the cook staff has no problem customizing sauces and entrees to accommodate allergies and medication issues.
It ensures that its delectable menu items are prepared using the finest ingredients and presented in substantial servings. With the excellent pizza, pasta, and refreshing drinks at Tony and Al’s Deli, your heart will undoubtedly cry joyful tears.
Tony and Al’s is a restaurant which makes one feel at home.
Great service and great food…what more would you want?
Address: 14960 Main St, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
10. Deep Spring Farm
Deep Spring Farm is a well-designed and maintained sustainable farm with delicious berries and other produce, great amenities, including a spring-fed pond, and wonderful people!
In what is the most beautiful section of north-central Florida? This is a perfect space for those that want to get back to the land and enjoy the real Florida.
This lovely site has a waterfront ecology with beautiful flowers and spectacular views. It’s a popular venue for weddings, birthday parties, and other enjoyable events.
You can pick juicy grapes, blueberries, and beautiful flowers while visiting Deep Spring Farm.
There are gardens, large oak trees, shaded picnic areas and a spring-fed pond when you need to cool off. Even the bathrooms are clean and very pleasant.
The peaceful setting and the friendly helpful hosts make the chore of picking blueberries seem like a vacation.
You will also learn about gardening tips and tricks.
Address: 16419 W County Rd 1491, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
11. San Felasco State Park
San Felasco State Park, located on Progress Boulevard, is a great mountain bike trail system and is worth visiting while in Alachua.
It is considered one of Florida’s rare remaining hardwood forests.
It is one of the best local spots for hiking and mountain biking! Plenty of wildlife to see, and the majority of trails are shaded.
It’s also a great area to go birdwatching with friends or a romantic partner, thanks to the abundance of species found within the woods.
Very well-marked and maintained trail. The parking area is small and many people park along the main road. The bathroom is portable.
If you already have a State Park pass, this is a must-visit destination. For all others, you’ll have to pay the daily entrance fee, but it’s worth the price of admission.
Florida state parks are open between 8 a.m. and sundown every day of the year.
Address: 13201 San Felasco Parkway, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
12. Maude Lewis Park
If you’re bored while visiting Alachua’s tranquil and attractive city, you could want to pay a visit to Maude Lewis Park and spend some time there.
A basketball court is available for you to enjoy this exciting team activity. It also features a wide field where people exercise on a regular basis.
There are many shady trees and seating spots in this pleasant public park.
It also has a playground for children and the young at heart to enjoy.
Address: 15731 NW 141 St, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
13. Alan Hitchcock Theatre Park, Alachua
Florida, like hundreds of other towns and villages, is known for its tranquil green spaces. Alan Hitchcock Theatre Park allows people to unwind and relax for a time.
The park is a magnificent public park that welcomes visitors every day of the week, from dust to dawn.
It was named after Alan Hitchcock, a prominent community leader, and businessman. A basketball court, a Skinner field, tennis courts, and other sports are available. It also includes a beautiful playground where kids can run about, play, swing, and slide until they drop.
In your spare time, practice pranayama, smell flowers, join in celebrations, meet new people, plan a date, get together with friends, read a book, relax on the lawn, or listen to music.
Address: 14900 Main St, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
14. Legacy Park Multipurpose Center
Another great leisure place in Alachua is the Legacy Park Multipurpose Center.
In 2010, the City of Alachua saw an opportunity to expand the immediate and long-term recreational and cultural opportunities for its citizens.
The Legacy Park Master Plan represents the next step in the process of designing and constructing this premier recreational and cultural facility.
They do offer quite a bit of parking and the venue itself is very spacious.
It is located in the semi-bustling Peggy Road neighborhood and offers a variety of excellent attractions.
A tennis court, a basketball court, a gym, and other amenities are available. This multifunctional center hosts a variety of sporting events. It also has a beautiful amphitheater that hosts other outdoor events and live concerts across the city.
Address: 15400 Peggy Rd, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
15. Matheson History Museum
If you’re into late 19th-century history, then this is the place to visit. Cool replication of a general goods store of the era.
The Matheson History Museum, located in the heart of downtown Gainesville, houses the 1867 Matheson House, permanent and temporary exhibitions on Alachua County and Florida history.
There is also an amazing library of newspaper archives, old yearbooks from local schools (including UF), and various other papers here. The staff here is wonderfully helpful and will chat with you about all the exhibits.
There’s also a local history library and archives providing resources for researchers and the inquisitive.
A great outdoor walking area is available, plus a few other houses and exhibitions in the area surrounding the main museum building.
You’ll need to call ahead and make an appointment in order to tour the ancillary buildings, though.
Similarly, the Matheson house has unique rooms, each with furniture and decor (not original, unfortunately) from a certain time period.
Throughout the year, they host a variety of programs on local and Florida history.
In short, you will really enjoy touring this museum and admission is by donation, so bring $5 or $10.
Address: 513 E University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601, United States
16. Alachua Sports Pub
Do you need some place to spend some quality time all by yourself?
Alachua Sports Pub is a great place to spend some quality time. It’s a relaxed bar with modest furnishings and a welcoming atmosphere.
Firstly, you can consume your drinks inside the bar or outside on the terrace, where you can relax and watch the world go by.
This is a hidden gem, really. From the exterior, not much, but on the inside, it’s a whole different tale. The customers are always pleasant, and the staff is even better. As claimed, the beer is the coldest in town, and the burgers are outstanding.
They also have pool tables, darts, if that’s what you want to do.
This establishment is famed for its delicious burgers and ice-cold beverages. Not to mention, the personnel is welcoming and friendly, making you feel at ease.
Address: 14003 NW 150th Ave, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
17. Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
With an abundance of wildlife, wild horses, bison, deer, armadillo, and lots of gators, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is now the only area in the United States where wild bison and horses can graze freely.
It is an easy and worthwhile drive from Alachua to this fascinating site located just a few minutes south of Gainesville in Micanopy.
The park, which covers over 20,000 acres, was discovered over two centuries ago. It was discovered by a nationally famous naturalist who named it ‘The Great Alachua Savannah.’
There are plenty of trails available at various lengths, so you will get plenty of exercise on them. Make sure you get to the Observation tower to get an overview of the prairie.
There are tent sites as well. The tent sites are somewhat private, with trees and brush separating most.
Each site has a picnic table and a fire pit. There is a communal faucet and power outlet per 3 tent camping sites. There’s no bright central light, so you will need to bring a lantern along.
A 50-foot observation tower offers great panoramic views of the relatively flat countryside, and a variety of well-marked routes link to separate park regions.
Address: 100 Savannah Blvd, Micanopy, FL 32667, United States
18. Skinner Field Alachua
Skinner Field, located on NW 142 Terrace, is a large public park that is available 24 hours a day. It has sports courts that are open to the public, a track field, and a playground for children and the young at heart.
There are quite a few things you can do here. You can play tennis, basketball, rollerblade, go to the park area, have a picnic, and there is even a Bev’s Better Burgers right next to it.
It also includes a beautiful area where you may have a picnic with your family or friends.
Moreso, the Skinner Field also hosts occasional movie viewing activities. Visit Skinner Field if you want to get some fresh air or get your daily workout.
Not that much litter, it’s quite clean. Definitely a place to go to get active.
Address: 15100 NW 142 Terrace, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
19. Florida Museum of Natural History
The University of Florida campus in Gainesville is a great community resource that’s often overlooked by travelers visiting Alachua.
The main sections of the museum are free to visit and contain wonderful exhibits that are interesting and fun for all ages.
Besides having several nationally-ranked men’s and women’s sports teams and world-class facilities, the campus is home to the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Admission is free, although they do graciously accept donations and occasionally host special exhibits and events that require a small admission charge.
Although the butterfly house requires a paid ticket, but it is really cheap and totally worth every cent.
Address: 3215 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611, United States
20. Mill Creek Preserve, Alachua
The Mill Creek Preserve West is a great place to experience Florida outdoors. There are multiple hike options, from 30 minutes to 2+ hours.
Similarly, you will marvel at the grandeur of nature and have a delightful journey in Alachua’s huge areas of lovely lush greens, primarily pine trees and chestnut oaks, and stunning sinkholes and streams.
It also offers good hiking trails, which travelers who enjoy outdoor activities and exploring nature will enjoy.
One of the highlights is definitely the beech trees in the Hammock trail.
There are also some great creek views and small bridges. Some areas of trail are very wide and others are narrow.
Address: Parking lot off 241, NW County Road 236, and 241, Alachua, FL 32615, United States
Start planning your trip to Alachua
With a vibrant culture, many magnificent landmarks, breathtaking natural wonders, excellent hiking trails, and more. Alachua is such a great place to be.
With something for everyone, it is a perfect family destination. We highly recommend Alachua for individuals and families, you will enjoy every bit of your stay here.