It’s been 5 or 6 years since I did a tour, I’ve had a child at UF since 2014, and visit regularly.
- Where did you stay? Would you recommend it?
Lots of decent places to stay in Gainesville. Just avoid home football weekends, like the plague (unless you’re going to the game!).
- Where did you eat? Did you try any local specialties?
Lots of places in Gainesville, a foew of our favorites are Mi Apá Latin Café (Latin/Cuban) and Satchel’s Pizza.
The Krishna’s serve vegan lunch on campus (11am-1:30pm at Plaza of Americas). One of my daughter’s favorites while at UF. If your Kido is into this, you may want to give it a try. They have been on campus since the 70’s, and it’s something of a tradition.
Next time I’m in Gainesville, I want to try Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille, a bit pricy, but a must for die hard gators.
- How did you get there? What’s the best transportation mean to get to-from the campus?
First lesson about UF. Parking is a pain. You may try to find parking in the Welcome Center garage, located at 737 Reitz Union Drive. If there are no available spots in the Welcome Center parking garage, overflow visitor parking may be found in Garage 5 located at 1108 Gale Lemerand Drive. It’s about a 10 to 15 minute walk from Garage 5 to the Welcome Center.
- What was the campus vibe?
If you visit during the Fall/Spring term, campus will be very busy/active. To be honest, it feels like a “Florida” campus, like FSU or UCF. It’s like a bunch of kids on vacation, wearing backpacks full of books and laptops.
- What did you think of the dorms?
UF has been rebuilding it’s dorms, so the newer ones are more what folks expect now a days. However, both of my kids picked older dorms, and they liked it. Still, as a rule, most kids want to move off campus after that first year.
- What are some must-see things in or around campus?
Duh…it’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The tours used to end in the stadium. It’s open during the day, so feel free to walk in. You can also check out the Heisman and National Title trophies. If you can catch a game (baseball/softball/volleyball, etc.) try to do so. The other stadiums are very nice and have just been rebuilt.
- How were the school facilities?
I really recommend the “college” tours to get a better view on the facilities. However, they are very nice. UF is constantly under construction ($$$).
- Did you like it more or less than you thought you would? Why?
I’m Alumni so it was what I was expecting, and of course I’m biased.
- Did anything surprise you?
Not really, other than the campus feels much more crowded (all of the new construction) than when I attended in the 80’s. I was a bit surprised that it still felt the same, even 30 years later…