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Written by Chris Kirschner
Gainesville has frequently been voted one of the best college towns in America. Headquarters of "the Gator Nation," Gainesville bleeds orange and blue from every street corner, from local pizza joints to college bars. Gainesville is the University of Florida, and the University of Florida is Gainesville. Take a stroll down University Avenue, a street that is frequently lined with thousands of students after a national championship win, to fully experience UF culture. Don’t ever attempt to return to Gainesville on a Saturday during a home football game—the exit ramps are backed up for miles. Gainesville is a small town with a big heart. Everyone has pride in the school, and you’ll notice that as soon as you step foot in the heart of the Gator Nation.
Of course, this town resembles neither New York City nor the backwoods of Alaska, so if you’re looking for the extremes in population, setting, or events that go with those kinds of places, Gainesville may not be the ideal location for you. However, if you’re willing to settle in just a bit, you can have the wondrous pleasure of hearing the Boston Pops Orchestra play your school fight song in the O’Connell Center on campus and go buffalo- and alligator-watching at Paynes Prairie the next day.
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