Travelers on their own get to set their own itinerary when they're on a vacation, and they can change it whenever they want because they have no one to disappoint but themselves. Between that and the chance to meet new people, solo trips can be a lot more fun than you'd expect. If you're planning a trip to Gainesville, Florida, you should make sure to put the following destinations on your list and take time to see them — no matter how flexible your schedule gets.
Follow Your Stomach Downtown
If you go to the center of Gainesville where Main Street splits between north and south, you can find plenty of high-quality restaurants and pubs just waiting for you to discover them. You might start with something energizing at the Volta coffee shop on Southwest Second Street, and from there you might want to try the ramen shop a block over or see who's playing at Rockeys Dueling Piano Bar. After that, you can have a drink or two at The Midnight on South Main Street, but since you're alone, you should make sure you have a way to get to your Gainesville hotel safely.
Explore Dudley Farm
Gainesville is surrounded by the forests and lakes of central Florida, and it would be a shame to visit and not see what's beyond the city limits. For a unique experience, look for the Dudley Farm Historic State Park, a small park that sits along Newberry Road west of town. The park is a working farm with 18 buildings, and you can watch the history of architecture and technology in action by wandering from one building to the next. You can also admire the front garden and watch the wildlife while you're there.
Visit the Hawthorne Historical Museum
The Hawthorne Historical Museum is a bright white building that started life as an African-American church back in 1907. It's just one of several Hawthorne buildings that date back over a century, and this small town just east of Gainesville is worth visiting just to see the preserved architecture of a 19th-century railroad stop. The museum is the centerpiece of the town, and its old walls are covered in historical artifacts and paintings created by Francis Moore, known as "Hawthorne's Grandpa Moses."
Hike Along Newnans Lake
If you aren't finished enjoying nature in central Florida, Newnans Lake is a straight shot east from central Gainesville. There's a state forest with several hiking trails along the western shore of the lake, including a straight path to the lakeshore and a longer path that wanders through the park's 1,000 acres to give visitors a good look at the wilderness and all the animals that live in it.
There's plenty to do and see near Gainesville, Florida, and that's true even if you're on your own. However, while you don't have to worry about meeting people on time or visiting every spot on your list, you owe it to yourself to get the full Gainesville experience by making time for all the above activities.