Are you looking for a new spot to explore this summer? Well, just about an hour outside of Jacksonville, FL, is Gainesville, home of the University of Florida Gators and so much more! While it might not be a place on your radar, the van rental team from Carl’s Van Rentals is about to change your mind. Take a road trip with us as we explore three of the best outdoor places to visit during your weekend getaway to this little town!

Enjoy These 3 Outdoor Activities In Gainesville

1. Spot Gators Along the La Chua Trail

One of the best places to hike and explore Gainesville is in the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. Here, you’ll discover just why the University of Florida’s mascot is a gator – they’re everywhere! Most people spot them along the La Chua Trail in the state park, which starts as a shady boardwalk that opens up into a grassy expanse. Keep your eyes peeled because soon you’ll see dozens of alligators sunning themselves. Just remember to stay back, and don’t attempt to feed them. 

2. Take In Civil War History

Gainesville isn’t just all about sports; it’s also a place full of history, including the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park. This park is where the largest Civil War battle in Florida took place, and you can walk in the very same footsteps as the soldiers. On display are various memorials, cannons, and exhibits. You can even enjoy the different educational trails through the park that explain certain events of the battle. 

3. Watch Bats Take Flight at Night

Many tourists get a kick out of seeing the thousands of bats that emerge every night after sunset. This evening activity is perfect for the whole family, and you can really observe the bats take flight from the UF Bat House. It’s free to get in, and you’ll see the most bats on warmer nights. You can also see them during the day when you schedule a tour with Lubee Bat Conservancy

Your Weekend Plans Start Here

Why put that wear and tear on your own vehicle when you could rent a minivan, passenger van, or minibus from Carl’s Van Rentals? Gainesville is just a stone’s throws away from Jacksonville, FL, and makes for a great day trip or weekend excursion. Request your quote online or call us today at (904) 727-3848