Gainesville On A Budget: A Full Day In Gainesville For $20

Exploring a city doesn’t mean having to spend a lot of money! It’s hard to resist some of the fancy restaurants, paid attractions and shopping when you’re visiting new place or even just enjoying a day around your own town.

So, I put myself to the test: see if I could spend an entire day out and about in Gainesville with only $20. After a day of eating, exploring and learning I discovered that it was actually a lot easier than I thought. Here’s everything I did in one day for less than $20.

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Explore the Florida Natural History Museum

Price: FREE

Gainesville is home to the Florida Natural History Museum and it’s full of fun and interesting exhibits that are great for the whole family. It’s open year-round and is one of the top five natural history museums in the country! The museum is free to the public, but you can choose to pay to see the butterfly rainforest or the special exhibits.

Picnic Lunch at Depot Park

Price: FREE

This city is full of beautiful parks perfect for picnicking. Instead of spending money on lunch, I decided to make myself a turkey and veggie wrap and take it down to Depot Park, an old rail yard turned into a public park. The park also has Pop-A-Top General Store, Humble Wood Fire Pizza and Boxcar Wine and Beer Garden if you want to enjoy the scenery and some yummy food and drinks. There are plenty of pavilions and shady spots to enjoy a lunch from home.

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Visit the Downtown Gainesville Murals

Price: FREE

Downtown Gainesville is full of beautiful murals, and it’s so fun to walk around a see all the works of art (plus they make great photo backgrounds!) This is something fun to do when friends and family are visiting from out of town. To see all the amazing murals in Gainesville, click here.

Dinner At A Local Spot (My Choice: La Tienda)

Cost: $12.50

Whenever I eat out in Gainesville I try to eat at local restaurants, because not only does it fuel the local economy but the food is usually better. One of my favorite local restaurants is La Tienda, an authentic Mexican restaurant less than 2 minutes from my work (which can be dangerous haha) and I decided to pop in for an affordable meal. I got tacos ($8.50) and chips, salsa and queso ($4) for a super filling meal with leftovers to spare!

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Dessert at The Hyppo

Cost: $5

If you live in Florida you have to try The Hyppo! It’s a gourmet ice pop company with shops all over North Florida and they also have some flavors available in grocery stores. They are seriously the best ice pops ever! I got the Pineapple Sangria flavor and it was really really good. Their shop is located in Butler Plaza, and they also sell at the Hailee Plantation Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

Total Spent: $17.50

See? Going out for the day doesn’t have to mean going broke. It’s totally possible to spend a day around town for less than $20!

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