Fall holds a special place in the hearts of many Gator students. Campus buzzes with excitement about football season, pumpkin spice lattes, chilly temperatures, and Halloween. There is so much to love about the autumn months here in The Swamp. Although classes might pick up during this time, sometimes it’s good to get away for a day. So grab your friends, jump in the car, and prepare to venture out on one of these fall road trips to take around Gainesville!
1. Have a picnic lunch at Paynes Prairie!
Ditch the library for the day and get a breath of fresh fall air. Paynes Prairie is roughly a 15-minute drive from UF’s campus, but is so different then the campus itself. Nothing compares to all of the breathtaking beauty this preserve is home to. You and your friends can spend the afternoon biking, hiking, horseback riding, and walking its earthy nature trails. Pack a picnic lunch to eat on the observation tower as you overlook the wild bison and horses roaming the preserve.
2. Pick your own pumpkins at The Pickin’ Patch.
What would fall be without a traditional pumpkin patch? Reminisce on your childhood days at The Pickin’ Patch located in Dunnellon, Florida. Although this pumpkin patch is about an hour drive away, it gives you the chance to pick your very own pumpkins. You do not simply pick your pumpkin up from a pile of others; you cut the pumpkin right from its vine! Not only can you pick pumpkins, but you can also pick festive gourds and gorgeous sunflowers. While you’re there, celebrate your love for the autumn season with hayrides and a corn maze.
3. Take photos of the unique plants in Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park.
For a more tropical trip, visit Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park. Explore the forest and rain forest environments that this park offers. Follow streams through the greenery and observe various plants and animals that inhabit the area. A day trip to this state park is sure to be full of exploration. It’s definitely one of the more unique fall road trips to take around Gainesville!
4. Enjoy a tour of Swamp Head Brewery!
The opportunity to tour a brewery is definitely not an experience to miss out on. Take a visit to Gainesville’s local brewery, Swamp Head Brewery. Tours are held on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays for groups of up to 15 people. For just $5, you can see where and how Swamp Head Brewery’s beer is made. This might not be your everyday activity, but it is definitely something to do before you leave the Swamp!
5. Have a farm to table experience at Swallowtail Farm.
Fall in love with Swallowtail Farm this season. If you have the chance to visit this local gem, go! Swallowtail Farm focuses on operating a sustainable agricultural environment that practices conservation and chemical-free farming. It host events such as tours and farm to table experiences. During a farm to table event, you get to tour Swallowtail farm, dine directly on its stunning premise, and savor the delicious and fresh food grown right on the farm. Enjoy a fall evening on Swallowtail Farm.
What are your favorite fall road trips to take around Gainesville? Feel free to comment below and share the article!
Featured photo source: drivethenation.com and stevetaboneblog.com
Megan can usually be found binge watching The Office, excessively online shopping, and laughing at herself way too much.