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Old 08-02-2015, 05:02 PM
826 posts, read 1,019,141 times
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Tally is bigger but certainly not " much bigger." Gainesville is much better situated in the state than Tally. 90 minutes from Jax,Orlando and about 2 hours from Tampa. It is also about 30 minutes from the untamed beast also known as Ocala( which has a comparable metro population to Tally).
Tally probably has more options for teenagers as far as things to do. Gainesville is far behind in that area. Tally and Gville are both beautiful areas.
If you are strictly looking at the cities, then Tallahassee wins. But it's no contest when you think about the amount of places within a 2 hour drive of Gainesville. Jax, Orlando, Tampa, Ocala, plus numerous state parks with springs, not to mention the gulf coast and the atlantic. Tallhassee is in the middle of nowhere with the nearest big metro being a 2 and a half hour drive to Jacksonville.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:11 PM
Location: Alabama
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I'm biased as you can tell from my handle, but I would go with Tallahassee hands down.

Gainesville is a true college town. If you are not involved with the university, there's not much else going on. Tallahassee is a good city in its own right, being the state capital. It also has hills and a city parks system that is world-renowned (not an exaggeration).

Tallahassee has old Southern charm. Not that Gainesville doesn't have any charm in its own way, but it's really just a university town.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:50 AM
204 posts, read 207,003 times
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Originally Posted by Gatornation View Post
I would have a hard time living in either city if I didn't have a connection with either University.
I agree. I lived in Tallahassee from 2004-2008, and while I loved being there for FSU, it's not really a place I'd want to live outside of that. Not that it is a bad city... but it's more of a laid back environment and I guess you could say I'm a city girl.
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Old 08-05-2017, 08:45 PM
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I had kids at both schools and I grew up in Gainesville. The two towns are similar, but I would pick Gainesville over Tally in a heartbeat. Tally is much more redneck and hick than Gainesville (of course some may like that). The area surrounding FSU is really scary, especially the area just on the north side of Tennessee Street from FSU, Frenchtown. My son lived in the dorms on that side of Tennessee and always heard gunshots at night and had to navigate through lots of homeless people just walking to campus. Not so in Gainesville. In Gainesville the low income and crime ridden area is located on the east side of town, far from UF or Santa Fe, not next to the schools as in Tally. Downtown Gainesville is really, really cool with the Hippodrome Theatre (really neat), lots of hip restaurants, cool bars, and brick- paved streets. The Bo Diddly Plaza located Downtown hosts food trucks, concerts, a farmer's market, and sometimes an ice skating rink. Downtown is hopping at night, while in Tally downtown is dead at night. Downtown Tally consists.of just office buildings to support the State government and the capitol. Gainesville has a lot of cool parks, more than I could find in Tallahassee, although Tally does have some nice parks. Several of the Gainesville parks are hidden from the roadways, and you have to look for them, but they include breathtakingly gorgeous paths that follow streams and their associated ravines such as Hogtown Creek.( Check out Ring Park and tbe park on 34th street just north of university ave.) The Millhopper, the San Felasco Forest, Paynes Prairie, Rails to Trails, and much more provide incredible natural venues found nowhere else. These sites are right in town, not a long drive away. The university includes Lake Alice, the Baughman Center, the medicinal gardens, and a big butterfly center, with nothing similar available in Tally. Tally has its Mission and the State Capitol and MacClay Gardens as its big attractions, although those also are very nice. Gainesville is very friendly to bike riders and runners with tons of bike paths and great places to go with bicycles, Tally is not. The city and county governments associated with Gainesville work much more cooperatively with the university than do those of Tally. Off campus housing near UF is much better located in safer areas than at FSU. Both towns are located in areas where there are great hiking trails, springs, forests, etc. nearby. Gainesville is more accessible via highways and airports, even train. Gainesville is a great family town; although it is a university town, the university provides a lot of activities for Gainesville permanent residents. Gainesville is agreat place for kids to grow up; I assume Tally is also, but I cant directly attest to that. Both towns are large enough to offer people not directly associated with the universities a good life outside of academia, but small enough to avoid the hassles of big city living. Both towns benefit from concerts and plays and art galleries offered at the universities, along with sporting events. Both towns offer museums concentrating on Florida. Gainesville is the home of a 2000 acre campus, while Tallahassee features a 450+- acre campus; obviously, due to its size and easier accessibility, UF offers a lot more, including great medical care from its huge medical center (as compared to FSUs small med school with no associated hospital or cancer clinics or other specialty care centers. UF has an associated senior living center that serves our senior population with university activities, so all ages do well in Gainesville, not just the young. Both towns benefit economically from relatively stable emoyment situations associated with government and higher education venues. Gainesville is not flat, geographically, although it's hills are not as big as some in Tally. Nevertheless, I dare anyone who thinks it is flat to ride a bike around town and then tell me that. Finally. Tally brags about it's canopy roads, but Gainesville's road west of the Millhopper to the San Felasco Forest, 2nd Street by the law school, residential areas off 16th street and west of 34th street and others are every bit as beautiful. Other beautiful areas include the ravine between Jennings and Beatty Towers on campus, the area between the bus hub and the duck pond at the union, the area just west of the union, the Norman Hall courtyard, the business school coutyard, the residential duck pond area near downtown, Bouleware Springs, Turkey Creek. oh so many places!
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:23 AM
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Wow, this is one of the most biased posts.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:08 PM
826 posts, read 1,019,141 times
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Gainesville has had a lot of changes since 2008. Lots and lots of new home construction west of I-75 is starting to come online. 2 million square feet+ in new retail with Butler Plaza and Celebration Pointe new developments. The area around Archer Road and I-75 is looking as dense and traffic is as bad as anything in South Florida or Orlando. Shands is building, huge new 10 story rental apartment building across the street from UF, job growth in IT and biotechnology.
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Old 08-06-2017, 04:42 PM
Location: Scottsdale
1,112 posts, read 543,140 times
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Originally Posted by gimme it View Post
How do these two college towns compare and contrast? Which one is prettier, safer, family-friendly, walkable and charming? Which has the nicest downtown and schools? If you can only partially answer this, I appreciate whatever input you have. Thanks.
I lived in Tallahassee for about 13 years and have graduate degrees from both FSU and UF.
Both are college towns with the big difference that Tallahassee is the state capitol.
Gainesville and Tallahassee are in North FL which is the "Bible Belt". External to the campus,
the surrounding neighborhoods often have a "southern" feel.

In terms of industry, the largest employer in Tallahassee is the state. I worked over there as a
contractor for over nine years. I watched the town grow. I remember June of 2002 when that space on far
east Magnolia/319 SE was empty - now it has a Publix, shopping centers, a neighborhood (Southwood).

The people who love Tallahassee the most are the undergraduates or local people with roots in the
"Deep South". The college town centers upon those 18-22 at FSU. Tennessee St. is packed with
bad traffic on Fri/Sat of home football games. The college life is very deep off Tennessee St. and
Pensacola St. near Doak Campbell. I can think of many local southerners who would not be happy
any where else.

Gainesville is similar to Tallahassee but with less industry since it doesn't have the large state
government as a major employer. UF does have the Shands Hospital with many healthcare jobs.
The university is excellent. I honestly have driven down from Tallahassee to Gainesville just to go
for walks near Lake Alice. I usually parked by SW Rec Center and hiked up to University Blvd. just
north of the campus stadium. That trek went by Lake Alice - that was my favorite part of Gainesville.
I don't get the same type of "feel" at FSU. I did enjoy going to the Leach Gym. That was where I
met my FSU girlfriend (LOL).

The question for someone moving there is if you fall into the category of (1) local southerner with
deep family roots within North FL and multiple generations of FSU alumni or (2) an FSU student
of about 18-22. I would not be optimistic about anyone outside of those demographic groups having
the genuine zeal to live in Tallahassee.

As for Gainesville, it's similar. The university is an excellent in-state Public Ivy. Admission is very
competitive. The academic status of UF is similar to that of other Public Ivies like UCLA, Texas,
Virginia, Michigan, etc. It's the Flagship In-State School - there I said it. I know what I am talking about.
I went to both FSU and UF.

But if you are not affiliated with UF then I think it is kind of pointless to live in Gainesville. If I
were to settle down and raise a family with strong career options and a good set of family
activities and schools, then I would prefer the I-4 corridor between Tampa and Orlando. I have
friends from HS in rural AZ who have done that and live on the outskirts of Orlando. They are
not (1) local southerners and (2) not 18-22 year old college students but they actually like the area.

So go to the I-4 corridor if you really want to enjoy FL. Tallahassee and Gainesville are not for

I am not naive though. Many local Tallahassee people who love it there would probably resent my post. My response is that I am 100% aware there are many local FSU alumni and families who are best off staying in the area after getting that coveted FSU degree. I know many of them. I can't imagine them living anyplace else. It's just that I am not one of them. I moved back to Scottsdale, AZ last spring - my home state. I love it here.

But I do revere the community of Tallahassee even though I know I did not belong there. Best wishes!!!

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