Gainesville is surrounded by natural recreation and conservation areas. The Alachua County government and many private land preservation organizations have worked together to purchase large tracts that now form an "emerald ribbon" around the south, east, and north sides of the urban area. A half hour drive to the southeast is the Ocala National Forest http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/florida/recreation/index_oca.shtml).
There are 8 golf courses and numerous parks, recreational facilities, and hiking and bicycle trails in and near town and many more Golf Courses in the neighboring counties.
Gainesville has warm winters and hot summers with a 255 – 260 day growing season. The climate straddles the humid sub-tropical and temperate regions so there is a vast diversity of plant life . Both tropical and temperate trees, shrubs, and flowers grow well. Something is blooming at any time of the year. There are enough cold days and freezing nights in the autumn and winter to bring leaf color to the deciduous trees .
The local taxes are somewhat higher than other cities and counties because much of the land in Alachua County is in public ownership making the property tax base relatively small. However, there is NO Personal INCOME TAX in Florida and other costs of living, such as housing, are considerably lower.
The Gainesville area real estate market is comparatively more stable than Central and South Florida. Home and land prices tend to be less cyclical, less volatile, and much more affordable. Housing choices available include single-family homes, condominium flats and townhouses, mobile homes, and retirement communities.
Gainesville has less traffic compared to other Florida cities. Except for short rush hours in the morning and evening the roads are usually uncongested (except when there is a UF Football Game).
The Gainesville Bus System Gainesville Regional Transit System (RTS) (http://www.go-rts.com) is the fourth largest mass transit system in Florida and covers the entire urban area Monday through Saturday. Univeristy of Florida and Santa Fe College students ride free, which takes a large number of cars off the roads, significantly reducing traffic.
Greyhound (www.greyhound.com) provides intercity and interstate bus service.
The Gainesville Regional Airport (http://www.flygainesville.com) is in the city limits and has regularly scheduled daily service to Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, and Tampa. There is also on-demand service to numerous other cities.
Nearby larger airports for national and International flights are:
Jacksonville International (http://www.jia.aero)
Orlando International (http://www.orlandoairports.net/main.htm)
Tampa International (http://www.tampaairport.com).
Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) serves Gainesville with Intercity Train Service through Waldo, Florida, 14 miles to the northeast. Two shuttle buses connect the city to the passenger railroad station daily.
Attractions & Events
Senior Citizen Living, Groups, Programs, and Services
In addition to the following agencies there are over 35 more social service and volunteer organizations located in and near Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Starke, and Palatka, Florida that Empower Seniors and Elderly Adults.
AARP Alachua County Employment Program www.aarp.org
AARP Tax-Aide www.aarp.org/money/taxaide
Alachua County ATC Transport http://www.mvtransit.com/locations
Alachua County Center for Aging Resources http://www.agingresources.org/
Alachua County Center for Independent Living http://cilncf.org/
Alachua County Foster Grandparent Program http://www.alachuacounty.us/Depts/CSS/FosterGrandparents/Pages/FosterGrandparents.aspx
Alachua County Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
AMAC (Association of Mature American Citizens) http://amac.us
Clay County Council on Aging http://coaclay.org/
Community Coalition of Older Adults www.shands.org/public/programs/eldercare
Eldercare of Alachua County http://eldercare.ufandshands.org/
Employ Florida, Silver Edition http://employflorida.com/portals/silver
Florida Adult Services www.dcf.state.fl.us/as
Florida Department of Elder Affairs http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/index.php
Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging, dba Elder Options
352-378-6649 or 1-800-262-2243
Oak Hammock at the University of Florida www.oakhammock.org
Prime Time Institute http://www.primetimeinstitute.org/
Social Security Administration http://www.socialsecurity.gov/
The Atrium of Gainesville Community (Over 55 (55+) Community) http://www.holidaytouch.com/Our-Communities/atrium-at-gainesville.aspx
The Village (Over 55 (55+) Community) http://www.thevillageonline.com/
Turkey Creek Forest (Over 55 (55+) Community) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Turkey-Creek-Forest-Community/277598505583897
Volunteer Match www.volunteermatch.org
Senior Citizen & Retirement Web Site LINKS
Useful Information for Seniors, Current Retirees, Retired and and Pre-Retirement Persons:
Senior Health Care: www.UFandShands.org/seniorcare
Wired Seniors Websites: Hub that connects to a network of related sites such as http://www.wiredseniors.com/ageofreason/ and http://www.wiredseniors.com/seniorssearch/
National Institute on Aging: Helpful U.S. Government Links: http://www.nia.nih.gov/
National Council on the Aging: Check YOUR Benefits: http://www.benefitscheckup.org
Third Age: A community of active older adults featuring information on health, romance, technology, investing, and travel. http://www.thirdage.com
Grandma Betty: Over 1,000 Information Sources & Products for Baby Boomers and Seniors: http://www.grandmabetty.com
Senior Link: National eldercare resource, referral and consultation service for seniors and their families: http://www.seniorlink.com
Senior Site: Online community for seniors and their families: http://www.seniorsite.com
Today's Seniors: Features advice, tips, and articles about retirement, personal finances, Medicare, and more: http://www.todaysseniors.com
Senior Service Directory: Senior services directory and online portal of senior-related products and useful information: http://www.seniorservicedirectory.com
Love To Know: Information resource guide for senior citizens, including health, retirement living, estate planning, activities, and more: http://seniors.lovetoknow.com/Main_Page
Elder One Stop: Online resource giving information for seniors, elderly, caregivers, and families: http://www.elder-one-stop.com
Age Venture: Reporting lifestyle trends of Baby Boomers and Retirees: http://www.demko.com
SHINE, Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders: Trained counselors help with insurance decisions. Florida SHINE 1-800-963-5337.
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