Florida is the "Sunshine State", known for clement weather and beautiful beaches, as well as historic sites, natural beauty, and theme parks. You may want to combine a visit to Gainesville with a visit to historic St. Augustine and its nearby beaches (1 hour, 45 minutes); the Orlando Area including Disney World, Universal Studios Theme Park, and SeaWorld (2 hours); Cape Canaveral (2.5 hours); or other destinations.
Another attraction is Florida Gators football. Please be aware that hotel prices skyrocket during the weekends of home football games. Please contact Professor Matchev, a "Gold Star" Gator fan for more information if you would like to see a Gator game; the schedule for the 2016 season is here .
We are located in the "New Physics Building" which is on the corner of Gale Lemerand Drive and Museum Way. (Google calls it the "Physics Building". There is no "Old Physics Building".) See the Google map here .
The football stadium (Go Gators!) is on the corner of University Avenue and Gale Lemerand Drive; this may help in finding Gale Lemerand Drive if you are on University Avenue.
If you are staying at the Reitz Union Hotel (see below) then parking in the Reitz Union garage is provided for free; talk to the person at the front desk for details. (When checking in, please drive to the end of the Reitz Union driveway; there should be spots there for temporary parking while you check in.)
Whether or not you are staying at the Reitz Union, the garage in the Reitz Union/ University Bookstore/ Welcome Center complex is the visitor parking nearest to the physics department.
There is also a visitor parking spot by the loading dock for the physics building; please make arrangements with your host to obtain the permit if you wish to choose this option for parking.
We recommend flying to the Gainesville airport ( GNV ), which is about a 7 mile drive from the physics department. If it's more convenient or much cheaper, Jacksonville ( JAX , 82 miles), Orlando ( MCO , 122 miles), and Tampa ( TPA , 138 miles) are the three next closest major airports. (Links are to Google Maps directions from each airport to the physics department.)
Note that there are many "speed traps" between Gainesville and Jacksonville, so be careful to follow the speed limit rigorously (a good idea in any case!).
Use sound judgment in purchasing tickets; it is recommended that you do not wait until the last minute. Obviously do not purchase a first class ticket; we cannot reimburse you for this.
Please note, if you ask us sufficiently ahead of time, we can make hotel reservations for you.
Reitz Union Hotel (which is a few hundred meters from the physics building) or the Holiday Inn on University Avenue (about 1.3 miles from the physics building) are the recommended hotels within walking distance of the department.
If you stay at the Reitz Union, visitor parking near the physics building is provided for free. Also, the wifi access password they give you at the Reitz Union should work throughout campus.
As far as off-campus hotels, we recommend the hotels on the Archer Road exit off of I-75 (about 3 miles from the physics department). Of course you will need a rental car if you stay at these; see below.
A rental car is strongly recommended for getting around Gainesville if you are flying to Florida. However, if you fly to the Gainesville airport and stay at either the Reitz Union Hotel or the Holiday Inn on University Avenue (see above), you may not need one (i.e. you could take a taxi from the Gainesville airport. To call one, push one of the marked buttons outside the airport.)
Book the rental car with Enterprise/National through the University of Florida here .
We will reimburse you with a per diem rate rather than reimbursing you for meals directly. However, please keep receipts for other expenses (e.g. gas for the rental car). It may go without saying, but please use your best judgment in booking hotels, flights, and cars, as we are only able to reimburse "reasonable" expenses.