I'm originally from Gainesville and there really isn't much to it. The cost of living there is incredibly low (do not listen to anyone who says it isn't). It has one or two of every major chain store/restaurant, but not much beyond that. Driving in Gainesville is horrible during the school year, since the really smart Alachua County city commissioners got the crazy idea not to synchronize the traffic lights well so that people would get frustrated and end up riding bikes rather than driving (although I think they're on the way to fixing that). Also, most UF students do not know how to drive, and there are a lot of them to contend with.