The Hipp and Micanopy

Monday, April 22, 2019 1:54 PM

The Villages to Gainesville
    68-mi, 1-hr 16-min
Ocala to Gainesville

    38-mi, 43-min

25 S.E. 2nd Place, Gainesville, FL 32601   352-375-4477   

The Hippodrome State Theater was originally a post office and courthouse, and is now an elegant example of the adaptive reuse of an historic building. The theater is sited at the head of Southeast First Street and dominates the surrounding downtown streetscape. Its Beaux Arts styling creates an atmospheric setting for theater productions, live music and art exhibits. You can even take yoga classes under the tall coffered ceilings. Most of the interior remains intact and it has one of the city's earliest elevators still in use.    "The Hipp" has two intimate performance spaces and there's not a bad seat in the house. Cocktails and snacks are available before performances and at intermission, and the broad steps under the front colonnade are a popular hangout before shows. Pay parking lots are nearby, but you can also find street parking within a few blocks.    Wandering the brick streets turns up numerous restaurants, bars, art galleries, and shops, along with a diverse college-town mix of people. If you want to spend the night to enjoy the surrounding entertaiment district, a Hampton Inn and Suites is steps away, and six blocks east is a cluster of victorian bed and breakfasts.
    University of Florida campus starts not far from downtown. Gainesville also offers several exciting museums, nature parks and the Devils Millhopper—an ancient sink hole with stairs to the bottom and lookout decks along the way. 
    Lining up a day's worth of fun before a show at the Hipp is easy, and our group of Villagers chose visiting the historic town of Micanopy just south of Gainesville on Highway 441, with its art galleries, antique stores, cafes, and a mix of historic homes and Florida Cracker cottages.

Watch the video below to see Micanopy and downtown Gainesville, close to Ocala, Florida.

Welcome to my blog about nearby adventures that await Villagers ready to venture outside the bubble!

- Greg Madsen