Alachua was established on a railroad line in 1884. It was incorporated as a city in 1905 when it was home to 526 people. By the start of the 21st century, Alachua's population had grown to slightly more than 6,000 people. The next census 10 years later showed the population had grown to more than 9,000 people.
Alachua is an ethnically diverse city, with roughly two-thirds of the locals identifying as Caucasian. It also has a large African-American community, making up more than 29 percent of the local population. Native American, Asian, and Hispanics also call Alachua home. The city also has the largest Hare Krishna community in the Western Hemisphere.
Alachua sees its diversity as one of its strengths. This diversity has brought a variety of different restaurants, retail outlets, and other attractions that locals and visitors love. The community is also very tight-knit, welcoming new residents and tourists alike. Come and experience Alachuan hospitality on your next Florida vacation.
When to Visit Alachua, FL
Alachua has a humid, subtropical climate which delivers mild winters and scorching summers. While the city doesn't experience the marked summer visitation increases of nearby Gainesville, Alachua can still get busy over the summer. Temperatures are in the low to mid-90s Fahrenheit, and often exceed 100, and high humidity brings frequent thunderstorms.
For a pleasant vacation experience, aim for the shoulder seasons of spring or fall. Average daily temperatures generally remain in the mid-70s to mid-80s, making sightseeing much more comfortable. Rain is also far less common, especially in Alachua's driest months of April and November.
Don't dismiss winter in Alachua. With typical daily highs in the mid to high 60s, a Florida getaway can provide a welcome respite from the chilly weather at home. Visit after the holiday period to lock in the best rates.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Alachua, FL:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs displaying average price patterns by star rating class in Alachua, FL. Analyze these illustrations to determine the most cost effective months to make a reservation in Alachua throughout the year.
Luxury Hotels near Alachua, FL
4 Star Average Prices: $145.75
For real luxury, take a short drive out of Alachua and choose accommodations in nearby Gainesville. The following hotels cater for travelers who appreciate the finer things in life.
The 2017 guestroom renovations have made Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville even more appealing. While all rooms are beautiful, if you're looking for luxury, you can't bypass the executive suites which have separate bedrooms and living rooms and hospitality kitchens to help you feel at home. The outdoor pool, flanked by deck chairs and with a whirlpool attached, provides a wonderful space for relaxing. You'll look down on the pool when you dine at the No Name Lounge. Shula's American Steakhouse, founded by NFL legend Don Shula, provides another upscale on-site dining option.
Residence Inn Gainesville I-75 is a high-end hotel off the interstate, ideal for road-trippers interested in Gainesville and Alachua. All rooms are beautiful, but none beat the one- and two-bedroom suites, which have private sleeping quarters, separate living rooms, and functional, fully equipped kitchens. Wi-Fi, parking, hot buffet breakfasts, and evening social mixers on Mondays and Wednesdays are all included in the room rate. The Marriott Residence Inn also has an outdoor swimming pool, a putting green, and an outdoor patio with barbecue grills. The 24-hour business and fitness centers help you set your own schedule.
Affordable Hotels in Alachua, FL
3 Star Average Prices: $132.02
Alachua and its surrounding cities have hotels from some of the nation's most recognizable budget-friendly accommodation providers. You can always count on the following hotels for affordable prices.
Travelodge by Wyndham Alachua, formerly the Econo Lodge in Alachua, offers the amenities you want in a hotel without the frills. While the rooms aren't flashy, they are spacious and clean, with comforts such as flat-screen high-definition TVs, mini-refrigerators, and microwaves. The outdoor pool is always popular during warm weather. Travelodge by Wyndham Alachua treats its guests to free car and truck parking, free Wi-Fi, and a free continental breakfast each morning.
Extended Stay America - Gainesville - I-75 doesn't have a pool, but its rooms are a cut above the competition. They're made for extended stays, although you don't need to stay a long time to benefit from the large flat-screen TVs, comfortable beds, and full kitchens. Eating in can help you save money, but don't worry about making breakfast. The Extended Stay America Gainesville provides grab-and-go bags each morning, ideal for breakfast en route to Alachua.
2 Star Average Prices: $78.39
Alachua, FL Hotels with Discounts
Why pay full price when you can save money at hotels around Alachua? You could enjoy some big discounts when you choose accommodations from well-known providers rather than smaller boutiques.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alachua – Gainesville Area treats AAA and CAA auto club members, seniors, Entertainment Card holders, U.S. and Canadian government employees, and members of the military to preferential rates. These travelers enjoy all of the hotel's best features including modern guest rooms, free Wi-Fi, and access to the heated outdoor pool, whirlpool, and fitness center. The Express Start breakfast is also free. With mouth-watering options such as sausages, bacon, omelets, biscuits and gravy, and made-to-order pancakes, these offerings may just be enough to lure you out of bed.
Best Western Gateway Grand rolls out the carpet for AAA and CAA auto club members, AARP members and seniors, and government and military personnel. All these groups enjoy large discounts on the regular room rates, which make this upscale hotel more affordable. Grand by name and grand by nature, this hotel has several high-quality facilities such as a sparkling outdoor pool, a full-service conference center, free hot breakfasts, and Gators Den Sports Grill, the ideal place for enjoying a beer over the big game. The rooms are modern and spacious, especially the luxurious king hot tub suite.
Best Value Options in Alachua, FL
Alachua hotels are known for their value. You'll check out with a smile on your face when you choose the following popular Alachua hotels.
Quality Inn I-75 at Exit 399 prides itself on offering all guests value for the money. Its rooms are affordable, and while they don't have many frills, guests appreciate their modern appliances and inviting, pillow-covered beds — not that you'll spend a lot of time in your room. That outdoor pool beckons during warm weather. Quality Inn I-75 at Exit 399 treats all guests to free Wi-Fi, free newspapers during the week, and a free hot buffet breakfast each morning.
With a name like America's Best Value Inn Alachua, you expect nothing less than great value. While it sets expectations high, America's Best Value Inn Alachua meets them with its affordable, well-appointed rooms. Watch your favorite cable channels on the wall-mounted flat-screen or brew yourself a cup of coffee with your in-room coffeemaker. However you choose to unwind, America's Best Value Inn makes it easy. Enjoy your free breakfast each morning. It'll give you the energy you need for sightseeing or laps in the hotel's outdoor swimming pool.
Eat Out in Alachua, FL
Alachua has several great hotels to tempt your taste buds. While you'll find several national chains represented, independent eateries provide a real taste of the city. Try the following restaurants while you're in town.
Tony and Al's Restaurant & Bar is a friendly restaurant on Main Street, in the heart of Alachua's downtown area. It's known for generous portions of crowd-pleasing Italian dishes such as pizza, pasta, and thickly cut prime rib steak. The proprietors make you feel like a part of the family, ensuring you leave with your stomach full and a smile on your face. The casual atmosphere and willingness to cater for dietary requirements makes Tony and Al's a great choice for families.
Conestogas Restaurant sounds exotic, but its menu is full of American classics. The restaurant was founded in 1988 with the guiding principle of giving diners what they want. It continues to do that to this day, with sirloin steaks and chicken breasts marinated in secret blends of herbs and spices among the local specialties. If you're feeling hungry, take on the Monster Burger, a 48-ounce behemoth. Eat it all and a side to receive a free T-shirt and key lime pie, although you're unlikely to feel like dessert.
Brown's Country Buffet is another local eatery that demands you bring your appetite. This all-you-can-eat establishment serves true Southern comfort food just like your mama used to make. Think fried pork chops, fried chicken, ribs, and macaroni and cheese. Desserts such as peach cobbler and fruit pies aren't made for counting calories. Load up your plate and forget about your diet. The meal here is a worthy indulgence.
Mi Apa Latin Cafe claims to serve the best Cuban food and coffee north of Havana. All the meals are made from scratch with love, and you can taste the difference. Meals such as picadillo, arroz con pollo, and palomilla empanizada are packed with flavor. Make sure you save room for dessert though; you won't want to miss the pastelitos Cubanos.
It may not be as well-known as other locations in the Gainesville metro area, but that's what makes Alachua such an appealing vacation spot. With select accommodation options, book early to secure the best rates.
Verified reviews of the city: Alachua, FL
Below are reviews of the city of Alachua, FL from an actual visitor's perspective.
Score 4.0 / 5
The people and convenience were great. San Felasco Hammock State Park was my favorite place to visit.
The average traveler rating of the city of Alachua, FL shown above is 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 reviews