What Are The 8 Safest Neighborhoods In Gainesville, FL?

Paige Hanawalt
by Paige Hanawalt

Gainesville is a city located in northern Florida. It is most well known as the home of the University of Florida. Thanks to the school, there are several museums and a vibrant music scene. There are 8 state parks in Gainesville which boast activities for nature lovers too! If you’re thinking about moving to Gainesville, you’re probably wondering about its safety.

The safest neighborhoods in Gainesville are located outside of the city center. This includes East Williston, Keystone Heights, Archer, Hawthorne, and East Bronson. These neighborhoods have crime rates lower than the national average. Keystone Heights boasts the highest safety rating, with a total crime rate 58% less than the national average.

Life in Gainesville is centered around the university, and there is always plenty to do! Between restaurants, historical buildings, sporting events, and a farmer’s market, there’s always something new to try. If you want to move to Gainesville, there are also several different safe neighborhoods to choose from.

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8 Safest Neighborhoods in Gainesville, FL

You’ll want to get out of the Gainesville city center to find the safest neighborhoods. There are several small neighborhoods and suburbs that are much calmer than the areas that surround the University of Florida. In addition to safety, these neighborhoods have good school systems, access to green spaces, and amenities.

The 8 safest neighborhoods in Gainesville, FL are:

  • East Williston
  • Keystone Heights
  • Archer
  • Hawthorne
  • East Bronson
  • Newberry
  • Alachua
  • High Springs

Let’s explore each neighborhood.

1. East Williston

  • Population: 626
  • Median Income: $46,000
  • Crime Rate: 0% less than the national average
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.8%

East Williston is located south of downtown Gainesville. It’s suburban and most homes boast spacious backyards. You could easily work in the city center as East Williston is just a 30-minute drive away. You’ll get all of the convenience of the city without having to live in the middle of it. The suburban atmosphere guarantees peace and quiet!

The crime rate in East Williston is the same as the national average. The cost of living is lower than the Florida average as well as the national average, making this Gainesville neighborhood affordable and safe.

The cost of childcare is also below the national average, which means that it would be a great place to raise a family. The Heritage Park in nearby Williston is perfect for pets and children as well.

2. Keystone Heights

  • Population: 1,530
  • Median Income: $60,667
  • Crime Rate: 58% less than the national average
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%

Keystone Heights is northeast of Gainesville and is also about a 30-minute drive away. This Florida neighborhood is located on Lake Geneva which is a great place to cool down when the weather’s hot and humid!

During warmer months you can expect to see people out and about enjoying the views the lake has to offer. There are also a lot of parks which makes the neighborhood ideal for nature lovers. There is no shortage of outdoor activities in Keystone Heights.

The crime rate in Keystone Heights is 58% less than the national average! There are also plenty of nearby amenities like restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. If you’re considering a move to the area with your kids, the schools are above average.

3. Archer

  • Population: 1,397
  • Median Income: $31,141
  • Crime Rate: 53% less than the national average
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.7%

Archer is a neighborhood located southwest of the center of Gainesville. The crime rate is 53% less than the national average on all accounts, including violent and property crime. Archer’s livability score is higher than most places in the surrounding area.

You’ll need a car here as there aren’t many amenities within walking distance. That gives the neighborhood a real suburban feel, as it is very residential. Residents say that there is a strong sense of community in Archer.

The cost of living is lower than the national average. Archer is a great place for a young family to buy a first home. Housing prices vary, and there are plenty of affordable options on the market. The median home value is 29% lower than the national average!

4. Hawthorne

  • Population: 1,711
  • Median Income: $27,500
  • Crime Rate: 49% less than the national average
  • Unemployment Rate: 11.7%

With a crime rate 49% less than the national average, Hawthorne is one of the safest neighborhoods in Gainesville. It’s located to the east of downtown. It’s the perfect place for a student to call home with three community colleges close by.

You will need a car in this neighborhood as there aren’t many amenities on foot, but that means that the streets are quiet and calm. Residents describe Hawthorne as quaint and the quality of life is better than some other Gainesville neighborhoods.

There is so much to do outside in Hawthorne, thanks to access to over 400 lakes. Walking, biking, hunting, and fishing are just a few of the leisure activities that you can enjoy here! Don’t miss the Little Orange Creek Nature Park, in particular.

5. East Bronson

  • Population: 2,321
  • Median Income: $31,000
  • Crime Rate: 42% less than the national average
  • Unemployment Rate: 10.3%

East Bronson is located about 25-minutes southwest of Gainesville. It’s a quiet and historical neighborhood, and the crime rate is 42% less than the national average, making it a safe place to live.

The small downtown area of East Bronson features a few gas stations, convenience stores, and some other shops. With Gainesville just over 20-minutes away by car, these few amenities are more than enough for this neighborhood with a population of just over 2,300.

Take a drive to check out the few historical buildings that have been preserved. If you’re looking for outdoor activities, head to Blue Springs Park where you can take a dip in the clear, blue water. You can also go hiking, kayaking, and fishing in the area!

6. Newberry

  • Population: 5,410
  • Median Income: $62,325
  • Crime Rate: 10% less than the national average
  • Unemployment Rate: 1.8%

Newberry, located 20-minutes away from Gainesville to the west, is a safe neighborhood outside of the city center to settle down in. It’s another historical town with constructions from the late 19th century. There’s even a historical area which features 48 historic buildings to admire!

The atmosphere in Newberry is very rural, calm, and quiet. The downtown area features some shops, a bank, food stores, and restaurants. If you’re looking for a small-town feel, Newberry is the best place for it. Another place of interest in the neighborhood is called the Dudley Farm Historic State Park.

With a crime rate lower than the national average and plenty to do and see, Newberry is a great choice for a safe neighborhood in Gainesville, FL!

7. Alachua

  • Population: 9,553
  • Median Income: $55,139
  • Crime Rate: 8% more than the national average
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%

Alachua is larger than many of the other neighborhoods on this list, but residents say that they feel like it’s a small community! The quality of life is above average and there has been steady job growth over the past few years thanks to the international corporations there.

There are several nearby amenities like supermarkets, restaurants, and other shops. Alachua is one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the area and there are some beautiful homes for sale there.

For those of you with children, there are four public schools in Alachua! There are outdoor activities here too, like horseback riding and biking trails. There are lakes and streams too if you want to get out on the water! Alachua boasts a historic main street for all of you history buffs.

8. High Springs

  • Population: 5,678
  • Median Income: $47,401
  • Crime Rate: 16% more than the national average
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.8%

High Springs is located northwest of Gainesville. While the population is relatively small, coming in at just over 5,600 people, the downtown area is bustling. There are antique shops, restaurants, and various other stores.

There are a lot of outdoor activities to do, too. True to its name, High Springs is the home to several different natural springs! Ichetucknee State Park is just 20-minutes away and features hiking trails and even snorkeling. If you move here, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get outside.

The schools in High Springs rate above average and the homes tend to have large yards which make this neighborhood a good place to raise children! Plus, home prices are lower than the national average.

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Our Takeaway

Gainesville, FL and the surrounding area have much to offer its residents. Although generally speaking the crime rate is higher than the national average, there are some areas that are completely safe to live in.

Like any large city, there are some places in Gainesville you should be careful of. The safest neighborhoods include East Williston, Keystone Heights, Archer, Hawthorne, East Bronson, Newberry, Alachua, and High Springs. These are the best places to live in Gainesville, FL!

Paige Hanawalt
Paige Hanawalt

Paige is an elementary school librarian with a passion for writing. Her hobbies include reading an exorbitant amount of fantasy, slowly teaching herself to draw, and home decor. While she isn't the most talented artist or interior designer, what she lacks in skill she more than makes up for in enthusiasm. When she's not curled up with a book, you can certainly find her curled over the keyboard.

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