Gainesville, FL

Fun to be found off the beaten path - part II.

Matthew C. Woodruff

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Off the Beaten Path Header(Matthew Woodruff)

A Big Tree, Great Wine and Secret Discoveries.

A new University of Florida study concludes that Blueberry wine has more antioxidants than many grape-based wines, and according to Wade Yang, a food science and human nutrition assistant professor with IFAS, for people seeking the potential health benefits of a glass of wine, blueberry wine is a comparable, and, in many instances, better alternative to grape wines.

Blueberry wine. I’ve had it. It’s good, and it’s produced right here in Alachua County, Fl. at Bluefield Estate Winery, 22 NE County Road 234 Gainesville, an easy drive for a fun day of discovery. This winery handcrafts and bottles their own wine. Wine tastings are available Thursday – Saturday. The tasting cost starts at $5 for four wines. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t left with several bottles of wine tucked under their arms.

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Bottle of Wine(Bluefield Winery)

In the other direction from Gainesville, is Florida’s largest Live Oak, the Cellon Oak, found in Cellon Oak Park located on NW 169th Place, just off SR 121 N. This is one big tree. Easy to get to, easy to park and just a short walk into a field. Bring something to take pictures with.

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Cellon Oak(Matthew Woodruff)

Gainesville’s jewel of secret discoveries has to be the UF campus. No matter what part of the 2000-acre campus you go for a stroll in you are bound to find hidden parks and courtyards filled with flowers and birds and burbling fountains. Stunning sculptures are scattered throughout the campus like they were sprinkled there at random. You’ll see architectural wonders listed on the National Register of Historical Places, small art galleries galore and even a miniature medieval cathedral built from Florida cypress, yellow pine and copper.

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Gothic Cathedral(marketing photo - public license)

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Garden of Hope(marketing photo - public license)

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UF Sculpture(marketing photo - public license)

To make the whole adventure more pleasant, in 2016 UF opened their ‘Campus Greenway’ a 2.5 Mile biking/walking trail running East/West on the South side of campus. I’ve walked through parts of the campus multiple times, and I am still discovering wonderful places and things I never saw before.

Happy discovering!

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Matthew is a free-lance journalist, and an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories, as well as an ordained minister who served as a domestic missionary. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and the spark that makes people tick. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

Gainesville, FL
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