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Travel site ranks Gainesville among top fall destinations in Southern USA
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Colorful trees reflecting on the water on Lake Lanier at Longwood Park. - photo by Scott Rogers

Gainesville is one of the best Southern cities to visit in the fall, according to

Ranked alongside other cities whose population sits below 100,000, including Auburn, Alabama, and Cookeville, Tennessee, Gainesville made the list due to its variety of attractions to visit, such as Lake Lanier, where the city hosted Olympic rowing and kayaking events in 1996.

There are also places for nature lovers, like Elachee Nature Science and Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve. 

In addition to the “perfect weather” Gainesville experiences around this time of year, the city also boasts a diverse array of activities from art to history to dining, according to Director of Tourism Robyn Lynch.

Among Gainesville’s most popular fall events is the three-day Mule Camp Market, Lynch added, which draws over 50,000 attendees each year.

Lynch said she feels proud that people still want to visit Southern areas of the U.S. 

As the director of tourism, she hopes that visitors will agree that “we have a great community.”

According to Regina Ingebrigtsen, Gainesville Convention & Visitor Bureau sales and marketing manager, another reason Gainesville is a must-visit destination is it's a “gateway to the mountains” and other North Georgia destinations, like Helen. 

While still considered a small city according to TravelMag’s terms, Gainesville’s population grew 2.5% between April 2020 and July 2021, bringing the estimated population to 43,417, according to the latest census information.

Gainesville's growth is not just within the population, but also its economic development with new restaurants and shopping centers, like City Mill Market in New Holland where Taco Mac and Nothing Bundt Cakes have recently opened.

“I think it’s amazing,” Ingebrigtsen said, adding she hopes guests feel welcome when they visit the city. “I want them to leave Gainesville wanting to come back.”