Gainesville scores high in Top 100 Best Places to Live

Gainesville is ranked the 34th best American small- to mid-sized city on’s list of Top 100 Best Places to Live, based on surveys and data analysis of amenities that residents value most.

The city fared better in the list of Top 10 college towns, trailing only No. 1 Boulder, Colo. and Ann Arbor, Mich.

In the Top 100 list, Gainesville scored highest in the healthcare category, with the fourth-highest score, based on access to hospitals and average spending on healthcare.

The city also scored high in education and amenities. Education includes quality of public schools, resident education levels and the presence of colleges and universities.

“College towns have a number of key advantages: a constant influx of new residents; enhanced cultural opportunities often of a scale you’d find only in the largest cities; a more stable economy due to a dominant industry that is less volatile than most; and a means of creating a unique identity and sense of pride in the community,” Editor Matt Carmichael wrote.

Amenities includes options for entertainment, culture, healthy living and recreation, based on farmers markets, golf courses, parks, weather and the role of arts in the community.

Gainesville’s lowest score was in housing, based on access to affordable housing, home prices and how they relate to income, age of housing, occupancy and the ratio of owners to renters.

The other categories are economics, infrastructure, demographics, and social and civic capital.

Palto Alto, Calif., is the top-ranked city in the nation and Miami Beach is the top-ranked city in Florida at No. 5 overall. does not list a Top 100 Best Places to Live for 2012.

Source: The Gainesville Sun



Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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