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Hi moms, I'm a dad considering moving to Gainesville with family (we have two kids, ages 2 and 4). We have comparable job offers in Gainesville and Tallahassee. So how do you think Gainesville compares to Tallahassee in terms of family friendliness, living cost, cultural openness, etc.? Will appreciate very much your objective opinions. 

Thanks!

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Well I have never lived in Tally, but I moved BACK to Gainesville after moving to Sarasota County - one of those "rich with culture" places. Totally did not do it for me. I love it here and always will it seems. There seem to be endless things to do with families of all age groups including some short drives to get to other opportunities if you want. Day trips from here would include either coast and if you are very diligent you might be able to squeeze in an Orlando attraction in a day. Cost of living here is about average with what we paid in Sarasota County, which I find to be a bit high given the economy, but it is not debilitating. Depends on where and how you live I am sure. We actually moved to just outside the city itself so there is less hustle and bustle in Newberry, and I love a small town, but we can be in downtown Gainesville in 15-30 minutes depending the time of day. I was not so worried with the cultural aspect now as with getting the kids in a nice family neighborhood with good schools and that is what we found. Good thing you did not ask about football.... that is a whole 'nother subject, and Gainesville STILL wins! =)
I moved to Gainesville a little over two years ago and have fallen in love with the place. I have a four and six year old and have found that I have a vast choice of child care centers and the school my son goes to is great with him. I like the fact that Gainesville always has a lot to do but still has a smaller town feel. Haven't lived in Tallahassee but was in Jacksonville for awhile and this is such a better place to be. Less traffic, good choices for medical care and nice neighborhoods.
Jax is nothing like Tally--Jax is a very unfriendly place in my opinion--I avoid going there like the plague. G'ville is ok--it lacks in culture in some ways--there really is only one museum--and it isn't much of one. I thought that haivng the uni here there would be more diversity in foods but not. Everything revolves around the Uni, the taxes here are very high because there is no tax base (uni, students and the churches don't pay any taxes so those of us who live here really get hit hard in comparison to other parts of Fl), If you are over the age of 29 there isn't much in the way of night entertainment--again everything is geared toward the Uni crowd. There are some awesome smaller towns around G'ville--but you still get hit with those high taxes. In addition, because of the Uni crowd here the cost of gas, etc is much higher. Yes, Tally has FSU there but they also have a lot of other businesses (large employers) that G'ville doesn't have at all. It does change the demographics quite a bit. As for being driving distance--Tally is just as close as G'ville is to pretty much everything. Check both out carefully--depending on what you value most you will find one more attractive than the other.
I too lived in both cities. Currently live here in Gainesville. Honestly, Gainesville is the way to go! Tall. is a nice place, but it does not really offer much for family. Here there is so much culture and free things to do throughout the year. I would suggest you take a weekend trip to both cities and see for yourself. Wish you the best of luck.
I've never lived in Tallahassee, so I don't know how much help I can offer. But I can say that I love living here in Gainesville. I moved her from outside of Tampa to attend UF and stayed after graduating.

Gainesville is just a wonderful place to raise a family. There is always something going on (festivals, museum events, university happenings, etc.) We are pretty much always able to find something fun and either free or low cost for my 4-year-old to enjoy in our free time. In fact, we are thinking about heading onto campus tonight because the Florida Museum of Natural History is hosting a fun space event with crafts and activities for kids.

Good luck finding the right place for you and your family! And if you do decide to move to Gainesville, you'll have to try to bring your family to one of our GainesvilleMoms events! We'd love to meet you all. :-)
Hi Moms--thanks for your very helpful replies! It appears there is a nice sense of community in Gainesville and hopefully we'll someday become part of it... We'll definitely look you up if we decide to move to Gainesville!

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