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Embrace this fall season with Gainesville's local gems!

By: Tessa May


Credit: Coterie Market Website

Fall in Florida. To most, it seems uneventful and unexciting...and often goes unnoticed. The leaves fail to change, and though the thick air may get a little less obnoxious, the sun never fails to diminish any ounce of pleasant temperature by noon. In other words, what’s so special about fall when we Floridians can hardly tell it exists?

Well, in our opinion, Gainesville doesn't apply here. Instead, our town is a prime example of the fall experience. We can thank its college-friendly nature for this. People fail to realize Gainesville, while situated in the heart of nowhere, is fall-friendly with an abundance of cozy local businesses that invite you to experience the warm and welcoming nature this season offers. There is no better time to explore the hidden gems that make Gainesville truly unique. From quaint cafes serving pumpkin-spiced treats to shops and events brimming with seasonal delights, this article is your guide to making your autumn in Gainesville anything but unexciting.

How Bazar!

Let's kick this off with a Rowdy favorite! How Bazar ( is a hotspot for Gen Z fashion and culture in the heart of Gainesville. Catering to the tastes of students and young people in the area, How Bazar has positioned itself as an empowering company, bringing together a community of style enthusiasts who share a love for both the classic and the cutting-edge. It offers a fun and trendy experience for all ages, making it a perfect way to enjoy the fall season. When you walk into How Bazar, you'll instantly be transported into a world of vintage fashion, and the warm and inviting atmosphere will make you feel right at home.

What sets How Bazar apart is its commitment to fostering a sense of community and fun. Their fall events and pop-up gatherings are known for infusing the downtown streets with vibrant scenes. With themed fashion shows, where you can witness the latest trends and classic styles come to life on the runway, and pop-up events that feature handmade crafts and unique wares, there's always something exciting happening. So, this fall, make your way to How Bazar and let the warm and welcoming world of vintage fashion enhance your seasonal experience in Gainesville. It's not just a store; it's a memorable fall experience waiting to happen!

The Coterie Market

The Coterie Market (@coteriemarketgnv) is up next on our list of must-do’s! This delightful marketplace was born with a passion for blending local culture, flavor, and style. But why is it a must-visit this fall? The answer lies in their commitment to creating a light-hearted cultural hub in Gainesville. Whether you're into DIY picnics, aesthetic flower bouquets, or exploring the world of superfoods, Coterie Market is the place to be. Picture a sunny afternoon, and you step into a breezy ambiance at this vintage market, introducing you to the flavors and settings that define the season of fall. From the warm and spicy "Golden Hour" latte to the flowery and refreshing "Flower Power," their drink selection captures the essence of this season.

In addition to their beverages, Coterie Market hosts a marketplace featuring international and local vendor goods. Exploring the market can be a fun and leisurely activity, especially as you search for items to add a touch of autumn to your day. So, whether you're sipping on a fall-inspired latte or shopping for treasures, this unique venue adds charm to your fall season in Gainesville.

Life Unplastic!

As fall takes over, there is no doubt that cooking warm, hearty meals becomes an ideal activity. Therefore, what better time to embrace sustainable living in your cooking routine? Enter Life Unplastic (@unplasticgnv), not just a store but a mission-driven experience. Their primary goal is to promote a reduction in waste while making sustainable, eco-friendly products accessible, convenient, and affordable. So, why should you visit Life Unplastic as part of your fall plans?

Life Unplastic is not your ordinary store; it's a full-service, zero-waste refillery. What does that mean? It's a retail goods store where you can purchase various products in reusable containers, taking a step beyond the traditional bulk bins at your regular grocery store. You can bring your empty containers, or you can use community-donated jars to be filled with your desired product. If you're looking for ways to reduce waste in your life and be part of the solution to our plastic pollution problem, Life Unplastic is the place to fulfill all your season-inspired cooking needs. Not only will you have the chance to shop for eco-friendly products, but you'll also be supporting a local business with a mission to positively impact the environment!

Lovely Local Eats!

Now, what if you're not the most fantastic cook? If going out to eat is more your style, we’ve got you, so don't worry. We won't let you miss these delicious local eateries. Public & General (@public_and_general), nestled in the heart of the Northeast neighborhood, is first up, offering an exceptional dining experience that perfectly aligns with the spirit of autumn. Whether you're craving a comforting sandwich or a carefully crafted cheese platter, you'll find something to satisfy your appetite. Step into Public & General, and you'll be transported to a vintage-chic pub filled with character. The cozy ambiance sets the stage for a memorable fall gathering. With outdoor seating available, you can bask in the fall foliage and cool breezes while enjoying your meal. And it's not just us who think so; this hidden gem has earned rave reviews from delighted patrons who describe it as "absolutely delicious and so chill."

In my opinion, there's no better way to truly embrace fall time than by indulging in not just one- but a food park full of delicious destinations! Nestled in Gainesville, FL, the 4th Ave Food Park (@4thavefoodpark) is the perfect spot to satisfy your taste buds and celebrate the changing season. The park hosts a collection of eateries, each with its unique offerings, ensuring there's something for everyone! As the temperatures drop, warm up with a visit to Opus Coffee. Whether you're in the mood for a simple, locally roasted cup or a specialty drink, they've got you covered. Beyond caffeine, fall mornings also call for a fulfilling breakfast, and Humble Wood Fire Bagels delivers just that. Their unique and tasteful bagels and various cream cheeses, spreads, and flavors provide a delicious start to your day.

One of the joys of fall is the pleasant outdoor weather, and the 4th Ave Food Park's setting allows you to savor your meals while enjoying this slightly crisper air!

Markets and more!

As fall douses Gainesville in warm and earthy tones, there's no better way to savor these surroundings than by treating yourself to local produce, artisanal foods, and handmade gifts. Grove Street Farmers Market (@grovestreetfarmersmarket) and Haile Farmers Market (@hailefarmersmarket) are two community gems that promise a fun-filled fall experience. The Grove Street Farmers Market was created from a deep love for the community and a passion for fresh, healthy, and authentic food. Every Monday from 4 pm to 7 pm, this market comes alive with an impressive display of farm-fresh offerings.

The Haile Farmers Market is an independent farmers market owned and operated by local farmers. You're not just shopping for produce; you're connecting with the very people who grow it. Each Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to Noon, the tree-lined streets of the Haile Village Center turn into a bustling market that has something for everyone. Fall is a time of abundance, and both markets capture the season's essence with various locally grown products. You'll find fresh, organic fruits and vegetables that reflect the autumn harvest and other staples for cozy fall meals. As the holiday season approaches, the craft vendors at these markets also offer one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts. Whether shopping for someone special or treating yourself, you'll find countless items that capture the true fall spirit.

During fall, when leaves usually transform into deep, vibrant hues and the air turns increasingly colder, Florida often seems like the odd one out. The usual markers of seasonal change are scarce in the Sunshine State. Yet, here in Gainesville, we are fortunate to discover that our fall doesn't need to rotate around the weather. Gainesville is where fall is celebrated not for its traditional appearance but for the warm and welcoming heart it brings for local businesses, who then share it with its residents.

This article has been your guide to embracing autumn in Gainesville by enjoying its small businesses that take the time to make seasonal change memorable. So, as you venture out to sip on a warm beverage at one of our quaint cafés or immerse yourself in the festivities of a local market, remember that it's the little things that make spending fall in our beloved town all worthwhile.

(Don't forget to support small businesses this fall season...and every season after :) !!


Tessa May is a second-year Online Editorial Writer of Rowdy and an Advertising student at UF. In her free time, she enjoys time at the gym, mindless Pinterest surfing, and creating excellent playlists for her every mood.

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