North Central Florida

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North Central Florida is a region of the U.S. state of Florida which comprises the north-central part of the state and encompasses the Gainesville Metropolitan Statistical Area (Alachua and Gilchrist counties), and the North Florida counties of Bradford, Columbia, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Marion, Putnam, Suwannee and Union counties. The region's largest city is Gainesville (the home of the University of Florida), while the largest metropolitan area is the Ocala Metropolitan Area. Other principal cities in the region include Lake City, Live Oak, and Palatka.

Location of North Central Florida within Florida
Location of the Gainesville Metropolitan Statistical Area in Florida

North Central Florida


Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Marion, Putnam, Suwannee and Union

Major cities

Lake City

Like the Florida Panhandle, this region is often reckoned as part of the Deep South, as compared to the rest of the state.[1] The majority of white Americans in North Central Florida are traditionally of relatively unmixed English ancestry.

The landscape and climate of North Central Florida does not portray the sub-tropical environment most associate with Florida. The landscape of North Central Florida has gently rolling hills dominated by magnolia trees and large Southern live oak hammocks draped with Spanish moss.

The region also has large expanses of pine tree forests. The climate is quite mild throughout the year but has very distinct winters with temperatures dropping below freezing quite often.


North Central Florida's southernmost county, Marion County, borders northern Central Florida and some regions of the Nature Coast area. Many other counties in the region border the Nature Coast area, Alachua, Gilchrist and Hamilton included. North Central Florida is not affected by hurricanes as much as its neighboring counties to the east and west

Cities and towns[edit]

North Central Florida has a few cities and many small towns or settlements, some of which are along rivers and lakes.

Incorporated Community Designation County Population
Alachua City Alachua 9,272
Belleview Town Marion 4,509
Bell Village Gilchrist 549
Brooker Village Bradford 334
Fort White Village Columbia 556
Gainesville City Alachua 126,047
Greenville Village Madison 824
Hampton Village Bradford 495
Hawthorne Town Alachua 1,428
High Springs Town Alachua 5,494
Interlachen Town Putnam 1,396
Jasper Town Hamilton 5,452
LaCrosse Village Alachua 360
Lake City City Columbia 12,099
Lawtey Village Bradford 730
Lee Village Madison 386
Live Oak City Suwannee 6,919
Madison Town Madison 2,769
Micanopy Village Alachua 606
Ocala City Marion 56,945
Palatka City Putnam 10,472
Pomona Park Village Putnam 908
Reddick Village Marion 508
Starke Town Bradford 5,405
Trenton Town Gilchrist 1,988
Waldo Town Alachua 1,022

Attractions in North Central Florida[edit]

Unlike Central Florida and the Suncoast area, North Central Florida does not have many amusement parks or large theme parks. Instead, it features many parks with nature as their theme. North Central Florida also has many small turn-of-the-century towns that represent the culture of the Deep South. A significant attraction of North Central Florida is that it is the main location of the University of Florida, and the site of the stadiums for its sports teams, the Florida Gators.