Travel and Area Information
The 2014 International Firefly Symposium will be held in Gainesville, Florida – home to the University of Florida, the largest and oldest university in the state. While you're in town, you'll have a chance to visit the famous Butterfly Rainforest and the Florida Museum of Natural History. Adventure awaits you in the crystal clear freshwater springs and rivers in the area. The quaint collection of shops, restaurants, theatres, and parks in Downtown Gainesville are also a to-do. So add an extra day or two to your trip, because you surely won't want to miss the sights while you're here! For more information on attractions and dining options in Gainesville, check out Visit Gainesville.
Note: Visa information for foreign travelers to the United States can be found here.
August in Gainesville is very warm with average highs in the low 90s and average lows in the mid 70s.
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Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) is located just a few miles north of the University of Florida and the symposium host hotel, Hilton University of Florida. You can find information about the taxi companies, rental car companies, and public bus route that service GNV under the Traveler Info section of the airport website.
Additional airports are located in the Jacksonville (JAX), Orlando (MCO), and Tampa (TPA) areas, all within a 2-3 hour drive from the University of Florida. For travel to Gainesville from these regional airports, you may consider renting a car or a shuttle service.
(Prices subject to change)
Gainesville Regional Transit System (RTS): Symposium organizers are offering participants the opportunity to purchase all-day bus passes from Gainesville Regional Transit System in order to assist with transportation over the conference dates. Participants will be able to request and purchase bus passes on the symposium registration form at a rate of $3 per day. Passes can be picked up at the symposium Registration desk; they will not be mailed in advance. If utilized, an RTS bus driver will punch the all-day pass on the day it is used, and each pass is valid for one day only with unlimited transfers and rides on the day it is punched. For bus schedules and detailed route information, visit the RTS website or call 352-334-2600 (between 7:00am-6:00pm). You may also view this video for step by step instructions on how to correctly read the RTS City and UF Campus schedule. Please note, RTS buses do not operate all night, and it is recommended that you arrive at a bus stop 15 minutes before the bus arrival time.
Hilton University of Florida Shuttle: The symposium host hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to and from Gainesville Regional Airport, based on availability. This service is available from 7:00am to 10:00pm daily. Once you have scheduled your flight and know your arrival date and time, email Ms. Diana Benintend with the Hilton at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a shuttle reservation.
EZ Airport Shuttle: Services roundtrip between Jacksonville and Gainesville for roughly $120 for up to three passengers. To guarantee availability, prior arrangements should be made by 8:00pm the night before and can be arranged by calling 904-741-3740 or 866-722-0111. For more information, visit the EZ Shuttle website.
Executive Limo: Services roundtrip between Orlando and Gainesville. A town car for up to 4 people can be rented for $185.00 between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm, and $185 during all other hours. Prior arrangements must be made and can be arranged by calling 1-800-588-9693.
Red Coach USA: Luxury bus company services multiple cities in Florida and would be an ideal option for transportation between Tampa Airport and Gainesville. First and business class stop in Gainesville is the Park-N-Ride Lot #1 on the University of Florida campus, about a 5 minute walk to the symposium host hotel, Hilton University of Florida. Roundtrip transportation between Tampa and Gainesville can be secured for approximately $100. For more information, destination cities, bus schedule, and pricing, visit the Red Coach website.
Car Rental Discount:
Avis is offering 2014 International Firefly Symposium participants discounted rental car rates over the conference dates, and 7 days prior to and following the conference. To take advantage of these reduced rates, make your Avis reservation using Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) reference #J907675. Be sure to mention this reference number when making reservations via telephone. Reserve early to ensure the best rate!
When traveling on I-75 Northbound (from Tampa or Orlando), take exit
#384. Turn right onto Archer Road and follow to SW 34th Street. Turn
left on 34th Street, hotel is three blocks down on the left.
traveling on I-75 Southbound (from Jacksonville, Tallahassee or
Georgia), take exit #384. Turn left onto Archer Road and follow to SW
34th Street. Turn left on 34th Street, hotel is three blocks down on
the left. View further directions, map, and airport information here.
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