North Central Florida Cities and Counties
"The Heart of Florida"
Counties in North Central Florida
(in alphabetical order)
Alachua County - Gainesville is the largest city and county seat.
Bradford County - Starke is the largest city and county seat. Located north-northeast of
Clay County - Middleburg is the largest place and Green Cove Springs is the county seat. Clay County is part of the Lake Region with over 100 lakes of many sizes and borders the St. Johns River.
Located northeast of Gainesville.
Columbia County - Lake City is the largest city and county seat. Located north-northwest of
Dixie County - Cross City is the largest city and county seat. Dixie County is mostly rural and is part of the Nature Coast on the Gulf of Mexico. The Suwannee River forms the east border and the Gulf of Mexico is to the south. Located west of Gainesville.
Gilchrist County - Trenton is the largest city and county seat. Gilchrist County is directly west of Gainesville and is mostly rural. Progressive Farmer Magazine has named Gilchrist County as the 9th Best Place To Live In Rural America. It is a short drive to the big city, has quiet country roads, abundant springs, and borders the Suwannee River and Santa Fe River. Located west of Gainesville.
Levy County - Chiefland is the largest city and Bronson is the county seat. Levy County is part of the Nature Coast on the Gulf of Mexico. Located southwest of Gainesville.
Marion County - Ocala is the largest city and county seat. Marion County is directly south of Gainesville and has the largest population of the counties in North Central Florida. It is the center of Florida Horse Country and has numerous horse farms and equestrian centers. The Ocala National Forest covers all of eastern Marion County. Located south of Gainesville.
Putnam County - Palatka is the largest city and county seat. Putnam County is part of the Lake Region with over 100 lakes of many sizes. The St. Johns River forms the east border. Located
east of Gainesville.
Union County - Lake Butler is the largest city and county seat. Located north of Gainesville.
Cities and Unincorporated Places in North Central Florida
(in alphabetical order)
Alachua - The City of Alachua is located in Alacua County just north of Gainesville and has
major biotechnology companies and distribution centers. There are homes for every
lifestyle and price range in Alachua a short drive to the University of Florida.
Archer - The City of Archer is located in Alachua County southwest of Gainesville and is an
easy drive to the University of Florida.
Bell - The City of Bell is near the Suwannee River in western Gilchrist County.
Branford - The City of Branford is on the Suwannee River in southern Suwannee County.
Bronson - The City of Bronson is the county seat of Levy County and is well within communting
distance of Gainesville.
Brooker - The City of Brooker is in southern Union County, on the Santa Fe River, and very near
Cedar Key - The City of Cedar Key is located on the Gulf of Mexico in Levy County
southwest of Gainesville. It is known for fishing, boating, and seafood restaurants.
Cedar Key has gulf front condos with a small fishing village lifestyle.
Chiefland - The City of Chiefland is in northern Levy County on the Nature Coast not far from
the Gulf of Mexico.
Cross City - The City of Cross City is the largest city in Dixie County but is a small rural
city in nature. It is in the center of the Nature Coast Region very near the Gulf of
Mexico and extensive wildlife conservation areas.
Earleton - An unincorporated community in Alachua County on the west shore of Santa Fe
Lake. There are several blueberry farms in Earleton and nice waterfront homes and
Gainesville - See the Gainesville Facts page for a complete description. Gainesville is the
largest city in North Central Florida and is located in the center of the region. It is the
home of the University of Florida which is the largest employer in the area.
Green Cove Springs
Hawthorne - The City of Hawthorne is located in Alachua County east of Gainesville in the
Lake Region. The area has over 100 lakes of many sizes and nice waterfront
High Springs - The City of High Springs is in Alachua County northwest of Gainesville.
The area has numerous springs along the Santa Fe River.
Interlachen - The City of Interlachen is in Putnam County east of Gainesville. The area
has many lakes and waterfront lots abound.
Keystone Heights - The City of Keystone Heights is located in Clay County northeast of
Gainesville in the Lake Region. There are numerous lakes of many sizes good for
swimming, boating, and fishing. Keystone Heights and the surrounding area have
many nice waterfront homes.
La Crosse - The Town of La Crosse is located in Alachua County north of Gainesville.
There are several large developments proposed for the La Crosse area.
Lake Butler - The City of Lake Butler is in Union County north of Gainesville. The area
is rural with many farms and large lot homesites.
Lake City - The City of Lake City is the largest city in Columbia County and is north of
Gainesville and west of Jacksonville. It is at the intersection of highways I-10 and
I-75 which makes it in the path of growth from both of the larger cities.
Melrose - An unincorporated community to the east of Gainesville that straddles four
lines. Parts of Melrose are in Alachua, Bradford, Clay, and Putnam counties. It is
in the center of the Lake Region and has numerous small, medium, and large
lakes and many waterfront homes. Melrose is a short drive to Gainesville and the
University of Florida.
Middleburg - An unincorporated community in Clay County that is a suburb of
Newberry - The City of Newberry is in Alachua County and a western suburb of Gainesville.
Ocala - The City of Ocala is the largest city in Marion County and is located south of
Gainesville. It is the second largest city in North Central Florida, but has the
largest suburban area in the region. East of Ocala is the Ocala National Forest and
west of the city are numerous horse farms and equestrian centers. It is the center
of the Florida thoroughbred horse industry.
Palatka - The City of Palatka is the largest city in Putnam County and is located east of
Gainesville. It is on the St. Johns River.
Starke - The City of Starke is the largest city in Bradford County and is northeast of
Gainesville and southwest of Jacksonville. It is located on heavily traveled highway
Waldo - The City of Waldo is located in Alachua County northeast of Gainesville. The
Amtrak railroad station that serves Gainesville is in Waldo. It is on heavily
traveled highway U.S. 301.
Windsor - An unincorporated community in Alachua County east of Newnans Lake and
Gainesville. There are several blueberry farms in Windsor and it is mostly rural in
character even though it borders Gainesville.
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