The many lakes, rivers and streams near Gainesville make this a tranquil town with plenty of neighboring beauty.
Gainesville’s official founding date is up for debate, but according to the volunteers who work at the Ozark County Historium, the city was once much larger than it is today. Back in 1857, the spot where Gainesville sits was chosen as the county seat. But as Ozark County was split up into a series of small towns, redistricting lines cut through the hilly area and created Gainesville in the 1860s—with a 2011 population of 763.
Like in most small towns, navigating through Gainesville is as simple as making two left turns and winding up at the town square. And with only a handful of restaurants, scouting a savory lunch spot is a breeze. The Black Bear Grill (Hwy 5 N, HC1 Box 275, Gainesville, 417-679-3344) is a crowd favorite, with a hunky burger that comes loaded with a special barbecue sauce and an over-sized crispy onion ring. Other down-home kitchen classics like hot ham and bean soup are made-to-order. With a delectable lunch spot secured, the residents of Gainesville turn their attention to the seasonal outdoor attractions that keep them busy year-round.
Summertime brings people from throughout 417-land to the North Folk River and Bull Shoals Lake nestled deep in Ozark County. Fall plays host to the infamous Hootin an Hollarin Festival that attracts visitors from across the United States. Winter snows blanket the Ozarks hills with powdery white, and spring livens Ozark County with a palette of bright colors. It’s easy for visitors to fall in love with the beauty of this area, but the residents of Gainesville get to enjoy this beauty year-round and share with 417 Magazine which season they love the most and why.