Lake City is a city in and the county seat of Columbia County, Florida, United States. As of the 2020 census, the city's population was 12,329. It is the principal city of the Lake City Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is composed of Columbia County, and had a 2010 population of 67,531. Lake City is 60 miles west of Jacksonville.
Lake City began as the town of Alligator in 1821 near the Seminole settlement known as Alligator Village. Alligator became the seat of Columbia County in 1832 when it was formed from Duval and Alachua counties. In 1858 Alligator was incorporated and renamed Lake City. The Battle of Olustee, the largest American Civil War battle in Florida, took place near Lake City in 1864. In 1884 the Florida Agricultural College was established in Lake City as a land grant college; it was relocated to Gainesville in 1905 to form part of the University of Florida. The city's sesquicentennial was held in 2009.
Lake City is known as "The Gateway to Florida" because it is