A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Cocoa Beach vs. Gainesville for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cocoa Beach or Gainesville?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Cocoa Beach and Gainesville. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Cocoa Beach or Gainesville?

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach, Florida has long been a favorite vacation spot for travelers looking for sun, sand, and waves. The location was also made famous as the setting for the 1960's television show, "I Dream of Jeannie". The town of just over 11,000 is located in Brevard County along the Atlantic coast. Many people visit the area because of its excellent surfing. There are many surfing festivals and competitions held here yearly and the famous Ron Jon's surf shop receives about 2 million visitors a year. The city is also home to the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame.

Gainesville

Home to the University of Florida as well as Santa Fe College, the town of Gainesville has all of the shopping, entertainment, and restaurants that you could want in a college town - plus easy access to a number of outdoor adventures from canoeing, diving, and kayaking to birding, fishing, hiking, and biking. Some of the top features include the Butterfly Rainforest, the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, and Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park.

Which city is cheaper, Gainesville or Cocoa Beach?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cocoa Beach is $116, while the average daily cost in Gainesville is $172. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cocoa Beach and Gainesville in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cocoa Beach $68
    Gainesville $95
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cocoa Beach $136
    Gainesville $190
Compare Hotels in Cocoa Beach and Gainesville

Looking for a hotel in Cocoa Beach or Gainesville? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cocoa Beach


Hotels in Gainesville


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Cocoa Beach Hotel Prices and Gainesville Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cocoa Beach $20
    Gainesville $32

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cocoa Beach

Also for Cocoa Beach, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Shared Port Canaveral Round-trip Transfer: $43
  • Private Van Service Transfer to or from Orlando International Airport: $101
  • Private Transfer from Cocoa Beach to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $264
  • Private Transfer from Cocoa Beach to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $267

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Gainesville

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Gainesville:

  • Private Transfer from Gainesville to Port Canaveral: $658
  • Private Transfer from Gainesville to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $676
  • Private Transfer from Gainesville to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $453

Is it cheaper to fly into Cocoa Beach or Gainesville?

Prices for flights to both Gainesville and Cocoa Beach change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cocoa Beach $35
    Gainesville $56

Typical Food prices in Gainesville

Some typical examples of dining costs in Gainesville are as follows:


  • Diner Breakfast for Two
    $17
  • Lunch at Chop Stix (for 2)
    $24

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cocoa Beach $13
    Gainesville $16

Tours and Activities in Cocoa Beach

For Cocoa Beach, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Cocoa Beach Mural Tour (Self-Guided): $25
  • Group Kayak Tour to Search for Wildlife and Explore the Mangrove Tunnels: $44
  • Mangrove Tunnels, Manatee, and Dolphin Sunset kayak tour with Fin Expeditions: $49
  • Mangrove Tunnel & Dolphin Sunset Kayak Tours with Cocoa Kayaking in Cocoa Beach!: $50
  • Bicycle Tours and Rentals Throughout the Space Coast: $50
  • Mangrove Tunnel/Manatee & Dolphin Kayak Tour with Cocoa Kayaking in Cocoa Beach!: $50
  • Self-Guided Kayaking Manatee and Dolphin Tour: $55
  • Dinoflagellate Bioluminescence Kayak Tour: $55
  • Bioluminescent Kayak Tour with Cocoa Kayaking in Cocoa Beach, Florida!!: $65
  • Private Surf Lesson with Experienced Instructors: $65
  • One Hour Surf Lesson with Experienced Instructor: $70
  • Electric Bike Group Tour - Port Canaveral & Cocoa Beach: $85

Typical Entertainment prices in Gainesville

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Gainesville are as follows:


  • Manatee Tour for Two
    $98
  • Tour Guide Tip
    $5.00

Tours and Activities in Gainesville

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Gainesville are as follows:

  • Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Natural History Ticket: $14

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cocoa Beach $16
    Gainesville $39


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cocoa Beach and Gainesville, we can see that Gainesville is more expensive. And not only is Cocoa Beach much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cocoa Beach would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cocoa Beach and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Gainesville would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Gainesville than you might in Cocoa Beach.


When is the best time to visit Cocoa Beach or Gainesville?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Gainesville in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Cocoa Beach as well as Gainesville.


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In the summer, Cocoa Beach is around the same temperature as Gainesville. Typically, the summer temperatures in Cocoa Beach in July are around 81°F (27°C), and Gainesville is about 81°F (27°C).

It's quite rainy in Gainesville. Cocoa Beach receives a lot of rain in the summer. Cocoa Beach usually gets more rain in July than Gainesville. Cocoa Beach gets 8.3 inches (211 mm) of rain, while Gainesville receives 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cocoa Beach 81°F (27°C) 
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Gainesville in the Autumn?

Both Gainesville and Cocoa Beach are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.


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In October, Cocoa Beach is generally a little warmer than Gainesville. Temperatures in Cocoa Beach average around 77°F (25°C), and Gainesville stays around 71°F (22°C).

It's quite rainy in Cocoa Beach. In October, Cocoa Beach usually receives more rain than Gainesville. Cocoa Beach gets 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain, while Gainesville receives 2 inches (51 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cocoa Beach 77°F (25°C) 
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Gainesville in the Winter?

Both Gainesville and Cocoa Beach during the winter are popular places to visit.


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Cocoa Beach is a little warmer than Gainesville in the winter. The temperature in Cocoa Beach is usually 63°F (17°C) in January, and Gainesville stays around 54°F (12°C).

Cocoa Beach usually gets less rain in January than Gainesville. Cocoa Beach gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Gainesville receives 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cocoa Beach 63°F (17°C) 
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Gainesville in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Cocoa Beach and Gainesville.


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In the spring, Cocoa Beach is a little warmer than Gainesville. Typically, the spring temperatures in Cocoa Beach in April are around 73°F (23°C), and Gainesville is about 69°F (20°C).

In April, Cocoa Beach usually receives more rain than Gainesville. Cocoa Beach gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Gainesville receives 2 inches (50 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cocoa Beach 73°F (23°C) 
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C)

Typical Weather for Gainesville and Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach Gainesville
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 63°F (17°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Feb 62°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm)
Mar 67°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Apr 73°F (23°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 6.7 inches (171 mm) 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 7.2 inches (183 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm)
Oct 77°F (25°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Nov 69°F (21°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Dec 64°F (18°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)


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Cocoa Beach vs. Gainesville Travel Comparison

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