Should you visit Cocoa Beach or Gainesville?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare 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. So, let's dig into it.
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.
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 $135. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Cocoa Beach and Gainesville in more detail.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Cocoa Beach, $136 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Cocoa Beach, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $68, such as in a hostel.
A hotel room in Gainesville is about $138 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
While meal prices in Cocoa Beach can vary, the average travelers spends about $35 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Cocoa Beach should cost around $14 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Cocoa Beach is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
While meal prices in Gainesville can vary, the average travelers spends about $46 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Gainesville should cost around $18 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Gainesville is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Cocoa Beach $35
Typical Food prices in Gainesville
Some typical examples of dining costs in Gainesville are as follows:
Cocoa Beach's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $20 per person, per day on transportation in Cocoa Beach.
The cost of a taxi ride in Gainesville is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $33 per person, per day, on local transportation in Gainesville.
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:
Private Van Service Transfer to or from Orlando International Airport:
Private Transfer from Cocoa Beach to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport:
Private Transfer from Cocoa Beach to Orlando (MCO) Airport:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Gainesville
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Gainesville:
Private Transfer from Gainesville to Port Canaveral:
Private Transfer from Gainesville to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport:
Private Transfer from Gainesville to Orlando (MCO) Airport:
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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Cocoa Beach can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $13 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Entertainment and activities in Gainesville typically cost an average of $14 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
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):
Group Kayak Tour to Search for Wildlife and Explore the Mangrove Tunnels:
Mangrove Tunnels, Manatee, and Dolphin Sunset kayak tour with Fin Expeditions:
Mangrove Tunnel & Dolphin Sunset Kayak Tours with Cocoa Kayaking in Cocoa Beach!:
Bicycle Tours and Rentals Throughout the Space Coast:
Mangrove Tunnel/Manatee & Dolphin Kayak Tour with Cocoa Kayaking in Cocoa Beach!:
Self-Guided Kayaking Manatee and Dolphin Tour:
Dinoflagellate Bioluminescence Kayak Tour:
Bioluminescent Kayak Tour with Cocoa Kayaking in Cocoa Beach, Florida!!:
Private Surf Lesson with Experienced Instructors:
One Hour Surf Lesson with Experienced Instructor:
Electric Bike Group Tour - Port Canaveral & Cocoa Beach:
Typical Entertainment prices in Gainesville
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Gainesville are as follows:
Manatee Tour for Two
Tour Guide Tip
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:
Typically, people visiting Cocoa Beach spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
The average person spends about $39 on alcoholic beverages in Gainesville per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
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.
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