A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Gainesville vs. Anchorage for Attractions, Nightlife, Couples, and Food

Should you visit Gainesville or Anchorage?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Anchorage, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Gainesville

Gainesville is a active, vibrant, and high energy city. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Anchorage

Anchorage is a cultural, artsy, and nature-oriented city. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for food, hiking, and shopping.

Gainesville and Anchorage: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Anchorage?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Anchorage than Gainesville, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Anchorage is more popular for its hiking and impressive beauty, while Gainesville is known for its museums and nightlife. Anchorage is more touristy than Gainesville and is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, impressive wildlife, stunning hiking trails, and unique local culture. It is also home to Chugach State Park. Gainesville is popular for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Gainesville different from Anchorage?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Anchorage and Gainesville. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Gainesville or Anchorage?

Gainesville
Anchorage

Gainesville is a well-known place for its sights and museums. Also, Anchorage is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Gainesville. There's a surprising number of museums around town such as the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, and the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention. Also fascinating is the Historic Haile Homestead, the Butterfly Rainforest, and the city's planetarium.

Anchorage offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. While most people visit for the outdoor experiences, there are a few museums where you can learn about the local culture and wildlife. Popular museums include the the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, the Alaska Aviation Museum, and the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature.


Is the Food Better in Gainesville or Anchorage? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Gainesville
Anchorage

Both Gainesville and Anchorage offer good local cuisine and restaurants.

Gainesville offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. Casual eateries are popular around town, particularly with the student population. There are grills, diners, and bistros that serve local dishes at affordable prices.

Anchorage has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Food is expensive in town, but there are some unique local specialties that you must try. Many restaurants offer fresh seafood and local meats. Favorites include yak meat, king crab, and fresh oysters.

Is Gainesville or Anchorage Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Anchorage

Gainesville is a well-known place for nightlife. However, Anchorage is not a good city for nightlife and partying.

Gainesville offers plenty to do in the evening. The nightlife centers around the student population. The two main party areas are Midtown and Downtown. Midtown is between Northwest 17th Street and Northwest 18th Street and it's convenient for students who live on campus. The area has a great stretch of bars and clubs. The Downtown area has many of the city's top clubs, and it's popular with upperclassmen and students who live off campus.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Anchorage. The town's nightlife mostly consists of local bars where you can hang out. Check out Koot's, which is a longstanding favorite.

Is Gainesville or Anchorage Better for Hiking?

Gainesville
Anchorage

Anchorage is very popular for the nearby hiking options. However, Gainesville is not a hiking destination.

Known for its hiking, Anchorage draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. The town is surrounded by wilderness and it's not hard to escape into nature. You can choose between short walks, long day trips, and multi-day treks, with everything in between available as well. There are more than 300 miles of hiking trails near town and several favorites include Byron Glacier Trail, Thunderbird Falls Trail, and Flattop Mountain.

Gainesville is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Anchorage?

Gainesville
Anchorage

Both Gainesville and Anchorage are good shopping destinations.

Gainesville is a great destination for shopping. You'll find all of the standard shopping options around town such as malls, shopping centers, and retail outlets. Two popular areas are the Neighborhoods at Butler and Celebration Pointe.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Anchorage. There are plenty of local gift shops and boutiques where you can pick up local Alaskan crafts and products. There's no sales tax, but prices can still be a bit steep. But if you're looking for something uniquely local to remember your trip, you don't have to look hard.

Is Gainesville or Anchorage Better for Families?

Gainesville
Anchorage

Gainesville and Anchorage are both good destinations for the whole family.

Gainesville is a family-friendly place to visit. You'll find outdoor activities, nature parks, and a couple of museums that will appeal to all ages. Highlights for families include A. Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center, the Adventure Outpost, and Alfred A. Ring Park.

Anchorage is a family-friendly city. Kids who appreciate nature will appreciate this unique setting. Everyone will enjoy a glacier cruise, but you can hang out with the locals in Westchester Lagoon, see the animals at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and learn about the area at the Anchorage Museum.

Is Gainesville or Anchorage Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Anchorage

Anchorage is notable for romance. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its romantic activities.

Anchorage is a very popular place to visit for couples. The city makes a good base for couples who want to explore the surrounding beauty. The landscapes make a beautiful backdrop for a romantic trip, and the adventure activities will make for an unforgettable experience. There are plenty of outdoor activities and adventure sports that couples can enjoy together and the beauty of the region is breathtaking.

Gainesville makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples can enjoy wine tasting and fine dining or enjoying the city's many outdoor activities. Go on a picnic or explore one of the museums in Downtown Gainesville.


Is Gainesville or Anchorage Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Gainesville
Anchorage

Anchorage is a nice place to visit for backpackers. However, Gainesville is a mediocre city for backpackers and budget travelers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Anchorage. There are a few good budget places to stay, and backpackers will also have plenty of outdoor wilderness to explore near town. It's important to remember that Alaska is known for its challenging wilderness so, unless you're experienced, you should take a guide.

Gainesville is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's not high on the list for many travelers, but there are some cheap motels where budget travelers can stay.

Is Gainesville or Anchorage Better for Students?

Gainesville
Anchorage

Gainesville is a well-known place for students. However, Anchorage is not popular with students.

Students come from all over to stay in Gainesville. As the location of the University of Florida, you'll find many students around town. This keeps the energy high with plenty of evening activities and affordable entertainment options.

Anchorage is not popular with students.

Is Gainesville or Anchorage Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Gainesville
Anchorage

Gainesville is a city with good options for its public transit. However, Anchorage is not a good city for times when you don't have a car.

Gainesville has a few public transit options. There's a decent bus system that's free to students and employees of the university.

Public transit is quite limited in Anchorage. There is the People Mover bus system that transports riders around town, but to truly experience the region, you must have a car.


Is Gainesville or Anchorage a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Anchorage

Gainesville is a city with good options for its walkability. However, Anchorage is not a good city for its high level of walkability.

Gainesville is somewhat walkable. Biking is actually a popular way to get around town and some areas are pedestrian-friendly.

Anchorage is generally not a very walkable city. The downtown area is compact so you can wander to the nearby shops and restaurants on foot, but most people visit with the goal of exploring outside of town. For that you need a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Gainesville Worth Visiting? and Is Anchorage Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Anchorage or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Anchorage?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Gainesville and Anchorage. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Anchorage than in Gainesville. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Gainesville, and 1-3 days is enough time in Anchorage.

Families should spend more time in Gainesville than Anchorage. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Gainesville, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Anchorage than Gainesville. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Anchorage that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.


  • How many days in Gainesville or Anchorage? Ideal Length of Stay
    Gainesville 1-2 
    Anchorage 1-3

One day in Gainesville or Anchorage?

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Gainesville. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Gainesville has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the cultural city of Anchorage. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Most people visit for the hiking. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in Gainesville or Anchorage?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the active destination of Gainesville. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the cultural destination of Anchorage. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.


Five days in Gainesville or Anchorage?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the high energy city of Gainesville. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

The artsy city of Anchorage offers museums and food. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Gainesville or Anchorage?

Gainesville is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many people enjoy the food and shopping when visiting Anchorage. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people visit for the hiking. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, and The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Anchorage or Gainesville?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Gainesville is $221, while the average daily cost in Anchorage is $191. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Gainesville and Anchorage in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Anchorage $117
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Anchorage $234
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Anchorage

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Anchorage? 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 Gainesville


Hotels in Anchorage


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: Gainesville Hotel Prices and Anchorage Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Anchorage $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Anchorage

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Anchorage:

  • Private Departure Transfer - to Anchorage Airport (ANC): $62
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Anchorage Airport ANC: $62
  • Seward to Anchorage- Post Cruise Curated Wildlife Tour +Transfer: $197
  • Anchorage to Seward- Pre-Cruise Curated Wildlife Tour +Transfer: $219
  • Full-Day Whittier to Anchorage Trip: Cruise Passenger Transfer: $220
  • SUV-Private Transfer, Whittier Cruise ship to Anchorage: $299

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Anchorage?

Prices for flights to both Anchorage and Gainesville 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
    Gainesville $70
    Anchorage $50
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

Typical Food Prices in Anchorage

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


  • Bread
    $4.25
  • Breakfast for Two
    $17

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Anchorage

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Anchorage.

  • City of Anchorage SIGHTSEEING & FOOD Tour: $190

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Anchorage $30
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:

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Gainesville by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Gainesville Gems: $13
  • Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Natural History Ticket: $15
  • Private Snorkeling Tour in Florida Springs: $250

Typical Entertainment Prices in Anchorage

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


  • 1 Day Bike Rental
    $33
  • 1/2 Day Rafting Trip
    $105

Tours and Activities in Anchorage

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

  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Anchorage's Best Kept Secrets: $13
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Discover Anchorage: $13
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Discover Somers Point: $13
  • Anchorage Museum General Admission Ticket: $25
  • 1-Hour Trolley Tour: $25
  • Anchorage Trolley Tour: $25
  • Botanical Garden Walking Tour: $40
  • Deluxe Trolley City Tour: $50
  • Anchorage Trolley's Deluxe City Tour: $50
  • Anchorage City Tour and Highlights: $59
  • Anchorage City Tour, w/Choc Factory Samplings & Hotel pickup: $59
  • Anchorage's Winter City Tour: $59

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $49
    Anchorage $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Anchorage

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Anchorage:

  • Chocolate and Wine Tasting Tour: $109
  • Hike Matanuska Glacier w/Alaska Honey, Wine Tasting, Hotel Pickup: $285
  • Hike Matanuska Glacier w/Alaska Honey, Wine Tasting: $285


When comparing the travel costs between Gainesville and Anchorage, we can see that Gainesville is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Gainesville Expensive? and Is Anchorage Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Anchorage?

Anchorage has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Gainesville. When comparing the sizes of Gainesville and Anchorage, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Gainesville or Anchorage?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Gainesville or Anchorage in the Summer?

Both Anchorage and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Gainesville this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Anchorage for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences.

Gainesville is much warmer than Anchorage in the summer. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 81°F (27°C) in July, and Anchorage fluctuates around 59°F (15°C).

It's quite rainy in Gainesville. In July, Gainesville usually receives more rain than Anchorage. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Anchorage receives 1.7 inches (44 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C) 
    Anchorage 59°F (15°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Anchorage in the Autumn?

Both Anchorage and Gainesville during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Gainesville for the shopping scene. Furthermore, many visitors come to Anchorage in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Anchorage can get quite cold in the autumn. In the autumn, Gainesville is much warmer than Anchorage. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Gainesville in October average around 71°F (22°C), and Anchorage averages at about 35°F (2°C).

Gainesville usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Anchorage. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Anchorage receives 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, the hurricane season in Gainesville is June to November.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C) 
    Anchorage 35°F (2°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Anchorage in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Gainesville and Anchorage. Many visitors come to Gainesville in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Anchorage for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Anchorage can be very cold during winter. In January, Gainesville is generally much warmer than Anchorage. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 54°F (12°C), and Anchorage fluctuates around 15°F (-9°C).

In January, Gainesville usually receives more rain than Anchorage. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Anchorage receives 0.7 inches (19 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Anchorage 15°F (-9°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Anchorage in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Anchorage. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to Anchorage because of the natural beauty.

The weather in Anchorage can be very cold. Gainesville is much warmer than Anchorage in the spring. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 69°F (20°C) in April, and Anchorage fluctuates around 36°F (2°C).

Gainesville usually gets more rain in April than Anchorage. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Anchorage receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain this time of the year. Keep in mind that June to November is the hurricane season in Gainesville.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C) 
    Anchorage 36°F (2°C)

Typical Weather for Anchorage and Gainesville

Gainesville Anchorage
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 15°F (-9°C) 0.7 inches (19 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 19°F (-7°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 26°F (-3°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 36°F (2°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 47°F (8°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 55°F (13°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 49°F (9°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 35°F (2°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 22°F (-6°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 17°F (-8°C) 1.1 inches (28 mm)