A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Gainesville vs. Asheville for Nightlife, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Gainesville or Asheville?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Asheville, 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 vibrant, high energy, and active city. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Asheville

Asheville is a eclectic, outdoorsy, and progressive mountain town. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for shopping, nightlife, and live music.

Gainesville and Asheville: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Asheville?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Asheville than Gainesville. While Gainesville is larger than Asheville, Asheville has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Asheville is very popular for its music, resorts, historical sights, hiking, shopping, christmas markets, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Gainesville attracts visitors for its museums. Asheville is more touristy than Gainesville and is known for its fall foliage, artsy downtown, local North Carolina barbecue, and being home to the Biltmore Estate. It is also well known for The Biltmore Estate. Gainesville is famous for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Gainesville different from Asheville?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Asheville 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 Asheville?

Gainesville
Asheville

Gainesville is well known for its museums and landmarks. However, Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around 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.

Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Gainesville
Asheville

Both Gainesville and Asheville offer nice 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.

Asheville has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Downtown Asheville is filled with local restaurants that serve everything from brunch to late night snacks. There are many vegan and vegetarian options as well as a number of international restaurants. Popular local dishes include North Carolina barbeque and country ham biscuits.

Is Gainesville or Asheville Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Asheville

Evening events are great in both Gainesville and Asheville.

Gainesville has plenty to do after the sun goes down. 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.

Asheville has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city has a fun and eclectic nightlife scene that centers around the city's breweries and live music venues.

Is Gainesville or Asheville Better for Music?

Gainesville
Asheville

Asheville is notable for live music. However, Gainesville is not a live music destination.

If you love music, you'll find something to enjoy in Asheville. The city has grown into a world famous music destination that holds true to its mountain roots and independent artists.

Gainesville is not a live music destination.


Is Gainesville or Asheville Better for Resorts?

Gainesville
Asheville

Asheville is a nice place to visit for its resorts. However, Gainesville is not a resort destination.

Asheville has a handful of resorts to choose from. The most famous resorts in the area are the Biltmore Estate and the Grove Park Inn. Both offer luxury restaurants and beautiful grounds that are particularly nice during the holidays.

Gainesville is not a resort destination.

Is Gainesville or Asheville Better for its Old Town?

Gainesville
Asheville

Asheville is a moderate mountain town for its historic old town. However, Gainesville does not have a historic old town.

Asheville is a good place to visit the old town. Downtown Asheville maintains much of its historic vibe, but it's smaller than some of the more notable old cities around the country.

Gainesville does not have a historic old town.

Is Gainesville or Asheville Better for Hiking?

Gainesville
Asheville

Asheville is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Gainesville is not a hiking destination.

Asheville is a popular spot for hiking. Just outside of town are many great hikes to waterfalls or through the mountains. The hikes range in skill level and length but many pass through local forests or along the beautiful skyline.

Gainesville is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Asheville?

Gainesville
Asheville

Asheville is notable for shopping. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping opportunities.

Asheville is an extremely popular place for shoppers. The city has many local shops that sell local crafts and independent art. The downtown area is filled with art vendors and you'll find the greatest concentration of shopping along the pedestrian-friendly Lexington Avenue.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Gainesville. 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.

Is Gainesville or Asheville Better for Christmas?

Gainesville
Asheville

Asheville is notable for its Christmas activities. However, Gainesville does not offer Christmas activities.

Asheville is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. Head to the Biltmore Estate to see it fully decorated for the Christmas season. It's also worth going to see the winning Gingerbread Houses on display at the Grove Park Inn.

Gainesville does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Gainesville or Asheville Better for Christmas Markets?

Gainesville
Asheville

Asheville is a moderate mountain town for its Christmas markets. However, Gainesville does not offer Christmas markets.

Asheville is a good spot to see some Christmas markets. There are a handful of local Christmas shops around town where you can buy personalized gifts.

Gainesville does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Gainesville or Asheville Better for Families?

Gainesville
Asheville

Asheville is notable for its family-friendly activities. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Asheville is a very family-friendly place to visit. With its beautiful hiking, interesting nature centers, and outdoor adventure activities, this mountain town makes a great kid-friendly destination. There are outdoor adventure parks where kids can zipline or climb. There are also hands on farms and orchards for fruit-picking.

Gainesville is a family-friendly city. 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.

Is Gainesville or Asheville Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Asheville

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

Asheville is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples enjoy exploring the beautiful Biltmore Estates or visiting the spa at the Grove Park Inn. The quaint town makes a great honeymoon destination or a nice romantic getaway. There are luxury hotels or intimate bed and breakfasts that offer different options for couples on a romantic trip.

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 Asheville Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Gainesville
Asheville

Asheville is notable for backpackers. However, Gainesville is a mediocre city for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Asheville. The town has an eclectic vibe that backpackers appreciate. There are a few good hostels around town as well as nearby campgrounds that are perfect for budget travelers or hikers.

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 Asheville Better for Students?

Gainesville
Asheville

Gainesville and Asheville are both great destinations for students and younger travelers.

Gainesville is a great city to visit as a student. 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.

Students come from all over to stay in Asheville. With its progressive personality and charming downtown, students enjoy spending time in this great town.

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

Gainesville
Asheville

Gainesville is a good destination for its public transit. However, Asheville is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in Gainesville, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There's a decent bus system that's free to students and employees of the university.

Public transit is mostly limited in Asheville. There are buses around town, but almost everyone gets around town with their own vehicle.

Is Gainesville or Asheville a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Asheville

Gainesville and Asheville both are nice when exploring on foot.

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

Asheville is a somewhat walkable place. If you stay downtown and don't plan to explore the outlying areas, then it's possible to walk around town. Otherwise, you'll need a car.


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

Should I spend more time in Asheville or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Asheville?

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

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Asheville than Gainesville if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Asheville.


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

One day in Gainesville or Asheville?

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 nightlife and live music when visiting the eclectic mountain town of Asheville. Hikers are also drawn to this area. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in Gainesville or Asheville?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the vibrant 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 live music and food when visiting the eclectic destination of Asheville. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This mountain town 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 Asheville?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the active 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 outdoorsy mountain town of Asheville offers food and shopping. 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 Asheville?

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 shopping and nightlife when visiting Asheville. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. 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, Asheville 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 Asheville is $133. 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 Asheville in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Asheville $89
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Asheville $178
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Asheville

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Asheville? 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 Asheville


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 Asheville Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Asheville $14

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Asheville?

Prices for flights to both Asheville 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
    Asheville $33
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 Asheville

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Asheville:


  • Biltmore Estate Entrance Fee
    $60

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Asheville

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

  • 1-HR cooking class: $40
  • Electric Bike Tour of Asheville's Best Pizza: $98
  • Best Pizza E-bike Tour: $111

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Asheville $16
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
  • Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Natural History Ticket: $15
  • Private Snorkeling Tour in Florida Springs: $250

Typical Entertainment Prices in Asheville

Here are a few typical costs in Asheville for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Massage
    $40

Tours and Activities in Asheville

Here are a few actual costs in Asheville for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Downtown Asheville Tip-Based Sightseeing Walking Tour : $5.00
  • Asheville Historic Highlights: Self-Guided Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Self-Drive Tour w/ Audio Guide: $9.99
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Driving Audio Tour (Asheville ↔ Roanoke): $12
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Gem Mining and Goat Farm Walking Tour in Hendersonville: $26
  • Asheville Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour : $27
  • Historic Music Scene Walking Tour in Asheville: $30
  • Asheville Insider Guided Walking Tour: $35
  • Asheville Tubing Adventure : $35
  • Amazing Asheville Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • River Arts District & Downtown Mountain Mural Tour: $45

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $49
    Asheville $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Asheville

Also in Asheville, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Ultimate Late Night Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Terrors, Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Asheville Terrors Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl: $37
  • Expert-Led Brewery Walking Tour with Beer Samples: $65
  • Downtown Asheville Guided Brewery Walking Tour: $69
  • Premier Walking Guided Brewery Tour Through Downtown Asheville: $69
  • Electric Bike Brewery Crawl of Asheville: $74
  • Floating Bar Crawl Tour: $78
  • Premier Mobile Guided Brewery Tour Around Asheville: $99
  • Guided Craft Brewery Tour with a Snack: $99


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Gainesville and Asheville, we can see that Gainesville is more expensive. And not only is Asheville much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Asheville would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Asheville 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 Asheville.

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


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Asheville?

Gainesville has a larger population, and is about 83% larger than the population of Asheville. When comparing the sizes of Gainesville and Asheville, 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 Asheville?

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 Asheville in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Gainesville and Asheville. Many travelers come to Gainesville for the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, many visitors come to Asheville in the summer for the hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Gainesville is around the same temperature as Asheville. Typically, the summer temperatures in Gainesville in July average around 81°F (27°C), and Asheville averages at about 82°F (28°C).

Asheville receives a lot of rain in the summer. Gainesville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Gainesville usually receives more rain than Asheville. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Asheville receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C) 
    Asheville 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Asheville in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Asheville. Many visitors come to Gainesville in the autumn for the shopping scene. Additionally, most visitors come to Asheville for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Gainesville is generally a little warmer than Asheville. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 71°F (22°C), and Asheville fluctuates around 64°F (18°C).

Gainesville usually gets less rain in October than Asheville. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Asheville receives 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, June to November in Gainesville is the hurricane season.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C) 
    Asheville 64°F (18°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Asheville in the Winter?

Both Asheville and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Gainesville for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Asheville because of the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Gainesville is much warmer than Asheville in the winter. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 54°F (12°C) in January, and Asheville fluctuates around 44°F (7°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Asheville. In January, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Asheville. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Asheville receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Asheville 44°F (7°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Asheville in the Spring?

Both Asheville and Gainesville during the spring are popular places to visit. Also, the natural beauty are the main draw to Asheville this time of year.

In the spring, Gainesville is a little warmer than Asheville. Typically, the spring temperatures in Gainesville in April average around 69°F (20°C), and Asheville averages at about 64°F (18°C).

Asheville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Gainesville usually gets less rain in April than Asheville. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Asheville receives 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, the hurricane season in Gainesville is June to November.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C) 
    Asheville 64°F (18°C)

Typical Weather for Asheville and Gainesville

Gainesville Asheville
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 47°F (8°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 55°F (13°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 64°F (18°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 71°F (22°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 79°F (26°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (118 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 75°F (24°C) 4 inches (101 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 47°F (8°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm)