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

Should you visit Gainesville or Charlotte?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Charlotte, 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 high energy, active, and vibrant city. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Charlotte

Charlotte is a up-and-coming, growing, and evolving city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Gainesville and Charlotte: 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
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Charlotte?

You'll generally find more things to do in Charlotte than Gainesville. Charlotte is bigger than Gainesville, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Charlotte is better known for its big city activities, while Gainesville is more popular for its museums and nightlife. Charlotte is more touristy than Gainesville and is popular for its banking industry and growing Uptown area. Also, Charlotte is famous for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Gainesville is well known for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Gainesville different from Charlotte?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Gainesville
Charlotte

Gainesville is great for its historical sights. Also, Charlotte is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its sights and museums.

Many visitors head to Gainesville specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. 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.

Charlotte is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. The Mint Museum is a popular place to visit, as is the Gantt Center for African American Arts. Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and sports enthusiasts will enjoy a stop at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.


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

Gainesville
Charlotte

Both Gainesville and Charlotte offer notable 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.

Charlotte has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The food scene continues to grow and change around town. You'll find the latest trendy restaurant changes regularly, but dishes often include upscale southern faire or classic American. There are also many international restaurants, particularly Mexican, Thai, and Chinese.

Is Gainesville or Charlotte Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Charlotte

Gainesville is great for its evening party scene. Also, Charlotte is not as popular, but is still a nice city for nightlife.

Many people head to Gainesville for the nightlife scene. 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.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Charlotte. Head Uptown for some of the best nightlife. The city has many bars and clubs that keep things fun late into the night.

Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Charlotte?

Gainesville
Charlotte

Both Gainesville and Charlotte are notable 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 Charlotte. Shopping malls such as SouthPark Mall or Carolina Place offer all of the standard retailers. Concord Mills is another favorite mall in the area. Aside from the malls, there is no shortage of shopping centers around town.


Is Gainesville or Charlotte Better for Families?

Gainesville
Charlotte

Gainesville and Charlotte are both notable 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.

Charlotte is a family-friendly city. There are a number of museums for kids, with one of the best being Discovery Place. It has many hands-on science based exhibits that kids will love. Another unique experience is a visit to the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Carowinds Amusement Park is also in the area as are many great parks, playgrounds, and natural areas.

Is Gainesville or Charlotte Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Charlotte

Gainesville and Charlotte are both notable to visit as a couple.

Gainesville is a nice destination for couples. 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.

Charlotte makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are a number of date night activities around town, particularly Uptown. You can see a show or concert at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center or hit up one of the trendy bars or restaurants. There are also sporting events and other festivals that are fun to experience.

Is Gainesville or Charlotte Better for Students?

Gainesville
Charlotte

Gainesville is great for its student-friendly activities. Also, Charlotte is not as popular, but is still a nice city for students.

Gainesville is very popular with students. 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.

Charlotte is a good city to visit for students. There are a number of smaller colleges in town, but the biggest university is the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


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

Gainesville
Charlotte

Both Gainesville and Charlotte offer notable public transit options.

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

Charlotte has some public transit options. There's a light rail system as well as buses that travel around town.

Is Gainesville or Charlotte a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Charlotte

Gainesville and Charlotte both are notable when exploring on foot.

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

Charlotte is a somewhat walkable place. The Uptown area is the most walkable part of the city.

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

Should I spend more time in Charlotte or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Charlotte?

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Gainesville than Charlotte 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 Gainesville.


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

One day in Gainesville or Charlotte?

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 food when visiting the growing city of Charlotte. 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 Charlotte?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the high energy 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 food and shopping when visiting the growing destination of Charlotte. 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 Charlotte?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the vibrant 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 growing city of Charlotte offers shopping and museums. 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 Charlotte?

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 museums and nightlife when visiting Charlotte. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


Which place is cheaper, Charlotte 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 Charlotte 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 Charlotte in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Charlotte $118
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Charlotte $236
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Charlotte

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Charlotte? 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 Charlotte


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 Charlotte Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Charlotte $33

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charlotte

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

  • Private Departure Transfer to Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT): $54
  • Charlotte City to Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) - Departure Private Transfer: $68
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Arrival Private Transfer: $68
  • Private One-way Charlotte Airport Transfer To/From Charlotte: $74
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT): 1-Way Transfer to Charlotte: $99
  • Departure Private Transfer Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT Sedan Car: $125
  • Arrival Transfer: Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte in Business Car: $135
  • Departure Transfer: Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT in Business Car: $135
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $137
  • Arrival Private Transfer Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte by Sedan car: $144
  • Charlotte Douglas Int. Airport One-Way Transfer to /from Charlotte: $148
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Spartanburg - Arrival Private Transfer: $149

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Charlotte?

Prices for flights to both Charlotte 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
    Charlotte $46
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 Charlotte

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Charlotte:


  • Pizza at Airport
    $4.03
  • Cracker Barrel Lunch (family of 4)
    $29

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Charlotte $43
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: $15
  • Private Snorkeling Tour in Florida Springs: $250
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Gainesville by Operation City Quest: $10

Tours and Activities in Charlotte

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Charlotte.

  • Charlotte Ghost Walking Tour: Smartphone Audio & GPS Tour: $6.50
  • Charlotte Ghost Walking Tour - Smartphone guided audio/gps Tour at your own pace: $6.75
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Charlotte by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Self-Guided City Highlights Audio Tour: $12
  • Uptown A Self-Guided Audio Tour to the Heart of Queen City: $12
  • Uptown Funk: 1 Hour Guided Walking Tour of Charlotte: $12
  • UPTOWN FUNK: 1 Hour Guided Historical Walking Tour in Charlotte: $15
  • Charlotte Hornets Basketball Game Ticket: $19
  • Charlotte Hornets Basketball Game Ticket at Spectrum Center: $19
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Charlotte by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Charlotte Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Carolina History and Haunts Charlotte Historical Ghost Walking Tour : $25

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Charlotte

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Charlotte:

  • Charlotte Brewery Crawl Tour: $48
  • 3-Hour Brewery Crawl on 7 passenger Cart: $48
  • Original Charlotte Brewery Tour - Craft Beer Experience : $125
  • Bar Crawl on a Rollin Disco Ball Golf Cart in Charlotte: $240


When comparing the travel costs between Gainesville and Charlotte, 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 Charlotte Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Charlotte?

Charlotte has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Gainesville. When comparing the sizes of Gainesville and Charlotte, 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 Charlotte?

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 Gainesville or Charlotte in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Charlotte. Most visitors come to Gainesville for the family-friendly experiences during these months. Additionally, the summer months attract visitors to Charlotte because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Gainesville is generally around the same temperature as Charlotte. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 81°F (27°C), and Charlotte fluctuates around 81°F (27°C).

It's quite rainy in Charlotte. Gainesville receives a lot of rain in the summer. Gainesville usually gets more rain in July than Charlotte. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Charlotte receives 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Gainesville or Charlotte in the Autumn?

Both Charlotte and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The autumn months attract visitors to Gainesville because of the shopping scene. Also, the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene are the main draw to Charlotte this time of year.

Gainesville is a little warmer than Charlotte in the autumn. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 71°F (22°C) in October, and Charlotte fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

In October, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Charlotte. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Charlotte receives 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. The hurricane season in Gainesville is June to November.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C) 
    Charlotte 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Charlotte in the Winter?

Both Charlotte and Gainesville during the winter are popular places to visit. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Gainesville this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Charlotte for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Gainesville is much warmer than Charlotte. Typically, the winter temperatures in Gainesville in January average around 54°F (12°C), and Charlotte averages at about 42°F (6°C).

Gainesville usually gets less rain in January than Charlotte. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Charlotte receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Charlotte 42°F (6°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Charlotte in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Gainesville and Charlotte. Also, many visitors come to Charlotte in the spring for the activities around the city.

In April, Gainesville is generally a little warmer than Charlotte. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 69°F (20°C), and Charlotte fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

In April, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Charlotte. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Charlotte receives 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain each month for the spring. June to November is the hurricane season in Gainesville.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C) 
    Charlotte 63°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for Charlotte and Gainesville

Gainesville Charlotte
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 54°F (12°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 71°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 80°F (27°C) 4 inches (101 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 46°F (8°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)