Should you visit Gainesville or Columbia?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Columbia, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.
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.
Both the largest and capital city of South Carolina, Columbia is literally the center of everything. Geographically it is located in the middle of the state, and it is the home to the University of South Carolina, the Army's Fort Jackson, as well as a variety of museums that celebrate the city's art, history, and culture.
Which city is cheaper, Columbia or Gainesville?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Gainesville is $135, while the average daily cost in Columbia is $0.00. 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 Gainesville and Columbia in more detail.
A hotel room in Gainesville is about $138 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
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.
The price of a meal in Columbia can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $4.02 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $1.61 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Gainesville
Some typical examples of dining costs in Gainesville are as follows:
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 Gainesville
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Gainesville:
Private Transfer from Gainesville to Orlando (MCO) Airport:
Private Transfer from Gainesville to Port Canaveral:
Private Transfer from Gainesville to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport:
Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Columbia?
Prices for flights to both Columbia 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.
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.
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:
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.
The average person spends about $70 on alcoholic beverages in Columbia 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 Gainesville and Columbia, we can see that Gainesville is more expensive. And not only is Columbia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbia 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 Columbia.
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