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

Should you visit Gainesville or Detroit?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Detroit, 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. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Detroit

Detroit is a under-rated, hardworking, and overlooked city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's also known for museums, nightlife, and live music.

Gainesville and Detroit: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Detroit?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Detroit than Gainesville. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Detroit is very popular for its music and big city activities, while Gainesville attracts visitors for its museums. Detroit is more touristy than Gainesville and is popular for its Motown music, blue collar atmosphere, and influential auto industry. It is also well known for the Henry Ford Experience. Gainesville is famous for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Gainesville different from Detroit?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Gainesville
Detroit

Gainesville is a very popular place for its museums and history. Also, Detroit is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Gainesville can be an interesting and educational experience. 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.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Detroit. Popular museums around town include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the Michigan Science Center.


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

Gainesville
Detroit

Both Gainesville and Detroit 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.

Detroit has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. There's a local flavor to the food with a number of classic dishes that are popular like square pizza, Coney dogs, and corned beef egg rolls.

Is Gainesville or Detroit Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Detroit

Evening events are superb in both Gainesville and Detroit.

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.

Detroit has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. It's long history in music still influences the nightlife scene. You'll find bars, clubs, and other activities around town. Greektown and Midtown are both popular neighborhoods during the evening.

Is Gainesville or Detroit Better for Music?

Gainesville
Detroit

Detroit is very popular for live music. However, Gainesville is not a live music destination.

Detroit is a world class music destination. Few cities have such an influential music industry. It's home to Motown and is well known for its soul music, jazz, blues, and rap.

Gainesville is not a live music destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Detroit?

Gainesville
Detroit

Both Gainesville and Detroit are nice 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 Detroit. There are several shopping streets like Woodward Avenue. There are also outlet malls, shopping centers, and Eastern Market.

Is Gainesville or Detroit Better for Families?

Gainesville
Detroit

Gainesville and Detroit are both nice 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.

Detroit is a family-friendly city. Head to the Detroit Zoo or check out one of the amusement parks in the area. Kids will enjoy a visit to Legoland and there's also the Sea Life Michigan Aquarium. You could also spend some time visiting the unique museums in the area.

Is Gainesville or Detroit Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Detroit

Gainesville is a nice place to visit for its romantic activities. However, Detroit is lacking in good options for couples.

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.

Detroit is not always the best place to visit for a couple. It's not a city that usually brings to mind romance, but if you find yourself here for a couple of days, there's a RiverWalk area and some interesting local neighborhoods.


Is Gainesville or Detroit Better for Students?

Gainesville
Detroit

Gainesville is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Detroit is not popular with students.

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.

Detroit is not popular with students.

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

Gainesville
Detroit

Gainesville is a nice place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Detroit is lacking in good options for its public transit.

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

Public transit is generally limited in Detroit. There's a streetcar and bus system, but the car is still king in Motor City.

Is Gainesville or Detroit a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Detroit

Gainesville and Detroit 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.

Detroit is a somewhat walkable place. There are parts of downtown Detroit that are walkable, but most people need a car to get around.


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

Should I spend more time in Detroit or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Detroit?

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

Families should spend more time in Gainesville than Detroit. 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 Detroit. 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 Detroit 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 Detroit? Ideal Length of Stay
    Gainesville 1-2 
    Detroit 1-3

One day in Gainesville or Detroit?

In Gainesville, you'll find nightlife and food. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the under-rated city of Detroit. Most people visit for the live music. 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 Detroit?

In Gainesville, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Gainesville has to offer.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the under-rated destination of Detroit. 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 Detroit?

Gainesville is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

The overlooked city of Detroit offers museums and nightlife. 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 Detroit?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Gainesville. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Gainesville. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Many people enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting Detroit. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people visit for the live music. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Walking Tours in United States of America, The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, and The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America.


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



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Detroit $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Detroit $128
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Detroit

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Detroit? 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 Detroit


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 Detroit Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Detroit $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Detroit

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

  • Private Departure Transfer to Detroit Airport DTW: $61
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Detroit City to Detroit Airport (DTW) - Departure Private Transfer: $96
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Arrival Private Transfer: $96
  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Business Car: $101
  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Luxury SUV: $132
  • Private Transfer from Detroit City to Detroit (DTW) Airport: $144
  • Private Transfer from Detroit (DTW) Airport to Detroit City: $144
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $191

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Detroit?

Prices for flights to both Detroit 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
    Detroit $44
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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Detroit

For Detroit, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Fresh Mediterranean Inspired Cooking Class in a Unique Detroit Home: $104

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Detroit $21
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 Detroit

For Detroit, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • People Mover Audio Tour with VoiceMap App: $4.99
  • Spirit and History Self Guided Audio Tour: $6.50
  • Detroit Tigers Baseball Game Ticket at Comerica Park: $7.49
  • Self Guided "Detroit's Spirit and History" Solo Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Ann Arbor by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Ann Arbor by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Windsor by Wacky Walks: $11
  • Self-Guided Ann Arbor Scavenger Hunt: Ann Arbor Adventure: $12
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Ann Arbor MI: $15
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Ann Arbor with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Ghosts and Spirits Haunted Walking Tour: $24

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


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

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


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Detroit?

Detroit has a larger population, and is about 8 times larger than the population of Gainesville. When comparing the sizes of Gainesville and Detroit, 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 Detroit?

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 Detroit in the Summer?

Both Detroit and Gainesville during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Gainesville because of the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Detroit this time of year.

In the summer, Gainesville is a little warmer than Detroit. Typically, the summer temperatures in Gainesville in July average around 81°F (27°C), and Detroit averages at about 74°F (24°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Gainesville. Gainesville usually gets more rain in July than Detroit. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Detroit receives 3.4 inches (85 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C) 
    Detroit 74°F (24°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Detroit in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Gainesville and Detroit. The shopping scene are the main draw to Gainesville this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Detroit for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene.

In October, Gainesville is generally much warmer than Detroit. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 71°F (22°C), and Detroit fluctuates around 54°F (12°C).

In October, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Detroit. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Detroit receives 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. June to November is the hurricane season in Gainesville.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C) 
    Detroit 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Detroit in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Detroit. Many travelers come to Gainesville for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, many visitors come to Detroit in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Detroit can get quite cold in the winter. Gainesville is much warmer than Detroit in the winter. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 54°F (12°C) in January, and Detroit fluctuates around 25°F (-4°C).

Gainesville usually gets more rain in January than Detroit. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Detroit receives 2 inches (50 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Detroit 25°F (-4°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Detroit in the Spring?

Both Detroit and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, most visitors come to Detroit for the activities around the city during these months.

In the spring, Gainesville is much warmer than Detroit. Typically, the spring temperatures in Gainesville in April average around 69°F (20°C), and Detroit averages at about 49°F (9°C).

In April, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Detroit. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Detroit receives 3.2 inches (80 mm) of rain each month for the spring. June to November in Gainesville is the hurricane season.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C) 
    Detroit 49°F (9°C)

Typical Weather for Detroit and Gainesville

Gainesville Detroit
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 27°F (-3°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 37°F (3°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 49°F (9°C) 3.2 inches (80 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 60°F (16°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 65°F (19°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)