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

Should you visit Gainesville or Hershey?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Hershey, 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 shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Hershey

Hershey is a lighthearted, fun-filled, and playful town. It's also known for shopping and museums.

Gainesville and Hershey: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Hershey?

Both Hershey and Gainesville have plenty of things to do for visitors. Both offer a variety of sights, activities, and attractions for tourists. Gainesville is more popular for its museums, food, and nightlife, while Hershey is known for its resorts. Hershey is more touristy than Gainesville and is known for being the home of the Hershey's milk chocolate bar. Gainesville is popular for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Gainesville different from Hershey?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Gainesville
Hershey

Gainesville is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Hershey is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

Gainesville offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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.

Hershey offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. In addition to Hershey's Chocolate World, there's the Hershey Story Museum, the Hershey Historic Center, and the Pennsylvania State Police Museum. There's also the AACA Museum (a car museum).


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

Gainesville
Hershey

Gainesville is a popular place for its restaurant scene. However, Hershey is a town with minimal options for its local flavors and cuisine.

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.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Hershey. Restaurants range from casual to fine dining, and many have a very family-friendly atmosphere.

Is Gainesville or Hershey Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Hershey

Gainesville is a great destination for nightlife. However, Hershey is a town with minimal options for nightlife and partying.

The people in Gainesville know how to have a good time. 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.

Hershey doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. Head to downtown Harrisburg for the best nightlife. You'll find some bars and casino's in the area.

Is Gainesville or Hershey Better for Resorts?

Gainesville
Hershey

Hershey is notable for its resorts. However, Gainesville is not a resort destination.

Hershey is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. There are a few of resorts affiliated with Hersheypark including a lodge, a hotel, and even camping.

Gainesville is not a resort destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Hershey?

Gainesville
Hershey

Both Gainesville and Hershey 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 Hershey. You'll find shops, boutiques, and plenty of Hershey apparel that you can pick up in town.

Is Gainesville or Hershey Better for Families?

Gainesville
Hershey

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

Hershey is an amazing family-friendly town to visit. Hersheypark offers family-friendly resorts and camping. There's also the themed amusement park and even a zoo. When the weather's warm there's a water park and, of course, there's the famous Hershey's Chocolate World.

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 Hershey Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Hershey

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

Hershey is a very popular place to visit for couples. If you don't take yourself too seriously, couples can enjoy a fun and active few days exploring the activities in the area.

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 Hershey Better for Students?

Gainesville
Hershey

Gainesville is a great destination for students. However, Hershey is not popular with students.

Gainesville is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. 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.

Hershey is not popular with students.

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

Gainesville
Hershey

Gainesville is a popular place for its public transit. However, Hershey is a town with minimal options 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 Hershey. While there is a bus system, it's very limited and most visitors do not rely on it.

Is Gainesville or Hershey a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Hershey

Gainesville is a popular place for its walkability. However, Hershey is a town with minimal options 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.

Hershey is generally not a very walkable city. You really need a car to get to the area's attractions.


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

Should I spend more time in Hershey or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Hershey?

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Gainesville than Hershey 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 Hershey? Ideal Length of Stay
    Gainesville 1-2 
    Hershey 2-3

One day in Gainesville or Hershey?

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 shopping and museums when visiting the fun-filled town of Hershey. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. 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 Hershey?

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 museums and shopping when visiting the fun-filled destination of Hershey. It's also a relaxing resort destination. This 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 Hershey?

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 playful town of Hershey offers shopping and museums. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. 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 Hershey?

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 museums and shopping when visiting Hershey. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Hershey 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 Hershey is $212. 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 Hershey in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Hershey $114
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Hershey $228
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Hershey

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Hershey? 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 Hershey


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 Hershey Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Hershey $49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Hershey

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Hershey:

  • Private transfer from MDT airport to Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Hershey: $150

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Hershey?

Prices for flights to both Hershey 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
    Hershey $61
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 Hershey

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


  • Frozen Hot Chocolate
    $4.19
  • Plain and Fancy Farm
    $46
  • Homemade Apple Butter
    $7.98

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Hershey $53
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 Hershey

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


  • Hershey Chocolate World (for 3)
    $75

Tours and Activities in Hershey

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

  • Skip the Line: AACA Museum Admission Ticket: $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $49
    Hershey $27


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


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Hershey?

Gainesville has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Hershey. When comparing the sizes of Gainesville and Hershey, 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 Hershey?

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 Hershey in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Gainesville and Hershey. Many visitors come to Gainesville in the summer for the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Hershey for the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Gainesville is around the same temperature as Hershey in the summer. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 81°F (27°C) in July, and Hershey fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).

Gainesville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Gainesville usually receives more rain than Hershey. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Hershey receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C) 
    Hershey 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Hershey in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Hershey. Most visitors come to Gainesville for the shopping scene during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Hershey because of the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Gainesville is much warmer than Hershey. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Gainesville in October average around 71°F (22°C), and Hershey averages at about 56°F (13°C).

Gainesville usually gets less rain in October than Hershey. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Hershey receives 2.9 inches (75 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) 
    Hershey 56°F (13°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Hershey in the Winter?

Both Hershey and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The winter months attract visitors to Gainesville because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Hershey this time of year.

It's quite cold in Hershey in the winter. In January, Gainesville is generally much warmer than Hershey. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 54°F (12°C), and Hershey fluctuates around 30°F (-1°C).

In January, Gainesville usually receives around the same amount of rain as Hershey. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Hershey receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Hershey 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Hershey in the Spring?

Both Hershey and Gainesville during the spring are popular places to visit.

Gainesville is much warmer than Hershey in the spring. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 69°F (20°C) in April, and Hershey fluctuates around 53°F (12°C).

Gainesville usually gets less rain in April than Hershey. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Hershey receives 3.2 inches (82 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) 
    Hershey 53°F (12°C)

Typical Weather for Hershey and Gainesville

Gainesville Hershey
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 33°F (0°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 46°F (8°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 35°F (2°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)