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

Should you visit Gainesville or Houston?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Houston, 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.

Houston

Houston is a sprawling, southern, and one-of-a-kind city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's also known for museums, nightlife, and live music.

Gainesville and Houston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Houston?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Houston than Gainesville. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Houston is more touristy than Gainesville and is known for its sprawling size, its local Texas restaurants, and being the home to NASA. It is also well known for The Space Center Houston. Gainesville is famous for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Gainesville different from Houston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Gainesville
Houston

Both Gainesville and Houston have great landmarks and museums for visitors.

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.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Houston. Head to Houston's Museum District to explore 19 different museums in a walkable area. A highlight of a trip to the city is a visit to the Space Center, but other popular museums include the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Houston Children's Museum.


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

Gainesville
Houston

Both Gainesville and Houston 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.

Houston has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The city is famous for its Texas barbecue, Mexican food, and a wide diversity of other different ethnic foods. It's a surprisingly diverse city and this is reflected in the restaurant selection around town.

Is Gainesville or Houston Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Houston

Evening events are great in both Gainesville and Houston.

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.

Houston has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The nightlife is at its best on weekends when bars, dance clubs, and concert halls come to life. There are a diversity of venues around town including dance clubs, Honky Tonks, and cocktail bars. Some of the most active nightlife areas are Downtown, Midtown, Montrose, Washington Avenue, and Rice Village.

Is Gainesville or Houston Better for Music?

Gainesville
Houston

Houston is a nice place to visit for live music. However, Gainesville is not a live music destination.

The music scene helps keep Houston active and fun. Popular music venues include Fitzgerald's, Walter's Downtown, and The Continental Club.

Gainesville is not a live music destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Houston?

Gainesville
Houston

Both Gainesville and Houston 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 Houston. There are a number of upscale malls and shopping centers that have brand names, chain stores, and the occasional local shop where you can pick up items.

Is Gainesville or Houston Better for Families?

Gainesville
Houston

Houston 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.

Houston is a very family-friendly place to visit. It is a large city with plenty of things that kids can enjoy including museums, theaters, a zoo, and even the Space Center. The Children's Museum of Houston is perfect for a rainy day. For science loving kids there's the Health Museum and the Museum of Natural Science. Houston also has a Six Flags nearby which the whole family can enjoy.

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 Houston Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Houston

Gainesville and Houston are both nice 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.

Houston makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There's a surprising diversity of restaurants around the city. There are also performing arts productions and many outdoor parks and gardens.


Is Gainesville or Houston Better for Students?

Gainesville
Houston

Gainesville is well known for students. Also, Houston is still popular, but not quite as popular for its student-friendly activities.

Many students visit Gainesville. 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.

It's common for students to visit Houston. It's a large city with a number of universities and a large student population.

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

Gainesville
Houston

Gainesville is a good destination for its public transit. However, Houston 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 Houston. The system includes buses and a limited light rail. Houston is known as a car-centric city and you really need a car to fully experience it.

Is Gainesville or Houston a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Houston

Gainesville is a good destination for its high level of walkability. However, Houston is not particularly known for its ease of walking around.

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

Houston is generally not a very walkable city. The most walkable neighborhood is the historic Houston Heights, but most parts of the city aren't very walkable.


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

Should I spend more time in Houston or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Houston?

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

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

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

One day in Gainesville or Houston?

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.

Houston is a one-of-a-kind city where you can fill many days. 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 Houston?

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.

Houston is a one-of-a-kind big city where you can fill many days. 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 Houston?

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 southern city of Houston 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 Houston?

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 Houston. Anyone can find something fun to do here. 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, Houston 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 Houston is $262. 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 Houston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Houston $142
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Houston $284
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Houston

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Houston? 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 Houston


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 Houston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Houston $72

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Houston William P. Hobby Airport HOU: $48
  • Private One-way Transfer from George Bush Airport to Houston: $71
  • Houston to Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) - Departure Private Transfer: $81
  • Houston George Bush Airport (IAH) to Houston - Arrival Private Transfer: $81
  • Transfer in private minivan from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $88
  • Departure Private Transfer: Houston to George Bush Airport IAH in Business Car: $106
  • Arrival Private Transfer: George Bush Airport IAH to Houston in Business Car: $108
  • Departure Private Transfer: Houston to George Bush Airport IAH in Luxury SUV: $109
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Houston APT-HTL (IAH): $151
  • William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to Port of Galveston - Arrival Private Transfer: $168
  • Privat Transfer from Houston Airport (HOU) to Port of Galveston: $168
  • RoundTrip transfer in private minivan from-to HoustonAirport in Houston Downtown: $176

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Houston?

Prices for flights to both Houston 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
    Houston $35
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 Houston

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

  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $70
  • The Heights Food Tour in Houston: $76
  • Houston Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $85

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Houston $14
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
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Gainesville Gems: $13
  • Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Natural History Ticket: $15
  • Private Snorkeling Tour in Florida Springs: $250

Tours and Activities in Houston

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

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Houston by Wacky Walks: $10
  • The Best of Houston Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Houston with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Astroville Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston (Air-Conditioned): $30
  • Houston Ghosts and Hauntings By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • Space Center Houston Admission Ticket: $33
  • Ticket for Magic Show Theater in Houston: $36
  • Haunted Houston Booze and Boos Ghost Walking Tour: $37
  • Houston's Official City Tour: $40
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures at City Centre: $42
  • The Escape Game 60-Minute Adventures at The Galleria: $42
  • Hip Hop, R&B Paint and Sip Party Private Experience: $45

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $49
    Houston $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Houston

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

  • Private Houston Brewery Tour by Cart: $57
  • Downtown Houston Brewery Bike Tour : $71


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Gainesville and Houston, we can see that Houston is more expensive. And not only is Gainesville much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Gainesville would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Gainesville 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 Houston would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Houston than you might in Gainesville.

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


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Houston?

Houston has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Gainesville. When comparing the sizes of Gainesville and Houston, 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 Houston?

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 Houston in the Summer?

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

In the summer, Gainesville is around the same temperature as Houston. Typically, the summer temperatures in Gainesville in July average around 81°F (27°C), and Houston averages at about 84°F (29°C).

Houston 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 Houston. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.8 inches (122 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C) 
    Houston 84°F (29°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Houston in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Houston. Many visitors come to Gainesville in the autumn for the shopping scene. Additionally, most visitors come to Houston for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene during these months.

In October, Gainesville is generally around the same temperature as Houston. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 71°F (22°C), and Houston fluctuates around 71°F (22°C).

It's quite rainy in Houston. Gainesville usually gets less rain in October than Houston. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.2 inches (107 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) 
    Houston 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Houston in the Winter?

Both Houston 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 Houston because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Gainesville is around the same temperature as Houston in the winter. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 54°F (12°C) in January, and Houston fluctuates around 52°F (11°C).

In January, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Houston. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Houston 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Houston in the Spring?

Both Houston and Gainesville during the spring are popular places to visit. Also, the activities around the city are the main draw to Houston this time of year.

In the spring, Gainesville is around the same temperature as Houston. Typically, the spring temperatures in Gainesville in April average around 69°F (20°C), and Houston averages at about 70°F (21°C).

Gainesville usually gets less rain in April than Houston. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.1 inches (78 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) 
    Houston 70°F (21°C)

Typical Weather for Houston and Gainesville

Gainesville Houston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 76°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 84°F (29°C) 4.8 inches (122 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 83°F (29°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 71°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)