A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Gainesville vs. Key West for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Gainesville or Key West?

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

Gainesville

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.

Key West

Key West is both a city and an island as well as the southern most Florida Key. It is also the southern most city in the continental United States. The island is only about four miles long and one mile wide. The total land mass covers just 4.2 square miles. The most famous street in town is Duval Street, which runs just 1.1 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. There are 14 blocks. The size of the island doubled during the 1950s when many of the salt ponds along the eastern side of the island were filled in.

Which city is cheaper, Key West 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 Key West is $170. 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 Key West in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Gainesville is about $138 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $106. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Key West the cost is $212 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $69
    Key West $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $138
    Key West $212

Food

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 Key West can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $38 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $15 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Gainesville $46
    Key West $38
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 Key West

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

  • Key West Sunset Dinner Cruise with Tropical Buffet: $68
  • Sunset Cruise with Buffet Dinner and Open Bar: $90
  • Private Secret Food Tour of Key West: $103
  • Secret Food Tour of Key West w/ Private Tour Option: $221

Local Transportation

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.

The average price of local transportation around Key West is $41 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $33
    Key West $41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Gainesville

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Gainesville:

  • Private Transfer from Gainesville to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $453
  • Private Transfer from Gainesville to Port Canaveral: $658
  • Private Transfer from Gainesville to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $676

Typical Local Transportation prices in Key West

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Key West:


  • Rental Car for One Day
    $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Key West

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Key West:

  • Key West International Airport One Way Transfer: $53
  • Miami & One-Way Transfer by Motor Coach Bus: $54
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Key West Airport to Hotel: $116
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Key West Airport: $116
  • Round-Trip Transfer: Fort Lauderdale to Key West: $198
  • Private Airport Transfer in Key West, Florida: $209

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Key West?

Prices for flights to both Key West 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

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.

Key West's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $26 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $14
    Key West $26
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: $14

Tours and Activities in Key West

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Key West are as follows:

  • Self-Guided Bike Tour to Key West Beaches and Back Roads: $7.19
  • Easy Stroll Audio Tour Downtown Key West: $7.99
  • The Ghosts of Key West Walking Tour: $20
  • Key West Scavenger Hunt Adventure Mobile Experience: $21
  • Key West Ghost Tour: $24
  • 6th Sense Haunted Tour of Key West: $25
  • The Dark Side of Key West Ghost Tour: $28
  • Southernmost Key West History and Culture Small-Group Walking Tour: $28
  • History and Culture Southernmost Walking Tour: $30
  • Old Town Key West Literary Walking Tour: $30
  • Key West Ghost and Mysteries Guided Tour: $32
  • Southernmost Key West Historical Tour in Small Group: $33

Alcohol

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 $13 on alcoholic beverages in Key West per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $39
    Key West $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Key West

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

  • Key West Haunted Pub Crawl and Ghost Tour: $23
  • Yes, Queen! Drag Queen Pub Crawl of Key West: $34
  • Key West Pub Crawl: $35


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Gainesville and Key West, we can see that Key West 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 Key West would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Key West than you might in Gainesville.

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Gainesville vs. Key West Travel Comparison

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