A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Gainesville vs. Naples for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Gainesville or Naples?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Naples, 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 high energy, active, and vibrant city. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Naples

Naples is a relaxing, peaceful, and nature-filled beach town. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Gainesville and Naples: 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
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Naples?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Naples than Gainesville, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Naples is better known for its food, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, hiking, and impressive beauty, while Gainesville is more popular for its museums and nightlife. Naples is more touristy than Gainesville and is popular for its white sand, blue water, water sports, and golf resorts. Also, Naples is famous for Naples Pier and the miles of sandy beach. Gainesville is well known for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Gainesville different from Naples?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Gainesville
Naples

Gainesville is an excellent place to visit for its museums and history. Also, Naples is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Gainesville. 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.

Naples is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. While most visitors spend most of their time at the beach, on a rainy day you can check out the town's art museums, history museums, or local spots such as the Palm Cottage.


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

Gainesville
Naples

Naples is notable for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Naples makes for a great culinary experience. Seafood is a favorite around town, but you'll also find plenty of Italian food. Everything from casual to fine dining is available with many local favorites to choose from.

Gainesville has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Casual eateries are popular around town, particularly with the student population. There are grills, diners, and bistros that serve local dishes at affordable prices.

Is Gainesville or Naples Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Naples

Gainesville is an excellent place to visit for its evening party scene. Also, Naples is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife.

Gainesville has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. 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.

Naples has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. There are live music venues, cocktail bars, and dance clubs around town.

Is Gainesville or Naples Better for Resorts?

Gainesville
Naples

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

Naples is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. There are luxury resorts, family-friendly hotels, and a range of prices to choose from. Most have pools and many have oceanfront views with golf facilities available. Many of the major brands such as Marriott are found here.

Gainesville is not a resort destination.


Is Gainesville or Naples Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Gainesville
Naples

Naples is a nice place to visit for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Gainesville is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Naples has a few areas where visitors often go scuba diving or snorkeling. Snorkeling and scuba diving are both available in the area, in part because of the impressive artificial reefs that have been constructed. Snorkeling is available at Tigertail Beach, Clam Pass, and Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park.

Gainesville is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Gainesville or Naples Better for Beaches?

Gainesville
Naples

Naples is very popular for its beaches. However, Gainesville is not a beach destination.

The beaches in Naples are among the best in the world. White sand beaches and calm Gulf waters make this an ideal beach destination. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is a favorite beach spot in the area, but you should also check out Naples Municipal Beach which is where you'll find the Naples Pier. If you want a more natural setting, head to Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park.

Gainesville is not a beach destination.

Is Gainesville or Naples Better for Hiking?

Gainesville
Naples

Naples is a nice place to visit for the nearby hiking options. However, Gainesville is not a hiking destination.

Naples has hiking trails worth exploring. The area is filled with state parks and nature reserves where you can explore and enjoy a scenic hike. There are also greenways and coastal paths nearby.

Gainesville is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Naples?

Gainesville
Naples

Both Gainesville and Naples are notable 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 Naples. You'll find shopping centers, outlet malls, and plenty of retail space around town. Some of the favorite shopping spots are the Mercato, Coastland Center, and Waterside Shops. For souvenirs and beach items head to Tin City Waterfront Shops.

Is Gainesville or Naples Better for Families?

Gainesville
Naples

Naples 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.

Naples is a very family-friendly place to visit. You'll find relaxing beaches, nice parks, plenty of playgrounds, and even the Golisano Childrens Museum for rainy days. There are also nature centers with great walks as well as gardens and wildlife viewpoints.

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 Naples Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Naples

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

Naples is a very popular place to visit for couples. Beautiful beaches and relaxing spas make this a favorite couples destination. Golf, high end restaurants and plenty of romantic activities will ensure you have the anniversary trip or honeymoon to remember.

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 Naples Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Gainesville
Naples

Naples is a nice place to visit for backpackers. However, Gainesville is a mediocre city for backpackers and budget travelers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Naples. There's a hostel or two in the area as well as cheaper accommodation than other parts of Florida.

Gainesville is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's not high on the list for many travelers, but there are some cheap motels where budget travelers can stay.

Is Gainesville or Naples Better for Students?

Gainesville
Naples

Gainesville is an excellent place to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Naples is not popular with students.

Students come from all over to stay in 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.

Naples is not popular with students.

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

Gainesville
Naples

Gainesville is a city with good options for times when you don't have a car. However, Naples is lacking in 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 Naples. There's a trolley system as well as a public bus system.


Is Gainesville or Naples a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Naples

Gainesville and Naples both are notable when exploring on foot.

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

Naples is a somewhat walkable place. The downtown area is relatively walkable, but to fully explore the region you'll need your own car.

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

Should I spend more time in Naples or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Naples?

In either Gainesville or Naples, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Naples than Gainesville because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Gainesville, and 2-5 days is enough time in Naples.

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

Couples should spend more time in Naples than Gainesville. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Naples that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Naples than Gainesville 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 Naples.


  • How many days in Gainesville or Naples? Ideal Length of Stay
    Gainesville 1-2 
    Naples 2-5

One day in Gainesville or Naples?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Gainesville. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the relaxing beach town of Naples. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Most people visit for the beaches. 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 Naples?

Gainesville is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the peaceful destination of Naples. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This beach 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 Naples?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Gainesville. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Visitors enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the nature-filled beach town of Naples. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Gainesville or Naples?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the high energy destination of Gainesville. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Many people enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting Naples. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Most people visit for the beaches. 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, Naples 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 Naples is $226. 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 Naples in more detail.



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

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Naples? 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 Naples


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 Naples Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Naples $62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Naples

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

  • Naples to Southwest Florida Airport (RSW) - Departure Private Transfer: $103

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Naples?

Prices for flights to both Naples 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
    Naples $70
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 Naples

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

  • Traditional Greek Cooking Class in Naples Florida: $224

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Naples $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: $15
  • Private Snorkeling Tour in Florida Springs: $250
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Gainesville by Operation City Quest: $10

Tours and Activities in Naples

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

  • Naples Kayak Rentals, Self Guided Eco Experience: $25
  • Self-Guided Island Tour - CLEAR or Standard Kayak or Board - Bonita Springs : $30
  • Naples Sightseeing Boat Tour: $51
  • Trike Tour of Naples Florida - Fun Activity Downtown Naples: $55
  • Naples, FL: Group Sightseeing Guided Bike Tour: $55
  • Guided Sightseeing Bike Tour - Explore Naples Florida: $55
  • Naples, Florida - Segway Electric Moped Tour - Family Fun: $55
  • Segway Tour of Downtown Naples FL - Explore The Fun Way: $55
  • Naples, Florida: Family Friendly Guided Electric Trike Tour: $55
  • 90 Minute Segway Tour - Explore Naples Florida - Family Fun: $55
  • Gulf of Mexico Sunset Cruise from Naples: $55
  • Segway Tour Of Naples Florida Fun Family Experience: $55

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $49
    Naples $38

Sample the Local Flavors in Naples

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Naples:

  • Epic Naples Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12


When comparing the travel costs between Gainesville and Naples, we can see that Naples 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 Naples Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Naples?

Gainesville has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of Naples. When comparing the sizes of Gainesville and Naples, 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.