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

Should you visit Gainesville or Portland?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Portland, 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. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Portland

Portland is a quirky, eclectic, and tree-lined city. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and hiking.

Gainesville and Portland: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Portland?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Portland than Gainesville, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Portland is more popular for its music, hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while Gainesville is known for its museums, food, and nightlife. Portland is more touristy than Gainesville and is popular for its independent and vintage shops, thriving art scene, lush parks and gardens, progressive and quirky personality, and easy access to amazing natural beauty. It is also home to Washington Park. Gainesville is popular for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Gainesville different from Portland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Gainesville
Portland

Gainesville is a very popular place for its museums and history. However, Portland is lacking in good options 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.

Portland offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Visitors usually come for the city's outdoor recreation and eclectic personality more than the landmarks and museums. There are a few places to visit on a rainy day though including Pittock Mansion, the Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.


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

Gainesville
Portland

Gainesville is a city with good options for its restaurants. However, Portland is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Gainesville. 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 Portland. The town is more famous for it's craft beer than it's food, but there are still a number of local restaurants that offer unique Oregon dishes. You'll find no shortage of vegetarian and vegan options on most menus. There is also a big farm-to-table scene with many farmers markets around town as well.

Is Gainesville or Portland Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Portland

Gainesville is a very popular place for nightlife. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

Gainesville has a large number of nightlife venues. 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.

Portland has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Famously, this town's nightlife is all about the craft beer and local breweries. Make sure you check out Bailey's Taproom, The Big Legrowlski, and The Commons Brewery.

Is Gainesville or Portland Better for Music?

Gainesville
Portland

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

The music scene helps keep Portland active and fun. The town has a thriving live music and international folk dancing scene.

Gainesville is not a live music destination.


Is Gainesville or Portland Better for Hiking?

Gainesville
Portland

Portland is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Gainesville is not a hiking destination.

Portland is a popular spot for hiking. Just outside of town you'll find amazing hikes and stunning natural beauty. In town there are many urban hikes through parks and gardens, but in just a short drive you also have access to Mount Hood and many of the region's most beautiful hikes around the Columbia River Gorge.

Gainesville is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Portland?

Gainesville
Portland

Both Gainesville and Portland 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 Portland. To fully experience shopping in town, head to the local vendors and thrift shops. There are many vintage clothing shops, book stores, and independent sellers around town. The city is also full of farmers markets. For some of the most interesting shopping, check out the Pearl District, Pioneer Place, Union Way, and Downtown neighborhoods.

Is Gainesville or Portland Better for Families?

Gainesville
Portland

Gainesville and Portland are both good 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.

Portland is a family-friendly city. This is an outdoor city by nature, so families will appreciate the many parks and outdoor recreational activities around town. It's easy to fill a couple of days exploring and having fun with the kids. Kid-friendly activities include the zoo, the aerial tram, and several great museums.


Is Gainesville or Portland Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Portland

Gainesville and Portland are both good 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.

Portland makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The laid-back, alternative vibe is fun to explore as a couple. There are independent bookstores, nice parks, and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. Couples who enjoy an eclectic city, breweries, and nature, will find a lot to do in town.

Is Gainesville or Portland Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Gainesville
Portland

Portland is notable for backpackers. However, Gainesville is a mediocre city for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Portland. The town has drawn young explorers for years, and backpackers who like to step away from the mainstream will feel right at home here.

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 Portland Better for Students?

Gainesville
Portland

Gainesville is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for 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.

Portland is popular with students. It's a young and relaxed city that attracts independent thinkers. There are many bookstores and breweries around town. The cost of living can be a bit high though.


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

Gainesville
Portland

Both Gainesville and Portland offer good public transit options.

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

Portland has some public transit options. The town has a bus and light rail system as well the Aerial tram.

Is Gainesville or Portland a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Portland

Portland is notable for its walkability. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its high level of walkability.

Portland is very walkable. It is quite walkable, particularly in the tourist areas such as Downtown, Pearl, and Old Town Chinatown.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Portland or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Portland?

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

Families should spend more time in Gainesville than Portland. 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.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Portland 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 Portland.


  • How many days in Gainesville or Portland? Ideal Length of Stay
    Gainesville 1-2 
    Portland 2-3

One day in Gainesville or Portland?

The city of Gainesville offers food and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the eclectic city of Portland. Hikers are also drawn to this area. 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 Portland?

Gainesville is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Gainesville, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Visitors enjoy the live music and shopping when visiting the nature-filled destination of Portland. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. 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 Portland?

Gainesville is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

The progressive city of Portland offers shopping and nightlife. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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 Portland?

Gainesville is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Many people enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting Portland. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. 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, Portland 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 Portland is $180. 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 Portland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Portland $97
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Portland $194
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Portland

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Portland? 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 Portland


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 Portland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Portland $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portland

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

  • Waterfall Express -PDX: Waterfall Trolley Tickets + Transfer: $60
  • Portland downtown to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $61
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Portland downtown - Arrival Private Transfer: $61
  • Lake Oswego to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $70
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Arrival Private Transfer: $70
  • Tigard hotel or address to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $75
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $75
  • Private Transfer from Portland Airport (PDX) to Astoria Port: $87
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $141
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $150
  • Portland Airport to The Summit at Snoqualmie Arrival Transfer: $184

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Portland?

Prices for flights to both Portland 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
    Portland $43
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 Portland

For Portland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Afternoon Drinks (for 2)
    $9.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portland

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

  • Portland Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Walking Pizza Tour: $75
  • Secret Food Tour with Local Guide: $93
  • Brunch on Mississippi Food Tour: $95
  • Downtown Food Tour: $102
  • The Vibrant Kerns Hood Food Tour: $105
  • The Bustling Buckman Hood Food Tour: $105
  • Portland Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $109
  • Mississippi Avenue Walking Food Tour: $110
  • All-Inclusive Downtown Portland Food Tour: $119
  • All-Inclusive Walking Food Tour: $119
  • 2.5-hour Dinner Cruise on Willamette River: $127

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Portland $24
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 Portland

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

  • Self Guided Solo "Weird and Wonderful Portland" Walking Tour in Old Town : $6.50
  • Smartphone Old Port Portland, ME Audio Walking Tour APP/GPS: $6.75
  • Portland, Maine: Walking Tour Audio Guide: $8.49
  • Downtown Portland In-App Audio Tour (ENG): $9.00
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Smartphone Audio Guide: $10
  • Waterfront Scavenger Hunt Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Downtown Scavenger Hunt & Self-Guided Walking Tour: $13
  • Portland (Along the Waterfront) Scavenger Hunt & Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Portland Exploration: Self-Guided Driving & Walking Tour: $14
  • Self-Guided Sightseeing Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Portland Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Smartphone-Guided Walking Tour of Downtown Portland: $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $49
    Portland $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Portland

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Portland:

  • Haunted Underground Shanghai Tunnel Tour with Brewery Tastings: $40
  • Portland Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $40
  • Weird Bar Crawl with Fanatical Local: $59
  • Guided Bike Tour with Brewery Visits: $65
  • Portland, Maine: Old Port Brewery & Pub Walking Tour: $89
  • Portland, Maine: Local Brewery & Spirits Bus Tour: $99
  • Waterfalls, Mt Hood, and Wine Tour (Tasting Fees Included): $135
  • Silver Falls Hike and Wine Tour: $179
  • Willamette Valley Wine Tasting from Portland: $189
  • From Willamette Valley Full-Day Wine Tour: $210
  • Multnomah Falls, Hood River Excursion Train Ride & Wine Tour: $210
  • Willamette Valley Wine Tour - Full Day Tour: $225


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

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


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Portland?

Portland has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Gainesville. When comparing the sizes of Gainesville and Portland, 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 Portland?

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 Portland in the Summer?

Both Portland and Gainesville during the summer are popular places to visit. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Gainesville this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Portland for the hiking, the small town charm, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

Gainesville is a little warmer than Portland in the summer. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 81°F (27°C) in July, and Portland fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Gainesville. Gainesville usually gets more rain in July than Portland. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C) 
    Portland 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Portland in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Gainesville and Portland. Many travelers come to Gainesville for the shopping scene. Furthermore, many visitors come to Portland in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Gainesville is much warmer than Portland. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Gainesville in October average around 71°F (22°C), and Portland averages at about 55°F (13°C).

In October, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Portland. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. June to November in Gainesville is the hurricane season.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C) 
    Portland 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Portland in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Portland. Many visitors come to Gainesville in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, most visitors come to Portland for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Portland can be very cold during winter. In January, Gainesville is generally much warmer than Portland. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 54°F (12°C), and Portland fluctuates around 40°F (4°C).

It's quite rainy in Portland. Gainesville usually gets less rain in January than Portland. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Portland 40°F (4°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Portland in the Spring?

Both Portland and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Portland because of the small town charm and the natural beauty.

Gainesville is much warmer than Portland in the spring. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 69°F (20°C) in April, and Portland fluctuates around 51°F (11°C).

In April, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Portland. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain each month for the spring. The hurricane season in Gainesville is June to November.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C) 
    Portland 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Portland and Gainesville

Gainesville Portland
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm)