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

Should you visit Gainesville or Sacramento?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Sacramento, 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. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Sacramento

Sacramento is a laid back, relaxed, and undiscovered city. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Gainesville and Sacramento: 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
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Sacramento?

Both Sacramento and Gainesville have plenty of things to do for travelers. Both provide a wide variety of sights and activities for tourists. Sacramento is more touristy than Gainesville and is popular for its history and state capital. Gainesville is famous for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Gainesville different from Sacramento?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Gainesville
Sacramento

Both Gainesville and Sacramento have superb 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 Sacramento. As the state capital, you'll find a number of historical and informational museums around town. You should check out the State Capital, as well as the California State Railroad Museum, the Crocker Museum of Art, Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, and the California Automobile Museum.


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

Gainesville
Sacramento

Both Gainesville and Sacramento 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.

Sacramento has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Casual restaurants with laid back atmospheres are what's most common around town. You'll also find a variety of international cuisines that include Korean and Vietnamese.

Is Gainesville or Sacramento Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Sacramento

Gainesville is a very popular place for nightlife and partying. Also, Sacramento is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its evening party scene.

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.

Sacramento has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. There highest concentration of activities are found in Downtown Sacramento. You'll find bars, clubs and live music in the area. You can also head to midtown, which has performing arts and comedy shows.

Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Sacramento?

Gainesville
Sacramento

Both Gainesville and Sacramento 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 Sacramento. You'll find down-to-earth vendors who have reasonable prices and a great selection. Some of the most interesting shopping is found at the Old Sacramento Waterfront or along Folsom Boulevard.


Is Gainesville or Sacramento Better for Families?

Gainesville
Sacramento

Gainesville and Sacramento are both nice 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.

Sacramento is a family-friendly city. With the large number of families that live in the area, you'll a variety of kid-friendly activities. Options include smaller amusement parks like Funderland Amusement Park, museums like the Sacramento Children's Museum, and indoor trampoline parks. There's also Fairytale Town, which is an imagination filled playground.

Is Gainesville or Sacramento Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Sacramento

Gainesville is a nice place to visit for its romantic activities. However, Sacramento is lacking in good options for couples.

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.

Sacramento is not always the best place to visit for a couple. Picnics, nice restaurants, and shows make for enjoyable date activities while you're in town.

Is Gainesville or Sacramento Better for Students?

Gainesville
Sacramento

Gainesville is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Sacramento is not popular with students.

Gainesville is a great city to visit as a student. 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.

Sacramento is not popular with students.


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

Gainesville
Sacramento

Gainesville is a nice place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Sacramento is lacking in good 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 Sacramento. There's both light rail and buses around town.

Is Gainesville or Sacramento a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Sacramento

Gainesville is a nice place to visit for its high level of walkability. However, Sacramento is lacking in good options 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.

Sacramento is generally not very walkable. You'll really want a car to get around town, but Midtown is one of the more walkable areas.

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

Should I spend more time in Sacramento or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Sacramento?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Gainesville or Sacramento to fill your time. In our opinion, Gainesville has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Gainesville than Sacramento. However, 1-2 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Gainesville than Sacramento. 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.

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

One day in Gainesville or Sacramento?

With museums and nightlife around the high energy city of Gainesville, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Gainesville, one day is sufficent for most.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the laid back city of Sacramento. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A weekend in Gainesville or Sacramento?

With nightlife and food around the destination of Gainesville, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the undiscovered destination of Sacramento. 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 Sacramento?

Gainesville, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

The undiscovered city of Sacramento offers shopping and museums. 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 Sacramento?

Gainesville is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Sacramento. 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 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, Sacramento 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 Sacramento is $281. 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 Sacramento in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Sacramento $111
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Sacramento $222
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Sacramento

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Sacramento? 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 Sacramento


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 Sacramento Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Sacramento $51

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sacramento

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

  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Sacramento Arrival Private Transfer: $62
  • Sacramento City to Sacramento Airport (SMF) - Departure Private Transfer: $62
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Arrival Private Transfer: $112
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Sacramento hotel/address- RoundTrip Private Transfer: $124
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Heavenly Mountain - Arrival Transfer: $222
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $224
  • Round Trip Private Transfer in Sacramento Airport to Calistoga: $296

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Sacramento?

Prices for flights to both Sacramento 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
    Sacramento $53
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 Sacramento

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

  • Historic Old Sacramento Walking Food Tour: $95
  • Midtown Sacramento Arts and Food Tour: $98
  • Downtown Sacramento Historical Food Tour: $98
  • Midtown Sacramento Walking Food Tour: $125
  • Midtown Walking Food Tour: $145
  • Italian Cooking and Dance Class Experience: $160

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Sacramento $19
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 Sacramento

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

  • Gold Rush & Ghosts SmartPhone App Walking Tour: $6.50
  • Gold Rush and Ghosts of Sacramento Smart Phone guided (App/GPS) Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Old A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Historic Folsom: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Old A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Driving in Delta’s Wine Country: Private Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Delta's History and Wine: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $12
  • A Highway 49 Drive: A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Jackson to Angels Camp: $12
  • A Highway 49 Drive: A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Placerville to Jackson: $12
  • A Highway 49 Drive: A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Auburn to Placerville: $12
  • Sacramento Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $49
    Sacramento $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Sacramento

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

  • Sacramento Bar Hunt: Sacramento Sprint Bar Crawl: $12
  • Placer County Wine Tasting Pass: $19
  • Apple Hill and Carson Road Digital Wine Tasting with Pass: $19
  • Wine Tasting Audio Tour - Lodi California: $35
  • Cider and Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch - near Sacramento: $125
  • Lodi Wine Tasting Tour Private Customized 1 -14 Group: $799


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


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Sacramento?

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

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 Sacramento in the Summer?

Both Sacramento and Gainesville during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Gainesville because of the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Sacramento this time of year.

In the summer, Gainesville is a little warmer than Sacramento. Typically, the summer temperatures in Gainesville in July average around 81°F (27°C), and Sacramento averages at about 76°F (24°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Gainesville. Gainesville usually gets more rain in July than Sacramento. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C) 
    Sacramento 76°F (24°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Sacramento in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Gainesville and Sacramento. The shopping scene are the main draw to Gainesville this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Sacramento for the shopping scene.

In October, Gainesville is generally a little warmer than Sacramento. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 71°F (22°C), and Sacramento fluctuates around 64°F (18°C).

In October, Gainesville usually receives more rain than Sacramento. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 1.1 inches (27 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. June to November is the hurricane season in Gainesville.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C) 
    Sacramento 64°F (18°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Sacramento in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Sacramento. Many travelers come to Gainesville for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, many visitors come to Sacramento in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Gainesville is much warmer than Sacramento in the winter. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 54°F (12°C) in January, and Sacramento fluctuates around 45°F (7°C).

Gainesville usually gets less rain in January than Sacramento. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 3.8 inches (97 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Sacramento 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Sacramento in the Spring?

Both Sacramento and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

In the spring, Gainesville is a little warmer than Sacramento. Typically, the spring temperatures in Gainesville in April average around 69°F (20°C), and Sacramento averages at about 58°F (15°C).

In April, Gainesville usually receives more rain than Sacramento. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 1.3 inches (32 mm) of rain each month for the spring. June to November in Gainesville is the hurricane season.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C) 
    Sacramento 58°F (15°C)

Typical Weather for Sacramento and Gainesville

Gainesville Sacramento
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 51°F (10°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 58°F (15°C) 1.3 inches (32 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 65°F (18°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 76°F (24°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 75°F (24°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 45°F (7°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)