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

Should you visit Gainesville or Sarasota?

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

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

Where Should I go: Gainesville or Sarasota?


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.


Located on the Gulf Coast of southwest Florida, Sarasota is a popular city known for its thriving arts scene, selection of restaurants, plenty of shopping, and beautiful beaches. The metropolitan area is a hub of city culture, while the beaches offer escapes of fine white sand and aqua waters.

Which city is cheaper, Sarasota or Gainesville?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Gainesville is $172, while the average daily cost in Sarasota is $200. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Gainesville and Sarasota in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $95
    Sarasota $87
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $190
    Sarasota $174
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Sarasota

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Sarasota? 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 Sarasota

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 Sarasota Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $32
    Sarasota -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Gainesville

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Gainesville:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sarasota

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Sarasota Airport SRQ: $32
  • Private Departure Transfer to Sarasota Airport SRQ: $32
  • Sarasota to Sarasota–Bradenton Intl. Airport (SRQ) - Departure Private Transfer: $112
  • Sarasota–Bradenton Intl. Airport (SRQ) to Sarasota - Arrival Private Transfer: $112
  • Sarasota Airport to Hotel Private Transfer: $133
  • Sarasota Private Transfer - Hotel to Airport: $133
  • Sarasota–Bradenton Intl. Airport (SRQ) to Sarasota - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $224
  • Private Transfer from Sarasota to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $453
  • Private Transfer from Sarasota to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $615
  • Private Transfer from Sarasota to Port Canaveral: $658

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Sarasota?

Prices for flights to both Sarasota 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 Meals for one day
    Gainesville $56
    Sarasota $110
Typical Food prices in Gainesville

Some typical examples of dining costs in Gainesville are as follows:

  • Diner Breakfast for Two
  • Lunch at Chop Stix (for 2)

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sarasota

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

  • Downtown Walking Food Tour in Sarasota: $99

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $16
    Sarasota $9.08
Typical Entertainment prices in Gainesville

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Gainesville are as follows:

  • Manatee Tour for Two
  • Tour Guide Tip

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 Sarasota

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sarasota.

  • Public Art Tour: $39
  • Psychic Sunday Tour: $40
  • City Sightseeing Trolley Tour of Sarasota: $43
  • Tiki Trivia Trolley Tour with Local Performer and Guide: $43
  • Sightseeing Trolley Tour of Sarasota for Private Groups & Corporate Events: $45
  • Infamous Sarasota - Happy Hour City Trolley Tour: $46
  • Circus History Tour: $49
  • 90-Minute Narrated City Sightseeing Trolley Tour: $49
  • Sarasota Bay & Lido Key BEST Mangrove Kayak Tour: $50
  • Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Ecotour: $51
  • Paddleboard or Kayak Tour Through Mangrove Tunnels: $51
  • Kayak Tour through Mangrove Tunnels: $51

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $39
    Sarasota -

When comparing the travel costs between Gainesville and Sarasota, we can see that Sarasota 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.

When is the best time to visit Gainesville or Sarasota?

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 Sarasota in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Sarasota.

In the summer, Gainesville is around the same temperature as Sarasota. Typically, the summer temperatures in Gainesville in July are around 81°F (27°C), and Sarasota is about 82°F (28°C).

It's quite rainy in Sarasota. Gainesville receives a lot of rain in the summer. Gainesville usually gets less rain in July than Sarasota. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Sarasota receives 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C) 
    Sarasota 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Sarasota in the Autumn?

Both Sarasota and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.

In October, Gainesville is generally cooler than Sarasota. Temperatures in Gainesville average around 71°F (22°C), and Sarasota stays around 76°F (24°C).

In October, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Sarasota. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Sarasota receives 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C) 
    Sarasota 76°F (24°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Sarasota in the Winter?

Both Sarasota and Gainesville during the winter are popular places to visit.

Gainesville is cooler than Sarasota in the winter. The temperature in Gainesville is usually 54°F (12°C) in January, and Sarasota stays around 59°F (15°C).

Gainesville usually gets more rain in January than Sarasota. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Sarasota receives 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Sarasota 59°F (15°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Sarasota in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Gainesville and Sarasota.

In the spring, Gainesville is cooler than Sarasota. Typically, the spring temperatures in Gainesville in April are around 69°F (20°C), and Sarasota is about 73°F (23°C).

In April, Gainesville usually receives around the same amount of rain as Sarasota. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Sarasota receives 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C) 
    Sarasota 73°F (23°C)

Typical Weather for Sarasota and Gainesville

Gainesville Sarasota
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 59°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 67°F (20°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 78°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 82°F (28°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 76°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)

Budget Your Trip

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Gainesville vs. Sarasota Travel Comparison

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