Should you visit Gainesville or Sarasota?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Sarasota, 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.
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 $135, while the average daily cost in Sarasota is $279. 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 Sarasota in more detail.
A hotel room in Gainesville is about $138 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Sarasota, $332 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Sarasota, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $166, such as in a hostel.
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 Sarasota can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $110 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $44 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Gainesville
Some typical examples of dining costs in Gainesville are as follows:
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:
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.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Gainesville
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Gainesville:
Private Transfer from Gainesville to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport:
Private Transfer from Gainesville to Port Canaveral:
Private Transfer from Gainesville to Orlando (MCO) Airport:
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:
Private Departure Transfer to Sarasota Airport SRQ:
Sarasota to Sarasota–Bradenton Intl. Airport (SRQ) - Departure Private Transfer:
Sarasota–Bradenton Intl. Airport (SRQ) to Sarasota - Arrival Private Transfer:
Sarasota Airport to Hotel Private Transfer:
Sarasota Private Transfer - Hotel to Airport:
Sarasota–Bradenton Intl. Airport (SRQ) to Sarasota - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Private Transfer from Sarasota to Orlando (MCO) Airport:
Private Transfer from Sarasota to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport:
Private Transfer from Sarasota to Port Canaveral:
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.
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.
Sightseeing expenses in Sarasota, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $9.08 per day, per person.
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:
Tours and Activities in Sarasota
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sarasota.
Public Art Tour:
Psychic Sunday Tour:
City Sightseeing Trolley Tour of Sarasota:
Tiki Trivia Trolley Tour with Local Performer and Guide:
Sightseeing Trolley Tour of Sarasota for Private Groups & Corporate Events:
Infamous Sarasota - Happy Hour City Trolley Tour:
90-Minute Narrated City Sightseeing Trolley Tour:
Circus History Tour:
Sarasota Bay & Lido Key BEST Mangrove Kayak Tour:
Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Ecotour:
Paddleboard or Kayak Tour Through Mangrove Tunnels:
Kayak Tour through Mangrove Tunnels:
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.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Gainesville and Sarasota, we can see that Sarasota 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 Sarasota would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Sarasota than you might in Gainesville.
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