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

Should you visit Gainesville or Tallahassee?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Tallahassee, 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 museums, nightlife, and food.

Tallahassee

Tallahassee is a vibrant, youthful, and lively city. It's also known for nightlife, shopping, and museums.

Gainesville and Tallahassee: 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
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Tallahassee?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Gainesville than Tallahassee. While Tallahassee is larger than Gainesville, Gainesville has more sights and attractions for tourists. Tallahassee is more touristy than Gainesville and is popular for its capital building and many universities. Gainesville is well known for being the home of the University of Florida Also, Gainesville is famous for the Florida Museum of Natural History.

How is Gainesville different from Tallahassee?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Gainesville
Tallahassee

Both Gainesville and Tallahassee have high quality 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 Tallahassee. As the capital city of Florida, you'll find a number of museums around town. Tallahassee Museum has outdoor and indoor space to explore. You can also visit the Tallahassee Automobile Museum, the Museum of Florida History, or the Florida Historic Capital Museum.


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

Gainesville
Tallahassee

Gainesville is a city with good options for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Tallahassee is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Gainesville is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Casual eateries are popular around town, particularly with the student population. There are grills, diners, and bistros that serve local dishes at affordable prices.

Tallahassee offers some easy restaurants to choose from. You'll find plenty of chain restaurants and cheap eateries that cater to the students. The main options are classic American restaurants with a few international restaurants mixed in as well.

Is Gainesville or Tallahassee Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Tallahassee

Gainesville is great for its evening party scene. Also, Tallahassee is not as popular, but is still a nice city for nightlife.

Many people head to Gainesville for the nightlife scene. 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.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Tallahassee. The nightlife scene is mostly centered around the student population. There are many bars and pubs that fill up with students on weekends.

Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Tallahassee?

Gainesville
Tallahassee

Both Gainesville and Tallahassee 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 Tallahassee. There is no shortage of strip malls and shopping centers in the area. Some of the most interesting shopping is found at Railroad Square and Market Square.


Is Gainesville or Tallahassee Better for Families?

Gainesville
Tallahassee

Gainesville and Tallahassee are both notable 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.

Tallahassee is a family-friendly city. There are plenty of outdoor parks and adventure activities for kids. You could also see the wild manatees at Wakulla Springs.

Is Gainesville or Tallahassee Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Tallahassee

Gainesville is a city with good options for couples. However, Tallahassee is not a good destination for romance.

Gainesville is a good city for couples to visit. 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.

Tallahassee is not the best destination for a couple to visit. Head to a restaurant or bar. You could also check out a concert or explore a garden or park in town.

Is Gainesville or Tallahassee Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Gainesville
Tallahassee

Tallahassee 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 Tallahassee. The student population creates an environment that is welcoming to backpackers. There's also a hostel in town with affordable rooms.

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 Tallahassee Better for Students?

Gainesville
Tallahassee

Gainesville and Tallahassee are both high quality destinations for students and younger travelers.

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.

Students come from all over to stay in Tallahassee. Both Florida State University and Florida A&M University are located here. There's a large student population with many activities and cheap restaurants that appeal to the student crowd.

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

Gainesville
Tallahassee

Gainesville is a city with good options for times when you don't have a car. However, Tallahassee is not a good destination for its public transit.

While Gainesville offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There's a decent bus system that's free to students and employees of the university.

Public transit is generally limited in Tallahassee. There is a bus system operated by StarMetro.

Is Gainesville or Tallahassee a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Tallahassee

Gainesville is a city with good options for its ease of walking around. However, Tallahassee is not a good destination for its walkability.

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

Tallahassee is generally not very walkable. There are a couple of walkable areas around Railroad Square, Downtown, and Midtown, but for the most part the city is not pedestrian-friendly.


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

Should I spend more time in Tallahassee or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Tallahassee?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Gainesville or Tallahassee 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 Tallahassee. However, 1-2 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Gainesville than Tallahassee. 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 Tallahassee. 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.


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

One day in Gainesville or Tallahassee?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the high energy city of Gainesville. 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.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting the youthful city of Tallahassee. 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 Tallahassee?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the high energy destination of Gainesville. 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.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the lively destination of Tallahassee. 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 Tallahassee?

The active city of Gainesville 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.

The lively city of Tallahassee offers museums and nightlife. 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 Tallahassee?

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Gainesville. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Many people enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting Tallahassee. 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 Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, and The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Tallahassee 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 Tallahassee is $156. 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 Tallahassee in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Tallahassee $89
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Tallahassee $178
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Tallahassee

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Tallahassee? 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 Tallahassee


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 Tallahassee Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Tallahassee $33

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Tallahassee?

Prices for flights to both Tallahassee 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
    Tallahassee $47
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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gainesville $44
    Tallahassee $12
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 Tallahassee

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

  • Luxury Picnic Experience at Pedrick Pond Park: $120
  • Experience Tranquility with a Picnic at Pedrick Pond Park: $120
  • Tallahassee Tranquility: A Scenic Walking Tour: $195
  • Tallahassee Delights: A Christmas Tour Through Art and Parks: $250
  • Tallahassee Tranquility: A Scenic Walking Tour: $383
  • Tallahassee Delights: A Christmas Tour Through Art and Parks: $492

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $49
    Tallahassee $53


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

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


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Tallahassee?

Tallahassee has a larger population, and is about 22% larger than the population of Gainesville. When comparing the sizes of Gainesville and Tallahassee, 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 Tallahassee?

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 Tallahassee in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Tallahassee. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Gainesville this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Tallahassee for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Gainesville is generally around the same temperature as Tallahassee. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 81°F (27°C), and Tallahassee fluctuates around 82°F (28°C).

It's quite rainy in Tallahassee. Gainesville receives a lot of rain in the summer. Gainesville usually gets less rain in July than Tallahassee. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Tallahassee receives 8.9 inches (227 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Gainesville or Tallahassee in the Autumn?

Both Tallahassee and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Gainesville for the shopping scene. Also, many visitors come to Tallahassee in the autumn for the shopping scene.

Gainesville is around the same temperature as Tallahassee in the autumn. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 71°F (22°C) in October, and Tallahassee fluctuates around 69°F (20°C).

In October, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Tallahassee. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Tallahassee receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. The hurricane season in Gainesville is June to November. The hurricane season in Tallahassee is June to November.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C) 
    Tallahassee 69°F (20°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Tallahassee in the Winter?

Both Tallahassee and Gainesville during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Gainesville in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Tallahassee for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

In the winter, Gainesville is a little warmer than Tallahassee. Typically, the winter temperatures in Gainesville in January average around 54°F (12°C), and Tallahassee averages at about 51°F (11°C).

Gainesville usually gets less rain in January than Tallahassee. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Tallahassee receives 3.7 inches (95 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Tallahassee 51°F (11°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Tallahassee in the Spring?

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

In April, Gainesville is generally around the same temperature as Tallahassee. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 69°F (20°C), and Tallahassee fluctuates around 67°F (19°C).

Tallahassee receives a lot of rain in the spring. In April, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Tallahassee. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Tallahassee receives 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain each month for the spring. June to November is the hurricane season in Gainesville. June to November is the hurricane season in Tallahassee.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C) 
    Tallahassee 67°F (19°C)

Typical Weather for Tallahassee and Gainesville

Gainesville Tallahassee
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 51°F (11°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 54°F (12°C) 4.8 inches (121 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 60°F (16°C) 5.9 inches (151 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 67°F (19°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 74°F (23°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 80°F (27°C) 6.6 inches (168 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8.9 inches (227 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 82°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (175 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 78°F (26°C) 6.7 inches (169 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 69°F (20°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 60°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 54°F (12°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)