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

Should you visit Gainesville or Winston-Salem?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Gainesville or Winston-Salem, 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. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem is a under-rated, welcoming, and friendly city. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Gainesville and Winston-Salem: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Gainesville or Winston-Salem?

You'll generally find more things to do in Winston-Salem than Gainesville. Winston-Salem is bigger than Gainesville, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Winston-Salem is better known for its historical sights, while Gainesville is more popular for its museums and nightlife. Winston-Salem is more touristy than Gainesville and is known for it's southern character and quaint college campuses. Also, Winston-Salem is famous for Old Salem. Gainesville is well known for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Gainesville different from Winston-Salem?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Winston-Salem 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 Winston-Salem?

Gainesville
Winston-Salem

Gainesville is notable for its sights and museums. Also, Winston-Salem is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

Gainesville offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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.

Winston-Salem is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Old Salem has a nice concentration of museums and gardens. Outside of the old town you'll find several art museums like the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art.


Is the Food Better in Gainesville or Winston-Salem? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Gainesville
Winston-Salem

Both Gainesville and Winston-Salem offer notable 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.

Winston-Salem has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. North Carolina barbecue is popular around town. The city is also the birthplace of Krispy Kreme donuts and during the holiday season you should sample the local Moravian Cookies.

Is Gainesville or Winston-Salem Better for Nightlife?

Gainesville
Winston-Salem

Gainesville is notable for its evening party scene. Also, Winston-Salem is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

Gainesville has plenty to do after the sun goes down. 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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Winston-Salem. Local breweries are popping up around town. You'll also find active nightlife venues near the colleges and universities.

Is Gainesville or Winston-Salem Better for its Old Town?

Gainesville
Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem is a nice place to visit for its historic old town. However, Gainesville does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors go to Winston-Salem to see the historical old town. Nearby Old Salem is filled with historic museums, gardens, and restaurants. A ticket is required for most of the venues, but the atmosphere and architecture are charming.

Gainesville does not have a historic old town.


Is the Shopping Better in Gainesville or Winston-Salem?

Gainesville
Winston-Salem

Both Gainesville and Winston-Salem 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 Winston-Salem. You'll find a mix of larger shopping malls, retail outlets, and shopping centers around town.

Is Gainesville or Winston-Salem Better for Families?

Gainesville
Winston-Salem

Gainesville and Winston-Salem 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.

Winston-Salem is a family-friendly city. There are interactive museums like the Kaleideum science museums. There are also outdoor parks and playgrounds, kid-friendly restaurants, and a children's theater.

Is Gainesville or Winston-Salem Better for Couples?

Gainesville
Winston-Salem

Gainesville is a popular place for couples. However, Winston-Salem is a mediocre city 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.

Winston-Salem is not the best destination for a couple to visit. There are restaurants and movie theaters that make for a nice date night. There are also parks and walks that will get you outdoors.


Is Gainesville or Winston-Salem Better for Students?

Gainesville
Winston-Salem

Gainesville is notable for students. Also, Winston-Salem is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its student-friendly activities.

Gainesville is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. 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.

Plenty of students visit Winston-Salem. Wake Forest University as well as colleges such as Salem College give parts of the city a collegiate vibe.

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

Gainesville
Winston-Salem

Gainesville is a popular place for its public transit. However, Winston-Salem is a mediocre city for times when you don't have a car.

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

Public transit is mostly limited in Winston-Salem. There are bus routes, but they are limited in their frequency and convenience, making a car essential for most visitors.

Is Gainesville or Winston-Salem a more walkable city?

Gainesville
Winston-Salem

Gainesville is a popular place for its ease of walking around. However, Winston-Salem is a mediocre city 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.

Winston-Salem is generally not a very walkable city. The downtown area is the most pedestrian-friendly part of town, but most of the city requires a car.


For even more information, also check out Is Gainesville Worth Visiting? and Is Winston-Salem Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Winston-Salem or Gainesville?

How long in Gainesville or Winston-Salem?

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

Families should spend more time in Gainesville than Winston-Salem. 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 Winston-Salem. 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 Winston-Salem 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 Winston-Salem? Ideal Length of Stay
    Gainesville 1-2 
    Winston-Salem 1-2

One day in Gainesville or Winston-Salem?

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the active destination of Gainesville. Your budget might influence how long you stay. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one day is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the welcoming city of Winston-Salem. 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 Winston-Salem?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Gainesville. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the under-rated destination of Winston-Salem. 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 Winston-Salem?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the high energy destination of Gainesville. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. 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 under-rated city of Winston-Salem 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 Winston-Salem?

You'll find food and shopping around the city of Gainesville. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Winston-Salem. 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, Winston-Salem 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 Winston-Salem is $150. 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 Winston-Salem in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gainesville $119
    Winston-Salem $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gainesville $238
    Winston-Salem $182
Compare Hotels in Gainesville and Winston-Salem

Looking for a hotel in Gainesville or Winston-Salem? 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 Winston-Salem


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 Winston-Salem Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gainesville $40
    Winston-Salem $23

Is it cheaper to fly into Gainesville or Winston-Salem?

Prices for flights to both Winston-Salem 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
    Winston-Salem $42
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
    Winston-Salem $20
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:

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Gainesville by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Butterfly Rainforest at Florida Museum of Natural History Ticket: $15
  • Private Snorkeling Tour in Florida Springs: $250

Tours and Activities in Winston-Salem

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Winston-Salem are as follows:

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Winston-Salem by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Carolina History & Haunts Winston-Salem Historical Ghost Tour: $26

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gainesville $49
    Winston-Salem $24


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

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


Which is Bigger, Gainesville or Winston-Salem?

Winston-Salem has a larger population, and is about 54% larger than the population of Gainesville. When comparing the sizes of Gainesville and Winston-Salem, 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 Winston-Salem?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Gainesville or Winston-Salem in the Summer?

Both Winston-Salem and Gainesville are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Gainesville in the summer for the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Winston-Salem for the family-friendly experiences during these months.

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

It rains a lot this time of the year in Winston-Salem. It's quite rainy in Gainesville. In July, Gainesville usually receives more rain than Winston-Salem. Gainesville gets 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain, while Winston-Salem receives 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C) 
    Winston-Salem 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Winston-Salem in the Autumn?

Both Winston-Salem and Gainesville during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Gainesville for the shopping scene during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Winston-Salem because of the shopping scene.

Gainesville is a little warmer than Winston-Salem in the autumn. The daily temperature in Gainesville averages around 71°F (22°C) in October, and Winston-Salem fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

Gainesville usually gets less rain in October than Winston-Salem. Gainesville gets 2 inches (51 mm) of rain, while Winston-Salem receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year. Keep in mind that June to November is the hurricane season in Gainesville.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C) 
    Winston-Salem 62°F (17°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Winston-Salem in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Gainesville and Winston-Salem. The winter months attract visitors to Gainesville because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Winston-Salem this time of year.

It's quite cold in Winston-Salem in the winter. In the winter, Gainesville is much warmer than Winston-Salem. Typically, the winter temperatures in Gainesville in January average around 54°F (12°C), and Winston-Salem averages at about 40°F (4°C).

In January, Gainesville usually receives less rain than Winston-Salem. Gainesville gets 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Winston-Salem receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C) 
    Winston-Salem 40°F (4°C)

Should I visit Gainesville or Winston-Salem in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Gainesville as well as Winston-Salem.

In April, Gainesville is generally a little warmer than Winston-Salem. Daily temperatures in Gainesville average around 69°F (20°C), and Winston-Salem fluctuates around 61°F (16°C).

Gainesville usually gets less rain in April than Winston-Salem. Gainesville gets 2 inches (50 mm) of rain, while Winston-Salem receives 3.1 inches (80 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, June to November in Gainesville is the hurricane season.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C) 
    Winston-Salem 61°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Winston-Salem and Gainesville

Gainesville Winston-Salem
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm) 40°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Feb 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
Apr 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 61°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm)
May 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 69°F (21°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm) 81°F (27°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 80°F (26°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm)
Sep 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 62°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Dec 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (80 mm)