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

Should you visit Washington or Gainesville?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Washington and Gainesville can help you decide which place is right for you.

Washington

Washington is a international, diverse, and active city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Gainesville

Gainesville is a active, vibrant, and high energy city. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Washington and Gainesville: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Washington Monument and the White House
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Washington or Gainesville?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Washington than Gainesville, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Washington is more touristy than Gainesville and is popular for its reputation as the capital of the United States, but it's also known for its many monuments, memorials, and museums. It is also home to The Washington Monument and the White House. Gainesville is popular for being the home of the University of Florida

How is Washington different from Gainesville?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Gainesville and Washington. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Washington or Gainesville?

Washington
Gainesville

Washington is very popular for its sights and museums. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Washington that are not to be missed. The city has world class museums that are often free. The Smithsonian Museums are arguably some of the most impressive museums in the United States. The city also has a large collection of monuments that are dedicated to past presidents or historical events. Many are best experienced at night when the sun sets and the lights come on.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Gainesville. 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.


Is Washington or Gainesville Better for Theater?

Washington
Gainesville

Washington is notable for theatre. However, Gainesville is not a theatre destination.

Many visitors plan to see a show while visiting Washington. Theater is popular in the city. From major theaters like the Kennedy Center and Ford's Theater, to lesser known smaller venues, there are options for everyone.

Gainesville is not a theatre destination.

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

Washington
Gainesville

Washington is very popular for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Washington is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. This city is among the most diverse in the country, so you can find restaurants from almost any cuisine here. It's worth exploring and stepping out of your comfort zone. There are popular neighborhoods for Ethiopian, Korean, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese food, among many others.

Gainesville has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Casual eateries are popular around town, particularly with the student population. There are grills, diners, and bistros that serve local dishes at affordable prices.

Is Washington or Gainesville Better for Nightlife?

Washington
Gainesville

The vibe at night is excellent in both Washington and Gainesville.

Many people head to Washington for the nightlife scene. Many visitors head straight to the museums and the National Mall, and don't realize what a livable and fun city this is. Some of the best nightlife is found in Dupont Circle, U Street, and even Arlington, VA. The city's young population ensures that there's never a dull moment.

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.


Is Washington or Gainesville Better for Music?

Washington
Gainesville

Washington is a nice place to visit for live music. However, Gainesville is not a live music destination.

The music scene helps keep Washington active and fun. Notable live music venues include the 9:30 Club, the Anthem, and Union Stage.

Gainesville is not a live music destination.

Is Washington or Gainesville Better for Hiking?

Washington
Gainesville

Washington is a moderate city for the nearby hiking options. However, Gainesville is not a hiking destination.

Washington has hiking trails if you want to get outside. Just outside of Washington DC you'll find plenty of places to go hiking. There's also an elaborate bike and walking trail system in the city. To enjoy a bit of nature, head to Teddy Roosevelt Island.

Gainesville is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Washington or Gainesville?

Washington
Gainesville

Washington is notable for shopping. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping opportunities.

Washington is an extremely popular place for shoppers. Head to Georgetown and Dupont Circle for some of the city's best local shopping. There are name brand chains mixed in with local boutiques. You'll also find plenty of souvenir shops in the more touristy areas if you're looking to pick up some trinkets.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Gainesville. 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.


Is Washington or Gainesville Better for Christmas?

Washington
Gainesville

Washington is very popular for its Christmas activities. However, Gainesville does not offer Christmas activities.

Washington is a fantastic destination at Christmas. With it's beautiful lights and holiday shows, Christmas is beautiful in the capital of the United States.

Gainesville does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Washington or Gainesville Better for Families?

Washington
Gainesville

Washington is notable for its family-friendly activities. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Washington is a very family-friendly place to visit. It is a fun and educational destination where kids can explore world class museums and try unique foods from all around the world. The city has nationally recognized landmarks, monuments, and memorials and it's also home to some of the best (free) museums in the United States including the world class Smithsonian Institutions. Many schools visit Washington DC as a field trip, particularly during the Spring months, so you'll kids groups in colorful t-shirts running around the National Mall.

Gainesville is a family-friendly city. 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.

Is Washington or Gainesville Better for Couples?

Washington
Gainesville

Washington is notable for romance. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its romantic activities.

Washington is a very popular place to visit for couples. The city lights up at night, so couples will enjoy wandering by the monuments in the evening or taking in a dinner and show. During the Spring months you'll find couples wandering through the Cherry Blossoms or along the waterfront.

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.


Is Washington or Gainesville Better for Students?

Washington
Gainesville

Washington is very popular for students. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its student-friendly activities.

Washington is a great destination for students. International students come from around the world to study, learn, intern, and work in the capital of the United States. There are many internships available through the federal government as well as NGOs and nonprofits.

Students come from all over to stay in Gainesville. 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.

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

Washington
Gainesville

Washington is very popular for its public transit. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for times when you don't have a car.

Washington has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the city. The metro system and the bus system are reliable and efficient ways to explore the city.

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

Is Washington or Gainesville a more walkable city?

Washington
Gainesville

Washington is very popular for its walkability. Also, Gainesville is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its high level of walkability.

It is easy to get around Washington on foot. Many neighborhoods around the city are easy to explore on foot. Most tourists spend a lot of time in the Mall area, which is very pedestrian friendly.

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


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

Should I spend more time in Gainesville or Washington?

How long in Washington or Gainesville?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Washington or Gainesville to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Washington than Gainesville because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Washington, and 1-2 days is enough time in Gainesville.

Families should spend more time in Washington than Gainesville. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Washington, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Washington than Gainesville. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Washington that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Washington than Gainesville 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 Washington.


  • How many days in Washington or Gainesville? Ideal Length of Stay
    Washington 3-7 
    Gainesville 1-2

One day in Washington or Gainesville?

Washington is a diverse city where you can fill many days. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

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.

A weekend in Washington or Gainesville?

Washington is a monument-filled big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

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.

Five days in Washington or Gainesville?

Washington is a diverse city where you can fill many days. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

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.


A week in Washington or Gainesville?

Washington is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for one week. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this city.

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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, The Best Historical Tours in United States of America, and The Best 10-Day Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Gainesville or Washington?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Washington is $198, while the average daily cost in Gainesville is $221. 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 Washington and Gainesville in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $113
    Gainesville $119
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $226
    Gainesville $238
Compare Hotels in Washington and Gainesville

Looking for a hotel in Washington or Gainesville? 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 Washington


Hotels in Gainesville


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: Washington Hotel Prices and Gainesville Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $47
    Gainesville $40
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Washington

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Washington are as follows:


  • Metro Day Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Washington

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

  • Washington DC: Bus transfer from/to Philadelphia: $5.74
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Washington Reagan Airport DCA: $48
  • Transfer in private car from Washington Ronald Reagan Airport to Washington City: $53
  • Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA) to Washington - Arrival Private Transfer: $53
  • Washington to Washington Airport (DCA) Departure Private Transfer: $59
  • Washington to Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) - Departure Private Transfer: $59
  • Washington Airport (DCA) to Washington - Arrival Private Transfer: $59
  • Private Departure Transfer to Baltimore Washington Airport BWI: $60
  • Private Transfer- Dulles Airport (IAD) to Washington City Center: $82
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Washington City to Dulles Airport: $88
  • Private One-Way Washington Airport Transfer To/From Washington: $93
  • Private transfer: Washington Airport (DCA) to Washington D.C.: $108

Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or Gainesville?

Prices for flights to both Gainesville and Washington 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
    Washington $38
    Gainesville $70
Typical Food Prices in Washington

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Washington:


  • Water
    $2.00
  • Snacks on Monuments Tour
    $6.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Washington

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

  • Little Ethiopia Food Tour: $67
  • DC: Buffet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit: $69
  • Adams Morgan Food Tour: $74
  • DC: Gourmet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey: $74
  • Washington D.C.: Georgetown Guided Secret Food Tour: $97
  • Washington, DC: African American History Tour with Dinner: $108
  • Washington,DC: Union Market Private Food Tour: $125
  • Washington D.C.: Taste of Georgetown Walking Food Tour: $129
  • Washington DC: Christmas Eve Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $140
  • Washington DC Premier Dinner Cruise: $144
  • Private Traditional Filipino Cooking Class Near Washington DC : $154
  • Washington DC Christmas Eve Plated Dinner Cruise: $206

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.
    Washington $24
    Gainesville $44

Tours and Activities in Washington

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

  • Private Audio Guided Walking Tour in Washington: $5.54
  • Scandals & Secrets on Embassy Row: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Washington, DC: Lincoln Assassination Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • DC's Presidents, Pubs, and Parties: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • The Kennedy Homes of Georgetown: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Washington D.C.’s Tidal Basin: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Washington DC: National Mall Self Guided App Walking Tour: $6.50
  • Lincoln Memorial to the Cap Hill D.C. Smart Phone App/GPS Tour: $6.75
  • The Kennedy Homes: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Washington DC Outdoor Escape Game Tour: FBI vs. Bank Robbers: $7.20
  • Private DC Civil Rights Audio Guide App Walking Tour: $8.00
  • The National Mall: Walking In App Audio Tour (ENG): $9.00

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Washington $19
    Gainesville $49

Sample the Local Flavors in Washington

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Washington:

  • Epic Washington DC Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12
  • Washington DC: Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Small-Group History Tour Pub Crawl of Washington, D.C.: $59
  • Washington, D.C.: History Tour Pub Crawl: $59
  • DC Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105
  • DC: Guided Craft Brewery Tours with a Snack: $105
  • From Washington DC: Seneca Creek Region Wine Tour with Lunch: $175
  • Private Washington DC Virginia Winery Wine Tasting Tour -Spirited: $255


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

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


Which is Bigger, Washington or Gainesville?

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

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 Washington or Gainesville in the Summer?

Both Gainesville and Washington during the summer are popular places to visit. The hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Washington this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Gainesville for the family-friendly experiences.

Washington is around the same temperature as Gainesville in the summer. The daily temperature in Washington averages around 79°F (26°C) in July, and Gainesville fluctuates around 81°F (27°C).

Gainesville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Washington usually gets less rain in July than Gainesville. Washington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while Gainesville receives 6.8 inches (174 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Washington 79°F (26°C) 
    Gainesville 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Washington or Gainesville in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Washington and Gainesville. Many travelers come to Washington for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Gainesville in the autumn for the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Washington is cooler than Gainesville. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Washington in October average around 60°F (15°C), and Gainesville averages at about 71°F (22°C).

In October, Washington usually receives more rain than Gainesville. Washington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Gainesville receives 2 inches (51 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. June to November in Gainesville is the hurricane season.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Washington 60°F (15°C) 
    Gainesville 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Washington or Gainesville in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Washington as well as Gainesville. Many visitors come to Washington in the winter for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Gainesville for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Washington can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Washington is generally much colder than Gainesville. Daily temperatures in Washington average around 35°F (1°C), and Gainesville fluctuates around 54°F (12°C).

Washington usually gets less rain in January than Gainesville. Washington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Gainesville receives 2.9 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Washington 35°F (1°C) 
    Gainesville 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Washington or Gainesville in the Spring?

Both Gainesville and Washington are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Washington for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months.

Washington is much colder than Gainesville in the spring. The daily temperature in Washington averages around 56°F (14°C) in April, and Gainesville fluctuates around 69°F (20°C).

In April, Washington usually receives more rain than Gainesville. Washington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Gainesville receives 2 inches (50 mm) of rain each month for the spring. The hurricane season in Gainesville is June to November.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Washington 56°F (14°C) 
    Gainesville 69°F (20°C)

Typical Weather for Gainesville and Washington

Washington Gainesville
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (75 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 57°F (14°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 69°F (20°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 80°F (26°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.8 inches (174 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5.5 inches (139 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 71°F (22°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)