Gainesville, in northern Florida, is a great vacation destination, featuring lush botanical gardens and museums with exciting collections. The city isn't located super close to a large airport, but it claims a regional airport and lies within a couple of hours from Orlando and Jacksonville international airports. Select the best option based on your travel plans and desired amenities to enjoy a stress-free vacation.
Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV)
Gainesville Regional Airport is Gainesville's closest airport, offering domestic flights on American Airlines and Delta. Most flights in and out travel regionally to cities like Atlanta, Miami and Charlotte, so it's best for those connecting to other destinations. The airport is relatively small and features only one restaurant, Tailwind Gainesville, which serves food and drink and sells souvenirs. The amenities may be few, but the airport does like to keep things fun. Join the GNV Ultimate Road Warrior Club, which offers credit to frequent travelers through the airport. Every month the passenger with the most flights gets a prize.
Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB)
It's about 100 miles from Gainesville to Daytona, which is home to another smaller airport. The Daytona Beach Airport, located next to the Daytona International Speedway, offers flights on American Airlines, Delta and JetBlue. There are a few restaurants, including the Sugar Mill Café and Java Moon Café, and complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport. This isn't a great option for travelers coming from Gainesville as it flies to many of the same destinations as GNV, but those looking for cheaper flights on JetBlue can consider including DAB in the search.
Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
Jacksonville International Airport is located 80 miles from Gainesville, approximately an hour and a half by car. It's the closest major international airport to the Florida city and offers many more options than GNV. Eight airlines fly in and out of the airport, including Delta, United and Southwest, and there are also two hotels on the property. Stop by the Comfort Zone Spa for a quick massage before boarding or head to the Meditation Room, located pre-security, to de-stress. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the terminal, and there are numerous shops and restaurants, including Chili's Two and Starbucks. In addition to the availability of a SuperShuttle, taxis and rental car companies provide transportation to and from the airport.
Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Gainesville is about two hours (120 miles) away from Orlando International Airport, one of Florida's biggest and busiest travel hubs. Numerous airlines fly to destinations around the world from MCO, making it the ideal option for travelers heading out of the country or to cities on the other side of the U.S. Arrive early in case there are long security and check-in lines, and download the Orlando MCO Airport App to help navigate the terminals. The Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport is located inside the airport before security, offering an easy place to stay before an early flight (especially when coming from as far away as Gainesville). Stop by Brookstone to test out one of the massage chairs if you have extra time to kill while waiting to board. It's a way to unwind and relax for free.