A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Alexandria vs. Rapid City for Attractions, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Alexandria or Rapid City?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Alexandria and Rapid City. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Alexandria

Alexandria is a historic, charming, and quaint city. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Rapid City

Rapid City is a friendly, fascinating, and activity-filled city. It's also popular because of the museums, food, and hiking.

Alexandria and Rapid City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Mount Vernon
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Home to Mount Rushmore
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Alexandria or Rapid City?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Alexandria than Rapid City, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Alexandria is more popular for its nightlife, historical sights, shopping, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while Rapid City is known for its museums and hiking. Alexandria is popular for its long-running history, beautiful architecture, and small town atmosphere. It is also home to Mount Vernon. Rapid City is popular for its proximity to Mount Rushmore and many other iconic parks.

How is Alexandria different from Rapid City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Alexandria or Rapid City?

Alexandria
Rapid City

Rapid City is an unbeatable place for its historical sights. Also, Alexandria is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its sights and museums.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Rapid City has many famous sights for visitors. You'll find a wide variety of museums and landmarks nearby. Popular places to visit that aren't far from town include the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, the South Dakota Air & Space Museum, and the Journey Museum & Learning Center. There's also the Museum of Geology and the National Presidential Wax Museum. And of course, there's the iconic Mount Rushmore.

Alexandria offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. George Washington's Mount Vernon home is an iconic destination in Alexandria. There are also many other museums in town that focus on the region's history. The Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum and the Gadsby's Tavern Museum are both interesting. There's Gunston Hall and the Carlyle House, as well as an archeology museum and many historic landmarks around town.


Is the Food Better in Alexandria or Rapid City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Alexandria
Rapid City

Dining out at restaurants in both Alexandria and Rapid City can be an enjoyable experience.

Alexandria is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The food, like the city itself, reflects the area's history. There are many southern classic dishes as well as a lot of seafood. You'll find lots of local restaurants that serve high quality dishes and a quaint atmosphere.

Rapid City offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. You'll find local restaurants in town that serve local specialties such as chislic (grilled meat), fry bread, and walleye (a local fish.

Is Alexandria or Rapid City Better for Nightlife?

Alexandria
Rapid City

Alexandria is very good for nightlife and partying. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its evening party scene.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Alexandria. There's a great bar scene, as well as tons of restaurants that make for a relaxing night out.

Rapid City is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. You'll find some places with live music and good drinks, but the city isn't really known for its nightlife scene.

Is Alexandria or Rapid City Better for its Old Town?

Alexandria
Rapid City

Alexandria is an unbeatable place for its old town. However, Rapid City does not have a historic old town.

With a famous historical old-town, Alexandria offers plenty to see. At the heart of the city is the historic old town. Its lined with townhomes that date back to the 18th century. There are many historic sights that have stories from the early days of the country. There are also cobblestone streets and a great waterfront.

Rapid City does not have a historic old town.


Is Alexandria or Rapid City Better for Hiking?

Alexandria
Rapid City

Rapid City is great for hiking. However, Alexandria is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors go to Rapid City for the hiking trails. The region is filled with national parks, state parks, and natural areas with wonderful hiking trails. You don't have to travel far to get into nature and experience some of South Dakota's best natural beauty.

Alexandria is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Alexandria or Rapid City?

Alexandria
Rapid City

Alexandria is a very popular place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Alexandria is well-known for its shopping. King Street is the main shopping street in town and it offers the largest concentration of independently owned boutiques in the Washington D.C. area. It's the perfectly place to spend an afternoon shopping.

Many visitors go to Rapid City to go shopping. Rapid City has some interesting local shops as well as larger malls and shopping centers.

Is Alexandria or Rapid City Better for Families?

Alexandria
Rapid City

Rapid City is an unbeatable place for its kid-friendly activities. However, Alexandria is not a good destination for its family-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Rapid City is very family-friendly. Nearby national parks and outdoor activities, this is the perfect base for exploring the area with kids. Nearby you'll find the Big Thunder Gold Mine, which has tours and lets you pan for gold, and Custer State Park, which is filled with wildlife. Wall Drug is worth a stopoff, as is Dinosaur Park.

Alexandria is not the most family-friendly destination. The waterfront area is nice to walk around. You can break up the history with an ice cream shop and kids will also enjoy taking a boat tour.


Is Alexandria or Rapid City Better for Couples?

Alexandria
Rapid City

Alexandria and Rapid City both high quality destinations for a couple.

Alexandria is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. The charm of the old town makes this a quaint and romantic destination. There's a waterfront area and many historic buildings. There are also romantic restaurants and plenty of places to grab brunch.

Rapid City is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples will enjoy the amazing national parks in the area and the easy access to iconic landmarks like Mount Rushmore. There are many opportunities for wildlife spotting as well as great hiking trails and unique landscapes.

Is Alexandria or Rapid City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Alexandria
Rapid City

Rapid City is great for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Alexandria is not as popular, but is still a nice city for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Rapid City. Backpackers will appreciate the surrounding natural beauty and the nearby national parks.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Alexandria. There aren't any true hostels in town, but you will find some cheap motels.

Is Alexandria or Rapid City Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Alexandria
Rapid City

Alexandria is an unbeatable place for times when you don't have a car. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Visitors in Alexandria can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. DASH is the local bus system, but the city is also connected into the Washington DC metro system.

Public transit is generally limited in Rapid City. While there are a few buses, this isn't a realistic option for traveling through the region.


Is Alexandria or Rapid City a more walkable city?

Alexandria
Rapid City

Alexandria is an unbeatable place for its high level of walkability. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its ease of walking around.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Alexandria. It's a very easy city to walk around, particularly in the historic heart where most tourists spend their time.

Rapid City is generally not very walkable. While the downtown is walkable, most visitors use the city as a base for exploring the surrounding areas, and this requires a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Alexandria Worth Visiting? and Is Rapid City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Rapid City or Alexandria?

How long in Alexandria or Rapid City?

It's fun to spend time in either Alexandria or Rapid City. In our opinion, Alexandria has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Alexandria than Rapid City. However, 2-4 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Rapid City than Alexandria 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 Rapid City.


  • How many days in Alexandria or Rapid City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Alexandria 2-4 
    Rapid City 2-4

One day in Alexandria or Rapid City?

With museums and nightlife around the quaint city of Alexandria, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

With museums and food around the activity-filled city of Rapid City, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Alexandria or Rapid City?

With nightlife and food around the destination of Alexandria, there's plenty to do. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

With food and shopping around the destination of Rapid City, there's plenty to do. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.


Five days in Alexandria or Rapid City?

Alexandria, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Rapid City, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. 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 Alexandria or Rapid City?

Alexandria 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.

Rapid City is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. 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 Historical Tours in United States of America, The Best 10-Day Tours in United States of America, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America, and The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Rapid City or Alexandria?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Alexandria is $0.00, while the average daily cost in Rapid City is $116. 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 Alexandria and Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Alexandria $38
    Rapid City $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Alexandria $76
    Rapid City $120
Compare Hotels in Alexandria and Rapid City

Looking for a hotel in Alexandria or Rapid City? 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 Alexandria


Hotels in Rapid City


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: Alexandria Hotel Prices and Rapid City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Alexandria -
    Rapid City $53

Is it cheaper to fly into Alexandria or Rapid City?

Prices for flights to both Rapid City and Alexandria 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
    Alexandria -
    Rapid City $23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rapid City

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

  • Roller Coaster Tickets with Dinner and Show in Rapid City: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Alexandria -
    Rapid City $26

Tours and Activities in Alexandria

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

  • A Walk in Washington's Footsteps History Tour: $32
  • American Revolution Guided Walking Tour: $30
  • Full-Day Bike Tour to Mt Vernon w/ Optional Boat: $68
  • Phantoms of the Potomac Walking Tour: $26
  • Private Tour of George Washington's Mount Vernon: $165
  • Ultimate Dead of Night Walking Ghost Tour: $38
  • Old Town Alexandria Tour: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Old Town Southern Comfort Food & History Tour: $127
  • Philadelphia Tour from Alexandria by Rail: $329

Tours and Activities in Rapid City

For Rapid City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Badlands National Park Private Tour: $650
  • Badlands Sunset and Wildlife Adventure : $289
  • Badlands Winter Wonderland Adventure: $239
  • Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours: $20
  • Buffalo Jeep Safari & Mammoth Site Tour: $700
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $133
  • From Private Devils Tower Tour and Hike: $650
  • From Private Spearfish Canyon Tour: $650
  • Full-Day Private Sightseeing Tour in South Dakota: $275
  • Mount Rushmore Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Tour with Two Meals and a Music Variety Show: $164
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Rapid City, SD: $15

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Alexandria -
    Rapid City $6.93

Sample the Local Flavors in Alexandria

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Alexandria:

  • Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Alexandria and Rapid City, we can see that Rapid City is more expensive. And not only is Alexandria much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Alexandria would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Alexandria 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 Rapid City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Rapid City than you might in Alexandria.

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


Which is Bigger, Alexandria or Rapid City?

Alexandria has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Rapid City. When comparing the sizes of Alexandria and Rapid City, 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.