A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Asheville vs. Alexandria for Old Town, Nightlife, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Asheville or Alexandria?

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 Asheville and Alexandria. 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.

Asheville

Asheville is a open-minded, eclectic, and outdoorsy mountain town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the live music, food, and hiking.

Alexandria

Alexandria is a historic, charming, and quaint city. Don't miss this spot, as it's a charming small town with plenty of activities. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Asheville and Alexandria: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular old town
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
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
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly


Is there more to do in Asheville or Alexandria?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Asheville than Alexandria. While Alexandria is larger than Asheville, Asheville has more sights and attractions for tourists. Asheville is more popular for its nightlife, music, resorts, hiking, christmas markets, and quaint atmosphere, while Alexandria is known for its museums, historical sights, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Alexandria is more touristy than Asheville and is popular for its long-running history, beautiful architecture, and small town atmosphere. Asheville is popular for its fall foliage, artsy downtown, local North Carolina barbecue, and being home to the Biltmore Estate. It is also home to The Biltmore Estate.

How is Asheville different from Alexandria?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Asheville or Alexandria?

Asheville
Alexandria

Alexandria is well known for its museums and landmarks. However, Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Alexandria. 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.

Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Asheville
Alexandria

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

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Asheville. Downtown Asheville is filled with local restaurants that serve everything from brunch to late night snacks. There are many vegan and vegetarian options as well as a number of international restaurants. Popular local dishes include North Carolina barbeque and country ham biscuits.

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.

Is Asheville or Alexandria Better for Nightlife?

Asheville
Alexandria

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

Many people head to Asheville for the nightlife scene. The city has a fun and eclectic nightlife scene that centers around the city's breweries and live music venues.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Alexandria. There's a great bar scene, as well as tons of restaurants that make for a relaxing night out.

Is Asheville or Alexandria Better for Music?

Asheville
Alexandria

Asheville is great for its music scene. However, Alexandria is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Asheville draws a good crowd. The city has grown into a world famous music destination that holds true to its mountain roots and independent artists.

Alexandria is not a live music destination.


Is Asheville or Alexandria Better for Resorts?

Asheville
Alexandria

Asheville is a good destination for its luxury resorts. However, Alexandria is not a resort destination.

Asheville has a few great resort options. The most famous resorts in the area are the Biltmore Estate and the Grove Park Inn. Both offer luxury restaurants and beautiful grounds that are particularly nice during the holidays.

Alexandria is not a resort destination.

Is Asheville or Alexandria Better for its Old Town?

Asheville
Alexandria

Alexandria is an unbeatable place for its old town. However, Asheville is not particularly known for its historic old town charm.

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.

The old town area in Asheville is worth visiting. Downtown Asheville maintains much of its historic vibe, but it's smaller than some of the more notable old cities around the country.

Is Asheville or Alexandria Better for Hiking?

Asheville
Alexandria

Asheville is great for hiking. However, Alexandria is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors go to Asheville for the hiking trails. Just outside of town are many great hikes to waterfalls or through the mountains. The hikes range in skill level and length but many pass through local forests or along the beautiful skyline.

Alexandria is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Asheville or Alexandria?

Asheville
Alexandria

Shopping is a popular activity in both Alexandria and Asheville.

Asheville is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. The city has many local shops that sell local crafts and independent art. The downtown area is filled with art vendors and you'll find the greatest concentration of shopping along the pedestrian-friendly Lexington Avenue.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Alexandria. 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.

Is Asheville or Alexandria Better for Christmas?

Asheville
Alexandria

Asheville is great for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Alexandria does not offer Christmas activities.

Asheville is a very popular destination during Christmas. Head to the Biltmore Estate to see it fully decorated for the Christmas season. It's also worth going to see the winning Gingerbread Houses on display at the Grove Park Inn.

Alexandria does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Asheville or Alexandria Better for Christmas Markets?

Asheville
Alexandria

Asheville is adequate for visiting Christmas markets. However, Alexandria does not offer Christmas markets.

During the holidays, visitors often browse through the Christmas markets in Asheville. There are a handful of local Christmas shops around town where you can buy personalized gifts.

Alexandria does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Asheville or Alexandria Better for Families?

Asheville
Alexandria

Asheville is great for its kid-friendly activities. However, Alexandria is not a good destination for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Asheville. With its beautiful hiking, interesting nature centers, and outdoor adventure activities, this mountain town makes a great kid-friendly destination. There are outdoor adventure parks where kids can zipline or climb. There are also hands on farms and orchards for fruit-picking.

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 Asheville or Alexandria Better for Couples?

Asheville
Alexandria

Asheville and Alexandria both excellent destinations for a couple.

Couples visit Asheville frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Couples enjoy exploring the beautiful Biltmore Estates or visiting the spa at the Grove Park Inn. The quaint town makes a great honeymoon destination or a nice romantic getaway. There are luxury hotels or intimate bed and breakfasts that offer different options for couples on a romantic trip.

Alexandria is a great mountain town 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.

Is Asheville or Alexandria Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Asheville
Alexandria

Asheville 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 Asheville. The town has an eclectic vibe that backpackers appreciate. There are a few good hostels around town as well as nearby campgrounds that are perfect for budget travelers or hikers.

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


Is Asheville or Alexandria Better for Students?

Asheville
Alexandria

Asheville is great for its student-friendly activities. However, Alexandria is not popular with students.

Many students visit Asheville. With its progressive personality and charming downtown, students enjoy spending time in this great town.

Alexandria is not popular with students.

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

Asheville
Alexandria

Alexandria is an unbeatable place for its public transit. However, Asheville is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

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 mostly limited in Asheville. There are buses around town, but almost everyone gets around town with their own vehicle.

Is Asheville or Alexandria a more walkable city?

Asheville
Alexandria

Alexandria is an unbeatable place for its high level of walkability. Also, Asheville is still popular, but not quite as popular for its ease of walking around.

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

Asheville is a somewhat walkable mountain town. If you stay downtown and don't plan to explore the outlying areas, then it's possible to walk around town. Otherwise, you'll need a car.


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

Should I spend more time in Alexandria or Asheville?

How long in Asheville or Alexandria?

It's fun to spend time in either Asheville or Alexandria. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Alexandria due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Asheville, and 2-4 days is enough time in Alexandria.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Asheville 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 Asheville.


  • How many days in Asheville or Alexandria? Ideal Length of Stay
    Asheville 2-3 
    Alexandria 2-4

One day in Asheville or Alexandria?

With shopping and nightlife around the progressive mountain town of Asheville, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. 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.

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Alexandria. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Asheville or Alexandria?

With nightlife and live music around the destination of Asheville, 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. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this mountain town.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the quaint destination of Alexandria. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Asheville or Alexandria?

Asheville, a popular mountain town, 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.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the charming city of Alexandria. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Asheville or Alexandria?

Asheville 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.

Alexandria is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. One week 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


Which place is cheaper, Alexandria or Asheville?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Asheville is $133, while the average daily cost in Alexandria is $0.00. 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 Asheville and Alexandria in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $89
    Alexandria $38
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $178
    Alexandria $76
Compare Hotels in Asheville and Alexandria

Looking for a hotel in Asheville or Alexandria? 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 Asheville


Hotels in Alexandria


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: Asheville Hotel Prices and Alexandria Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Asheville $14
    Alexandria -

Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or Alexandria?

Prices for flights to both Alexandria and Asheville 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
    Asheville $33
    Alexandria -
Typical Food Prices in Asheville

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Asheville:


  • Biltmore Estate Entrance Fee
    $60

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Asheville

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Asheville.

  • Electric Bike Tour of Asheville's Best Pizza: $98
  • Best Pizza E-bike Tour: $111
  • 3-Hour Hands on Cooking Class: $120

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Asheville $16
    Alexandria -
Typical Entertainment Prices in Asheville

Here are a few typical costs in Asheville for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Massage
    $40

Tours and Activities in Asheville

Here are a few actual costs in Asheville for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2.5-Hour Blue Ridge Parkway Guided Jeep Tour: $99
  • 3 HR SAFARI JEEP ECO, ELK Wilderness Adventure : $149
  • 4 Hr. Guided ECO, ELK Off-Road UTV/SxS Wilderness Adventure : $250
  • A Taste of West Asheville Tip-Based Guided Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Amazing Asheville Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • An afternoon with the artist, private art gallery tour: $60
  • Asheville Coffee Tours: $65
  • Asheville Ghost Tour: A Walk Through Riverside Cemetery & Montford Neighborhood: $27
  • Asheville Historic Downtown Guided Electric Bike Tour with Scenic Views: $75
  • Asheville Historic Highlights: Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Asheville Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Trolley Tour (2-Day Pass): $37
  • Asheville Insider Guided Walking Tour: $30

Tours and Activities in Alexandria

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

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Asheville $16
    Alexandria -

Sample the Local Flavors in Asheville

Also in Asheville, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Skip the Line: Copper Barrel's Premium Distillery Tour & Tasting: $10
  • Terrors, Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Ultimate Late Night Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Asheville Terrors Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl: $39
  • Expert-Led Brewery Walking Tour with Beer Samples: $65
  • 3-Hour Guided Walking Brewery Tour Through Downtown Asheville: $69
  • Downtown Asheville Guided Brewery Walking Tour: $69
  • "Beer Flight" Drag Queen Bar Crawl Tour + VIP After Party Seating: $77
  • Guided Craft Brewery Tour with a Snack: $99
  • Asheville Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105

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 Asheville and Alexandria, we can see that Asheville 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 Asheville would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Asheville 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 Asheville Expensive? and Is Alexandria Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Asheville or Alexandria?

Alexandria has a larger population, and is about 85% larger than the population of Asheville. When comparing the sizes of Asheville and Alexandria, 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 Asheville or Alexandria?

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 Asheville or Alexandria in the Summer?

Both Alexandria and Asheville during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Asheville because of the hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the small town charm and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Alexandria this time of year.

In the summer, Asheville is around the same temperature as Alexandria. Typically, the summer temperatures in Asheville in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Alexandria averages at about 79°F (26°C).

In Alexandria, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Asheville. In the summer, Asheville often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Alexandria. Asheville gets 268 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Alexandria receives 278 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually gets more rain in July than Alexandria. Asheville gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Alexandria receives 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Asheville 82°F (28°C) 
    Alexandria 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Alexandria in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Asheville and Alexandria. The hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Asheville this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Alexandria for the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Asheville is generally a little warmer than Alexandria. Daily temperatures in Asheville average around 64°F (18°C), and Alexandria fluctuates around 60°F (15°C).

In Asheville, it's very sunny this time of the year. Asheville usually receives more sunshine than Alexandria during autumn. Asheville gets 229 hours of sunny skies, while Alexandria receives 197 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Asheville usually receives more rain than Alexandria. Asheville gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Alexandria receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Alexandria 60°F (15°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Alexandria in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Asheville as well as Alexandria. Many travelers come to Asheville for the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Alexandria in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Alexandria can get quite cold in the winter. Asheville is much warmer than Alexandria in the winter. The daily temperature in Asheville averages around 44°F (7°C) in January, and Alexandria fluctuates around 35°F (1°C).

In the winter, Asheville often gets more sunshine than Alexandria. Asheville gets 176 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Alexandria receives 139 hours of full sun.

Asheville receives a lot of rain in the winter. Asheville usually gets more rain in January than Alexandria. Asheville gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Alexandria receives 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Asheville 44°F (7°C) 
    Alexandria 35°F (1°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Alexandria in the Spring?

Both Alexandria and Asheville are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Asheville in the spring for the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to Alexandria for the small town charm and the natural beauty during these months.

In the spring, Asheville is a little warmer than Alexandria. Typically, the spring temperatures in Asheville in April average around 64°F (18°C), and Alexandria averages at about 56°F (14°C).

It's quite sunny in Alexandria. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually receives more sunshine than Alexandria during spring. Asheville gets 266 hours of sunny skies, while Alexandria receives 228 hours of full sun in the spring.

It's quite rainy in Asheville. In April, Asheville usually receives more rain than Alexandria. Asheville gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Alexandria receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Alexandria 56°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Alexandria and Asheville

Asheville Alexandria
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Feb 47°F (8°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 55°F (13°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
May 71°F (22°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
Jun 79°F (26°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (118 mm) 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Nov 55°F (13°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Dec 47°F (8°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)