A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Asheville vs. Cherokee for Nightlife, Hiking, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Asheville or Cherokee?

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 Cherokee. 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 eclectic, outdoorsy, and progressive mountain town. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for shopping, nightlife, and live music.

Cherokee

Cherokee is a genuine, fascinating, and cultural town. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and food.

Asheville and Cherokee: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Scenic old town
  • 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
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in Asheville or Cherokee?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Asheville. Although Asheville and Cherokee are popular destinations, Asheville has more sights and attractions for tourists. Asheville is very popular for its nightlife, music, resorts, historical sights, shopping, christmas markets, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Cherokee attracts visitors for its museums. Asheville is famous for its fall foliage, artsy downtown, local North Carolina barbecue, and being home to the Biltmore Estate. It is also well known for The Biltmore Estate. Cherokee is famous for its cultural experiences and nearby hiking trails.

How is Asheville different from Cherokee?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Cherokee 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 Cherokee?

Asheville
Cherokee

Cherokee is a good destination for its museums and landmarks. However, Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.

Cherokee offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Many of the museums educate visitors on the Native American culture. Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Museum of the Cherokee People, and the Mountain Farm Museum each offer a unique and interesting perspective.

Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Asheville
Cherokee

Dining out at restaurants in both Asheville and Cherokee 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.

Cherokee is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There are casual sandwich shops as well as several places that offer traditional Cherokee foods such as fry bread.

Is Asheville or Cherokee Better for Nightlife?

Asheville
Cherokee

Asheville is notable for nightlife. However, Cherokee is a mediocre town for nightlife and partying.

Asheville has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The city has a fun and eclectic nightlife scene that centers around the city's breweries and live music venues.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Cherokee. The town is generally quiet but you can head to Harrah's Cherokee Casino for drinks and entertainment.

Is Asheville or Cherokee Better for Music?

Asheville
Cherokee

Asheville is notable for live music. However, Cherokee is not a live music destination.

If you love music, you'll find something to enjoy in Asheville. The city has grown into a world famous music destination that holds true to its mountain roots and independent artists.

Cherokee is not a live music destination.


Is Asheville or Cherokee Better for Resorts?

Asheville
Cherokee

Asheville is a nice place to visit for its resorts. However, Cherokee is not a resort destination.

Asheville has a handful of resorts to choose from. 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.

Cherokee is not a resort destination.

Is Asheville or Cherokee Better for its Old Town?

Asheville
Cherokee

Asheville is a moderate mountain town for its historic old town. However, Cherokee does not have a historic old town.

Asheville is a good place to visit the old town. Downtown Asheville maintains much of its historic vibe, but it's smaller than some of the more notable old cities around the country.

Cherokee does not have a historic old town.

Is Asheville or Cherokee Better for Hiking?

Asheville
Cherokee

Hiking trails can be found around both Asheville and Cherokee, and they are great.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Asheville. 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.

Many visitors go to Cherokee for the hiking trails. There are many trails in the area that pass through forests, wander by waterfalls, and take you to spectacular viewpoints. The fall foliage is particularly nice during the autumn months.


Is the Shopping Better in Asheville or Cherokee?

Asheville
Cherokee

Asheville is notable for shopping. Also, Cherokee is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its shopping opportunities.

Asheville is an extremely popular place for shoppers. 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.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Cherokee. There are craft shops and artisan vendors in the downtown area. It's fun to wander around for a few hours.

Is Asheville or Cherokee Better for Christmas?

Asheville
Cherokee

Asheville is notable for its Christmas activities. However, Cherokee does not offer Christmas activities.

Asheville is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. 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.

Cherokee does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Asheville or Cherokee Better for Christmas Markets?

Asheville
Cherokee

Asheville is a moderate mountain town for its Christmas markets. However, Cherokee does not offer Christmas markets.

Asheville is a good spot to see some Christmas markets. There are a handful of local Christmas shops around town where you can buy personalized gifts.

Cherokee does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Asheville or Cherokee Better for Families?

Asheville
Cherokee

Both Asheville and Cherokee are great family-friendly destinations.

Asheville is a very kid-friendly mountain town. 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.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Cherokee. It's proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park make this a fun destination for families. There are countless outdoor adventure activities. The town is also filled with Cherokee history and culture, so it offers educational experiences as well.

Is Asheville or Cherokee Better for Couples?

Asheville
Cherokee

Asheville and Cherokee both great 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.

Cherokee is a great mountain town if you're traveling as a couple. Nearby there are many outdoor activities and adventure experiences. Couples who enjoy nature and exploring will appreciate a stay here.

Is Asheville or Cherokee Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Asheville
Cherokee

Asheville is notable for backpackers. Also, Cherokee is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to 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.

Cherokee is a good mountain town to visit for backpackers. There are several great campgrounds in the area as well as plenty of hiking opportunities.


Is Asheville or Cherokee Better for Students?

Asheville
Cherokee

Asheville is notable for students. However, Cherokee is not popular with students.

Asheville is a great mountain town to visit as a student. With its progressive personality and charming downtown, students enjoy spending time in this great town.

Cherokee is not popular with students.

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

Asheville
Cherokee

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Asheville and Cherokee.

Public transit is generally limited in Asheville. There are buses around town, but almost everyone gets around town with their own vehicle.

Public transit is mostly limited in Cherokee. There are some bus and shuttle routes, but a private vehicle is important if you want to make the most of your visit.

Is Asheville or Cherokee a more walkable city?

Asheville
Cherokee

Asheville is a nice place to visit for its walkability. However, Cherokee is a mediocre town for its high level of walkability.

Asheville is somewhat walkable. 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.

Cherokee is generally not a very walkable mountain town. If you want to explore the area, you'll need a car to reach most places.


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

Should I spend more time in Cherokee or Asheville?

How long in Asheville or Cherokee?

It's fun to spend time in either Asheville or Cherokee. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Cherokee 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 Cherokee.

Families should spend more time in Asheville than Cherokee. 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 Cherokee. 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 Cherokee 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 Cherokee? Ideal Length of Stay
    Asheville 2-3 
    Cherokee 2-4

One day in Asheville or Cherokee?

The mountain town of Asheville offers live music and food. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

You'll find shopping and museums around the town of Cherokee. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. 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 Cherokee?

Asheville is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this mountain town makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Asheville, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

You'll find museums and food around the fascinating destination of Cherokee. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Asheville or Cherokee?

Asheville is a popular choice for travelers. 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 entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the fascinating town of Cherokee. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Asheville or Cherokee?

Asheville is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This mountain town offers something for everyone.

Cherokee is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in United States of America, The Best Polar Tours & Cruises in United States of America, The Best Walking Tours in United States of America, and The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Cherokee 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 Cherokee is $174. 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 Cherokee in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $89
    Cherokee $158
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $178
    Cherokee $316
Compare Hotels in Asheville and Cherokee

Looking for a hotel in Asheville or Cherokee? 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 Cherokee


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 Cherokee Hotel Prices.

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or Cherokee?

Prices for flights to both Cherokee 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
    Cherokee $16
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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Asheville $16
    Cherokee -
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:

  • Downtown Asheville Tip-Based Sightseeing Walking Tour : $5.00
  • River Arts District Tip-Based Sightseeing Walking Tour : $5.00
  • Asheville's Famous Ghosts Smart Phone GPS APP Solo Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Asheville's Historic Smart Phone Guided App (GPS) Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Asheville Historic Highlights: Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Blue Ridge Parkway (Asheville) Driving Tour with Audio Guide: $9.99
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Asheville Audio Driving Tour: $9.99
  • Blue Ridge Parkway South Audio Driving Tour: $9.99
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt: Downtown Asheville Adventure: $12
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Driving Audio Tour (Asheville ↔ Roanoke): $15
  • Highlights of Asheville Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25

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

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
  • Downtown Asheville Guided Brewery Walking Tour: $69
  • 3-Hour Guided Walking Brewery Tour Through Downtown Asheville: $69
  • Electric Bike Brewery Crawl of Asheville: $74
  • Guided Craft Brewery Tour with a Snack: $99
  • Asheville Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105


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

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


Which is Bigger, Asheville or Cherokee?

Asheville has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Cherokee. When comparing the sizes of Asheville and Cherokee, 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 Cherokee?

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 Asheville or Cherokee in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Asheville and Cherokee. Many visitors come to Asheville in the summer for the hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Cherokee for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Asheville is generally around the same temperature as Cherokee. Daily temperatures in Asheville average around 82°F (28°C), and Cherokee fluctuates around 81°F (27°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Cherokee this time of the year. In Asheville, it's very sunny this time of the year. Asheville usually receives less sunshine than Cherokee during summer. Asheville gets 268 hours of sunny skies, while Cherokee receives 294 hours of full sun in the summer.

Cherokee receives a lot of rain in the summer. Asheville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Asheville usually receives more rain than Cherokee. Asheville gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Cherokee receives 4.7 inches (119 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Asheville 82°F (28°C) 
    Cherokee 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Cherokee in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Asheville as well as Cherokee. Most visitors come to Asheville for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Cherokee because of the hiking trails and the shopping scene.

Asheville is around the same temperature as Cherokee in the autumn. The daily temperature in Asheville averages around 64°F (18°C) in October, and Cherokee fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Cherokee. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Asheville this time of the year. In the autumn, Asheville often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Cherokee. Asheville gets 229 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cherokee receives 213 hours of full sun.

Asheville usually gets more rain in October than Cherokee. Asheville gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Cherokee receives 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Cherokee 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Cherokee in the Winter?

Both Cherokee and Asheville are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The winter months attract visitors to Asheville because of the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Cherokee this time of year.

It's quite cold in Cherokee in the winter. In the winter, Asheville is a little warmer than Cherokee. Typically, the winter temperatures in Asheville in January average around 44°F (7°C), and Cherokee averages at about 40°F (5°C).

Asheville usually receives more sunshine than Cherokee during winter. Asheville gets 176 hours of sunny skies, while Cherokee receives 134 hours of full sun in the winter.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Cherokee. It's quite rainy in Asheville. In January, Asheville usually receives less rain than Cherokee. Asheville gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Cherokee receives 4.7 inches (119 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Asheville 44°F (7°C) 
    Cherokee 40°F (5°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Cherokee in the Spring?

Both Cherokee and Asheville during the spring are popular places to visit. The natural beauty are the main draw to Asheville this time of year.

In April, Asheville is generally around the same temperature as Cherokee. Daily temperatures in Asheville average around 64°F (18°C), and Cherokee fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

In Cherokee, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Asheville. In the spring, Asheville often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Cherokee. Asheville gets 266 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cherokee receives 263 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually gets more rain in April than Cherokee. Asheville gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Cherokee receives 3.6 inches (92 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Cherokee 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for Cherokee and Asheville

Asheville Cherokee
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 40°F (5°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm)
Feb 47°F (8°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 44°F (7°C) 4.7 inches (120 mm)
Mar 55°F (13°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 54°F (12°C) 4.8 inches (123 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 62°F (17°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
May 71°F (22°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Jun 79°F (26°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 78°F (25°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 81°F (27°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (118 mm) 80°F (27°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 74°F (24°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Nov 55°F (13°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Dec 47°F (8°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 44°F (7°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm)