A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Asheville vs. Chimney Rock and Lake Lure for Nightlife, Hiking, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure?

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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. 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 progressive, open-minded, and eclectic mountain town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include nightlife, live music, and food.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is a peaceful, active, and beautiful recreation area. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the hiking.

Asheville and Chimney Rock and Lake Lure: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Very walkable
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
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Asheville. Although Asheville and Chimney Rock and Lake Lure are both popular with visitors, Asheville has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Asheville is more popular for its food, nightlife, music, resorts, historical sights, shopping, christmas markets, and quaint atmosphere, while Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is known for its museums. Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is more touristy than Asheville and is known for its beautiful views and fun outdoor activities. 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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Chimney Rock and Lake Lure 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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is a recreation area with a few options for its museums and landmarks. However, Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. There's a museum in Chimney Rock State Park, but most visitors spend their time taking advantage of the outdoor activities.

Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville is a mountain town with good options for its restaurant scene. However, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is a recreation area with minimal options for its local flavors and cuisine.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Asheville area. 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.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Within Chimney Rock Park there's a deli and a cafe. Nearby you'll also find casual eateries with pizza or classic American dishes.

Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Better for Nightlife?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville is a great destination for its evening party scene. However, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is a recreation area with minimal options for nightlife.

The people in Asheville know how to have a good time. The city has a fun and eclectic nightlife scene that centers around the city's breweries and live music venues.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. Most people head into nearby Asheville for the best nightlife.

Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Better for Music?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville is a great destination for its music scene. However, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is not a live music destination.

Asheville has become a hotbed of musicians and artists. The city has grown into a world famous music destination that holds true to its mountain roots and independent artists.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is not a live music destination.


Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Better for Resorts?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville is a mountain town with good options for its resorts. However, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure 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.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is not a resort destination.

Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Better for its Old Town?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville is a mountain town with a few options for its historic old town charm. However, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure does not have a historic old town.

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.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure does not have a historic old town.

Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Better for Hiking?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Hiking trails can be found around both Asheville and Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, and they are very good.

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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure for the hiking trails. One of the most popular trails in Chimney Rock State Park is The Exclamation Point Trail , which leads to many viewpoints. During the summer and fall seasons the trail can get very crowded. The obvious highlight in the park is Chimney Rock, which is a rock outcropping that offers spectacular views.


Is the Shopping Better in Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville is a great destination for its shopping areas. However, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is a recreation area with minimal options for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Asheville. 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.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is a good destination for shopping. You'll find the standard shopping centers in the area, but for the best shopping, head over to Asheville.

Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Better for Christmas?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville is a great destination for its Christmas activities. However, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure does not offer Christmas activities.

Visitors come from all around to experience the Christmas activities in Asheville. 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.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Better for Christmas Markets?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville is a mountain town with a few options for its Christmas markets. However, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure 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.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Better for Families?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Both Asheville and Chimney Rock and Lake Lure are very good 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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. There are plenty of outdoor activities in the area. Head to sliding rock for a fun afternoon. There's also tubing, kayaking, and river rafting nearby. Horseback riding is a fun way to explore a trail, or simply hiking on one of the many paths in the area. You'll also find ziplining and plenty of water activities at the lake.

Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Better for Couples?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville and Chimney Rock and Lake Lure both very good 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.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is a great mountain town if you're traveling as a couple. There are romantic hotels as well as bed and breakfasts that make for a romantic retreat. Couples who enjoy beautiful outdoor settings and fun adventures will enjoy a weekend trip to the area. There are also local restaurants and a few wineries to explore.

Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville and Chimney Rock and Lake Lure are very good places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Asheville is a great mountain town to visit for backpackers. 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 and backpackers visit Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. There are several great campgrounds and plenty of hiking trails that make this a nice budget or backpacker getaway.


Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Better for Students?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville is a great destination for students. However, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is not popular with students.

Students come from all over to stay in Asheville. With its progressive personality and charming downtown, students enjoy spending time in this great town.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is not popular with students.

Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville is a mountain town with a few options for its public transit. However, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is a recreation area with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

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 quite limited in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. There is limited public transit in the area.

Is Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure a more walkable city?

Asheville
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Asheville is a mountain town with good options for its ease of walking around. However, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is a recreation area with minimal options for its walkability.

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.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is not a very walkable mountain town. The trails and parks in the region are spread out and require a car to access.


For even more information, also check out Is Asheville Worth Visiting? and Is Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure or Asheville?

How long in Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Asheville and Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. In our opinion, Asheville has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Asheville than Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. In general, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Asheville, and 1-3 days is enough time in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure.

Families should spend more time in Asheville than Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. 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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. 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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure 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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure? Ideal Length of Stay
    Asheville 2-3 
    Chimney Rock and Lake Lure 1-3

One day in Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure?

In Asheville, many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife that this outdoorsy destination offers. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

You'll find around the recreation area of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Chimney Rock and Lake Lure has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure?

In Asheville, many people enjoy the nightlife and live music that this destination offers. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Many people spend a weekend here. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.

You'll find around the peaceful destination of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. 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 recreation area has to offer. This recreation area offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure?

Many people enjoy the live music and food when visiting Asheville. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. This mountain town offers something for everyone.

Travelers enjoy the when visiting the peaceful recreation area of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. 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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure?

Travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the mountain town of Asheville. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure 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.


Which place is cheaper, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure 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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure is $196. 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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $89
    Chimney Rock and Lake Lure $117
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $178
    Chimney Rock and Lake Lure $234
Compare Hotels in Asheville and Chimney Rock and Lake Lure

Looking for a hotel in Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure? 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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure


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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Asheville $14
    Chimney Rock and Lake Lure $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure?

Prices for flights to both Chimney Rock and Lake Lure 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
    Chimney Rock and Lake Lure $52
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
    Chimney Rock and Lake Lure $34
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:

  • A Taste of West Asheville Tip-Based Guided Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Downtown Asheville Tip-Based Sightseeing Walking Tour : $5.00
  • River Arts District Tip-Based Sightseeing Walking Tour : $5.00
  • Asheville's Historic Smart Phone Guided App (GPS) Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Asheville's Famous Ghosts Smart Phone GPS APP Solo Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Blue Ridge Parkway South Audio Driving Tour: $9.99
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Asheville Audio Driving Tour: $9.99
  • Blue Ridge Parkway (Asheville) Driving Tour with Audio Guide: $9.99
  • Asheville Historic Highlights: Self-Guided Walking 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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Asheville $16
    Chimney Rock and Lake Lure $21

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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Asheville and Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, we can see that Chimney Rock and Lake Lure 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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure 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 Chimney Rock and Lake Lure Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Asheville or Chimney Rock and Lake Lure?

Asheville has a larger population, and is about 410 times larger than the population of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. When comparing the sizes of Asheville and Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, 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.