A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Asheville vs. Columbus for Nightlife, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Asheville or Columbus?

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 Columbus. 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 outdoorsy, progressive, and open-minded mountain town. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. Other reasons to visit include food, hiking, and shopping.

Columbus

Columbus is a welcoming, down-to-earth, and authentic city. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Asheville and Columbus: 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
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Asheville or Columbus?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Asheville than Columbus. While Columbus is larger than Asheville, Asheville has more sights and attractions for tourists. Asheville is very popular for its food, nightlife, music, resorts, historical sights, hiking, shopping, christmas markets, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Columbus attracts visitors for its museums. Asheville is more touristy than Columbus and is popular 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. Columbus is famous for its youthful energy and its growing arts scene.

How is Asheville different from Columbus?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Asheville
Columbus

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

Columbus offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Popular museums around town include the Center of Science and Technology, the Franklin Park Conservatory, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Ohio History Center.

Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville is a popular place for its restaurants. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around 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.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Columbus. Hearty and heavy comfort food is the mainstay in this town. There's pizza, casseroles, sausage, and milkshakes around town.

Is Asheville or Columbus Better for Nightlife?

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville is a very popular place for nightlife. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife and partying.

Asheville has a large number of nightlife venues. The city has a fun and eclectic nightlife scene that centers around the city's breweries and live music venues.

Columbus has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The live music scene is growing. There are also a growing number of breweries around town.

Is Asheville or Columbus Better for Music?

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville is a very popular place for live music. However, Columbus is not a live music destination.

It's worth checking out the music scene in Asheville while you're in town. The city has grown into a world famous music destination that holds true to its mountain roots and independent artists.

Columbus is not a live music destination.


Is Asheville or Columbus Better for Resorts?

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville is a popular place for its luxury resorts. However, Columbus 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.

Columbus is not a resort destination.

Is Asheville or Columbus Better for its Old Town?

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville is a decent place to visit for its historic old town. However, Columbus 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.

Columbus does not have a historic old town.

Is Asheville or Columbus Better for Hiking?

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville is a very popular place for its hiking trails. However, Columbus is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting 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.

Columbus is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Asheville or Columbus?

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville is a very popular place for shopping. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping opportunities.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting 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.

Columbus offers some nice shopping areas. In addition to the standard shopping malls and retail outlets, there are some interesting shops in the Short North Arts District, German Village, and Easton Town Center.

Is Asheville or Columbus Better for Christmas?

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville is a very popular place for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Columbus does not offer Christmas activities.

Since it has plenty to do, Asheville is a very popular place to visit 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.

Columbus does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Asheville or Columbus Better for Christmas Markets?

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville is a decent place to visit for visiting Christmas markets. However, Columbus 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.

Columbus does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Asheville or Columbus Better for Families?

Asheville
Columbus

Both Asheville and Columbus are superb 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 Columbus. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a highlight for many families. Right by it is the Zoombezi Bay Waterpark. For hands-on science-based activities check out the Center of Science and Industry. Kids will also love the Legoland Discovery Center or the Anthony-Thomas Candy Factory. There are also many outdoor parks, greenways, and playgrounds to visit.

Is Asheville or Columbus Better for Couples?

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville is a very popular place for romance. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.

Asheville makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.

Most people don't think of Columbus as a couple's destination. You'll find restaurants and music venues that make for a nice date night. There are also wine tours and other entertainment options.

Is Asheville or Columbus Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for backpackers.

Asheville is very popular with the backpacker crowd. 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.

Columbus is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Although it's often overlooked by tourists, there is a hostel in town for backpackers and budget travelers.


Is Asheville or Columbus Better for Students?

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Columbus is not popular with students.

Asheville is a very popular mountain town for students and younger travelers. With its progressive personality and charming downtown, students enjoy spending time in this great town.

Columbus is not popular with students.

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

Asheville
Columbus

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

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 Columbus. While there's a bus system, you'll really want to have a vehicle to get around town efficiently.

Is Asheville or Columbus a more walkable city?

Asheville
Columbus

Asheville and Columbus both are nice when exploring on foot.

Asheville is a somewhat walkable place. 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.

Columbus is a somewhat walkable mountain town. The older neighborhoods are the most walkable, but if you want to get around town, you'll need to have a car.


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

Should I spend more time in Columbus or Asheville?

How long in Asheville or Columbus?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Asheville or Columbus to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Asheville than Columbus because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Asheville, and 1-2 days is enough time in Columbus.

Families should spend more time in Asheville than Columbus. 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 Columbus. 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 Columbus 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 Columbus? Ideal Length of Stay
    Asheville 2-3 
    Columbus 1-2

One day in Asheville or Columbus?

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 city of Columbus. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Columbus has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Asheville or Columbus?

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 nightlife around the friendly destination of Columbus. 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 Columbus?

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 nightlife and shopping when visiting the friendly city of Columbus. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Asheville or Columbus?

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.

Columbus is a popular choice for travelers. 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, Columbus 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 Columbus is $158. 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 Columbus in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $89
    Columbus $72
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $178
    Columbus $144
Compare Hotels in Asheville and Columbus

Looking for a hotel in Asheville or Columbus? 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 Columbus


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 Columbus Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Asheville $14
    Columbus $50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus

Also for Columbus, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $66
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $132
  • Columbus Ohio (CMH) Airport Arrival or Departure Private Transfer: $180
  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $66

Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or Columbus?

Prices for flights to both Columbus 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
    Columbus $49
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
    Columbus $46
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 Columbus

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

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Columbus with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure : $21
  • Columbus Blue Jackets Ice Hockey Game Ticket at Nationwide Arena: $21
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $29
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures: $41
  • 1-Hour Themed Escape Room Adventure & Narrative: $41
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Asheville $16
    Columbus $20

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


Which is Bigger, Asheville or Columbus?

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

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 Columbus in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Asheville as well as Columbus. The hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Asheville this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Columbus for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Asheville is generally a little warmer than Columbus. Daily temperatures in Asheville average around 82°F (28°C), and Columbus fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbus. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Asheville this time of the year. In the summer, Asheville often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Columbus. Asheville gets 268 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbus receives 254 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Columbus. Asheville receives a lot of rain in the summer. Asheville usually gets more rain in July than Columbus. Asheville gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Asheville 82°F (28°C) 
    Columbus 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Columbus in the Autumn?

Both Columbus and Asheville are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Asheville for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Columbus in the autumn for the shopping scene.

Asheville is a little warmer than Columbus in the autumn. The daily temperature in Asheville averages around 64°F (18°C) in October, and Columbus fluctuates around 57°F (14°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually receives more sunshine than Columbus during autumn. Asheville gets 229 hours of sunny skies, while Columbus receives 179 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Asheville usually receives more rain than Columbus. Asheville gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Columbus 57°F (14°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Columbus in the Winter?

Both Columbus and Asheville during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Asheville in the winter for the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Columbus for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Columbus can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Asheville is much warmer than Columbus. Typically, the winter temperatures in Asheville in January average around 44°F (7°C), and Columbus averages at about 30°F (-1°C).

In the winter, Asheville often gets more sunshine than Columbus. Asheville gets 176 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbus receives 105 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually gets more rain in January than Columbus. Asheville gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Asheville 44°F (7°C) 
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Columbus in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Asheville and Columbus. Most visitors come to Asheville for the natural beauty during these months.

In April, Asheville is generally a little warmer than Columbus. Daily temperatures in Asheville average around 64°F (18°C), and Columbus fluctuates around 54°F (12°C).

In Asheville, it's very sunny this time of the year. Asheville usually receives more sunshine than Columbus during spring. Asheville gets 266 hours of sunny skies, while Columbus receives 200 hours of full sun in the spring.

Asheville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Asheville usually receives more rain than Columbus. Asheville gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Columbus receives 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Columbus 54°F (12°C)

Typical Weather for Columbus and Asheville

Asheville Columbus
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Feb 47°F (8°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Mar 55°F (13°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
May 71°F (22°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jun 79°F (26°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (118 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Nov 55°F (13°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Dec 47°F (8°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)