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

Should you visit Asheville or Duck?

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 Duck. 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 food, hiking, and shopping.

Duck

Duck is a laid-back, traditional, and compact beach town. As this is a charming small town, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and food.

Asheville and Duck: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • 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
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Asheville or Duck?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Asheville. Although Asheville and Duck are popular destinations, Asheville has more sights and attractions for tourists. Asheville is very popular for its nightlife, music, historical sights, hiking, christmas markets, and quaint atmosphere, while Duck attracts visitors for its museums, beaches, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Duck is more touristy than Asheville and is known for its quaint atmosphere and small town charm. 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.

How is Asheville different from Duck?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Asheville
Duck

Duck is not so good for its museums and landmarks. However, Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.

Duck offers a few options for museum-goers. Hanging out at the beach and enjoy water sports or outdoor activities are the main draw of this town. You won't find much in the form of museums or indoor activities.

Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Asheville
Duck

Dining out at restaurants in both Asheville and Duck 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.

Duck is becoming an appealing option for foodies. For such a small town, there's a decent selection of restaurants that range from local seafood eateries to pizza delivery. Homemade ice cream is a favorite in the area, but you also can't skip out on the flagship Duck Donuts store.

Is Asheville or Duck Better for Nightlife?

Asheville
Duck

Asheville is a well-known place for nightlife. However, Duck is not a good beach town for nightlife and partying.

Asheville offers plenty to do in the evening. 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 Duck. It's known as a family-friendly destination that isn't often associated with a strong nightlife, but there is often live music and other festivals during the summer months.

Is Asheville or Duck Better for Music?

Asheville
Duck

Asheville is a well-known place for live music. However, Duck is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Asheville is very popular with diverse venues. The city has grown into a world famous music destination that holds true to its mountain roots and independent artists.

Duck is not a live music destination.


Is Asheville or Duck Better for Resorts?

Asheville
Duck

There are nice resorts to choose from in both Asheville and Duck.

With a selection of resorts, Asheville makes a nice vacation spot. 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.

Duck has a few great resort options. Most of the accommodation around town is in the form of vacation beach rental houses that are perfect for family gatherings or larger groups.

Is Asheville or Duck Better for Beaches?

Asheville
Duck

Duck is an unbeatable place for the beache. However, Asheville is not a beach destination.

Duck offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. Long sandy beaches with great surf and a wonderful boardwalk make this a great beach destination. Kids play in the tidal pools and families relax under their beach umbrellas in a classic beach setting.

Asheville is not a beach destination.

Is Asheville or Duck Better for its Old Town?

Asheville
Duck

Asheville is a moderate mountain town for its historic old town. However, Duck 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.

Duck does not have a historic old town.


Is Asheville or Duck Better for Hiking?

Asheville
Duck

Asheville is a well-known place for the nearby hiking options. Also, Duck is not as famous, but is still a good beach town to visit for its hiking trails.

Asheville is a popular spot for hiking. 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 people include a hike when visiting Duck. The Duck Trail runs for six miles and passes through town. It's popular with walkers, cyclists, and inline skaters.

Is the Shopping Better in Asheville or Duck?

Asheville
Duck

Shopping is a popular activity in both Duck 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 Duck. Head to the Waterfront Shops for some of the town's best shopping. You can wander along the boardwalk and check out the independent vendors and local restaurants.

Is Asheville or Duck Better for Christmas?

Asheville
Duck

Asheville is a well-known place for its Christmas activities. However, Duck 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.

Duck does not offer Christmas activities.


Is Asheville or Duck Better for Christmas Markets?

Asheville
Duck

Asheville is a moderate mountain town for its Christmas markets. However, Duck 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.

Duck does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Asheville or Duck Better for Families?

Asheville
Duck

Both Asheville and Duck 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 Duck. Kid-friendly beaches, local ice cream joints, and the famed Duck Donuts all make this an ideal kid's beach destination. There's a waterpark nearby and plenty of water sports that the whole family can enjoy. The boardwalk is also a very family-friendly environment.

Is Asheville or Duck Better for Couples?

Asheville
Duck

Asheville and Duck both superb 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.

Duck is a great mountain town if you're traveling as a couple. It's a charming beach town with great local restaurants and a beautiful and peaceful setting. For couples who want to enjoy a relaxing beach town without the energy of a larger destination, then this is the perfect place. Much of the accommodation is in the form of rental houses, which can be a bit much for a couple, but the setting is perfect for a weekend escape.


Is Asheville or Duck Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Asheville
Duck

Asheville is a well-known place for backpackers. However, Duck is not a good beach town 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.

Duck is not the best destination for backpackers and budget travelers due to its high prices. It's an upscale town with many beach houses available for rent, and very little in the form of budget accommodation.

Is Asheville or Duck Better for Students?

Asheville
Duck

Asheville is a well-known place for students. However, Duck 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.

Duck is not popular with students.

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

Asheville
Duck

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

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 Duck. It's best to have a car if you want to exploring the Outer Banks and its many activities.


Is Asheville or Duck a more walkable city?

Asheville
Duck

Duck 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 Duck on foot is easy. It's a wonderfully walkable and pedestrian-friendly town with a great boardwalk and many walking and cycling paths.

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 Duck Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Duck or Asheville?

How long in Asheville or Duck?

Both Asheville and Duck have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Duck than in Asheville. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Asheville, and 5-7 days is enough time in Duck.

Couples should spend more time in Asheville than Duck. 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 Duck 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 Duck? Ideal Length of Stay
    Asheville 2-3 
    Duck 5-7

One day in Asheville or Duck?

Visitors enjoy the live music and food when visiting the destination of Asheville. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Even though Duck is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. 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 Duck?

Asheville is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Duck is a small town where visitors enjoy the shopping and food. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This beach town offers a variety of activities to choose from.


Five days in Asheville or Duck?

You'll find shopping and nightlife around the progressive destination of Asheville. This mountain town offers something for everyone. 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.

Duck is a small town with plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this beach town makes for a great vacation. It's also a great beach destination, too. Most people head to the area for the beaches. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this beach town has to offer.

A week in Asheville or Duck?

The outdoorsy mountain town of Asheville offers nightlife and live music. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. 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.

Duck is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Duck, one week is sufficent for most. 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, Duck 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 Duck is $188. 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 Duck in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $89
    Duck $107
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $178
    Duck $214
Compare Hotels in Asheville and Duck

Looking for a hotel in Asheville or Duck? 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 Duck


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
    Duck $66

Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or Duck?

Prices for flights to both Duck 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
    Duck $45
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.

  • 1-HR cooking class: $34
  • Electric Bike Tour of Asheville's Best Pizza: $98
  • Best Pizza E-bike Tour: $111

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Asheville $16
    Duck $13
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
  • Blue Ridge Parkway South Audio Driving Tour: $7.99
  • Asheville Historic Highlights: Self-Guided Walking Tour: $8.99
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Self-Drive Tour w/ Audio Guide: $9.99
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Driving Audio Tour (Asheville ↔ Roanoke): $13
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Gem Mining and Goat Farm Walking Tour in Hendersonville: $26
  • Asheville Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour : $27
  • Asheville Ghost Tour: A Walk Through Riverside Cemetery & Montford Neighborhood: $27
  • Asheville Tubing Adventure : $35
  • Asheville Insider Guided Walking Tour: $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Asheville $16
    Duck $45

Sample the Local Flavors in Asheville

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

  • Ultimate Late Night Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Terrors, Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Asheville Terrors Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl: $37
  • Expert-Led Brewery Walking Tour with Beer Samples: $65
  • Downtown Asheville Guided Brewery Walking Tour: $69
  • Premier Walking Guided Brewery Tour Through Downtown Asheville: $69
  • Electric Bike Brewery Crawl of Asheville: $74
  • "Beer Flight" Drag Queen Bar Crawl Tour + VIP After Party Seating: $77
  • Premier Mobile Guided Brewery Tour Around Asheville: $99
  • Guided Craft Brewery Tour with a Snack: $99


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


Which is Bigger, Asheville or Duck?

Asheville has a larger population, and is about 120 times larger than the population of Duck. When comparing the sizes of Asheville and Duck, 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 Duck?

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 Duck in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Asheville and Duck. The hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Asheville this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Duck for the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Asheville is generally around the same temperature as Duck. Daily temperatures in Asheville average around 82°F (28°C), and Duck fluctuates around 78°F (26°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Duck this time of the year. In Asheville, it's very sunny this time of the year. Asheville usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Duck during summer. Asheville gets 268 hours of sunny skies, while Duck receives 279 hours of full sun in the summer.

Duck receives a lot of rain in the summer. Asheville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Asheville usually receives around the same amount of rain as Duck. Asheville gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Asheville 82°F (28°C) 
    Duck 78°F (26°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Duck in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Asheville as well as Duck. Many travelers come to Asheville for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Additionally, many visitors come to Duck in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

Asheville is around the same temperature as Duck in the autumn. The daily temperature in Asheville averages around 64°F (18°C) in October, and Duck fluctuates around 62°F (16°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Duck. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Asheville this time of the year. In the autumn, Asheville often gets more sunshine than Duck. Asheville gets 229 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Duck receives 211 hours of full sun.

Asheville usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Duck. Asheville gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Duck 62°F (16°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Duck in the Winter?

Both Duck and Asheville are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Asheville in the winter for the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Duck for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months.

Duck can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Asheville is a little warmer than Duck. Typically, the winter temperatures in Asheville in January average around 44°F (7°C), and Duck averages at about 41°F (5°C).

Asheville usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Duck during winter. Asheville gets 176 hours of sunny skies, while Duck receives 168 hours of full sun in the winter.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Duck. It's quite rainy in Asheville. In January, Asheville usually receives around the same amount of rain as Duck. Asheville gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Asheville 44°F (7°C) 
    Duck 41°F (5°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Duck in the Spring?

Both Duck and Asheville during the spring are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Asheville for the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Duck because of the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty.

In April, Asheville is generally a little warmer than Duck. Daily temperatures in Asheville average around 64°F (18°C), and Duck fluctuates around 59°F (15°C).

In Duck, 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 Duck. Asheville gets 266 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Duck receives 253 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually gets more rain in April than Duck. Asheville gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Duck 59°F (15°C)

Typical Weather for Duck and Asheville

Asheville Duck
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 41°F (5°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Feb 47°F (8°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Mar 55°F (13°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
May 71°F (22°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 67°F (19°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)
Jun 79°F (26°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 74°F (23°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (118 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5 inches (127 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Nov 55°F (13°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Dec 47°F (8°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)