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

Should you visit Asheville or Durango?

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 Durango. 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 live music, food, and hiking.

Durango

Durango is a nature-filled, historic, and charming small town. It also offers plenty of small town charm and also has plenty of sights and activities. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. With a quaint atmosphere, it also offers a unique feeling. And you can't forget about the hiking and museums.

Asheville and Durango: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Asheville or Durango?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Asheville. Although Asheville and Durango are popular destinations, Asheville has more sights and attractions for tourists. Asheville is very popular for its food, nightlife, music, resorts, shopping, and christmas markets, while Durango attracts visitors for its skiing, museums, historical sights, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere. 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. Durango is famous for its historic narrow gauge railroad, its charming small town atmosphere, and its many family-friendly activities.

How is Asheville different from Durango?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Asheville or Durango Better for Skiing?

Asheville
Durango

Durango is a small town with a few options for winter skiing. However, Asheville is not a skiing destination.

Durango is a fun local destination for snow skiers. Purgatory Ski Resort is about 20 minutes from town and it's a family-friendly mountain with beginner and intermediate runs. It's small, and geared specifically to the beginner and younger crowd.

Asheville is not a skiing destination.


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

Asheville
Durango

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

Durango offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Most visitors come to town specifically to ride the Silverton & Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad. There's also the D&SNGRR Railroad Museum, and the Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum.

Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.

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

Asheville
Durango

Asheville is a good destination for its restaurants. However, Durango 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 Durango. Most of the restaurants are casual and family-friendly, serving up burgers or sandwiches for a reasonable price. You'll also find some coffeeshops and even a few food trucks and international restaurants.

Is Asheville or Durango Better for Nightlife?

Asheville
Durango

Asheville is a very popular place for nightlife. However, Durango is lacking in good options 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.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Durango. It's a small town that attracts tourists mainly for its train, so you won't find much in the way of a nightlife scene.


Is Asheville or Durango Better for Music?

Asheville
Durango

Asheville is a very popular place for live music. However, Durango 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.

Durango is not a live music destination.

Is Asheville or Durango Better for Resorts?

Asheville
Durango

Asheville is a good destination for its luxury resorts. However, Durango 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.

Durango is not a resort destination.

Is Asheville or Durango Better for its Old Town?

Asheville
Durango

Durango is a good destination for its old town. However, Asheville is not particularly known for its historic old town charm.

Many people head to Durango to see the old town. Filled with character, the downtown feels like you've stepped into a Western. The town has a long history as a mining and railroad community, which you can see throughout the historic area. It really feels like you're in the "Wild West."

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


Is Asheville or Durango Better for Hiking?

Asheville
Durango

Hiking trails can be found around both Asheville and Durango, and they are excellent.

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 Durango for the hiking trails. It's surrounded by plenty of natural beautiful and there is an endless supply of hikes in the region. Popular nearby hikes include Animas Mountain Trail, Falls Creek Trail, and Purgatory Trail.

Is the Shopping Better in Asheville or Durango?

Asheville
Durango

Asheville is a very popular place for shopping. However, Durango is lacking in good options 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.

If you're looking to go shopping, Durango has some nice offerings. The charming town has some boutiques that sell beautifully made Native American jewelry and other interesting items. There are also souvenir shops and other venues that target tourists specifically.

Is Asheville or Durango Better for Christmas?

Asheville
Durango

Asheville is a very popular place for its Christmas holiday experiences. Also, Durango is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its 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.

Durango offers some nice Christmas activities. It is a great Christmas town where you can meet Santa, go skiing, and even take the Polar Express.


Is Asheville or Durango Better for Christmas Markets?

Asheville
Durango

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

Durango does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Asheville or Durango Better for Families?

Asheville
Durango

Both Asheville and Durango are excellent 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 Durango. In the area you'll find ziplining, alpine slides, and plenty of outdoor areas to explore - and of course there's the railroad.

Is Asheville or Durango Better for Couples?

Asheville
Durango

Asheville is a very popular place for romance. However, Durango 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 Durango as a couple's destination. The town may not be the first romantic destination that comes to mind, but the railroad combined with wandering the downtown can make for a great couple's getaway.


Is Asheville or Durango Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Asheville
Durango

Asheville is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Durango is not quite as popular, but is fairly good 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.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Durango. With plenty of parks and outdoor areas nearby, backpackers will have plenty of places to explore.

Is Asheville or Durango Better for Students?

Asheville
Durango

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

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

Durango is not popular with students.

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

Asheville
Durango

Asheville is a decent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its public transit.

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

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Durango. It's a small town with no real public transit options so a car is a must.


Is Asheville or Durango a more walkable city?

Asheville
Durango

Asheville is a good destination for its walkability. However, Durango is lacking in good options 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.

Durango is generally not very walkable. While the Main Street through town is walkable, it's not as pedestrian-friendly as some small towns.

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

Should I spend more time in Durango or Asheville?

How long in Asheville or Durango?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Asheville and Durango. In our opinion, Asheville has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Asheville than Durango. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

One day in Asheville or Durango?

In Asheville, you'll find nightlife and live music. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This mountain town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Even though Durango is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. 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 Durango?

In Asheville, you'll find live music and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Asheville has to offer.

Durango is a small town where visitors enjoy the museums. 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 small town has to offer. This small town offers a variety of activities to choose from.


Five days in Asheville or Durango?

Asheville is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Durango is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. 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 Durango?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Asheville. Many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting Asheville. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Durango 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 Sightseeing Tours in United States of America, The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in United States of America, The Best Cultural Tours in United States of America, and The Best Photography Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Durango 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 Durango is $153. 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 Durango in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $89
    Durango $79
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $178
    Durango $158
Compare Hotels in Asheville and Durango

Looking for a hotel in Asheville or Durango? 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 Durango


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 Durango Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Asheville $14
    Durango $27

Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or Durango?

Prices for flights to both Durango 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
    Durango $50
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: $40
  • Electric Bike Tour of Asheville's Best Pizza: $98
  • Best Pizza E-bike Tour: $111

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

  • (3 HR) Off-Road UTV Wilderness Adventure : $175
  • (4 HR) UTV Sunset, Waterfall, and Eco Elk Wilderness Adventure : $275
  • 2.5-Hour Blue Ridge Parkway Guided Jeep Tour: $99
  • Amazing Asheville Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Asheville Child-Focused Mountain and Waterfall Tour: $250
  • 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: $8.49
  • Asheville Insider Guided Walking Tour: $35
  • Asheville Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour : $27
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25

Typical Entertainment Prices in Durango

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Durango's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Hot Springs (for 2)
    $50
  • Tubing (for 2)
    $40

Tours and Activities in Durango

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

  • Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour in Mesa Verde National Park: $13
  • Colorado: Million Dollar Highway Self-Driving Audio Tour: $14
  • Million Dollar Highway Self-Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Mesa Verde Sunrise Tours: $26
  • Water Tubing Experience in Animas River: $34
  • Durango Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Scenic Waterfall's & Ghost Town Jeep Tour La Plata's~ 2.5 hours: $84
  • La Plata Canyon Scenic Waterfalls Jeep Tour: $86
  • La Plata Canyon Exclusive Access Jeep Tour: $99
  • La Plata Mountains - Half Day Tour: $100
  • Waterfalls and Mountains La Plata Canyon Jeep Tour: $100
  • 4 Hours Durango Colorado - Jeep Tour : $102

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Asheville $16
    Durango $30

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 comparing the travel costs between Asheville and Durango, we can see that Durango is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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


Which is Bigger, Asheville or Durango?

Asheville has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Durango. When comparing the sizes of Asheville and Durango, 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.