Should you visit Asheville or Gatlinburg?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Asheville and Gatlinburg. 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. So, let's dig into it.
Asheville is a beautiful mountain town between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains. It's a popular tourist destination in western North Carolina that attracts hikers, shoppers, and adventurers alike. It's the largest city in the area and is famous for it's liberal mindset and large art community. Local crafts are frequently available for sale in the downtown shops.
Located in eastern Tennessee, Gatlinburg is a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and for many it is a destination in and of itself. It's anything but natural, and most of its entertainment is centered around amusement park rides and gimmicky sights. You'll find no shortage of cheap hotels and restaurant options, many of which are the typical chains you would find in most tourist towns. It is a convenient town to pick up any necessities you may have forgotten before your visit to the nearby national park.
Which city is cheaper, Gatlinburg or Asheville?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Asheville is $106, while the average daily cost in Gatlinburg is $152. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Asheville and Gatlinburg in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $142 for a double occupancy room in Asheville.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $128 in Gatlinburg For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
In Asheville travelers spend around $26 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
The price of a meal in Gatlinburg can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $68 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $27 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Asheville
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Asheville:
Typical Food prices in Gatlinburg
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Gatlinburg:
The average price of local transportation around Asheville is $11 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
To get around in Gatlinburg, the average visitor spends $28 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or Gatlinburg?
Prices for flights to both Gatlinburg 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.
Asheville's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $13 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
In Gatlinburg, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.
Typical Entertainment prices in Asheville
Here are a few typical costs in Asheville for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Tours and Activities in Asheville
Here are a few actual costs in Asheville for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
"Love Stories of Asheville" Guided Walking Tour:
2-Hour Guided Segway Tour of Asheville:
4-Mile Guided Paddleboard Tour on The French Broad River in Asheville:
7 Mile Guided Paddleboard Tour On The French Broad River in Asheville:
Amazing Asheville Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
Asheville Insider Guided Walking Tour:
Asheville Literary Tour:
Asheville Night-Time Guided Walking Ghost Tour (1 or 1.5-Hour Options Available):
Asheville Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour:
Asheville Private Guided Bird Watching Tour:
Asheville Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
Asheville Scavenger Hunt: Downtown Asheville Adventure:
Typical Entertainment prices in Gatlinburg
For Gatlinburg, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Horseback Riding Photos
Horseback Riding (for 2)
Tours and Activities in Gatlinburg
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Gatlinburg.
Gatlinburg Ghost Tour:
Ghost and Haunt Tour of Gatlinburg:
Impossibilities Magic Show at the Iris Theater Ticket:
Great Smoky Mountains Waterfall Adventure Hiking Tour:
Foxfire Mountain: Waterfall Canopy Zip Line Tour:
Goliath: Extreme Mountain Zip Lining Adventure:
Can-AM Maverick 1000 Adventure Vehicle Rental:
Polaris 570 Ranger Adventure Vehicle Rental:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Asheville may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Gatlinburg, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $12.
Sample the Local Flavors in Asheville
Also in Asheville, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Downtown Asheville Guided Brewery Walking Tour:
Private Adventure Brews Cruise Brewery Tours in Asheville (Up To 5 Breweries):
Sample the Local Flavors in Gatlinburg
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Gatlinburg:
Gatlinburg's Best Moonshine Distillery Tour and Tastings:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Asheville and Gatlinburg, we can see that Gatlinburg 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 Gatlinburg would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Gatlinburg than you might in Asheville.
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