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

Should you visit Asheville or Norfolk?

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 Norfolk. 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'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.

Norfolk

Norfolk is a maritime, authentic, and blue collar city. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Asheville and Norfolk: 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 Norfolk?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Asheville than Norfolk. While Norfolk is larger than Asheville, Asheville has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Asheville is very popular for its nightlife, music, resorts, historical sights, hiking, shopping, christmas markets, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Norfolk attracts visitors for its museums. Asheville is more touristy than Norfolk and is known 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. Norfolk is famous for its naval base and military presence.

How is Asheville different from Norfolk?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Asheville
Norfolk

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

Norfolk offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are some interesting museums in town like the Chrysler Museum, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, and the Norfolk Police and Fire Museum. You should also check out the Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin.

Asheville does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Asheville
Norfolk

Dining out at restaurants in both Asheville and Norfolk 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.

Norfolk is becoming an appealing option for foodies. You'll find a decent collection of restaurants in the downtown area. Food options include local seafood, brunch, casual eateries, and fine dining.

Is Asheville or Norfolk Better for Nightlife?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville is a great destination for nightlife. Also, Norfolk is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife and partying.

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.

If you're looking for night time activities Norfolk has a few options to choose from. Downtown is where you'll find the most busy nightlife venues. The city has great breweries, and the live music scene has taken off. There are also lounges, dance clubs, and wine bars to choose from.

Is Asheville or Norfolk Better for Music?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville is a great destination for live music. However, Norfolk 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.

Norfolk is not a live music destination.


Is Asheville or Norfolk Better for Resorts?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville is a popular place for its resorts. However, Norfolk 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.

Norfolk is not a resort destination.

Is Asheville or Norfolk Better for its Old Town?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville is a mountain town with a few options for its historic old town. However, Norfolk 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.

Norfolk does not have a historic old town.

Is Asheville or Norfolk Better for Hiking?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville is a great destination for its hiking experiences. However, Norfolk is not a hiking destination.

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.

Norfolk is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Asheville or Norfolk?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville is a great destination for shopping. Also, Norfolk is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping opportunities.

Asheville is an extremely popular place for shoppers. 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.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Norfolk. There's a mix of shopping malls, local boutiques, farmer's markets, and shopping centers around town.

Is Asheville or Norfolk Better for Christmas?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville is a great destination for its Christmas activities. However, Norfolk 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.

Norfolk does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Asheville or Norfolk Better for Christmas Markets?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville is a mountain town with a few options for its Christmas markets. However, Norfolk 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.

Norfolk does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Asheville or Norfolk Better for Families?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville is a great destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Norfolk is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Asheville is a very family-friendly place to visit. 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.

Norfolk offers lots of family activities. The Norfolk Zoo is always a hit with kids. You should also visit the USS Wisconsin which offers tours, as well as the Douglas MacArthur Memorial Museum.

Is Asheville or Norfolk Better for Couples?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville is a great destination for romance. However, Norfolk is a city with minimal options for its romantic activities.

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.

Most people don't think of Norfolk as a couple's destination. There are some nice hotels and several great parks and outdoor activities.

Is Asheville or Norfolk Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville is a great destination for backpackers. However, Norfolk is a city with minimal options 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.

Norfolk is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. This is an often overlooked area for backpackers.


Is Asheville or Norfolk Better for Students?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville is a great destination for students. However, Norfolk 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.

Norfolk is not popular with students.

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

Asheville
Norfolk

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

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 Norfolk. While there are buses, ferries, and even lightrail in the area, you really want to have a car to get around.

Is Asheville or Norfolk a more walkable city?

Asheville
Norfolk

Asheville and Norfolk 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.

Norfolk is a somewhat walkable mountain town. Downtown is the most walkable part of the city.


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

Should I spend more time in Norfolk or Asheville?

How long in Asheville or Norfolk?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Asheville or Norfolk to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Asheville than Norfolk 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 Norfolk.

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

One day in Asheville or Norfolk?

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.

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Norfolk. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Norfolk has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Asheville or Norfolk?

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.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the blue collar destination of Norfolk. 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 Norfolk?

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.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the maritime city of Norfolk. 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 Norfolk?

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.

Norfolk 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, Norfolk 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 Norfolk is $166. 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 Norfolk in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $89
    Norfolk $84
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $178
    Norfolk $168
Compare Hotels in Asheville and Norfolk

Looking for a hotel in Asheville or Norfolk? 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 Norfolk


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 Norfolk Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Asheville $14
    Norfolk $54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Norfolk

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Norfolk:

  • Bamville Transportation (Private & Airport Transfers): $275

Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or Norfolk?

Prices for flights to both Norfolk 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
    Norfolk $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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Norfolk

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Norfolk.

  • Buffet Dinner Cruise: $101
  • Norfolk Father's Day Buffet Dinner Cruise: $112
  • Norfolk Mother's Day Signature Dinner Cruise: $112
  • Norfolk Buffet Dinner Cruise : $140
  • Norfolk 4th of July Buffet Dinner Cruise: $182

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Asheville $16
    Norfolk $14
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
  • A Taste of West Asheville Tip-Based Guided 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
  • Highlights of Asheville Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Blue Ridge Parkway South Audio Driving Tour: $9.99
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Asheville Audio Driving Tour: $9.99
  • Asheville Historic Highlights: Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Blue Ridge Parkway (Asheville) Driving Tour with Audio Guide: $9.99
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Asheville by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt: Downtown Asheville Adventure: $12

Tours and Activities in Norfolk

Here are a few actual costs in Norfolk for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Norfolk with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Skip the Line: Virginia Living Museum Admission Ticket: $22
  • Neon District Contemporary Art Walking Tour: $32
  • Virginia Zoo & Battleship Wisconsin Combo Ticket: $38
  • Electric Bike Rental Downtown Norfolk (self guided tour) : $60
  • Elizabeth River Sunday Buffet Brunch Cruise: $84
  • Norfolk Buffet Brunch Cruise : $84
  • Elizabeth River Candlelit Buffet Lunch Cruise: $84
  • Mother's Day Signature Brunch Cruise Norfolk: $103
  • Norfolk Father's Day Buffet Brunch Cruise: $103

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Asheville $16
    Norfolk $10

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
  • Electric Bike Brewery Crawl of Asheville: $79
  • Guided Craft Brewery Tour with a Snack: $99
  • Asheville Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105

Sample the Local Flavors in Norfolk

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Norfolk:

  • Party Bike Pub Crawl in Downtown Norfolk: $30
  • Guided Party Bike and Local Pub Crawl Tour: $30


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


Which is Bigger, Asheville or Norfolk?

Norfolk has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Asheville. When comparing the sizes of Asheville and Norfolk, 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 Norfolk?

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 Norfolk in the Summer?

Both Norfolk and Asheville are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Asheville this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Norfolk for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Asheville is generally around the same temperature as Norfolk. Daily temperatures in Asheville average around 82°F (28°C), and Norfolk fluctuates around 79°F (26°C).

It's quite sunny in Norfolk. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Norfolk during summer. Asheville gets 268 hours of sunny skies, while Norfolk receives 279 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Norfolk. It's quite rainy in Asheville. In July, Asheville usually receives around the same amount of rain as Norfolk. Asheville gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 5.7 inches (145 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Asheville 82°F (28°C) 
    Norfolk 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Norfolk in the Autumn?

Both Norfolk and Asheville during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Asheville for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, many visitors come to Norfolk in the autumn for the shopping scene.

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

In Norfolk, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Asheville. In the autumn, Asheville often gets more sunshine than Norfolk. Asheville gets 229 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Norfolk receives 211 hours of full sun.

Asheville usually gets more rain in October than Norfolk. Asheville gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Asheville or Norfolk in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Asheville and Norfolk. Many visitors come to Asheville in the winter for the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Norfolk for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Norfolk can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Asheville is much warmer than Norfolk. Typically, the winter temperatures in Asheville in January average around 44°F (7°C), and Norfolk averages at about 39°F (4°C).

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

Asheville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Asheville usually receives more rain than Norfolk. Asheville gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Asheville 44°F (7°C) 
    Norfolk 39°F (4°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Norfolk in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Asheville as well as Norfolk. Most visitors come to Asheville for the natural beauty during these months.

In April, Asheville is generally a little warmer than Norfolk. Daily temperatures in Asheville average around 64°F (18°C), and Norfolk fluctuates around 58°F (14°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Norfolk. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Asheville this time of the year. In the spring, Asheville often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Norfolk. Asheville gets 266 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Norfolk receives 253 hours of full sun.

Asheville receives a lot of rain in the spring. Asheville usually gets more rain in April than Norfolk. Asheville gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Norfolk 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Norfolk and Asheville

Asheville Norfolk
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Feb 47°F (8°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 55°F (13°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 49°F (10°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 71°F (22°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Jun 79°F (26°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.7 inches (145 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (118 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Nov 55°F (13°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Dec 47°F (8°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)