A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Asheville vs. Raleigh for Nightlife, Food, and Families

Should you visit Asheville or Raleigh?

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 Raleigh. 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 offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include food, hiking, and shopping.

Raleigh

Raleigh is a friendly, southern, and suburban-style city. And you can't forget about the nightlife and museums.

Asheville and Raleigh: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
Pros
  • Family-friendly


How is Asheville different from Raleigh?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Asheville or Raleigh better for Food?

Dining out at restaurants in both Asheville and Raleigh can be an enjoyable experience.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Asheville. Popular local dishes include North Carolina barbeque and country ham biscuits.

Raleigh may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Try some southern classics like barbecue, pimento cheese, and fried chicken and waffles.

Asheville
Raleigh


Is Asheville or Raleigh better for Nightlife?

Party-goers will find similar levels of energy in Asheville and Raleigh.

Asheville is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. 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 Raleigh has a few options to choose from. Trivia nights and happy hours are popular.

Asheville
Raleigh

Is Asheville or Raleigh better for Families?

Both Asheville and Raleigh are family-friendly destinations.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Asheville. With its beautiful hiking, interesting nature centers, and outdoor adventure activities, this mountain town makes a great kid-friendly destination.

Raleigh offers lots of family activities. For such a small city, Raleigh has a number of unique kid-friendly activities like the popular Pullen Park and Marbles Kids' Museum.

Asheville
Raleigh

Is Asheville or Raleigh a more walkable city?

Asheville and Raleigh both are comparable 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.

Raleigh is generally not a very walkable mountain town. The city is somewhat walkable in the downtown area, but everywhere else you'll need a car.

Asheville
Raleigh

Should I spend more time in Raleigh or Asheville?

How long in Asheville or Raleigh?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Asheville and Raleigh. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Asheville is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Raleigh is 2-3 days.


  • How many days in Asheville or Raleigh? Ideal Length of Stay
    Asheville 2-3 
    Raleigh 2-3

One day in Asheville or Raleigh?

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 nightlife and museums around the city of Raleigh. 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 Raleigh?

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 southern destination of Raleigh. 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 Raleigh?

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 museums when visiting the southern city of Raleigh. 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 Raleigh?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Asheville. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time here unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Raleigh 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 city is cheaper, Raleigh 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 Raleigh is $151. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Asheville and Raleigh in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $71
    Raleigh $83
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $142
    Raleigh $166
Compare Hotels in Asheville and Raleigh

Looking for a hotel in Asheville or Raleigh? 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 Raleigh


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Asheville $11
    Raleigh $30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Raleigh

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Raleigh:

  • Raleigh to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $124

Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or Raleigh?

Prices for flights to both Raleigh 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 $26
    Raleigh $46
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

Typical Food prices in Raleigh

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Raleigh:


  • The Pit Authentic BBQ (for 3)
    $84

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Raleigh

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

  • Raleigh, NC - Walking Food Tours: $62

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Asheville $13
    Raleigh $30
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:

  • Asheville tip-based sightseeing Walking Tour with Donut & Spirits/Beer Tastings: $5.00
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt: Downtown Asheville Adventure: $12
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Asheville Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Asheville Night-Time Guided Walking Ghost Tour (1 or 1.5-Hour Options Available): $21
  • 1-Hour Haunted Walking Ghost Tour: $22
  • Asheville Literary Tour: $30
  • Asheville Insider Guided Walking Tour: $30
  • Asheville Private Guided Bird Watching Tour: $41
  • North Carolina Arboretum Running Tour in Asheville: $45
  • French Broad River Kayak Tour in Asheville: $55
  • 2-Hour Guided Segway Tour of Asheville: $68

Tours and Activities in Raleigh

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

  • Trolley Pub Public Tour of Raleigh: $41

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Asheville $13
    Raleigh $22

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: $38
  • Private Adventure Brews Cruise Brewery Tours in Asheville (Up To 5 Breweries): $1,013

Sample the Local Flavors in Raleigh

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Raleigh:

  • Raleigh Bar Hunt: Rowdy Raleigh Bar Crawl: $12


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


When is the best time to visit Asheville or Raleigh?

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 Raleigh in the Summer?

Both Raleigh 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 Raleigh for the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Asheville is around the same temperature as Raleigh. Typically, the summer temperatures in Asheville in July are around 82°F (28°C), and Raleigh is about 79°F (26°C).

It's quite sunny in Raleigh. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Raleigh during summer. At this time of the year, Asheville gets 268 hours of sunny skies, while Raleigh receives 259 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Raleigh. It's quite rainy in Asheville. In July, Asheville usually receives around the same amount of rain as Raleigh. At this time of the year, Asheville gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain.


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

Should I visit Asheville or Raleigh in the Autumn?

Both Raleigh 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.

In October, Asheville is generally around the same temperature as Raleigh. Temperatures in Asheville average around 64°F (18°C), and Raleigh stays around 61°F (16°C).

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

Asheville usually gets more rain in October than Raleigh. Asheville gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Raleigh 61°F (16°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Raleigh in the Winter?

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

Raleigh can be very cold during winter. Asheville is a little warmer than Raleigh in the winter. The temperature in Asheville is usually 44°F (7°C) in January, and Raleigh stays around 40°F (5°C).

Asheville usually receives more sunshine than Raleigh during winter. At this time of the year, Asheville gets 176 hours of sunny skies, while Raleigh receives 162 hours of full sun.

Asheville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Asheville usually receives more rain than Raleigh. At this time of the year, Asheville gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Asheville 44°F (7°C) 
    Raleigh 40°F (5°C)

Should I visit Asheville or Raleigh in the Spring?

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

In the spring, Asheville is a little warmer than Raleigh. Typically, the spring temperatures in Asheville in April are around 64°F (18°C), and Raleigh is about 60°F (16°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Raleigh. 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 Raleigh. Asheville gets 266 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Raleigh receives 251 hours of full sun.

Asheville receives a lot of rain in the spring. Asheville usually gets more rain in April than Raleigh. Asheville gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    Raleigh 60°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Raleigh and Asheville

Asheville Raleigh
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Feb 47°F (8°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 55°F (13°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 71°F (22°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Jun 79°F (26°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (118 mm) 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 55°F (13°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Dec 47°F (8°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)


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Asheville vs. Raleigh Travel Comparison

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