A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Asheville vs. San Diego for Families, Nightlife, Music, and Hiking

Should you visit Asheville or San Diego?

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 San Diego. 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 open-minded, eclectic, and outdoorsy mountain town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. Visitors also love the live music, food, and hiking.

San Diego

San Diego is a dynamic, energetic, and outdoorsy coastal city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. And you can't forget about the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Asheville and San Diego: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Cons
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


How is Asheville different from San Diego?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Asheville or San Diego Better for Food?

Asheville
San Diego

Dining out at restaurants in both Asheville and San Diego 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.

San Diego is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.


Is Asheville or San Diego Better for Nightlife?

Asheville
San Diego

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

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.

Many people head to San Diego for the nightlife scene. The heart of the city's nightlife scene is in the Gaslamp District, which is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues.

Is Asheville or San Diego Better for Music?

Asheville
San Diego

Live music enthusiatsts will find something to enjoy in either Asheville or San Diego.

Music is a popular form of entertainment in Asheville. The city has grown into a world famous music destination that holds true to its mountain roots and independent artists.

The music scene in San Diego draws a good crowd. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.

Is Asheville or San Diego Better for Resorts?

Asheville
San Diego

There are resorts to choose from in both Asheville and San Diego.

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.

San Diego has a few great resort options. Most people prefer to stay in hotels or VRBOs, but several popular resorts include Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Paradise Point, and the famous Hotel del Coronado.

Is Asheville or San Diego Better for Hiking?

Asheville
San Diego

Hiking trails can be found around both Asheville and San Diego.

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.

Many visitors go to San Diego for the hiking trails. The city is filled with parks and has tons of natural beauty. Head to Torrey Pines State Park or Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail for some nice hikes.


Is Asheville or San Diego Better for Shopping?

Asheville
San Diego

Shopping is a popular activity in both San Diego and Asheville.

Asheville offers some nice shopping areas. The city has many local shops that sell local crafts and independent art.

San Diego has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping.

Is Asheville or San Diego Better for Families?

Asheville
San Diego

Families may find more to do in San Diego than Asheville.

With a huge array of activities for kids, San Diego is very family-friendly. It has a number of kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more.

Asheville offers lots of family activities. With its beautiful hiking, interesting nature centers, and outdoor adventure activities, this mountain town makes a great kid-friendly destination.

Is Asheville or San Diego Better for Couples?

Asheville
San Diego

Asheville and San Diego both fun destinations for a couple.

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.

San Diego is a good mountain town for couples to visit. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.

Is Asheville or San Diego Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Asheville
San Diego

Asheville and San Diego are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Asheville is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. 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.

It's common for backpackers to visit San Diego. Backpackers will enjoy the young vibe of the city. There are a few great hostels near the beach or in town.


Is Asheville or San Diego a more walkable city?

Asheville
San Diego

Asheville and San Diego 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.

San Diego is a somewhat walkable mountain town. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.

Should I spend more time in San Diego or Asheville?

How long in Asheville or San Diego?

In either Asheville or San Diego, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in San Diego than Asheville because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Asheville is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to San Diego is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Asheville or San Diego? Ideal Length of Stay
    Asheville 2-3 
    San Diego 3-5

One day in Asheville or San Diego?

You'll find food and shopping around the mountain town of Asheville. 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.

You'll find shopping and museums around the coastal city of San Diego. 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 San Diego?

You'll find shopping and nightlife around the outdoorsy destination of Asheville. 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 mountain town has to offer. This mountain town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the idyllic destination of San Diego. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Asheville or San Diego?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the outdoorsy mountain town of Asheville. 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.

You'll find nightlife and live music around the energetic coastal city of San Diego. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this coastal city 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 coastal city has to offer.


A week in Asheville or San Diego?

Asheville 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.

San Diego is a popular choice for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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, San Diego 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 San Diego is $161. 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 San Diego in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $71
    San Diego $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $142
    San Diego $182
Compare Hotels in Asheville and San Diego

Looking for a hotel in Asheville or San Diego? 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 San Diego


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 San Diego Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Asheville $11
    San Diego $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

Also for San Diego, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Arrival Private Transfer San Diego Airport SAN to San Diego City by Business Car: $71
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Diego Airport SAN to San Diego by Executive SUV: $85
  • Arrival and Departure Transfer: Hotel to and from San Diego International Airport: $70
  • Departure Private Transfer San Diego to San Diego Airport SAN in Business Car: $63
  • Private Airport Transfer San Deigo Arrival And Departure: $67
  • Private Airport Transfer: Hotel to and from San Diego International Airport: $70
  • Private Airport Transfer: San Diego International Airport (SAN) to San Diego: $46
  • Private Airport Transfer: from San Diego to San Diego Int. Airport (SAN): $35
  • Private Arrival Transfer from SAN San Diego Airport to San Diego City: $49
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Diego Airport SAN: $48
  • Private Departure Transfer from San Diego to SAN San Diego Airport: $46
  • Private Departure Transfer to San Diego Airport SAN: $48

Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or San Diego?

Prices for flights to both San Diego 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
    San Diego $36
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 San Diego

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to San Diego:


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • San Diego North Park Food Tour: $49
  • Liberty Station Food Tour: $49
  • Market and Guacamole Cooking Class in Tijuana Mexico: $89
  • Private Cooking Demonstration of Indian Fusion Cuisine in San Diego: $96
  • Farmers Market Tour & Social Cooking With A Chef: $100
  • San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise: $111
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours San Diego: $129
  • Secret Food Tours San Diego w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Asheville $13
    San Diego $38
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:

  • "Love Stories of Asheville" Guided Walking Tour: $498
  • 2-Hour Guided Segway Tour of Asheville: $68
  • 4-Mile Guided Paddleboard Tour on The French Broad River in Asheville: $82
  • 7 Mile Guided Paddleboard Tour On The French Broad River in Asheville: $97
  • Asheville Insider Guided Walking Tour: $30
  • Asheville Literary Tour: $30
  • Asheville Night-Time Guided Walking Ghost Tour (1 or 1.5-Hour Options Available): $21
  • Asheville Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Asheville Private Guided Bird Watching Tour: $41
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Asheville Scavenger Hunt: Downtown Asheville Adventure: $12
  • Asheville tip-based sightseeing Walking Tour with Donut & Spirits/Beer Tastings: $5.00

Typical Entertainment prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Diego.

  • La Jolla: Explore California's Riviera on a self-guided audio tour: $5.40
  • La Jolla: Ultimate Self-Guided Combo Tour: $12
  • San Diego Zoo Hunt: Roar with Rex Adventure at the San Diego Zoo: $12
  • San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter Historic True Crime Tour: $16
  • San Diego Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • San Diego Balboa Park Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Behind-the-Scenes at Petco Park Tour: $23
  • San Diego Gaslamp District Ghost Tour: $24
  • Ghost-Themed Walking Tour: $25
  • Skip-the-Line: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket: $26
  • San Diego Harbor Cruise: $28
  • Tijuana Walking Tour from San Diego: $28

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Asheville $13
    San Diego $17

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 San Diego

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

  • San Diego Bar Hunt: Slammin' San Diego Bar Crawl: $12
  • Wine Tasting Or Beer Tasting: $15
  • San Diego Brewery Tour: $85
  • San Diego Micro Brewery Tour: $91
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $95
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $101
  • Private San Diego Brewery Tour: $107
  • All inclusive brewery tour-Fire Truck: $189
  • Luxury Private Wine Tasting Tour to Guadalupe Valley from San Diego.: $249
  • Private Wine Tour of Temecula from San Diego: $475


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


When is the best time to visit Asheville or San Diego?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Asheville or San Diego in the Summer?

Both San Diego and Asheville during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Asheville because of the hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to San Diego this time of year.

Asheville is a little warmer than San Diego in the summer. The temperature in Asheville is usually 82°F (28°C) in July, and San Diego stays around 71°F (22°C).

In San Diego, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Asheville. In the summer, Asheville often gets less sunshine than San Diego. Asheville gets 268 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Diego receives 306 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually gets more rain in July than San Diego. Asheville gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Asheville 82°F (28°C) 
    San Diego 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Asheville or San Diego in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Asheville and San Diego. The hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Asheville this time of year. Also, many travelers come to San Diego for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Asheville is cooler than San Diego. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Asheville in October are around 64°F (18°C), and San Diego is about 68°F (20°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in San Diego 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 San Diego during autumn. Asheville gets 229 hours of sunny skies, while San Diego receives 244 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Asheville usually receives more rain than San Diego. Asheville gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0.4 inches (9 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    San Diego 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Asheville or San Diego in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Asheville as well as San Diego. Many travelers come to Asheville for the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to San Diego in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In January, Asheville is generally much colder than San Diego. Temperatures in Asheville average around 44°F (7°C), and San Diego stays around 57°F (14°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in San Diego. In the winter, Asheville often gets less sunshine than San Diego. Asheville gets 176 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Diego receives 239 hours of full sun.

Asheville receives a lot of rain in the winter. Asheville usually gets more rain in January than San Diego. Asheville gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 1.8 inches (46 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Asheville 44°F (7°C) 
    San Diego 57°F (14°C)

Should I visit Asheville or San Diego in the Spring?

Both San Diego and Asheville are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Asheville in the spring for the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to San Diego for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty during these months.

Asheville is around the same temperature as San Diego in the spring. The temperature in Asheville is usually 64°F (18°C) in April, and San Diego stays around 62°F (17°C).

It's quite sunny in San Diego. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as San Diego during spring. Asheville gets 266 hours of sunny skies, while San Diego receives 277 hours of full sun in the spring.

It's quite rainy in Asheville. In April, Asheville usually receives more rain than San Diego. Asheville gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0.8 inches (20 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    San Diego 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for San Diego and Asheville

Asheville San Diego
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.8 inches (46 mm)
Feb 47°F (8°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Mar 55°F (13°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm)
May 71°F (22°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 79°F (26°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 67°F (19°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 71°F (22°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (118 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 71°F (22°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.4 inches (9 mm)
Nov 55°F (13°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.5 inches (37 mm)
Dec 47°F (8°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm)


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Asheville vs. San Diego Travel Comparison

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