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

Should you visit Asheville or San Francisco?

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 Francisco. 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 offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the shopping, nightlife, and live music.

San Francisco

San Francisco is a beautiful, outdoorsy, and quirky coastal city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. And you can't forget about the food, beaches, and hiking.

Asheville and San Francisco: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


How is Asheville different from San Francisco?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Asheville or San Francisco Better for Food?

Asheville
San Francisco

San Francisco has a longer list of notable local restaurants than Asheville.

Eat your way through San Francisco, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. There are local dives as well as five star restaurants, with everything in between. Popular local dining experiences include sourdough bread bowls and Dungeness Crab at Fisherman's Wharf, and dim sum in Chinatown.

Asheville is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Popular local dishes include North Carolina barbeque and country ham biscuits.


Is Asheville or San Francisco Better for Nightlife?

Asheville
San Francisco

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

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 San Francisco has a few options to choose from. Popular clubs in the city include Temple San Francisco, Monarch, and Audio Nightclub.

Is Asheville or San Francisco Better for Music?

Asheville
San Francisco

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

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 Francisco is active and vibrant. Well known music venues include the Great American Music Hall, Slim's, and The Chapel.

Is Asheville or San Francisco Better for Hiking?

Asheville
San Francisco

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

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.

People visit San Francisco specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. The city's hikes take in the dramatic views of the bay and city. Just outside of town there are also countless hikes through the Redwoods and along the coastline. Popular hikes in the area include Lands End, Tomales Point Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore, and Muir Woods.

Is Asheville or San Francisco Better for Shopping?

Asheville
San Francisco

San Francisco is generally considered to be a more popular shopping destination.

The abundance of shops in San Francisco make it a world-class shopping destination. The city has excellent shopping from local vendors to recognizable brands. Union Square, Embarcadero, Fillmore Street and Haight Street are some of the best neighborhoods for shopping.

Asheville has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The city has many local shops that sell local crafts and independent art.


Is Asheville or San Francisco Better for Families?

Asheville
San Francisco

Both Asheville and San Francisco 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.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in San Francisco. With its many outdoor parks, hiking trails, beaches, and kid-friendly museums, this city makes a great family-friendly destination.

Is Asheville or San Francisco Better for Couples?

Asheville
San Francisco

Asheville and San Francisco 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 Francisco is a great mountain town if you're traveling as a couple. Couples enjoy the romantic backdrop of this beautiful city. There are world-class restaurants and plenty of spas that couples can enjoy during a honeymoon or romantic getaway.

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

Asheville
San Francisco

Asheville and San Francisco 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 Francisco. The city is one of the more backpacker friendly cities in the United States. There are a handful of hostels throughout, many concentrated in the popular Union Square and Downtown neighborhoods of the city.

Is Asheville or San Francisco a more walkable city?

Asheville
San Francisco

Asheville and San Francisco 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 Francisco is a very walkable destination. It is compact enough to explore on foot, but given the large hills, it's a bit of a challenge, even for the most fit among us.


Should I spend more time in San Francisco or Asheville?

How long in Asheville or San Francisco?

Both Asheville and San Francisco have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in San Francisco than Asheville.

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 Francisco is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in Asheville or San Francisco? Ideal Length of Stay
    Asheville 2-3 
    San Francisco 3-7

One day in Asheville or San Francisco?

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the open-minded destination of Asheville. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

People visit San Francisco because there is so much to do. 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 Francisco?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Asheville. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.

People visit San Francisco because there is so much to do. 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 Francisco?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the eclectic destination of Asheville. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This mountain town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Five days 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.

People visit San Francisco because there is so much to do. 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. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal city has to offer.

A week in Asheville or San Francisco?

You'll find live music and food around the mountain town of Asheville. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

San Francisco is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in San Francisco, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, San Francisco 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 Francisco is $175. 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 Francisco in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $71
    San Francisco $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $142
    San Francisco $212
Compare Hotels in Asheville and San Francisco

Looking for a hotel in Asheville or San Francisco? 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 Francisco


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 Francisco Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Asheville $11
    San Francisco $13

Typical Local Transportation prices in San Francisco

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in San Francisco:


  • Taxi to SFO
    $45
  • Golden Gate Bridge Toll
    $6.00
  • Alcatraz Tour
    $30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Francisco

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

  • Airport Transfer: San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to San Francisco: $116
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to Oakland in Business Car: $135
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to Oakland in a Luxury Car: $155
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to San Francisco City by Luxury Car: $145
  • Arrival Private Transfer SFO Airport to San Francisco City by SUV: $125
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Airport SFO to Oakland by SUV: $151
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Cruise Port to City by Business Car: $84
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Cruise Port to Oakland by Business Car: $100
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Cruise Port to Oakland in Luxury Car: $120
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Francisco Cruise Port to San Francisco Luxury Car: $104
  • Cruise Terminal to San Francisco Airport (SFO) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Departure Private Transfer San Francisco to SFO Airport in Business Car: $84

Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or San Francisco?

Prices for flights to both San Francisco 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 Francisco $32
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 San Francisco

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

  • San Francisco Virtual Food Tour with Local Guide: $15
  • Traveling Spoon Pad Thai and Papaya Salad Private Online Cooking Class: $25
  • Chinatown Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Cooking with Ale: let's make Tiramisu - private groups: $80
  • San Francisco Food Tour: Ferry Building and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: $80
  • American Cooking Class in San Francisco with a Local near Golden Gate Park: $82
  • San Francisco Chinatown Food Tour: $89
  • Russian Hill Gourmet Food Tour: $97
  • I Can't Believe I Ate My Way Through Chinatown - Food Tour: $98
  • Mamaz Social Food Arepa Class and Dinner: $100
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours San Francisco: $103
  • Hayes Valley Gourmet Food Tour: $108

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Asheville $13
    San Francisco $37
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

Tours and Activities in San Francisco

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

  • San Francisco Private Tour: 19th Century Gold Rush Exploration Game: $4.96
  • Syn City SF: The Synesthesia Walking Audio Tour of Haight-Ashbury by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • San Francisco's Barbary Past Walking Audio Tour: $5.34
  • Food, History, and Resistance: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of San Francisco's Japantown: $5.34
  • Union Square to Lotta's Fountain Walking Tour by VoiceMap: $5.40
  • Walk the Haight Audio Tour: Tune into San Francisco‚Äôs Hippie Counterculture: $5.99
  • San Francisco Private Tour: 70s Hippie Culture Exploration Game: $6.21
  • The Remarkable History of San Francisco's Glen Park and Glen Canyon Audio Tour: $7.55
  • Ultimate San Francisco Self-Driving Audio Tour: $8.00
  • Bike Tour of Tucson: $10
  • The Flyer San Francisco Admission Ticket: $12
  • San Francisco Scavenger Hunt: SF Park Tour and Haight-Ashbury Experience: $12

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Museums in San Francisco, The Best Outdoor Activities in San Francisco, and Things to Do In San Francisco on a Rainy Day.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Asheville $13
    San Francisco $15

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 Francisco

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

  • San Francisco Bar Hunt: Soul of San Francisco Bar Crawl: $12
  • San Francisco North Beach Pub Crawl: $60
  • Wine Tasting on the Bay: $70
  • Half-Day Sonoma Wine Tour: $100
  • Shore Excursion: Napa and Sonoma Ultimate Wine Tasting Experience Full-Day Tour: $135
  • San Francisco City & Wine tour: $140
  • Chariot wine tour: $145
  • From Full-Day Sonoma Valley Wine Tour: $149
  • Viticulture with Charm: Sonoma Valley Wine Tour from San Francisco: $149
  • Small Group Redwoods and Wine Country Trip Including Wine Tasting and Cave Tour: $152
  • Small Group Muir Woods with Napa & Sonoma Wine Tour: $169
  • The Perfect Blend: Napa and Sonoma Combo Wine Tour from San Francisco: $169


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


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

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 Francisco in the Summer?

Both San Francisco and Asheville during the summer are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Asheville in the summer for the hiking, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, most visitors come to San Francisco for the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Asheville is much warmer than San Francisco. Typically, the summer temperatures in Asheville in July are around 82°F (28°C), and San Francisco is about 63°F (17°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Asheville. Asheville usually gets more rain in July than San Francisco. Asheville gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Asheville 82°F (28°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Asheville or San Francisco in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Asheville and San Francisco. Most visitors come to Asheville for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Furthermore, the autumn months attract visitors to San Francisco because of the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Asheville is generally around the same temperature as San Francisco. Temperatures in Asheville average around 64°F (18°C), and San Francisco stays around 63°F (17°C).

In October, Asheville usually receives more rain than San Francisco. Asheville gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Asheville 64°F (18°C) 
    San Francisco 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Asheville or San Francisco in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Asheville as well as San Francisco. The winter months attract visitors to Asheville because of the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to San Francisco this time of year.

Asheville is much colder than San Francisco in the winter. The temperature in Asheville is usually 44°F (7°C) in January, and San Francisco stays around 50°F (10°C).

Asheville receives a lot of rain in the winter. Asheville usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as San Francisco. Asheville gets 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Asheville 44°F (7°C) 
    San Francisco 50°F (10°C)

Should I visit Asheville or San Francisco in the Spring?

Both San Francisco and Asheville are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The natural beauty are the main draw to Asheville this time of year. Also, many travelers come to San Francisco for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Asheville is a little warmer than San Francisco. Typically, the spring temperatures in Asheville in April are around 64°F (18°C), and San Francisco is about 58°F (14°C).

It's quite rainy in Asheville. In April, Asheville usually receives more rain than San Francisco. Asheville gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while San Francisco receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


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

Typical Weather for San Francisco and Asheville

Asheville San Francisco
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 47°F (8°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 55°F (13°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 58°F (14°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 71°F (22°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 60°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 79°F (26°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 63°F (17°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (118 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 55°F (13°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 47°F (8°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)


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Asheville vs. San Francisco Travel Comparison

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