A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Asheville vs. Santa Fe for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Old Town

Should you visit Asheville or Santa Fe?

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 Santa Fe. 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 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 hiking, shopping, and nightlife.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a historic, charming, and artsy historic 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 live music, food, and shopping.

Asheville and Santa Fe: Pros and Cons

  • Good nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Less popular old town
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Less popular for nightlife

How is Asheville different from Santa Fe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Asheville or Santa Fe Better for Food?

Santa Fe

Dining out at restaurants in both Asheville and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Local dishes include sopaipillas made with Native American fry bread, slow-cooked beans, and anything made with red and green chile peppers.

Is Asheville or Santa Fe Better for Nightlife?

Santa Fe

With more options to choose from, you'll find a more vibrant nightlife in Asheville.

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.

Santa Fe doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. While most of the town quiets down at night, the city has a few areas that stay active late into the night.

Is Asheville or Santa Fe Better for Music?

Santa Fe

Live music enthusiatsts will find something to enjoy in either Asheville or Santa Fe.

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 Santa Fe is active and vibrant. The town has an eclectic music scene that includes a mix of the blues, country, Latin American music, and bluegrass.

Is Asheville or Santa Fe Better for its Old Town?

Santa Fe

Santa Fe has a more popular old town than Asheville.

There are many historical things to see in the old town of Santa Fe. As the 2nd oldest city in the United States, the old town historic district is filled with charm. The Pueblo-style buildings are brightly colored and there are churches throughout.

The old town area in Asheville is worth visiting. Downtown Asheville maintains much of its historic vibe, but it's smaller than some of the more notable old cities around the country.

Is Asheville or Santa Fe Better for Shopping?

Santa Fe

Shopping is a popular activity in both Santa Fe and Asheville.

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

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Santa Fe. There are many unique shops and art galleries that feature local artists and craftsmen.

Is Asheville or Santa Fe Better for Families?

Santa Fe

Both Asheville and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe offers lots of family activities. There are a few kids' museums in Santa Fe including the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Meow Wolf Art Complex. Kids also enjoy the botanical gardens at Museum Hill and Bandelier National Monument just outside of the city.

Is Asheville or Santa Fe Better for Couples?

Santa Fe

Asheville and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe is a good mountain town for couples to visit. There are many romantic inns around town, each with a lot of character. The town also has a lot of atmosphere that makes for a romantic getaway.

Is Asheville or Santa Fe a more walkable city?

Santa Fe

Asheville and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe is a very walkable destination. The historic district is walkable and it's easy to visit most of the tourist sights in this area on foot.

Should I spend more time in Santa Fe or Asheville?

How long in Asheville or Santa Fe?

In either Asheville or Santa Fe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe is 2-5 days.

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

One day in Asheville or Santa Fe?

The mountain town of Asheville offers live music and food. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

You'll find skiing and live music around the historic town of Santa Fe. Visiting the old town is also a must. 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 Santa Fe?

Asheville is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this mountain town makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Asheville, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

You'll find live music and food around the historic destination of Santa Fe. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this historic town has to offer. This historic town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Asheville or Santa Fe?

Asheville is a popular choice for travelers. 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. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

You'll find food and shopping around the cultural historic town of Santa Fe. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this historic town makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this historic town has to offer.

A week in Asheville or Santa Fe?

Asheville is a great place to explore. 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. This mountain town offers something for everyone.

Santa Fe is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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, Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe is $127. 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 Santa Fe in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Asheville $71
    Santa Fe $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Asheville $142
    Santa Fe $128
Compare Hotels in Asheville and Santa Fe

Looking for a hotel in Asheville or Santa Fe? 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 Santa Fe

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 Santa Fe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Asheville $11
    Santa Fe $49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Fe

Also for Santa Fe, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Santa Fe Airport (SAF): $62
  • Private Departure Transfer to Santa Fe Airport SAF: $125

Is it cheaper to fly into Asheville or Santa Fe?

Prices for flights to both Santa Fe 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 Meals for one day
    Asheville $26
    Santa Fe $35
Typical Food prices in Asheville

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

  • Biltmore Estate Entrance Fee

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Fe

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

  • Dinner at the Coffee Farm: $55
  • Santa Fe Railyard Arts District Food Tour: $102
  • New Mexican Flavors Food Tour of the Santa Fe Plaza: $138

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Asheville $13
    Santa Fe $13
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

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 Santa Fe

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Santa Fe.

  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Small-Group Canyon Road Art Tour: $37
  • Beer and Art Tour: $40
  • Land Tour | Bantayan Island - Sightseeing - Guided Tour: $46
  • Walk Granada's Skyline Tour: $49
  • Canyon Road Curated Art Walking Tour: $52
  • Search for The Story-Documentary Film School Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $52
  • Santa Fe Architectural Walking Tour: $115
  • Small-Group E-Bike Adventure Tour through Hidden Santa Fe: $155
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Private Walking Tour of Santa Fe: $170
  • Bantayan Island Day Tour From Cebu: $173
  • The Best of Santa Fe Walking Tour: $498

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Asheville $13
    Santa Fe $7.74

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 Santa Fe

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

  • Join-In Wine Tours: $152
  • White Water Rafting and Wine Tour: $217

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

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Asheville vs. Santa Fe Travel Comparison

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