A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Aspen vs. Reno for Food, Nightlife, Couples, and Families

Should you visit Aspen or Reno?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Aspen and Reno can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Aspen

Aspen is a outdoorsy, authentic, and charming ski town. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the shopping, skiing, and nightlife.

Reno

Reno is a energetic, growing, and vibrant city. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Aspen and Reno: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Aspen or Reno?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Aspen. Although Aspen and Reno are popular destinations, Aspen has more sights and attractions for tourists. Aspen is very popular for its skiing, food, music, resorts, hiking, shopping, christmas markets, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Reno attracts visitors for its museums. Aspen is more touristy than Reno and is popular for its world-class skiing, many food, film, and music festivals, and its stunning mountain hikes. It is also well known for The Maroon Bells. Reno is famous for its casinos and nightlife scene.

How is Aspen different from Reno?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Aspen or Reno Better for Skiing?

Aspen
Reno

Aspen is renowned for skiing and snowboarding. However, Reno is not a skiing destination.

If you're an avid snow skiier, Aspen should be on your list. Near the town, there are 4 separate ski resorts. In town you'll find Aspen Mountain, which is known for it's black-diamond runs. Aspen Highlands, a couple miles away, has a mix of slopes and is less crowded. Buttermilk attracts many freestyle skiers and Aspen Snowmass is considered one of the best family-friendly ski areas.

Reno is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Aspen or Reno?

Aspen
Reno

Reno is a city with good options for its museums and landmarks. However, Aspen does not have museums and landmarks.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Reno. Museums in town range from art and history to local or quirky. The National Automobile Museum, the Nevada Museum of Art, Fleischmann Planetarium, and the Anthropology Museum are some of the favorites.

Aspen does not have museums and landmarks.

Is the Food Better in Aspen or Reno? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Aspen
Reno

Aspen is renowned for its restaurants. Also, Reno is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

For foodies, Aspen is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The town hosts many food festivals and there is a growing selection of diverse restaurants. In town you'll find cafes and restaurants that cater to both the local crowd and the travelers who flock to the area during peak seasons.

Reno offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The food scene has been growing in recent years and you'll find plenty of casual restaurants that serve hearty and filling comfort foods.

Is Aspen or Reno Better for Nightlife?

Aspen
Reno

It's hard to distinguish whether Aspen or Reno has a better nightlife scene.

The people in Aspen know how to have a good time. The people in Aspen know how to have a good time. The nightlife scene includes craft beer, live music, and dancing. There's a local vibe, particularly during the off-season times when the tourist crowds are less.

The nightlife in Reno has something for everybody. There's a big nightlife scene with a huge number of bars and entertainment options. There are also a growing number of breweries in town.


Is Aspen or Reno Better for Music?

Aspen
Reno

Aspen is an excellent place to visit for its music scene. However, Reno is not a live music destination.

Whether you like big venues or smaller artists, Aspen has diverse options. Popular music venues in town include Silver City Mountain Saloon and Belly Up Aspen.

Reno is not a live music destination.

Is Aspen or Reno Better for Resorts?

Aspen
Reno

Aspen is an excellent place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Reno is not a resort destination.

Aspen is known as a popular and fun resort destination. Popular resorts in the area include The Little Nell, Hotel Jerome, and St. Regis Aspen.

Reno is not a resort destination.

Is Aspen or Reno Better for Hiking?

Aspen
Reno

Aspen is an excellent place to visit for its hiking trails. However, Reno is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Aspen. During the summer and fall seasons, hiking is a great way to explore Aspen's nearby beauty. Popular trails include the Ute Trail, the Lost Man Trail, and the famous Maroon Bells Scenic Trail.

Reno is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Aspen or Reno?

Aspen
Reno

Aspen is an excellent place to visit for its shopping areas. Also, Reno is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Aspen. There are many great local shops and art galleries where you can pick interesting items or fine art.

Reno is a great destination for shopping. In addition to your standard suburban shopping malls and strip malls, there's the Midtown District, which has local retail shops and an eclectic and alternative vibe. The area has thrift shops, music vendors, and more.

Is Aspen or Reno Better for Christmas?

Aspen
Reno

Aspen is renowned for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Reno does not offer Christmas activities.

Known for its popular Christmas activities, Aspen draws large crowds. There are a number of beautiful activities that will bring the holiday season to life in the town.

Reno does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Aspen or Reno Better for Christmas Markets?

Aspen
Reno

Aspen is an excellent place to visit for visiting Christmas markets. However, Reno does not offer Christmas markets.

Aspen has a lively atmosphere around its Christmas markets. The town has a charming Christmas market that is fun to explore and has around 40 vendors.

Reno does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Aspen or Reno Better for Families?

Aspen
Reno

Both Aspen and Reno are nice to visit with kids.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Aspen. Families that enjoy skiing together, hiking, rock climbing, and having adventures will enjoy a visit to this town. Aspen Mountain is not a great option for beginning skiers, but further away, Aspen Snowmass offers good beginner slopes.

Reno offers lots of family activities. You'll find some arcades and entertainment options for kids in some of the casinos. There's also the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, which has kid-friendly, hands-on exhibits, and the largest zoo in Nevado, the Sierra Nevada Zoological Park.

Is Aspen or Reno Better for Couples?

Aspen
Reno

Aspen is an excellent place to visit for couples. Also, Reno is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

Aspen makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Aspen is both a popular ski destination as well as an established town. There are many great restaurants and activities that couples can enjoy and the setting is cute and very scenic, making it a beautiful and romantic destination.

Reno is a nice destination for couples. There are outdoor parks and scenic walks like the Truckee River Walk or the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. There's also several great museums and some interesting restaurants.

Is Aspen or Reno Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Aspen
Reno

Aspen is a popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Reno is lacking in options for its public transit.

Aspen has some public transit options. There are several shuttle buses around the town.

Public transit is generally limited in Reno. There's a public bus system with routes around town.


Is Aspen or Reno a more walkable city?

Aspen
Reno

Aspen is an excellent place to visit for its ease of walking around. However, Reno is lacking in options for its walkability.

Aspen is a very walkable destination. The town is compact enough that it can be explored on foot. If you're planning to head into the mountains to hike, you'll likely need a car.

Reno is generally not very walkable. While there are some reasonably walkable neighborhoods, you really need a car to get around town.

For even more information, also check out Is Aspen Worth Visiting? and Is Reno Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Reno or Aspen?

How long in Aspen or Reno?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Aspen and Reno. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Aspen than in Reno. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Aspen, and 1-3 days is enough time in Reno.

Families should spend more time in Aspen than Reno. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Aspen, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Aspen than Reno. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Aspen that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Aspen than Reno 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 Aspen.


  • How many days in Aspen or Reno? Ideal Length of Stay
    Aspen 3-5 
    Reno 1-3

One day in Aspen or Reno?

Aspen is a small town where visitors enjoy the skiing and nightlife. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

In Reno, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this vibrant destination offers. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

A weekend in Aspen or Reno?

Aspen is a fun place to experience. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Reno. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


Five days in Aspen or Reno?

Aspen might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. This ski town offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

Reno is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Reno. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Aspen or Reno?

Because Aspen is a small town, it's easy to explore in a short amount of time. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. 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.

You'll find food and shopping around the growing destination of Reno. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Reno or Aspen?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Aspen is $293, while the average daily cost in Reno is $144. 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 Aspen and Reno in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Aspen $170
    Reno $55
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Aspen $340
    Reno $110
Compare Hotels in Aspen and Reno

Looking for a hotel in Aspen or Reno? 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 Aspen


Hotels in Reno


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: Aspen Hotel Prices and Reno Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Aspen $56
    Reno $23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aspen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Aspen:

  • Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) - Private Transfer Arrival or Departure: $269
  • Aspen hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $218

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Reno

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


  • Car Wash
    $5.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Reno

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

  • Reno Tahoe Airport (RNO) to Heavenly Mountain - Arrival Transfer: $109
  • Reno Tahoe Airport (RNO) to Mammoth Mountain: Arrival Transfer: $185
  • Reno Tahoe Airport to Heavenly Mountain - Round-Trip Transfer: $219
  • Reno Tahoe Airport to Northstar/Squaw Valley - Arrival Transfer: $164
  • Reno to Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) - Departure Private Transfer: $67
  • Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) to Reno – Private Arrival Transfer : $67
  • Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) to Reno – Round-Trip Private Transfer: $133

Is it cheaper to fly into Aspen or Reno?

Prices for flights to both Reno and Aspen 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
    Aspen $85
    Reno $54

Typical Food Prices in Reno

For Reno, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dennys for Breakfast
    $22
  • Sushi DInner (for 2)
    $40
  • In-n-Out Burger (for 3)
    $19

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Aspen $45
    Reno $88

Tours and Activities in Aspen

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

  • Aspen Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Aspen's DarkSide Ghost Tour: $40
  • Aspen's Off the Beaten Path Tour: $40
  • Aspen's Past to Present Historic Tour: $40
  • Highlights of Aspen Tour: $40

Tours and Activities in Reno

For Reno, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • From Reno Arch to Truckee River: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Downtown Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Reno by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Discover Reno's Heart: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • Reno Scavenger Hunt: Reno Adventure: $12
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Discover Reno's Gems: $13
  • Lake Tahoe: Self-Guided GPS Audio Tour: $14
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Carson City NV: $15
  • Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Zero Latency Extreme Virtual Reality Experience Ticket: $25
  • Gangs and Gamblers Haunted Walking Tour: $26

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Aspen $20
    Reno $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Reno

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

  • 1 Hour Distillery Tour and Tasting Flight: $25
  • Brewery Tour: $130


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Aspen and Reno, we can see that Aspen is more expensive. And not only is Reno much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Reno would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Reno 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 Aspen would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Aspen than you might in Reno.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Aspen Expensive? and Is Reno Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Aspen or Reno?

Reno has a larger population, and is about 40 times larger than the population of Aspen. When comparing the sizes of Aspen and Reno, 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.