A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Atlanta vs. Rapid City for Attractions, Families, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Atlanta or Rapid City?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Atlanta or Rapid City, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Atlanta

Atlanta is a suburban, cultural, and diverse city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Rapid City

Rapid City is a friendly, fascinating, and activity-filled city. It's also popular because of the museums, food, and hiking.

Atlanta and Rapid City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Home to Mount Rushmore
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping


Is there more to do in Atlanta or Rapid City?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Atlanta than Rapid City, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Atlanta is more popular for its food, nightlife, shopping, and big city activities, while Rapid City is known for its hiking. Rapid City is more touristy than Atlanta and is known for its proximity to Mount Rushmore and many other iconic parks. Atlanta is popular for its world class aquarium, its role as host of the 1996 Olympic Games, and its influence during the Civil Rights Movement. It is also home to the Georgia Aquarium.

How is Atlanta different from Rapid City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Atlanta or Rapid City?

Atlanta
Rapid City

You'll find a number of terrific museums and attractions in both Rapid City and Atlanta.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Atlanta has many famous sights for visitors. The museums range in topic from history to science and art. The country's largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, is in Atlanta as well. It's home to whale sharks, stingrays, and a diversity of marine life. Other museums around town include the Atlanta History Center, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the High Museum of Art, the World of Coca Cola, the David J. Sencer CDC Museum, and the Delta Flight Museum. There are also many monuments and sites including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Rapid City that are not to be missed. You'll find a wide variety of museums and landmarks nearby. Popular places to visit that aren't far from town include the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, the South Dakota Air & Space Museum, and the Journey Museum & Learning Center. There's also the Museum of Geology and the National Presidential Wax Museum. And of course, there's the iconic Mount Rushmore.


Is the Food Better in Atlanta or Rapid City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Atlanta
Rapid City

Atlanta is a very popular place for its restaurants. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Atlanta has a huge number of terrific restaurants. It's a huge city with a wide selection of restaurants including international, local, and classic southern styles. Fried chicken, biscuits, diner food, and barbecue are all popular. For a classic southern breakfast check out The OK Cafe and for a quintessential Atlanta experience go to The Varsity.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Rapid City area. You'll find local restaurants in town that serve local specialties such as chislic (grilled meat), fry bread, and walleye (a local fish.

Is Atlanta or Rapid City Better for Nightlife?

Atlanta
Rapid City

Atlanta is a very popular place for nightlife and partying. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its evening party scene.

Atlanta has a large number of nightlife venues. The nightlife scene is diverse with trendy bars, dance clubs, and huge music halls. There are a number of neighborhoods that each have their own atmosphere. For some of the best nightlife check out the upscale bars in Buckhead, the music venues in Midtown, the hipster vibe in Edgewood, or the laid-back atmosphere in Virginia Highland.

Rapid City is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. You'll find some places with live music and good drinks, but the city isn't really known for its nightlife scene.

Is Atlanta or Rapid City Better for Hiking?

Atlanta
Rapid City

Rapid City is a great city for hiking. However, Atlanta is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors go to Rapid City for the hiking trails. The region is filled with national parks, state parks, and natural areas with wonderful hiking trails. You don't have to travel far to get into nature and experience some of South Dakota's best natural beauty.

Atlanta is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Atlanta or Rapid City?

Atlanta
Rapid City

Atlanta is an unbeatable place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Known for shopping, Atlanta draws large crowds to its stores. There are a number of great shopping districts around town. Atlantic Station is popular with a movie theater and ice skating. Buckhead has boutique and local vendors and Lenox Square has a large shopping mall.

Many visitors go to Rapid City to go shopping. Rapid City has some interesting local shops as well as larger malls and shopping centers.

Is Atlanta or Rapid City Better for Families?

Atlanta
Rapid City

Rapid City is terrific for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Atlanta is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.

Rapid City is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. Nearby national parks and outdoor activities, this is the perfect base for exploring the area with kids. Nearby you'll find the Big Thunder Gold Mine, which has tours and lets you pan for gold, and Custer State Park, which is filled with wildlife. Wall Drug is worth a stopoff, as is Dinosaur Park.

Atlanta is a very family-friendly place to visit. There is no shortage of playgrounds around town, but a highlight of any trip is a visit to the Georgia Aquarium. It's the largest aquarium in the United States and its home to whale sharks, hammerheads, dolphin shows, and more. It is so much more than just an aquarium, and it truly is a not to be missed experience. Also worth a visit are Zoo Atlanta, the Center of Puppetry Arts, Stone Mountain, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, and the Lego Discovery Center. If you have the chance to see the Atlanta Braves play, that's also a rewarding experience.

Is Atlanta or Rapid City Better for Couples?

Atlanta
Rapid City

Rapid City is a great city for couples. Also, Atlanta is not as popular, but is still a nice city for romance.

Rapid City is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. Couples will enjoy the amazing national parks in the area and the easy access to iconic landmarks like Mount Rushmore. There are many opportunities for wildlife spotting as well as great hiking trails and unique landscapes.

Atlanta is a nice destination for couples. It's a big city, so there are a number of date night activities available such as orchestra concerts, theater shows, and fine dining. The city also has many outdoor areas like Lake Lanier and Piedmont Park. The Georgia Aquarium is world class, and there are other amazing museums around town as well.


Is Atlanta or Rapid City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Atlanta
Rapid City

Rapid City is a great city for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Atlanta is not as popular, but is still a nice city for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Rapid City. Backpackers will appreciate the surrounding natural beauty and the nearby national parks.

Atlanta is a good city to visit for backpackers. While it's usually overlooked by backpackers, there are actually a couple of hostels around town and a surprising number of activities worth experiencing. The city's large airport make it a convenient entry point for international travelers.

Is Atlanta or Rapid City Better for Students?

Atlanta
Rapid City

Atlanta is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Rapid City is not popular with students.

Atlanta is very popular with students. There are a number of universities in town such as Emory, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, and Morehouse College. The city is sprawling, but it's also full of entertainment and activities that students will enjoy.

Rapid City is not popular with students.

Is Atlanta or Rapid City Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Atlanta
Rapid City

Atlanta and Rapid City both offer decent public transit to get you around.

Public transit is mostly limited in Atlanta. For such a large city, the public transportation system is very limited. MARTA is the main transit authority and there are a few subway lines that cross the city as well as bus routes running around town.

Public transit is generally limited in Rapid City. While there are a few buses, this isn't a realistic option for traveling through the region.


Is Atlanta or Rapid City a more walkable city?

Atlanta
Rapid City

Atlanta is very good for its high level of walkability. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its ease of walking around.

Atlanta is a somewhat walkable place. Parts of the city are walkable, but most of the sights are spread out and require a car to access. Within neighborhoods, there are a few places that are more pedestrian-friendly such as Downtown, Midtown, Virginia Highlands, and Buckhead.

Rapid City is generally not very walkable. While the downtown is walkable, most visitors use the city as a base for exploring the surrounding areas, and this requires a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Atlanta Worth Visiting? and Is Rapid City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Rapid City or Atlanta?

How long in Atlanta or Rapid City?

It's fun to spend time in either Atlanta or Rapid City. In our opinion, Atlanta has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Atlanta than Rapid City. However, 2-4 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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


  • How many days in Atlanta or Rapid City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Atlanta 2-4 
    Rapid City 2-4

One day in Atlanta or Rapid City?

When visiting Atlanta, people usually allow for lots of time. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Rapid City, you'll find museums and food. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. One reason most visitors come is for the museums. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Atlanta or Rapid City?

When visiting Atlanta, people usually allow for lots of time. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

In Rapid City, you'll find food and shopping. 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. One reason most visitors come is for the museums. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Rapid City has to offer.


Five days in Atlanta or Rapid City?

Atlanta, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Rapid City 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.

A week in Atlanta or Rapid City?

Atlanta is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Rapid City. Many people enjoy the museums and food when visiting Rapid City. One reason most visitors come is for the museums. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage, The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles.


Which place is cheaper, Rapid City or Atlanta?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Atlanta is $173, while the average daily cost in Rapid City is $116. 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 Atlanta and Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Atlanta $90
    Rapid City $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Atlanta $180
    Rapid City $120
Compare Hotels in Atlanta and Rapid City

Looking for a hotel in Atlanta or Rapid City? 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 Atlanta


Hotels in Rapid City


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: Atlanta Hotel Prices and Rapid City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Atlanta $44
    Rapid City $53
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Atlanta

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


  • MARTA Subway Ticket
    $4.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Atlanta

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

  • Transfer in Executive Private Minivan from Atlanta Downtown to Atlanta Airport: $67
  • Transfer in Executive Private Minivan from Atlanta Airport to Atlanta Downtown: $67
  • Private Transfer: H. J. Airport ATL to Atlanta in Luxury SUV/Van: $135
  • Private Transfer: H. J. Airport ATL to Atlanta in Luxury SUV: $138
  • Private Transfer: H. J. Airport ATL to Atlanta in Business Car: $121
  • Private Transfer from Atlanta (ATL) Airport to Atlanta City: $95
  • Private One-way Transfer from Atlanta Airport to Atlanta: $77
  • Private Car Transfer From Atlanta Airport to Atlanta Metro Area: $67
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Atlanta Airport (ATL): $80
  • Land transfer limo suv sedan vans : $145
  • Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport (ATL):Transfer to Atlanta: $283
  • Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport (ATL) to Atlanta - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $198

Is it cheaper to fly into Atlanta or Rapid City?

Prices for flights to both Rapid City and Atlanta 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
    Atlanta $43
    Rapid City $23
Typical Food Prices in Atlanta

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


  • Fast Food Lunch (for 2)
    $15
  • Lunch
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Atlanta

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

  • City Lights Atlanta Night-Time Tour with Photos & Dinner Stop: $69
  • 2 Hour Historic Market Food Tour and Hands-On Biscuit Class: $70
  • Historic Market Food Tour and Biscuit Cooking Class: $70
  • Ponce City Market 2.5-Hour Weekend Food Tour: $99
  • Food Tour of Inman Park and the Atlanta Beltline: $99
  • Walking Food Tour: $102
  • Secret Food Tours Atlanta w/ Private Tour Option: $109
  • Private Truist Park and Battery Braves Atlanta Food Tour: $129
  • Truist Park & The Battery Atlanta Food Tour: $129

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rapid City

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

  • Roller Coaster Tickets with Dinner and Show in Rapid City: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Atlanta $56
    Rapid City $26

Tours and Activities in Atlanta

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

  • 2-Hour Food, History and Street Art Tour of Ponce City Market: $95
  • 2.5hr Guided Segway Tour of Historic Atlanta: $69
  • 2.5hr Guided Segway Tour of Midtown Atlanta: $69
  • 3-Hour Atlanta Beltline Food, Street Art and History Tour : $99
  • 90-Minute Guided Sightseeing Tour by E-Car or MiniBus: $36
  • 90-Minute Narrated Sightseeing Trolley Tour in Atlanta: $36
  • African American Atlanta Culture Tour by Private Car Service : $90
  • African-American Heritage&Civil Rights Atlanta Half-Day Tour: $668
  • Atlanta 5 Hour City Tour by Air-Conditioned Bus: $70
  • Atlanta Comedy City Tour: $40
  • Atlanta Electric Car City Tour: $45
  • Atlanta Falcons Football Game Ticket at Mercedes Benz Stadium: $35

Tours and Activities in Rapid City

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

  • Badlands National Park Private Tour: $650
  • Black Hills & Badlands: National Parks Driving Tour Bundle: $18
  • Buffalo Jeep Safari & Mammoth Site Tour: $700
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $133
  • From Badlands NP Full Monty Adventure: $399
  • From Private Devils Tower Tour and Hike: $650
  • From Private Spearfish Canyon Tour: $650
  • Full-Day Private Sightseeing Tour in South Dakota: $275
  • Mount Rushmore Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Tour with Two Meals and a Music Variety Show: $164
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Rapid City SD: $15
  • Pactola Lake: Private Kayak or Paddleboard Experience: $650

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Atlanta $17
    Rapid City $6.93

Sample the Local Flavors in Atlanta

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

  • Drag Queen Guided Pub Crawl and Cabaret Show: $36
  • ATLANTA Yes, Queen! Drag Queen Pub Crawl : $40
  • Half-Day Wine Tastings in the North Georgia Mountains : $115
  • Full-Day Wine Country Wine Tastings From Atlanta : $120
  • North Georgia Mountains Three Vineyard Wine Tasting Tour: $170


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

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


Which is Bigger, Atlanta or Rapid City?

Atlanta has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Rapid City. When comparing the sizes of Atlanta and Rapid City, 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.