A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Atlantic City vs. South Lake Tahoe for Nightlife, Families, Couples, and Resorts

Should you visit Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe?

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 Atlantic City and South Lake Tahoe. 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.

Atlantic City

Atlantic City is a glitzy, flashy, and party-oriented city. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and beaches.

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is a scenic, breathtaking, and idyllic town. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. It's also known for nightlife, food, and hiking.

Atlantic City and South Lake Tahoe: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights


Is there more to do in Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe?

Travelers will usually find more to do in South Lake Tahoe. Although Atlantic City and South Lake Tahoe are popular destinations, South Lake Tahoe has more sights and attractions for tourists. South Lake Tahoe is very popular for its skiing, hiking, and impressive beauty, while Atlantic City attracts visitors for its beaches. Atlantic City is more touristy than South Lake Tahoe and is known for its casinos, gambling culture, nightlife scene, and wild personality South Lake Tahoe is famous for its casino resorts, ski resorts, and beautiful setting. It is also well known for the Heavenly Gondola.

How is Atlantic City different from South Lake Tahoe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe Better for Skiing?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is well known for winter skiing. However, Atlantic City is not a skiing destination.

South Lake Tahoe is an extremely popular place for snow skiing and other winter sports. There are three ski resorts in the area. Heavenly Mountain Resort is the largest, but if you're looking for something smaller, head to Kirkwood, which is tucked away and less well known. There's also Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, which is popular with groups and families because it caters to a range of skill levels.

Atlantic City is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

Both Atlantic City and South Lake Tahoe have reasonable landmarks and museums for visitors.

Atlantic City offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. While most people don't spend their time in museums, there is the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, the African American Heritage Museum, and the Noyes Museum Galleries.

While most people don't head to South Lake Tahoe specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. Most people spend their time exploring the area's nature, but you can also stop by Tallac Historic Site or the Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum.

Is the Food Better in Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

Foodies will find both Atlantic City and South Lake Tahoe both to be nice destinations.

Atlantic City offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are budget buffets around town as well as seafood restaurants and even some fine dining. Salt water taffy is a local specialty that you should pick up while you're in the area.

South Lake Tahoe has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. While most resorts have their own restaurants, there are a number of options around town that specialize in "alpine comfort cuisine", which is worth sampling. You'll also find plenty of cafes that serve up a hearty breakfast - the perfect way to start an active day.

Is Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe Better for Nightlife?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

Party-goers will find similar levels of energy in Atlantic City and South Lake Tahoe.

People head to Atlantic City just to party. This is a city that is all about its nightlife scene. Many visitors come here just to party, and you'll find clubs with DJs or bands playing from sunset to sunrise. There are glitzy lounges and dive bars with everything in between. As a gambling town, there are casinos and all-night activities that keep the energy going round the clock.

The nightlife in South Lake Tahoe is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. The resort town has plenty of nightclubs, bars, and music venues. There are outdoor options when the weather is warm as well as indoor settings for cooler weather. You'll also find casinos and live shows.


Is Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe Better for Resorts?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

There are great resorts to choose from in both Atlantic City and South Lake Tahoe.

There are plenty of resorts in Atlantic City to choose from. The beach and boardwalk are lined with casinos and resorts. There are many recognizable names such as Harrah's, Bally's, Caesars, Hard Rock, and the Tropicana.

South Lake Tahoe is known as a popular and fun resort destination. It's a resort town, so there are plenty of options to choose from, many with pools, spas, or casinos.

Is Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe Better for Beaches?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

Atlantic City is a nice place to visit for the beache. However, South Lake Tahoe is not a beach destination.

Atlantic City has a beach worth visiting. There's a Boardwalk that runs along the beach and is lined with piers and hotels. The Downtown Beach is the most accessible, and where most tourists hang out. If you're willing to travel a little further, there are some nice beaches nearby such as Margate Beach and Brigantine Beach.

South Lake Tahoe is not a beach destination.

Is Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe Better for Hiking?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is a world-class destination for its hiking experiences. However, Atlantic City is not a hiking destination.

South Lake Tahoe is well-known for its hiking and trekking. There are miles of beautiful hikes in the area that follow the lake's shore or explore the diverse terrain. Skyline Trail Hike is a favorite. It is accessible by lift and offers spectacular views. For a relaxing stroll check out Fallen Leaf Lake Hike.

Atlantic City is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

Shopping is a popular activity in both South Lake Tahoe and Atlantic City.

Atlantic City is a great destination for shopping. You'll find many souvenir shops along the boardwalk. There's also a Tangier Outlet Mall in the area. Some of the hotels such as the Tropicana have their own shopping areas as well.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting South Lake Tahoe. Most of the shopping involves retailers selling ski gear or outdoor equipment. There are also clothing shops, gift stores, and some art galleries.

Is Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe Better for Families?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is a world-class destination for its family-friendly activities. However, Atlantic City is not particularly known for its kid-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, South Lake Tahoe is very family-friendly. Kids will love the outdoor adventures that the area is filled with. There are gondolas, lakefront beaches, adventure parks, and tubing. There are also miles of hiking trails and a beautiful setting that even the young ones will appreciate.

For families, Atlantic City is not always the best place to visit. Most families avoid this area for more family-friendly beaches, but if you find yourself in the area, you can check out Ripley's Believe It or Not or go on a dolphin cruise. Also popular is Steel Pier, which has rides for all ages.

Is Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe Better for Couples?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is a world-class destination for romance. Also, Atlantic City is still popular, but not quite as popular for its romantic activities.

South Lake Tahoe is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. It's beautiful setting and wide variety of adventurous activities make this the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. The lake has hidden coves and nearby hiking trails. There are also hot springs, gondolas, and carriage rides. You can go hiking when the weather is warm or skiing when the weather is cold.

Atlantic City makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It's not exactly known for its romance, but there are casinos, hotels, and a beaches that are fun to visit. You'll also find several spas and sunset cruises in the area.


Is Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

Atlantic City and South Lake Tahoe are nice places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Plenty of backpackers visit Atlantic City. There is a hostel in the area. You'll also find a younger crowd and plenty of partying.

Plenty of budget travelers visit South Lake Tahoe. There are a couple of hostels in the area and the skiing and hiking attracts the backpacker crowd.

Is Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

Atlantic City is a nice place to visit for its public transit. However, South Lake Tahoe is not a good town for times when you don't have a car.

Atlantic City has a few public transit options. The Jitney are shuttle buses that runs from one end of the city to the other. They pass by most of the hotels and casinos along Pacific Avenue.

Public transit is mostly limited in South Lake Tahoe. While there are some shuttles and buses, if you really want to explore the area, you'll need your own car.

Is Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe a more walkable city?

Atlantic City
South Lake Tahoe

Atlantic City and South Lake Tahoe both are great when exploring on foot.

Atlantic City is very walkable. Many of the hotels are walkable and located near the boardwalk.

South Lake Tahoe is a very walkable city. Once you get to town, the area is very walkable.


For even more information, also check out Is Atlantic City Worth Visiting? and Is South Lake Tahoe Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in South Lake Tahoe or Atlantic City?

How long in Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe?

In either Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in South Lake Tahoe than Atlantic City because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Atlantic City, and 3-5 days is enough time in South Lake Tahoe.

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

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


  • How many days in Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe? Ideal Length of Stay
    Atlantic City 1-3 
    South Lake Tahoe 3-5

One day in Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe?

You'll find shopping and nightlife around the flashy destination of Atlantic City. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the idyllic destination of South Lake Tahoe. It's also a relaxing resort destination. 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.

A weekend in Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe?

You'll find nightlife and food around the flashy city of Atlantic City. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Most people head to the area for the nightlife. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in South Lake Tahoe. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Five days in Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe?

Atlantic City is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Many travelers enjoy the skiing and nightlife when visiting the breathtaking destination of South Lake Tahoe. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.


A week in Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe?

Atlantic City is a great place to explore. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Most people head to the area for the nightlife. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find nightlife and food around the beautiful town of South Lake Tahoe. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, South Lake Tahoe or Atlantic City?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Atlantic City is $154, while the average daily cost in South Lake Tahoe is $118. 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 Atlantic City and South Lake Tahoe in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Atlantic City $73
    South Lake Tahoe $54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Atlantic City $146
    South Lake Tahoe $108
Compare Hotels in Atlantic City and South Lake Tahoe

Looking for a hotel in Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe? 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 Atlantic City


Hotels in South Lake Tahoe


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: Atlantic City Hotel Prices and South Lake Tahoe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Atlantic City $40
    South Lake Tahoe $24

Is it cheaper to fly into Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe?

Prices for flights to both South Lake Tahoe and Atlantic City 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
    Atlantic City $50
    South Lake Tahoe $38

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in South Lake Tahoe

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in South Lake Tahoe.

  • Lake Tahoe Sunset Dinner Cruise: $140

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Atlantic City $44
    South Lake Tahoe $56

Tours and Activities in Atlantic City

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

  • Atlantic City Adventure Scavenger Hunt: $22
  • Sea Rocket Sunrise Cruise Overlooking Ocean City, MD: $22
  • Sea Rocket Early Bird Speed Boat & Dolphin Cruise in Ocean City: $24
  • Sea Rocket Speed Boat & Dolphin Cruise in Ocean City, MD: $25
  • Banshees of the Boardwalk Walking Tour: $26
  • Quiet Bay Cruise With Happy Hour Options: $27
  • Morning or Afternoon Skyline Ocean Cruise: $27
  • Sunset Party Cruise with DJ: $33
  • Sea Rocket Sunset Cruise Overlooking Ocean City, MD: $34
  • Bay Hopper Breakfast Sandwich Cruise: $35
  • OC Bay Hopper - Ice Cream Cruise: $40
  • OC Bay Hopper - Sunset Cruise: $40

Tours and Activities in South Lake Tahoe

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for South Lake Tahoe are as follows:

  • Tales & Trails: A Self-Guided Audio Tour of Lake Tahoe: $11
  • Self-Guided Driving Tour from Lake Tahoe to Virginia City: $12
  • Driving Lake Tahoe: A Self-Guided Tour from South Lake Tahoe to Tahoe City: $12
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Discover Lake Tahoe’s Secrets: $13
  • Lake Tahoe: Self-Guided Driving Tour: $15
  • Ultimate Lake Tahoe Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Tallac Historic Site Pope House Tour: $17
  • Tallac Historic Site Grand Estates Tour: $22
  • Full Day Self-Guided Bike Tour of Lake Tahoe: $69
  • Guided Tour of Historic Virginia City and Carson City from South Lake Tahoe: $70
  • Sunset Kayak Experience in Lake Tahoe: $75
  • Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley: $80

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Atlantic City $39
    South Lake Tahoe $34

Sample the Local Flavors in Atlantic City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Atlantic City:

  • Little Water Distillery Spirit Tasting: $15

Sample the Local Flavors in South Lake Tahoe

Also in South Lake Tahoe, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Lake Tahoe: Emerald Bay Sunset Wine Tasting Yacht Cruise: $150


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

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


Which is Bigger, Atlantic City or South Lake Tahoe?

Atlantic City has a larger population, and is about 70% larger than the population of South Lake Tahoe. When comparing the sizes of Atlantic City and South Lake Tahoe, 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.