A Travel Price Comparison for California Berkeley vs. Joshua Tree National Park for Backpackers, Attractions, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park, 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.

Berkeley

Berkeley is a diverse, quirky, and progressive city. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a unique, fascinating, and adventurous national park. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include hiking.

Berkeley and Joshua Tree National Park: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
Pros
  • 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
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Berkeley. Although Berkeley and Joshua Tree National Park are popular destinations, Berkeley has more sights and attractions for tourists. Berkeley is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, and shopping, while Joshua Tree National Park attracts visitors for its hiking and impressive beauty. Berkeley is famous for its progressive and liberal mindset as well as its farmer's markets and local boutiques. It is also well known for University of California Botanical Garden. Joshua Tree National Park is famous for its unique vegetation and large boulders.

How is Berkeley different from Joshua Tree National Park?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Joshua Tree National Park and Berkeley. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park?

Berkeley
Joshua Tree National Park

Berkeley is a very popular place for its museums and history. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for its museums and landmarks.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Berkeley. There are a wide range of museums around town, many of which are affiliated with the university. There are natural history museums, art museums, cultural museums, as well as historical and science museums.

Joshua Tree National Park offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. There are a couple of museums in the area that display local art or cultural and historical items.


Is the Food Better in Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Berkeley
Joshua Tree National Park

Berkeley is a very popular place for its restaurants. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

Berkeley has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. There's a huge diversity of restaurants that range from international to California flavors. There are also eateries that cater to the student population, as well as fine dining and everything in between. You'll also find many farmer's markets, vegan options, and restaurants that use locally sourced ingredients.

While Joshua Tree National Park is not famous for its food, you'll find what you need there. There aren't any restaurants inside the park, so you'll want to pack your own food and eat at one of the picnic areas.

Is Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Nightlife?

Berkeley
Joshua Tree National Park

Berkeley is a very popular place for its evening party scene. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for nightlife.

Berkeley has a large number of nightlife venues. With its large student population, you'll find no shortage of nightlife activities around town. There are bars and pubs as well as live music venues and plenty of unique experiences.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Joshua Tree National Park. Stargazing and gathering around campfires are the most popular activities during the evening.

Is Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Hiking?

Berkeley
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is renowned for the nearby hiking options. However, Berkeley is not a hiking destination.

Known for its hiking, Joshua Tree National Park draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. There are a wide range of hikes that include easy, moderate, and strenuous options. Some of the best hikes include Discovery Trail, Boy Scout Trail, and Black Rock Canyon Panorama Loop.

Berkeley is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park?

Berkeley
Joshua Tree National Park

Berkeley is a very popular place for its shopping areas. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Berkeley. Quirky and local is what shopping in Berkeley is all about. There are also plenty of thrift stores and farmer's markets. Head to Fourth Street or Telegraph Avenue for some of the most interesting shopping opportunities.

Joshua Tree National Park has some shopping areas for those that seek them out. There is a park store where you can pick up gifts or other items.

Is Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Families?

Berkeley
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is notable for its family-friendly activities. Also, Berkeley is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Joshua Tree National Park is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. With its giant boulders that kids can scramble on and its Dr. Seuss-like Joshua Trees, this really is nature's best playground. There are also kid-friendly hikes and Junior Ranger Programs that will both educate and entertain the kids.

Berkeley is a family-friendly city. There are many outdoor places to explore with kids like Tilden Park or UC Botanical Garden. There are also science museums, nature centers, and plenty of kid-friendly restaurants.

Is Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Couples?

Berkeley
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is notable for couples. Also, Berkeley is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for romance.

Joshua Tree National Park is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples who enjoy the outdoors, adventure sports like rock climbing, and hiking through spectacular landscapes will find this to be the ultimate romantic destination.

Berkeley is a nice destination for couples. There's a wonderful mix of cultural activities and outdoor parks that you can explore. There's the Berkeley Rose Garden, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and many charming restaurants.


Is Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Berkeley
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is renowned for backpackers. Also, Berkeley is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Joshua Tree National Park is a very popular national park to visit for backpackers. There are campgrounds and hiking trails that are popular with backpackers and nature enthusiasts.

Berkeley is very popular with the backpacker crowd. With its eclectic and alternative vibe, backpackers will find their place in this city. There's also a huge student population and a couple of hostels in the area.

Is Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Students?

Berkeley
Joshua Tree National Park

Berkeley is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Joshua Tree National Park is not popular with students.

Students come from all over to stay in Berkeley. University of California, Berkeley is a well reviewed university that attracts a progressive and motivated student population. The city is an expensive, but very rewarding place to study with many activities and opportunities for students.

Joshua Tree National Park is not popular with students.

Is Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Berkeley
Joshua Tree National Park

Berkeley is renowned for times when you don't have a car. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Berkeley has a great public transit system. It's located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has access to buses and several BART stations.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Joshua Tree National Park. There's no reliable public transportation in the park.


Is Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park a more walkable city?

Berkeley
Joshua Tree National Park

Berkeley is renowned for its ease of walking around. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for its walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Berkeley. Most of Berkeley is very walkable, particularly the parts around the university.

Joshua Tree National Park is not a walkable city. You need a car to truly explore the park.

For even more information, also check out Is Berkeley Worth Visiting? and Is Joshua Tree National Park Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Joshua Tree National Park or Berkeley?

How long in Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park?

It's fun to spend time in either Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Joshua Tree National Park due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Berkeley, and 2-4 days is enough time in Joshua Tree National Park.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Berkeley than Joshua Tree National Park 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 Berkeley.


  • How many days in Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park? Ideal Length of Stay
    Berkeley 2-3 
    Joshua Tree National Park 2-4

One day in Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the diverse city of Berkeley. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

The beautiful national park of Joshua Tree National Park offers . 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.

A weekend in Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park?

Visitors enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Berkeley. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

Joshua Tree National Park is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this national park 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 Joshua Tree National Park, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park?

Berkeley is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. It offers something for everyone.

Joshua Tree National Park is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. 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.

A week in Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park?

Berkeley is a popular choice for travelers. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Joshua Tree National Park is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. 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 national park offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Walking Tours in United States of America, The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, and The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Joshua Tree National Park or Berkeley?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Berkeley is $190, while the average daily cost in Joshua Tree National Park is $152. 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 Berkeley and Joshua Tree National Park in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Berkeley $131
    Joshua Tree National Park $87
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Berkeley $262
    Joshua Tree National Park $174
Compare Hotels in Berkeley and Joshua Tree National Park

Looking for a hotel in Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park? 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 Berkeley


Hotels in Joshua Tree National Park


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: Berkeley Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Berkeley $30
    Joshua Tree National Park $47

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Berkeley

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Berkeley:

  • Private Transfer: Oakland International Airport to Hotel: $200
  • Private Departure Transfer to Oakland Airport OAK: $97
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Oakland Airport OAK: $81
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland: $93
  • Oakland hotel or address to Oakland Airport (OAK) - Departure Private Transfer: $44
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to San Francisco hotel/address - Private Arrival Transfer: $64
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $88

Is it cheaper to fly into Berkeley or Joshua Tree National Park?

Prices for flights to both Joshua Tree National Park and Berkeley 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
    Berkeley $36
    Joshua Tree National Park $35
Typical Food Prices in Berkeley

Some typical examples of dining costs in Berkeley are as follows:


  • Chocolates at Sweet Dreams
    $4.46

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Berkeley

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Berkeley.

  • North 3-Hour Food Tour: $116
  • Best of North Berkeley Food Tour: $130
  • Black Food Tour - Downtown Oakland: $130

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Berkeley $30
    Joshua Tree National Park $27

Tours and Activities in Berkeley

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Berkeley are as follows:

  • 2 Hours Private Walking Tour in Berkeley: $20
  • Classic Sausalito Wooden Boat Tour: $135
  • Comedy Oakland at The Washington Inn Show Tickets: $20
  • Historic Houseboat Tour: $65
  • Oakland Athletics Baseball Game Ticket at RingCentral Coliseum: $11
  • Oakland's Temescal Tastes Tour: $120
  • Redwoods of Marin and Mt. Tamalpais Walking Tour with Local Guide: $59
  • Ruth Bancroft Garden General Admission Ticket: $12
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Berkeley by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Self-Guided Oakland Tour in an Urban Excursion: $20
  • Small-Group Wine-Tasting Tour of Napa-via San Francisco Ferry: $155
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Antioch by Zombie Scavengers: $20

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Berkeley $13
    Joshua Tree National Park $4.93

Sample the Local Flavors in Berkeley

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

  • Guided Wine Tasting at Berkeley Wineries with Local Sommelière : $175
  • Guided Wine Tasting with Local Sommelière: $175


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Berkeley Expensive? and Is Joshua Tree National Park Expensive?.