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

Should you visit Berkeley or Rapid City?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Berkeley 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.

Berkeley

Berkeley is a progressive, diverse, and quirky city. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Rapid City

Rapid City is a friendly, fascinating, and activity-filled city. Other popular activities here include food, hiking, and shopping.

Berkeley and Rapid City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
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
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Berkeley or Rapid City?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Rapid City than Berkeley. While Berkeley is larger than Rapid City, Rapid City has more sights and attractions for tourists. Rapid City is more popular for its museums and hiking, while Berkeley is known for its food, nightlife, shopping, and impressive beauty. Berkeley is popular for its progressive and liberal mindset as well as its farmer's markets and local boutiques. Rapid City is popular for its proximity to Mount Rushmore and many other iconic parks. It is also home to Mount Rushmore.

How is Berkeley different from Rapid City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Rapid City 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 Rapid City?

Berkeley
Rapid City

Rapid City is renowned for its sights and museums. Also, Berkeley is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Rapid City on the map. 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.

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.


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

Berkeley
Rapid City

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

Berkeley has a huge number of terrific 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.

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 Berkeley or Rapid City Better for Nightlife?

Berkeley
Rapid City

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

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.

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 Berkeley or Rapid City Better for Hiking?

Berkeley
Rapid City

Rapid City is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Berkeley is not a hiking destination.

Rapid City is a popular spot for hiking. 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.

Berkeley is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Berkeley or Rapid City?

Berkeley
Rapid City

Berkeley is a very popular place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Berkeley is well-known for its shopping. 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.

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 Berkeley or Rapid City Better for Families?

Berkeley
Rapid City

Rapid City is renowned for its family-friendly activities. Also, Berkeley is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-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.

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 Rapid City Better for Couples?

Berkeley
Rapid City

Rapid City is notable for couples. Also, Berkeley is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for romance.

Rapid City is a very popular place to visit for couples. 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.

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 Rapid City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Berkeley
Rapid City

Both Berkeley and Rapid City are excellent destinations for backpackers.

Berkeley is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. 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.

Rapid City is very popular with the backpacker crowd. Backpackers will appreciate the surrounding natural beauty and the nearby national parks.

Is Berkeley or Rapid City Better for Students?

Berkeley
Rapid City

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

Berkeley is very popular with students. 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.

Rapid City is not popular with students.

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

Berkeley
Rapid City

Berkeley is an unbeatable place for times when you don't have a car. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Visitors in Berkeley can get around quickly with the extensive 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 generally limited in Rapid City. While there are a few buses, this isn't a realistic option for traveling through the region.


Is Berkeley or Rapid City a more walkable city?

Berkeley
Rapid City

Berkeley is an unbeatable place for its high level of walkability. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its ease of walking around.

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

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 Berkeley Worth Visiting? and Is Rapid City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Rapid City or Berkeley?

How long in Berkeley or Rapid City?

It's fun to spend time in either Berkeley or Rapid City. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Rapid City 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 Rapid City.

Families should spend more time in Rapid City than Berkeley. 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 Berkeley. 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.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Berkeley than Rapid City 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 Rapid City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Berkeley 2-3 
    Rapid City 2-4

One day in Berkeley or Rapid City?

With museums and nightlife around the quirky city of Berkeley, there's plenty to do. 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.

The city of Rapid City offers food and shopping. 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 Rapid City?

With nightlife and food around the destination of Berkeley, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Rapid City is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city 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 Rapid City, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Berkeley or Rapid City?

Berkeley, 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 popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that museums 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 Rapid City?

Berkeley 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.

Rapid City is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that museums 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 city 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, Rapid City 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 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 Berkeley and Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Berkeley $131
    Rapid City $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Berkeley $262
    Rapid City $120
Compare Hotels in Berkeley and Rapid City

Looking for a hotel in Berkeley 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 Berkeley


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: Berkeley Hotel Prices and Rapid City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Berkeley $30
    Rapid City $53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Berkeley

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Berkeley:

  • Private Transfer: Oakland International Airport to Hotel: $200
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland: $93
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to San Francisco hotel/address - Private Arrival Transfer: $63
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to San Francisco - Round-Trip Private Car Transfer: $126
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $87
  • Oakland Airport (OAK) to Oakland hotel or address - Private Arrival Transfer: $43
  • Arrival Transfer from Oakland Airport OAK to San Francisco by SUV: $232

Is it cheaper to fly into Berkeley or Rapid City?

Prices for flights to both Rapid City 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
    Rapid City $23
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: $140

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.
    Berkeley $30
    Rapid City $26

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: $16
  • 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
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Antioch by Zombie Scavengers: $20

Tours and Activities in Rapid City

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

  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Rapid City, SD: $15
  • Mount Rushmore Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours: $20
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $133
  • Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Tour with Two Meals and a Music Variety Show: $164
  • Badlands Winter Wonderland Adventure: $239
  • Full-Day Private Sightseeing Tour in South Dakota: $275
  • NEW! Half Day Tour of the Black Hills: $289
  • Badlands Sunset and Wildlife Adventure : $289
  • From Private Spearfish Canyon Tour: $650
  • From Private Devils Tower Tour and Hike: $650
  • Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour: $650

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Berkeley $13
    Rapid City $6.93

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 Rapid City, we can see that Berkeley 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 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 Rapid City.

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


Which is Bigger, Berkeley or Rapid City?

Berkeley has a larger population, and is about 62% larger than the population of Rapid City. When comparing the sizes of Berkeley 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.