Should you visit Big Sur or Aspen?
Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Big Sur and Aspen can help you decide which place is right for you.
Big Sur is the 90-mile stretch of the California Central Coast which runs from the Carmel River in Monterey County south to San Carpoforo Creek in San Luis Obispo County and 20 miles east into the Santa Lucius Foothills.
However you look at it, California's Central Coast is beautiful and undoubtedly a huge tourist trap. If you're not willing to fork over big bucks for overnight stays on coastal hotels, be prepared ahead of time with your camping gear and get ready to go off the beaten track to avoid crowds as best you can and save your wallet.
While the weather in Central Coast is overall, mild and temperate, between 50 and 70 degrees year-round. The highs and lows during the year are in August and January, respectively, with dry summers and wet winters, making April through October the best times to visit but be warned: there will be crowds.
Aspen is a famous, and notably expensive travel destination. The town is one of the country's most famous and recognizable ski destinations, and prices can climb high during the ski season. Although still expensive, you can often find better deals during the summer months or shoulder seasons. For visitors who want to enjoy the area's hiking, natural beauty, and charm, these are the times to visit.
Which city is cheaper, Aspen or Big Sur?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Big Sur is $0.00, while the average daily cost in Aspen is $235. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Big Sur and Aspen in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $264 in Big Sur For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
The average price for accommodation for two people in Aspen is $272. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $45 per day to get around in Aspen.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aspen
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Aspen:
Private Transfer: Aspen to Denver International Airport (DEN):
Aspen hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer:
Private Eagle County Regional Airport Transfer to Aspen:
Private Departure Transfer to Aspen Airport (ASE):
Private Arrival Transfer from Aspen Airport (ASE):
Is it cheaper to fly into Big Sur or Aspen?
Prices for flights to both Aspen and Big Sur 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.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $36 per person, per day in Aspen. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Tours and Activities in Aspen
Here are a few actual costs in Aspen for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Aspen's DarkSide Ghost Tour:
Aspen's Past to Present Historic Tour:
Glimpse of Aspen Tour:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Big Sur and Aspen, we can see that Aspen is more expensive. And not only is Big Sur much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Big Sur would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Big Sur 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 Big Sur.