Should you visit Big Sur or Boulder?
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 Boulder 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.
Boulder is located on the edge of the Rocky Mountains in the state of Colorado. As home to the University of Colorado at Boulder, it's a college town with a liberal vibe and progressive values. In recent years, Boulder's economy has received a boost from the tech industry, which has grown rapidly in the area.
Boulder is also a great city to visit. It's surrounded by a beautiful mountain setting and there are countless outdoor sporting activities that you can enjoy. One unique aspect of Boulder is its role as home to many serious athletes who come here to train in the area's top facilities and programs.
Boulder's climate is similar to most of Colorado. It's a dry city with plenty of sunshine. Winters can vary dramatically from mild to incredibly cold and snowfall averages 44 inches a season. Summers are warm and dry with temperatures climbing above 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the warmest months.
Which city is cheaper, Boulder 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 Boulder is $181. 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 Boulder 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.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Boulder, $186 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Boulder, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $93, such as in a hostel.
In Boulder travelers spend around $80 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Boulder
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Boulder:
Nice Dinner for Two
Sightseeing expenses in Boulder, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $30 per day, per person.
Tours and Activities in Boulder
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Boulder.
A natural healing experience in a private epsom salt bath.:
Amazing Boulder Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
Best of Boulder E-Bike Tour:
Boulder Backroads: E-Bike Dirt Road Tour:
Denver: 8-Hour Private Tour of Rocky Mountain National Park:
Downtown An audio tour around this weird and beautiful town:
Electric Cruiser Fat Tire Bike Tour - Best of Boulder:
Half-Day eBike Mural Tour in Boulder:
High-Vibes Foodie Tour:
Hiking Adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park from Boulder:
Holistic & Medicinal Tour:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Big Sur and Boulder, we can see that Boulder 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 Boulder would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Boulder than you might in Big Sur.