A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Big Sur vs. Breckenridge for Couples, Hiking, Families, and Food

Should you visit Big Sur or Breckenridge?

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

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 Breckenridge can help you decide which place is right for you.

Big Sur

Big Sur is a scenic, remote, and breathtaking natural area. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the beaches, hiking, and food.

Breckenridge

Breckenridge is a nature-filled, charming, and breathtaking ski resort. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Since it has a quaint atmosphere, you'll want to spend time soaking it all in. It's also popular because of the hiking, shopping, and skiing.

Big Sur and Breckenridge: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere


Is there more to do in Big Sur or Breckenridge?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Breckenridge. Although Big Sur and Breckenridge are both popular with visitors, Breckenridge has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Breckenridge is more popular for its skiing, nightlife, resorts, historical sights, shopping, christmas markets, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere, while Big Sur is known for its museums, beaches, hiking, and impressive beauty. Big Sur is popular for its beautiful state parks, dramatic coastal cliffs, and world class views. Breckenridge is popular for its world-class ski resorts, its charming small town atmosphere, and its family-friendly environment. It is also home to The Family-Friendly Ski Resort.

How is Big Sur different from Breckenridge?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Breckenridge and Big Sur. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Big Sur or Breckenridge Better for Skiing?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Breckenridge is an unbeatable place for skiing. However, Big Sur is not a skiing destination.

Breckenridge is among the world's best ski destinations. This is one of the most recognizable ski destinations in the world. It has diverse terrain that is good for all levels including beginners, intermediate, and expert skiers. The resort also has the tallest chairlift in North America.

Big Sur is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Big Sur or Breckenridge?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Big Sur is not a good place to visit for its sights and museums. However, Breckenridge does not have museums and landmarks.

Big Sur offers a few options for museum-goers. Nature is what brings visitors to the area, so most people don't prioritize museums or manmade landmarks.

Breckenridge does not have museums and landmarks.

Is the Food Better in Big Sur or Breckenridge? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Dining out at restaurants in both Big Sur and Breckenridge can be an enjoyable experience.

Big Sur is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Most of the restaurants offer a breathtaking view. Many use locally-sourced ingredients and they range in style from fine dining to casual eateries.

Breckenridge offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are a number of restaurants around town serving everything from casual to fine dining. There are bistros, pubs, and luxury options where you can enjoy international or local dishes including elk and buffalo.

Is Big Sur or Breckenridge Better for Nightlife?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Breckenridge is very good for its evening party scene. However, Big Sur is not a good destination for nightlife.

If you're looking for night time activities Breckenridge has a few options to choose from. The town comes to life in the winter and there are plenty of bars, breweries, and a wide selection of craft beer that you can try. Live music also brings the town to life in the evening.

People don't go to Big Sur for the nightlife. There's a taphouse and lounge, but the area is mostly undeveloped with no real nightlife.


Is Big Sur or Breckenridge Better for Resorts?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Breckenridge is very good for its luxury resorts. However, Big Sur is not a resort destination.

Breckenridge has a few great resort options. The resorts often have pools or hot tubs where you can unwind after a day on the slopes. Many have condos that include a kitchen and separate bedrooms.

Big Sur is not a resort destination.

Is Big Sur or Breckenridge Better for Beaches?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Big Sur is a well-known place for the beache. However, Breckenridge is not a beach destination.

Big Sur is considered a top beach destination. The coastline and beaches are dramatic and beautiful, particularly Pfeiffer Beach, which has a dramatic waterfall. The water is filled with rip tides and strong currents, so swimming isn't advisable in most places.

Breckenridge is not a beach destination.

Is Big Sur or Breckenridge Better for its Old Town?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Breckenridge is very good for its historic old town charm. However, Big Sur does not have a historic old town.

Breckenridge has an old town worth visiting. Originating as a mining town, there is a historic Main Street that is filled with character.

Big Sur does not have a historic old town.


Is Big Sur or Breckenridge Better for Hiking?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Big Sur is a well-known place for the nearby hiking options. Also, Breckenridge is not as famous, but is still a good ski resort to visit for its hiking trails.

Big Sur is a popular spot for hiking. The dramatic hikes take you along the coastline, to beautiful beaches and through Redwood forests. There are a number of state parks along the route and some of the best hikes include Salmon Creek Trail, Pacific Valley Bluff Trail, and Ragged Point Cliffside Trail.

Many people include a hike when visiting Breckenridge. During the summer months there are plenty of beautiful hikes nearby, but you'll likely need a car to reach most trailheads. Popular trails include Hoosier Pass Loop, Blue Lakes Trail, and McCullough Gulch.

Is the Shopping Better in Big Sur or Breckenridge?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Breckenridge is great for its shopping areas. However, Big Sur is not a good destination for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Breckenridge. Quaint shops and galleries are throughout the town where you can by gear, artwork, or souvenirs.

Big Sur has some shopping areas for those that seek them out. There are some galleries and gift shops, but most visitors aren't in the area to go shopping.

Is Big Sur or Breckenridge Better for Christmas?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Breckenridge is an unbeatable place for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Big Sur does not offer Christmas activities.

With so many activities, Breckenridge is a top place to visit during Christmas. From sledding to sleigh rides and hot chocolate, this town is absolutely magical during the Christmas season.

Big Sur does not offer Christmas activities.


Is Big Sur or Breckenridge Better for Christmas Markets?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Breckenridge is great for visiting Christmas markets. However, Big Sur does not offer Christmas markets.

Breckenridge has a large number of Christmas markets. During the holiday season the Arts District hosts a Christmas Market.

Big Sur does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Big Sur or Breckenridge Better for Families?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Breckenridge is great for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Big Sur is not as popular, but is still a nice natural area for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Breckenridge. It is a fun, family-friendly ski resort town with skiing for all levels. There are lessons for kids starting at the age of three, and slopes that are perfect for all skill levels. The town also has ice skating, sledding, and white water rafting.

Big Sur is a family-friendly place to visit. Kids will enjoy the hiking and beaches, particularly the Carmel Lagoon at Carmel River State Beach. There are a number of state parks where kids can run around and stretch their legs.

Is Big Sur or Breckenridge Better for Couples?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Big Sur is a world-class destination for its romantic activities. Also, Breckenridge is not as famous, but is still a good ski resort to visit for couples.

Big Sur makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. Stunning viewpoints and breathtaking coastline make this a wonderful destination for couples. There are romantic inns and impressive hikes along the water's edge or through the dramatic Redwoods.

Breckenridge makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. For couples who enjoy skiing, outdoor activities, beautiful hikes, and a charming small town atmosphere, this is the perfect romantic getaway.


Is Big Sur or Breckenridge Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

For backpackers, both Big Sur and Breckenridge are good places to visit.

Big Sur is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are a couple of hostels in the area, but budget travelers often prefer vacation rentals, which are more common.

It's common for backpackers to visit Breckenridge. The town has a hostel or two for skiers who want a social setting at an affordable price.

Is Big Sur or Breckenridge Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Breckenridge is adequate for times when you don't have a car. However, Big Sur is not a good destination for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Breckenridge. There is a free shuttle service around town.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Big Sur. There is no real public transportation in the area.

Is Big Sur or Breckenridge a more walkable city?

Big Sur
Breckenridge

Breckenridge is an unbeatable place for its ease of walking around. However, Big Sur is not a good destination for its walkability.

Breckenridge is a very easy ski resort to get around on foot. The town is designed to be pedestrian-friendly.

Big Sur is not a walkable natural area. While there are hiking trails, Big Sur is a stretch of road that runs along the coast and requires a car to fully access.


For even more information, also check out Is Big Sur Worth Visiting? and Is Breckenridge Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Breckenridge or Big Sur?

How long in Big Sur or Breckenridge?

Both Big Sur and Breckenridge have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Breckenridge than in Big Sur. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Big Sur, and 3-7 days is enough time in Breckenridge.

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

Couples should spend more time in Breckenridge than Big Sur. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Breckenridge that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Breckenridge than Big Sur 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 Breckenridge.


  • How many days in Big Sur or Breckenridge? Ideal Length of Stay
    Big Sur 1-3 
    Breckenridge 3-7

One day in Big Sur or Breckenridge?

In Big Sur, many people enjoy the food that this breathtaking natural area offers. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. In one day, you should have a good grasp of this natural area.

Breckenridge is a small town with plenty to do. One reason most visitors come is for the skiing. This ski resort offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Big Sur or Breckenridge?

Big Sur is a fun place to experience. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Breckenridge might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One reason most visitors come is for the skiing. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Big Sur or Breckenridge?

You'll find food around the breathtaking destination of Big Sur. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

Breckenridge is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Breckenridge has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.


A week in Big Sur or Breckenridge?

Big Sur is a popular place to visit. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Breckenridge. Breckenridge is a small town where visitors enjoy the shopping and skiing. One reason most visitors come is for the skiing. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours in United States of America, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America, The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, and The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Breckenridge 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 Breckenridge is $200. 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 Big Sur and Breckenridge in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Big Sur $165
    Breckenridge $106
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Big Sur $330
    Breckenridge $212
Compare Hotels in Big Sur and Breckenridge

Looking for a hotel in Big Sur or Breckenridge? 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 Big Sur


Hotels in Breckenridge


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: Breckenridge Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Big Sur -
    Breckenridge $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Breckenridge

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Breckenridge:

  • Denver Airport APA to Breckenridge Ski Resort-Arrival Transfer: $200
  • Breckenridge Ski Resort to Denver Airport APA Departure Transfer: $200
  • Breckenridge/Keystone/Copper to Denver Airport-Departure Transfer: $200
  • Breckenridge to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $196
  • Eagle County Airport to Breckenridge/Keystone-Round-Trip Transfer: $189

Is it cheaper to fly into Big Sur or Breckenridge?

Prices for flights to both Breckenridge 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Big Sur -
    Breckenridge $61

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Big Sur -
    Breckenridge $94

Tours and Activities in Big Sur

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Big Sur.

  • Big Sur Highway 1: Explore Coastal Beauty Driving Tour: $13
  • Pacific Coast Highway Scenic Driving Tour: $15

Tours and Activities in Breckenridge

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

  • 3 Hours 30 Minutes Colorado Astrophotography Experience: $260
  • Breckenridge Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Breckenridge Tours - Ghostly Tales : $35
  • Breckenridge Tours - Strange but True: $33
  • Breckenridge, CO: Guided Backcountry Ski Tour: $275
  • Breckenridge, CO: Guided Rock Climb Adventure: $204
  • Continental Divide Tour: $145
  • Half-Day Upper Colorado River Float Tour from Kremmling: $94
  • Island Kayak Tour Experience in Frisco: $65
  • Real Gold Mine Tour with, gold panning and more: $47
  • Self-Guided Breckenridge Scavenger Hunt: Breckenridge Adventure: $12
  • Smartphone Driving Tour b/w Breckenridge & Denver: $9.99

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Big Sur -
    Breckenridge $7.79

Sample the Local Flavors in Breckenridge

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

  • Ridden Fat Bike Beer & Distillery Tour: $85


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Big Sur and Breckenridge, we can see that Breckenridge 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 Breckenridge would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Breckenridge than you might in Big Sur.

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