Which city is cheaper, Columbia River Gorge or Big Sur?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
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 Columbia River Gorge 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.
Columbia River Gorge is a popular destination in the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. The region's close proximity to Portland, which is just 30 minutes away, makes it a popular weekend destination.
The gorge is formed by the Columbia River, with an 80 mile stretch designated as a National Scenic Area. The area has many beautiful cliffs with a number of tall waterfalls and its protected status means that most new development must occur within one of the already established towns.
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 Columbia River Gorge is $143. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Big Sur and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Big Sur or Columbia River Gorge? 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.
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.
Prices for flights to both Columbia River Gorge 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.
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Columbia River Gorge are as follows:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Big Sur and Columbia River Gorge, we can see that Columbia River Gorge 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 Columbia River Gorge would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Columbia River Gorge than you might in Big Sur.
Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.
Both Columbia River Gorge and Big Sur during the summer are popular places to visit.
In the summer, Big Sur is cooler than Columbia River Gorge. Typically, the summer temperatures in Big Sur in July are around 63°F (17°C), and Columbia River Gorge is about 68°F (20°C).
Big Sur usually gets less rain in July than Columbia River Gorge. Big Sur gets 0 inches (1 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain this time of the year.
The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Big Sur and Columbia River Gorge.
In October, Big Sur is generally a little warmer than Columbia River Gorge. Temperatures in Big Sur average around 62°F (17°C), and Columbia River Gorge stays around 55°F (13°C).
In October, Big Sur usually receives less rain than Columbia River Gorge. At this time of the year, Big Sur gets 0.6 inches (14 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain.
The winter brings many poeple to Big Sur as well as Columbia River Gorge.
Columbia River Gorge can be very cold during winter. Big Sur is much warmer than Columbia River Gorge in the winter. The temperature in Big Sur is usually 51°F (11°C) in January, and Columbia River Gorge stays around 40°F (4°C).
It's quite rainy in Columbia River Gorge. Big Sur usually gets less rain in January than Columbia River Gorge. Big Sur gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain this time of the year.
Both Columbia River Gorge and Big Sur are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.
In the spring, Big Sur is a little warmer than Columbia River Gorge. Typically, the spring temperatures in Big Sur in April are around 56°F (13°C), and Columbia River Gorge is about 51°F (11°C).
In April, Big Sur usually receives less rain than Columbia River Gorge. At this time of the year, Big Sur gets 1.1 inches (29 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain.
|Big Sur||Columbia River Gorge|
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||51°F (11°C)||2.3 inches (58 mm)||40°F (4°C)||5.2 inches (132 mm)|
|Feb||53°F (12°C)||1.8 inches (47 mm)||44°F (7°C)||3.9 inches (98 mm)|
|Mar||54°F (12°C)||2.1 inches (55 mm)||47°F (9°C)||3.6 inches (92 mm)|
|Apr||56°F (13°C)||1.1 inches (29 mm)||51°F (11°C)||2.4 inches (61 mm)|
|May||59°F (15°C)||0.2 inches (4 mm)||57°F (14°C)||2 inches (51 mm)|
|Jun||62°F (16°C)||0.1 inches (2 mm)||64°F (18°C)||1.5 inches (39 mm)|
|Jul||63°F (17°C)||0 inches (1 mm)||68°F (20°C)||0.7 inches (18 mm)|
|Aug||64°F (18°C)||0.1 inches (2 mm)||69°F (20°C)||1 inches (25 mm)|
|Sep||64°F (18°C)||0.2 inches (6 mm)||63°F (17°C)||1.7 inches (44 mm)|
|Oct||62°F (17°C)||0.6 inches (14 mm)||55°F (13°C)||2.6 inches (67 mm)|
|Nov||56°F (13°C)||1.8 inches (45 mm)||46°F (8°C)||5.4 inches (136 mm)|
|Dec||51°F (10°C)||2 inches (51 mm)||40°F (5°C)||6.1 inches (156 mm)|
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