A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Big Sur vs. Los Angeles

Should you visit Big Sur or Los Angeles?

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 Los Angeles can help you decide which place is right for you.

Big Sur

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.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California is probably one of the most well known cities in the United States. It is the second most populated metro area in the country with more than 17 million people. The city's diversity is wide reaching, giving it a character that is unique from any other place in the country. LA has many world famous sights and neighborhoods including Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, and Santa Monica, but there is really so much more to this city.

Which city is cheaper, Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles is $190. 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 Los Angeles in more detail.




Accommodation

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 Los Angeles, $222 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Los Angeles, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $111, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Big Sur $132
    Los Angeles $111
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Big Sur $264
    Los Angeles $222


Food

The price of a meal in Los Angeles can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $35 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $14 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Big Sur -
    Los Angeles $35

Typical Food prices in Los Angeles

For Los Angeles, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Mexican Dinner (family of 4)
    $32
  • Burritos for Two
    $15
  • Coffee and Danish
    $7.70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Los Angeles

For Los Angeles, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • How to Cook the Perfect Steak Virtual Cooking Class: $42
  • Downtown Food Tour: $75
  • West Hollywood Food Tour: $75
  • Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour: $77
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Los Angeles Venice Beach: $96
  • Private Authentic Middle Eastern Cooking Class in Reseda, Los Angeles: $102
  • Luxury Vegan Food Tours of Los Angeles: $125
  • Secret Food Tour of Venice Beach, Los Angeles w/ Private Tour Option: $207
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour: $209


Local Transportation

Los Angeles's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $29 per person, per day on transportation in Los Angeles.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Big Sur -
    Los Angeles $29

Typical Local Transportation prices in Los Angeles

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Los Angeles:


  • Hotel Parking for a Day
    $22
  • Taxi to Airport
    $55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Los Angeles

Also for Los Angeles, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Los Angeles Airport LAX to Las Vegas by Minibus: $1,883
  • Arrival Private Transfer Los Angeles Airport LAX to Las Vegas by SUV: $1,616
  • Arrival Private Transfer Los Angeles Airport LAX to Las Vegas by Executive SUV: $1,598
  • Arrival Private Transfer Los Angeles LAX to Palm Springs or San Diego by Minibus: $569
  • Arrival Private Transfer Los Angeles LAX to Palm Springs/San Diego by Luxury Car: $524
  • LOS ANGELES to Palm Springs Airport (PSP) - Departure Private Transfer: $485
  • Arrival Private Transfer Los Angeles LAX to Palm Springs/San Diego by Exec. SUV: $480
  • Arrival Private Transfer Los Angeles LAX to Palm Springs or San Diego by SUV: $453
  • Los Angeles Private Transfer To Coechella Valley, CA.: $439
  • Private Transfer - LAX Airport to San Diego/ Las Vegas in a Luxurious SUV: $420
  • San Diego Private Transfer From Hollywood or Burbank.: $398
  • Los Angeles Private Transfer To Tijuana Border Crossing.: $398


Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Los Angeles can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $64 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Big Sur -
    Los Angeles $64

Typical Entertainment prices in Los Angeles

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Los Angeles's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Santa Monica Pier Rides (family of 4)
    $37
  • Bowling
    $13
  • Hollywood Tour for Two
    $30
  • Six Flags for 2
    $96

Tours and Activities in Los Angeles

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

  • 1 Hour Instagram Pics Hollywood Sign Tour: $39
  • 10-Minute Hollywood Sign Helicopter Tour: $124
  • 15 mins Driving Tour in a Ferrari California T spider in hollywood: $69
  • 1HOUR FERRARI CALIFORNIA driving Tour from Hollywood to Beverly Hills: $300
  • 2 Hour Celebrity Homes Tour: $39
  • 2 Hour Venice Beach Bike Tour: $61
  • 2 hour Horseback Riding Tour near the Hollywood Sign with Transportation: $127
  • 2-Hour Hollywood Bike Tour: $60
  • 2-Hour Hollywood Walking and Hiking Tour with Skyline Views: $34
  • 3 Hour Hollywood to Beverly Hills small group Tour: $41
  • 3 Hour Venice Beach Bike Tour: $71
  • 3 Hours Los Angeles VIP Tour: $49


Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Los Angeles spend on average $11 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Big Sur -
    Los Angeles $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Los Angeles

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Los Angeles:

  • Brews Cruise- DTLA Brewery tour by bike: $50
  • Brewery Walking Tour -- Downtown / Arts District: $81
  • Malibu: Exclusive Wine Tasting and Falconry Experience: $109
  • Malibu: Vintage VW Hippie Sightseeing Tour with Wine Tasting: $139
  • Santa Barbara Wine Tasting Day Tour from Los Angeles: $249
  • Los Angeles Wine Tour: $250
  • The Private Malibu Wine Tour: $419
  • Food and Wine Tasting Party: $750
  • Private Tour: Malibu Wine Tasting for Two by Limousine from Los Angeles: $999



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

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Big Sur vs. Los Angeles Travel Comparison

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