Should you visit Big Sur or Napa Valley?
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 Napa Valley 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.
Napa Valley, in the Bay Area of California, is a popular destination for its wineries and beautiful scenery. The area, referred to as Wine Country, is just north of San Francisco and makes for a great day or weekend trip. Many honeymooners visit the area for its romantic setting and popular bed and breakfasts. The best time to visit is during the months of September and October when the grapes are wipe. This time is referred to as the harvest "crush." The summer months are also a popular time but the crowds are often overwhelming.
Which city is cheaper, Napa Valley 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 Napa Valley is $230. 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 Napa Valley 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.
Travelers usually pay around $202 for a double occupancy room in Napa Valley If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Food in Napa Valley costs travelers about $50 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
Meals for one day
Napa Valley $50
Napa Valley'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 $146 per person, per day on transportation in Napa Valley.
Is it cheaper to fly into Big Sur or Napa Valley?
Prices for flights to both Napa Valley 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Napa Valley can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Napa Valley, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $53.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Big Sur and Napa Valley, we can see that Napa Valley 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 Napa Valley would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Napa Valley than you might in Big Sur.
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