Should you visit Big Sur or Rapid City?
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 Rapid City 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.
Rapid City is a large city in western South Dakota that is considered the gateway to the Black Hills National Forest. Rapid City is often used as a base for all types of outdoor activities, including tours to the infamous Mount Rushmore and surrounding parks. The city has a budding art scene and offers the perfect combination of a metropolitan city surrounded by stunning natural scenery. Rapid City experiences the best weather from June-September with temperatures in the 70's and 80's Fahrenheit. Temperatures drop to the low 20's F in the winter and the area receives the most rain pour in April and May.
Which city is cheaper, Rapid City 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 Rapid City is $93. 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 Rapid City 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.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $96 in Rapid City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
In Rapid City travelers spend around $19 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
Rapid City $19
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Rapid City than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $42 on transportation in Rapid City on average per day.
Sightseeing expenses in Rapid City, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $21 per day, per person.
Tours and Activities in Rapid City
For Rapid City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Badlands National Park Private Tour:
Bike Adventure on the Mickelson Trail - Private:
Black Hills: Private Tour of Mt. Rushmore & Flume Trail Hike:
Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills:
Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Bus Tour with Live Commentary:
Private Badlands National Park Day Tour:
Private Jeep Safari and Hiking Tour/ Two Person Minimum:
Private Mickelson Trail Bicycling Tour/ Two Person Minimum:
Private Mt Rushmore & Southern Black Hills Tour:
Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Full-Day Tour:
Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour:
Southern Black Hills Bicycle Tour - Private:
Typically, people visiting Rapid City spend on average $5.54 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Big Sur and Rapid City, we can see that Rapid City 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 Rapid City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Rapid City than you might in Big Sur.
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