Should you visit Big Sur or Reno?
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 Reno 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.
In the northwest area of Nevada, Reno sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. After Las Vegas, it's the second most popular tourist destination in the state of Nevada. You'll find some nice resorts, elaborate casinos, nice restaurants and unique opportunities for entertainment throughout the city.
The city, referred to as "The Biggest Little City in the World", has a population of about 235,000. It's part of the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area, which has a population of about 440,000.
Reno is located in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The city has a steppe climate with light to moderate snowfall in the winter months. Precipitation is most common during the winter and spring, but the city averages about 300 days of sunshine a year. Average temperatures are 35 degrees Fahrenheit in December and 75 degrees Fahrenheit in July.
Which city is cheaper, Reno 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 Reno is $113. 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 Reno 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.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $86 in Reno For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
The price of a meal in Reno can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $42 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $17 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Reno
For Reno, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
Dennys for Breakfast
Sushi DInner (for 2)
In-n-Out Burger (for 3)
Reno'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 $18 per person, per day on transportation in Reno.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Reno
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Reno:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Reno
Also for Reno, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) to Reno – Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) to Reno – Private Arrival Transfer:
Reno to Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) - Departure Private Transfer:
Reno/Tahoe International Airport One Way Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Big Sur or Reno?
Prices for flights to both Reno 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 Reno can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $70 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Reno
For Reno, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
ATV & Snow Mobile Winter Adventures from Reno:
ATV - Tours & Trap Shooting Combo Packages from Reno:
Biking Adventure Tour from Reno:
Culinary & Cultural Reno Tour:
Hot Air Balloon & Snowmobile Adventure:
Reno Scavenger Hunt: Reno Adventure:
Truckee River Rafting Tour from Reno:
Winter Horseback Riding Adventure from Reno:
Typically, people visiting Reno spend on average $10 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Big Sur and Reno, we can see that Reno 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 Reno would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Reno than you might in Big Sur.
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