A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Big Sur vs. Seattle for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Big Sur or Seattle?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

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 Seattle can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Big Sur or Seattle?

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.


Situated on the Puget Sound in the state of Washington, Seattle is the largest city in the United States Pacific Northwest. It's a beautiful city surrounded by the water and mountains and filled with evergreen trees. It's also the home of some famous American institutions including Starbucks Coffee, Amazon, and Microsoft. The population of almost 700,000 continues to grow. As of 2014, the city was considered the fastest growing major city in the United States. The entire metropolitan area has about 3.6 million residents, making it the 15th largest metro area in the US. The natural beauty, growing economy, and educational base give Seattle a youthful vibe that keep the city young and energetic.

Which city is cheaper, Seattle 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 Seattle is $156. 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 Seattle in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Big Sur $132
    Seattle $94
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Big Sur $264
    Seattle $188
Compare Hotels in Big Sur and Seattle

Looking for a hotel in Big Sur or Seattle? 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.

Hotels in Big Sur

Hotels in Seattle

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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Big Sur -
    Seattle $18

Typical Local Transportation prices in Seattle

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

  • Lightrail from Airport (for 2)
  • Roundtrip Ferry to Bainbridge Island (for 2)

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seattle

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seattle:

  • Seattle to Whistler Private Transfer: $1,076
  • Private transfer from Seattle or Sea-Tac Seattle Airport to Vancouver, BC: $1,023
  • Private Transfer from Seattle or Sea-Tac Seattle Airport to Vancouver, BC: $894
  • Private transfer: Seattle to Seattle Airport (SEA): $622
  • One-Way Seattle Private Transfer up to 12 Pax: Cruises, Sea-Tac, Hotels: $319
  • Seattle Roundtrip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Private Van: $210
  • Departure Private Transfer Seattle or Cruise Port to Seattle Airport SEA Minibus: $195
  • Arrival Private Transfer Seattle Airport SEA to Seattle or Cruise Port - Minibus: $195
  • Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) to Seattle - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $184
  • RoundTrip Transfer in Private Minivan from-to Tacoma Airport in Seattle Downtown: $169
  • Seattle Airport Transfers : Seattle City to Seattle Airport SEA in Luxury Car: $149
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Seattle Tacoma International Airport to Seattle City - One Way: $149

Is it cheaper to fly into Big Sur or Seattle?

Prices for flights to both Seattle 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Big Sur -
    Seattle $38

Typical Food prices in Seattle

Some typical examples of dining costs in Seattle are as follows:

  • Expresso & cookie at Pier 70
  • Cashews at Pike Place Market
  • 6 Mini Donuts at Pike Place Market
  • Chinese Lunch in International District (for 2)
  • Breakfast at Lowel's in Pike Place Market (for 2)
  • Breakfast at French Cafe (for 2)

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Seattle

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Seattle.

  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 1 Hour: $34
  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 2 Hours: $58
  • Pacific Northwest-Style Dinner and Pairing in Seattle: $61
  • Exclusive: Early-Access Food Tour of Pike Place Market: $73
  • Street Theater and Dinner in Seattle's Fremont District: $86
  • Seattle Dinner Cruise: $115

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Big Sur -
    Seattle $12

Tours and Activities in Seattle

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Seattle are as follows:

  • 20-Minute Greater Seattle Scenic Airplane Tour: $102
  • 3-Day Seattle Olympic+Mount Rainier National Park tour(Seattle departure) APOR3: $285
  • 3-Hour Seattle City Tour: $80
  • 4-Hour Seattle City Tour: $77
  • 5-Day Yellowstone+Grand Teton National Park Tour ( Seattle departure ) SYG5: $615
  • A Feast for Foodies Walking Tour In Seattle: $201
  • Afternoon 3-Hour Seattle City Tour: $76
  • Bainbridge Island Wine and History - Private Luxury Day Tour with Lunch: $450
  • Bainbridge Island Wine and History Luxury Small-Group Day Tour with Lunch: $249
  • Beneath The Streets Underground History Tour: $29
  • Best of Mount Rainier National Park from All-Inclusive Small-Group Tour: $263
  • Best of Olympic National Park from All-Inclusive Small-Group Day Tour: $263

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Big Sur -
    Seattle $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Seattle

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

  • Seattle Bar Hunt: Sleepless in Seattle Bar Crawl: $12
  • Haunted Seattle Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Georgetown Brewery Tour: $72
  • Bon Vivant Woodinville Wine Tasting Tour: $98
  • Seattle Coffee, Chocolate and Wine Tour: $112
  • Seattle Wine Tour (Hourly): $135

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

When is the best time to visit Big Sur or Seattle?

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.

Should I visit Big Sur or Seattle in the Summer?

Both Seattle and Big Sur during the summer are popular places to visit. Also, many travelers come to Seattle for the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

Big Sur is cooler than Seattle in the summer. The temperature in Big Sur is usually 63°F (17°C) in July, and Seattle stays around 67°F (19°C).

Big Sur usually gets less rain in July than Seattle. Big Sur gets 0 inches (1 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 0.9 inches (22 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Big Sur 63°F (17°C) 
    Seattle 67°F (19°C)

Should I visit Big Sur or Seattle in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Big Sur and Seattle. Also, many visitors come to Seattle in the autumn for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Big Sur is a little warmer than Seattle. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Big Sur in October are around 62°F (17°C), and Seattle is about 54°F (12°C).

In October, Big Sur usually receives less rain than Seattle. At this time of the year, Big Sur gets 0.6 inches (14 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Big Sur 62°F (17°C) 
    Seattle 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Big Sur or Seattle in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Big Sur as well as Seattle. Also, most visitors come to Seattle for the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months.

In January, Big Sur is generally much warmer than Seattle. Temperatures in Big Sur average around 51°F (11°C), and Seattle stays around 42°F (5°C).

It's quite rainy in Seattle. Big Sur usually gets less rain in January than Seattle. Big Sur gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 5.4 inches (136 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Big Sur 51°F (11°C) 
    Seattle 42°F (5°C)

Should I visit Big Sur or Seattle in the Spring?

Both Seattle and Big Sur are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Seattle because of the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

Big Sur is a little warmer than Seattle in the spring. The temperature in Big Sur is usually 56°F (13°C) in April, and Seattle stays around 51°F (11°C).

In April, Big Sur usually receives less rain than Seattle. At this time of the year, Big Sur gets 1.1 inches (29 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 2.5 inches (64 mm) of rain.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Big Sur 56°F (13°C) 
    Seattle 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Seattle and Big Sur

Big Sur Seattle
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 51°F (11°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 42°F (5°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Feb 53°F (12°C) 1.8 inches (47 mm) 45°F (7°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 2.1 inches (55 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Apr 56°F (13°C) 1.1 inches (29 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm)
May 59°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (4 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Jun 62°F (16°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm)
Jul 63°F (17°C) 0 inches (1 mm) 67°F (19°C) 0.9 inches (22 mm)
Aug 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 67°F (19°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
Sep 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm)
Oct 62°F (17°C) 0.6 inches (14 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Nov 56°F (13°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 47°F (8°C) 5.7 inches (144 mm)
Dec 51°F (10°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 42°F (6°C) 6 inches (152 mm)

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Big Sur vs. Seattle Travel Comparison

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