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 place 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 $205. 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 destination. 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 $165
    Seattle $120
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Big Sur $330
    Seattle $240
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.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Seattle Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Big Sur -
    Seattle $30

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:

  • Smith Cove Terminal: Private Transfer to Seattle hotels: $310
  • Seattle Tacoma Airport(SEA): Transfer to Smith Cove Terminal: $310
  • Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA): Private Transfer to Seattle: $267
  • Airport Transfer From Seattle Airport to Hotels and Home: $265
  • From Seattle Hotels - Hotel Transfer to Airport: $265
  • Seattle Field BFI to Summit Ski Resort RoundTrip Private Transfer: $265
  • Private Transfer Seattle or Cruise Port to Seattle Airport SEA by Minibus or SUV: $195
  • Private Transfer Seattle Airport SEA to Seattle center or port by Minibus or SUV: $195
  • Roundtrip Transfer Private Minivan Seattle Airport (SEA) -Seattle Downtown: $195
  • From Seattle Hotels - Hotel Transfer to Airport: $175
  • From Seattle Airport - Transfer to Hotel & Homes: $175
  • Roundtrip Transfer Private Vehicle Seattle Airport (SEA) -Seattle Downtown: $171

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 $51

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.

  • Bite-Sized Seattle History & Food Tour: $15
  • Seattle : Fun Cooking Classes With Chef Seamus: $55
  • Secret Food Tours Seattle: $65
  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 2 Hours: $67
  • Pike Place Market Chef-Guided Food Tour: $67
  • Street Food Tour of South Lake Union: $75
  • Ballard Waterfront Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Plant Based Food Tour of Pike Place Market: $79
  • Secret Food Tours: Seattle Pike Place Market: $86
  • Craft Cocktail Gourmet Food Tour: $135
  • Small Group Cooking Class: $138
  • Market to Table Tour and Cooking Class at Pike Place Market: $159

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Big Sur -
    Seattle $16

Tours and Activities in Big Sur

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Big Sur.

  • Big Sur Highway 1: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour: $15
  • Big Sur California: Pacific Coast Highway Self-Drive Tour: $15

Tours and Activities in Seattle

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

  • 3 Hour Seattle City Tour: $90
  • 1-Hour Family Treasure Cruise in Seattle: $42
  • 2 Hour Sound Tour: $98
  • 2-Hour Insider Tour in Pike Place Market: $55
  • 2-Hour Seattle Sailing Harbor Tour: $45
  • 3 Hours Electric Bike Tour of Seattle's Waterways, Nature and Neighborhoods: $87
  • 3 Hours San Juan Island Seaplane Tour from Seattle : $295
  • 3-Hour Seattle City Tour: $80
  • 4 Hour Seattle Private Music Walking Tour: $99
  • 5-hour Seattle and Suburbs Attractions Tour: $185
  • A Fun Day in Olympia: Rotunda tour: $253
  • Adult Pirate Party Cruise: $47

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Big Sur -
    Seattle $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Seattle

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

  • Guided Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Seattle Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $38
  • Bodacious Bordeaux Wine Tasting Pass in Woodinville: $45
  • Where the Hops Grow! Yakima Brewery Tour : $45
  • Woodinville's Downtown Wine Tasting Pass: $65
  • Brewery and Restaurant Tour of Historic Seattle Neighborhood: $109
  • Bon Vivant Woodinville Wine Tasting Tour : $120
  • Half Day Private Woodinville Wine Tour from Seattle : $120
  • Day Private Snoqualmie Falls & Woodinville Wine Tour from Seattle: $181
  • From Snoqualmie Falls & Woodinville Wine Tasting: $262
  • Snoqualmie Falls + Wine Tasting: All-Inclusive Small-Group Tour: $263

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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Big Sur Expensive? and Is Seattle Expensive?.

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 daily temperature in Big Sur averages around 63°F (17°C) in July, and Seattle fluctuates 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 average around 62°F (17°C), and Seattle averages at about 54°F (12°C).

In October, Big Sur usually receives less rain than Seattle. Big Sur gets 0.6 inches (14 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • 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. Daily temperatures in Big Sur average around 51°F (11°C), and Seattle fluctuates 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 daily temperature in Big Sur averages around 56°F (13°C) in April, and Seattle fluctuates around 51°F (11°C).

In April, Big Sur usually receives less rain than Seattle. Big Sur gets 1.1 inches (29 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 2.5 inches (64 mm) of rain each month for the spring.

  • 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)