Should you visit Boise or Columbia River Gorge?
Should I visit Boise or Columbia River Gorge? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
The capital of the U.S. state of Idaho, Boise is an urban center with the adventure of the outdoors just a step away. The metropolis itself has an active arts community and a lively downtown filled with shops and restaurants. Boise is a regional hub for jazz, theater, and indie music, hosting musical festivals throughout the year and several theater groups that operate in the city. There is even a Department of Arts and History that was created with the goal of promoting the arts, culture, and history of the city among its residents and visitors.
Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge is a popular destination in the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. The region's close proximity to Portland, which is just 30 minutes away, makes it a popular weekend destination.
The gorge is formed by the Columbia River, with an 80 mile stretch designated as a National Scenic Area. The area has many beautiful cliffs with a number of tall waterfalls and its protected status means that most new development must occur within one of the already established towns.
Which city is cheaper, Columbia River Gorge or Boise?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Boise is $116, while the average daily cost in Columbia River Gorge is $143. 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 Boise and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $120 in Boise For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
A hotel room in Columbia River Gorge is about $142 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Columbia River Gorge $71
Typical double-occupancy room
Columbia River Gorge
Boise food costs typically run travelers around $36 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
The average traveler spends about $37 per day in Columbia River Gorge for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Meals for one day
Columbia River Gorge $37
Typical Food prices in Boise
For Boise, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Boise
For Boise, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Vegan Food Tour Experience in Boise:
Boise'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 $27 per person, per day on transportation in Boise.
The cost of a taxi ride in Columbia River Gorge is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $62 per person, per day, on local transportation in Columbia River Gorge.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Boise
Also for Boise, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Boise Air Terminal Airport One Way Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Boise or Columbia River Gorge?
Prices for flights to both Columbia River Gorge and Boise 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 Boise can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $24 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Entertainment and activities in Columbia River Gorge typically cost an average of $16 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Typical Entertainment prices in Boise
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Boise's activities, tours, and tickets:
Tours and Activities in Boise
For Boise, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Boise Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
Sunday Brunch Tour in Downtown Boise:
Culinary and Cultural Tour of Boise:
Boise Booze and Bites Cocktail Tour:
Typically, people visiting Boise spend on average $19 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
The average person spends about $9.49 on alcoholic beverages in Columbia River Gorge per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Boise and Columbia River Gorge, we can see that Columbia River Gorge is more expensive. And not only is Boise much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Boise would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Boise 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 Columbia River Gorge would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Columbia River Gorge than you might in Boise.
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