A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Boone vs. Chapel Hill for Attractions, Nightlife, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Boone or Chapel Hill?

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 Boone and Chapel Hill can help you decide which place is right for you.

Boone

Boone is a quaint, picturesque, and charming town. As this is a charming small town, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include food, hiking, and shopping.

Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is a student-oriented, collegiate, and southern town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Boone and Chapel Hill: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Blue Ridge Parkway
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Boone or Chapel Hill?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Boone. Although Boone and Chapel Hill are popular destinations, Boone has more sights and attractions for tourists. Boone is very popular for its skiing, hiking, shopping, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while Chapel Hill attracts visitors for its museums. Boone is more touristy than Chapel Hill and is popular for its proximity to great hiking, skiing, and small town charm. It is also well known for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Chapel Hill is famous for being the home of the oldest public university in the United States.

How is Boone different from Chapel Hill?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Chapel Hill and Boone. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Boone or Chapel Hill Better for Skiing?

Boone
Chapel Hill

Boone is well known for winter skiing. However, Chapel Hill is not a skiing destination.

Boone is a well-known ski destination which attracts visitors from far and wide. It's a very popular ski destination in North Carolina. There are family-friendly slopes as well as more challenging options. Head to the popular Appalachian Ski Mountain, nearby Beech Mountain, or Sugar Mountain for some of the area's best skiing.

Chapel Hill is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Boone or Chapel Hill?

Boone
Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is a great town for its historical sights. Also, Boone is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its sights and museums.

Many visitors head to Chapel Hill specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Many of the museums are affiliated with UNC. A highlight of many trips is a visit to the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. Hours can vary, so check the schedule ahead of time. Also worth visiting are the Ackland Art Museum and the Carolina Basketball Museum.

Boone is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Most people spend the majority of their time exploring the natural beauty, but there are also several small local museums such as the Banner House Museum.

Is the Food Better in Boone or Chapel Hill? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Boone
Chapel Hill

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Boone and Chapel Hill can be difficult as they are each nice in their own way.

Boone is becoming an appealing option for foodies. You'll find farm to table restaurants, local cafes, and all of the standard chain restaurants nearby. Check for a High Country Grown certification if you want to prioritize locally sourced ingredients.

Chapel Hill offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. Students often eat on Franklin Street, which has a diverse mix of casual and slightly nicer restaurants. You'll find Indian food, Mediterranean, Italian, and Greek. The city also has excellent barbecue and other southern favorites.

Is Boone or Chapel Hill Better for Nightlife?

Boone
Chapel Hill

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find great options in both Boone and Chapel Hill.

The nightlife in Boone has something for everybody. It's a small town, but there are local breweries and a great nightlife scene that is, in large part, influenced by the large student population.

Chapel Hill offers plenty to do in the evening. Most of the nightlife is centered around the student population. Franklin Street has a number of bars where students hang out. There are also parties hosted by fraternities and sororities. Things are quieter during the summer months when students are mostly gone.


Is Boone or Chapel Hill Better for Hiking?

Boone
Chapel Hill

Boone is well known for its hiking experiences. However, Chapel Hill is not a hiking destination.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Boone. The area is filled with wonderful hikes, particularly around Grandfather Mountain and along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The famed Appalachian Trail passes through the area as well. Many hikes take you through beautiful forests, passed dramatic waterfalls, and to breathtaking viewpoints.

Chapel Hill is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Boone or Chapel Hill?

Boone
Chapel Hill

Boone is well known for its shopping areas. Also, Chapel Hill is still popular, but not quite as popular for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Boone. Wander along King Street for some of the town's best shopping. There are independent vendors and antique shops that are fun to pop into. The town is also known for its farmer's markets.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Chapel Hill. There are a mix of local shops, larger shopping centers, and suburban malls. There are also weekly farmer's markets that are fun to check out.

Is Boone or Chapel Hill Better for Families?

Boone
Chapel Hill

Boone is well known for its family-friendly activities. Also, Chapel Hill is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Boone is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. Near town you'll find kid-friendly hikes, such as Linville Falls. There are also several places where kids can go ziplining or rock climbing. Parks and outdoor activities are abundant and the whole family will enjoy the setting.

Chapel Hill offers lots of family activities. You can wander around the UNC campus or visit one of the museums affiliated with the school. This includes a planetarium that has regular shows and movies (The Morehead Planetarium and Science Center). There are also science exhibits geared specifically towards kids.


Is Boone or Chapel Hill Better for Couples?

Boone
Chapel Hill

Boone is well known for couples. Also, Chapel Hill is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Couples visit Boone frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. The charming town has a romantic setting with local restaurants, beautiful hikes, and plenty of shopping. Couples enjoy staying at bed and breakfasts and enjoying the quaint atmosphere.

Chapel Hill is a nice destination for couples. There's an eclectic mix of restaurants on Franklin Street. Couples will also enjoy exploring the campus at UNC, visiting the botanical garden, or checking out one of the town's museums.

Is Boone or Chapel Hill Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Boone
Chapel Hill

Boone is a popular place for backpackers. However, Chapel Hill is not particularly known for backpackers and budget travelers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Boone. While there aren't many hostels in the area, there are plenty of campgrounds. The nearby Appalachian State University also ensures that there are plenty of fun activities for young visitors.

Chapel Hill is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There is a young population thanks to the university, but there's little else to attract backpackers.

Is Boone or Chapel Hill Better for Students?

Boone
Chapel Hill

For students, both Boone and Chapel Hill are world-class places to visit.

Students come from all over the world to visit Boone. This mountain town offers a great setting for students who enjoy hiking and skiing. Appalachian State University is a fun college with plenty of activities going on.

Chapel Hill is a great destination for students. It's a quintessential college town. UNC has a nice campus and Franklin Street is the main spot for restaurants and shopping. Most of the students live near or on campus, but once you head further out things get more suburban.


Is Boone or Chapel Hill Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Boone
Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is very good for times when you don't have a car. However, Boone is not known for its public transit.

While Chapel Hill offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There are bus routes that operate between Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Public transit is generally limited in Boone. You really need a car to make the most of your time.

Is Boone or Chapel Hill a more walkable city?

Boone
Chapel Hill

Boone is well known for its ease of walking around. Also, Chapel Hill is still popular, but not quite as popular for its walkability.

Boone is a very walkable destination. Head to King Street for the best shopping and the most pedestrian-friendly part of town.

Chapel Hill is somewhat walkable. The area around UNC is the most walkable part of town. Elsewhere things are very suburban and you'll need a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Boone Worth Visiting? and Is Chapel Hill Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Chapel Hill or Boone?

How long in Boone or Chapel Hill?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Boone and Chapel Hill. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Boone than in Chapel Hill. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Boone, and 1-3 days is enough time in Chapel Hill.

Families should spend more time in Boone than Chapel Hill. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Boone, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Boone than Chapel Hill. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Boone that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Boone than Chapel Hill if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Boone.


  • How many days in Boone or Chapel Hill? Ideal Length of Stay
    Boone 2-4 
    Chapel Hill 1-3

One day in Boone or Chapel Hill?

Boone is a small town with plenty to do. Hikers are also drawn to this area. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

In Chapel Hill, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this collegiate destination offers. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.


A weekend in Boone or Chapel Hill?

Boone might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This town offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chapel Hill. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Boone or Chapel Hill?

Because Boone is a small town, it's easy to explore in a short amount of time. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Chapel Hill is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Chapel Hill. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Boone or Chapel Hill?

Since Boone is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find food and shopping around the student-oriented destination of Chapel Hill. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Camping Tours in United States of America, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in United States of America, The Best Polar Tours & Cruises in United States of America, and The Best Walking Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Chapel Hill or Boone?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Boone is $173, while the average daily cost in Chapel Hill is $164. 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 Boone and Chapel Hill in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boone $91
    Chapel Hill $95
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boone $182
    Chapel Hill $190
Compare Hotels in Boone and Chapel Hill

Looking for a hotel in Boone or Chapel Hill? 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 Boone


Hotels in Chapel Hill


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: Boone Hotel Prices and Chapel Hill Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boone $33
    Chapel Hill $34

Is it cheaper to fly into Boone or Chapel Hill?

Prices for flights to both Chapel Hill and Boone 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Boone $53
    Chapel Hill $49
Typical Food Prices in Boone

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Boone:


  • Restaurant Lunch for 2
    $20

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boone $53
    Chapel Hill $17

Tours and Activities in Chapel Hill

Here are a few actual costs in Chapel Hill for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Chapel Hill Historic Churches Tour: $16
  • Chapel Hill, NC: Murder Mystery Detective Experience: $15
  • Coastal Excursion/Sunset Cruise/Sand Dollars/Sea Shells/Horses: $225
  • Morning Aerial Adventure Adult Course from Riegelwood: $55

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Boone $26
    Chapel Hill $40

Sample the Local Flavors in Chapel Hill

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

  • Wacky Fayetteville Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12


When comparing the travel costs between Boone and Chapel Hill, we can see that Boone is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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


Which is Bigger, Boone or Chapel Hill?

Chapel Hill has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Boone. When comparing the sizes of Boone and Chapel Hill, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.