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

Should you visit Boone or New Bern?

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 New Bern 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. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for skiing, nightlife, and food.

New Bern

New Bern is a charming, laid back, and quaint town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. It's also popular because of the museums, food, and shopping.

Boone and New Bern: 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
  • Good for students
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Blue Ridge Parkway
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Boone or New Bern?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Boone than New Bern, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Boone is more touristy than New Bern and is popular for its proximity to great hiking, skiing, and small town charm. Also, Boone is famous for the Blue Ridge Parkway. New Bern is well known for being the birthplace of Pepsi.

How is Boone different from New Bern?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Boone or New Bern Better for Skiing?

Boone
New Bern

Boone is well known for winter skiing. However, New Bern is not a skiing destination.

Boone is an extremely popular place for snow skiing and other winter sports. 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.

New Bern is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Boone or New Bern?

Boone
New Bern

You'll find a number of notable museums and attractions in both New Bern and Boone.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Boone. 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.

New Bern is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Many visitors check out the Tryon Palace while they're in town. Other museums include the New Bern Fireman's Museum, the Carolina Creations Fine Art & Contemporary Craft Gallery, and the New Bern Academy Museum.

Is the Food Better in Boone or New Bern? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Boone
New Bern

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Boone and New Bern can be difficult as they are each notable 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.

New Bern offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are a number of local eateries, bistros, and cafes in town. You can sample southern favorites or something international. Popular dishes include fresh caught fish, crab cakes, and even tacos.

Is Boone or New Bern Better for Nightlife?

Boone
New Bern

Boone is well known for nightlife. However, New Bern is not particularly known for nightlife and partying.

Boone is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. 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.

New Bern doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. There are a couple of pubs and breweries around town.


Is Boone or New Bern Better for Hiking?

Boone
New Bern

Boone is well known for its hiking experiences. However, New Bern 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.

New Bern is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Boone or New Bern?

Boone
New Bern

Boone is well known for shopping. Also, New Bern is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping opportunities.

Boone is an extremely popular place for shoppers. 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.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting New Bern. There are local shops and boutiques that sell clothing, antiques, and gifts.

Is Boone or New Bern Better for Families?

Boone
New Bern

Boone is well known for its family-friendly activities. However, New Bern is not particularly known for its kid-friendly activities.

Boone is 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.

For families, New Bern is not always the best place to visit. Stand up paddle boarding and other outdoor activities are a fun way to experience the area with kids. You could also visit the New Bern Fireman's Museum, the Tryon Palace, or one of the parks around town.


Is Boone or New Bern Better for Couples?

Boone
New Bern

Boone is well known for romance. Also, New Bern is still popular, but not quite as popular for its romantic activities.

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.

New Bern makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The town's charm and quaint parks make this a nice weekend getaway. There are outdoor activities and the Tryon Palace which is nice to visit. There are also local restaurants around town.

Is Boone or New Bern Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Boone
New Bern

Boone is a popular place for backpackers. However, New Bern 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.

New Bern is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's not popular with backpackers in part because it's a small town that most people breeze through on their way to the beach.

Is Boone or New Bern Better for Students?

Boone
New Bern

Boone is an unbeatable place for students. However, New Bern is not popular with students.

Many students frequent 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.

New Bern is not popular with students.


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

Boone
New Bern

Boone is a town with a few options for its public transit. However, New Bern is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

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

Public transit is quite limited in New Bern. There's no real public transit in the area.

Is Boone or New Bern a more walkable city?

Boone
New Bern

Boone is well known for its walkability. Also, New Bern is still popular, but not quite as popular for its high level of walkability.

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

New Bern is a somewhat walkable place. The downtown area is walkable and nice to explore on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Boone Worth Visiting? and Is New Bern Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in New Bern or Boone?

How long in Boone or New Bern?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Boone or New Bern to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Boone than New Bern because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Boone, and 1-2 days is enough time in New Bern.

Families should spend more time in Boone than New Bern. 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 New Bern. 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 New Bern 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 New Bern? Ideal Length of Stay
    Boone 2-4 
    New Bern 1-2

One day in Boone or New Bern?

Boone is a small town where visitors enjoy the museums and skiing. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In New Bern, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this quaint small town 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 New Bern?

Boone is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Boone, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in New Bern. 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 New Bern?

Boone is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

New Bern is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the museums and food when visiting the small town destination of New Bern. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Boone or New Bern?

Boone is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.

You'll find food and shopping around the laid back small town of New Bern. 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, New Bern 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 New Bern is $140. 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 New Bern in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boone $91
    New Bern $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boone $182
    New Bern $152
Compare Hotels in Boone and New Bern

Looking for a hotel in Boone or New Bern? 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 New Bern


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 New Bern Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boone $33
    New Bern $34

Is it cheaper to fly into Boone or New Bern?

Prices for flights to both New Bern 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
    New Bern $41
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
    New Bern $26

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Boone $26
    New Bern $30


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Boone and New Bern, we can see that Boone is more expensive. And not only is New Bern much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to New Bern would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in New Bern 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 Boone would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Boone than you might in New Bern.

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


Which is Bigger, Boone or New Bern?

New Bern has a larger population, and is about 83% larger than the population of Boone. When comparing the sizes of Boone and New Bern, 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.