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

Should you visit Boone or Raleigh?

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 Raleigh 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.

Raleigh

Raleigh is a student-friendly, suburban-style, and friendly city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Boone and Raleigh: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Boone or Raleigh?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Boone. Although Boone and Raleigh are popular destinations, Boone has more sights and attractions for tourists. Boone is very popular for its skiing, nightlife, hiking, shopping, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while Raleigh attracts visitors for its big city activities. Boone is more touristy than Raleigh and is popular for its proximity to great hiking, skiing, and small town charm. It is also well known for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Raleigh is famous for its many museums and being the home to North Carolina State University.

How is Boone different from Raleigh?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Boone or Raleigh Better for Skiing?

Boone
Raleigh

Boone is well known for winter skiing. However, Raleigh 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.

Raleigh is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Boone or Raleigh?

Boone
Raleigh

You'll find a number of nice museums and attractions in both Raleigh 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.

Raleigh is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. As the state capital, there are a number of free museums in the area. There are also some kid-friendly options and other activities that are affiliated with the colleges and universities. Popular options include the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (free), the NC Museum of History (free), the NC Museum of Art (free), and Marbles Kids Museum.

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

Boone
Raleigh

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Boone and Raleigh 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.

Raleigh offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. In addition to the standard chain restaurants, you'll find a number of local eateries with great southern dishes. Try some southern classics like barbecue, pimento cheese, and fried chicken and waffles. There are also good international options including Nepalese, Laotian, and Ethiopian flavors.

Is Boone or Raleigh Better for Nightlife?

Boone
Raleigh

Boone is well known for its evening party scene. Also, Raleigh is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife.

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.

If you're looking for night time activities Raleigh has a few options to choose from. Head to downtown Raleigh or the areas around NC State University for some of the best nightlife. Trivia nights and happy hours are popular and you'll find breweries popping up in many places.


Is Boone or Raleigh Better for Hiking?

Boone
Raleigh

Boone is well known for its hiking experiences. However, Raleigh 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.

Raleigh is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Boone or Raleigh?

Boone
Raleigh

Boone is well known for its shopping areas. However, Raleigh is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

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.

Raleigh is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Boone or Raleigh Better for Families?

Boone
Raleigh

Boone is well known for its family-friendly activities. Also, Raleigh 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.

Raleigh offers lots of family activities. For such a small city, Raleigh has a number of unique kid-friendly activities like the popular Pullen Park and Marbles Kids' Museum. Pullen Park has small rides and a playground that are perfect for young kids. There's also the NC Museum of Natural History which is free and fun to explore with kids.


Is Boone or Raleigh Better for Couples?

Boone
Raleigh

Boone is well known for couples. However, Raleigh is not particularly known 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.

Raleigh is not the best destination for a couple to visit. While it's often overlooked by couples who want a weekend away, there are a number of museums and some nice restaurants to explore.

Is Boone or Raleigh Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Boone
Raleigh

Boone is a popular place for backpackers. However, Raleigh is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

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.

Raleigh is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

Is Boone or Raleigh Better for Students?

Boone
Raleigh

Boone is very popular for students. Also, Raleigh is still popular, but not quite as popular for its student-friendly activities.

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.

Raleigh is very popular with students. The city has a diverse student population with many nearby universities and colleges.


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

Boone
Raleigh

Boone is a town with a few options for its public transit. However, Raleigh 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 Raleigh. The city's public transportation options are limited to a few bus lines that are mostly used by students.

Is Boone or Raleigh a more walkable city?

Boone
Raleigh

Boone is well known for its ease of walking around. However, Raleigh is not particularly known 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.

Raleigh is generally not a very walkable town. The city is somewhat walkable in the downtown area, but everywhere else you'll need a car.

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

Should I spend more time in Raleigh or Boone?

How long in Boone or Raleigh?

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

Families should spend more time in Boone than Raleigh. 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 Raleigh. 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 Raleigh 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 Raleigh? Ideal Length of Stay
    Boone 2-4 
    Raleigh 2-3

One day in Boone or Raleigh?

Boone is a small town with plenty to do. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

In Raleigh, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this southern destination offers. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.


A weekend in Boone or Raleigh?

Boone might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Boone has to offer.

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

Boone is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

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

A week in Boone or Raleigh?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Boone. Since Boone is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

You'll find nightlife and food around the southern destination of Raleigh. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


Which place is cheaper, Raleigh 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 Raleigh is $189. 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 Raleigh in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boone $91
    Raleigh $104
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boone $182
    Raleigh $208
Compare Hotels in Boone and Raleigh

Looking for a hotel in Boone or Raleigh? 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 Raleigh


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 Raleigh Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boone $33
    Raleigh $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Raleigh

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Raleigh:

  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) to Durham - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $126
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) to Raleigh - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $119
  • Durham to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $63
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) to Durham - Arrival Private Transfer: $63
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) to Raleigh Arrival Private Transfer: $60
  • Raleigh to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Boone or Raleigh?

Prices for flights to both Raleigh 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
    Raleigh $57
Typical Food Prices in Boone

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


  • Restaurant Lunch for 2
    $20

Typical Food Prices in Raleigh

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Raleigh:


  • The Pit Authentic BBQ (for 3)
    $84

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Raleigh

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

  • Private Cooking Class in Durham with an Expert Home Cook: $104

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boone $53
    Raleigh $37

Tours and Activities in Raleigh

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

  • Carolina Hurricanes Ice Hockey Game Ticket at PNC Arena: $58
  • Crime Solving Detective Experience Chapel Hill: $15
  • Private Pedicab Tour of Downtown Raleigh: $60
  • Raleigh African American History Tour: $13
  • Raleigh Downtown: Historic Walking Tours: $16
  • Raleigh Ghost and Urban Legend Tour: $16
  • Raleigh Ghosts and Ghouls Hauntings Tour: $30
  • Raleigh Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Raleigh True Crime Tour: $16
  • Ghosts and Ghouls Hauntings Walking Tour: $26
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Durham by Wacky Walks: $10

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Boone $26
    Raleigh $27


When comparing the travel costs between Boone and Raleigh, we can see that Raleigh 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 Raleigh Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Boone or Raleigh?

Raleigh has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Boone. When comparing the sizes of Boone and Raleigh, 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.