A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Boone vs. Santa Fe for Skiing, Food, Nightlife, and Hiking

Should you visit Boone or Santa Fe?

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 Santa Fe can help you decide which place is right for you.

Boone

Boone is a picturesque, charming, and relaxing town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, skiing, and nightlife.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a charming, artsy, and cultural historic town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. It's also popular because of the museums, skiing, and live music.

Boone and Santa Fe: 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 for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less popular for students


Is there more to do in Boone or Santa Fe?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Santa Fe. Although Boone and Santa Fe are popular destinations, Santa Fe has more sights and attractions for tourists. Santa Fe is very popular for its food, music, historical sights, and quaint atmosphere, while Boone attracts visitors for its skiing, nightlife, hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Boone is more touristy than Santa Fe and is known for its proximity to great hiking, skiing, and small town charm. Santa Fe is famous for its strong arts scene, its Pueblo-style architecture, and its unique local cuisine. It is also well known for The Museum of New Mexico Complex.

How is Boone different from Santa Fe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Boone or Santa Fe Better for Skiing?

Boone
Santa Fe

Boone is a great town for skiing. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for snow skiing.

Boone draws a large crowd in the winter for its impressive snow skiing opportunities. 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.

Santa Fe is a great destination for skiing with plenty areas to explore. There are a few good ski resorts not far from Santa Fe. Popular options include Taos Ski Valley, Ski Santa Fe, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, and Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Boone or Santa Fe?

Boone
Santa Fe

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

Santa Fe is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Head to the Museum of New Mexico Complex, which has four museums that give a great overview of the history of the area. Also make sure you visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

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

Boone
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a great historic town for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Boone is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Santa Fe has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. There are many local restaurants that use regional ingredients and offer great flavors. There are also cafes and bistros where you can enjoy breakfast or brunch. Local dishes include sopaipillas made with Native American fry bread, slow-cooked beans, and anything made with red and green chili peppers.

Boone offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. 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.

Is Boone or Santa Fe Better for Nightlife?

Boone
Santa Fe

Boone is a great town for its evening party scene. However, Santa Fe is not known for nightlife.

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.

Most people don't head to Santa Fe specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. While most of the town quiets down at night, the city has a few areas that stay active late into the night. Live music is popular and diverse. It often includes different genres such as the blues, country, salsa or bluegrass.


Is Boone or Santa Fe Better for Music?

Boone
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is very good for its music scene. However, Boone is not a live music destination.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Santa Fe. The town has an eclectic music scene that includes a mix of the blues, country, Latin American music, and bluegrass.

Boone is not a live music destination.

Is Boone or Santa Fe Better for its Old Town?

Boone
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a great historic town for its historic old town charm. However, Boone does not have a historic old town.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Santa Fe. As the 2nd oldest city in the United States, the old town historic district is filled with charm. The Pueblo-style buildings are brightly colored and there are churches throughout.

Boone does not have a historic old town.

Is Boone or Santa Fe Better for Hiking?

Boone
Santa Fe

Boone is a great town for hiking. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for the nearby hiking options.

Many visitors go to Boone for the hiking trails. 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.

Santa Fe has hiking trails worth exploring. Because it's located right by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, there are many beautiful hikes right outside of town. Popular trails include the Picacho Peak Trail and the Nambe Lake Trail. Bandelier National also has many places to hike.


Is the Shopping Better in Boone or Santa Fe?

Boone
Santa Fe

If you're looking to go shopping, Boone and Santa Fe both offer plenty of very good spots.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas 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.

Santa Fe is an extremely popular place for shoppers. There are many unique shops and art galleries that feature local artists and craftsmen.

Is Boone or Santa Fe Better for Families?

Boone
Santa Fe

Boone is a great town for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Boone. 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.

Santa Fe is a family-friendly place to visit. There are a few kids' museums in Santa Fe including the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Meow Wolf Art Complex. Kids also enjoy the botanical gardens at Museum Hill and Bandelier National Monument just outside of the city.

Is Boone or Santa Fe Better for Couples?

Boone
Santa Fe

Boone is a great town for couples. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for romance.

Boone is a great town if you're traveling as a couple. 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.

Santa Fe is a nice destination for couples. There are many romantic inns around town, each with a lot of character. The town also has a lot of atmosphere that makes for a romantic getaway.


Is Boone or Santa Fe Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Boone
Santa Fe

Boone is very good for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Santa Fe is not known for backpackers.

Boone is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. 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.

Santa Fe is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There's a hostel in town as well as several campgrounds.

Is Boone or Santa Fe Better for Students?

Boone
Santa Fe

Boone is an unbeatable place for its student-friendly activities. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for students.

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.

Santa Fe is a good town to visit for students. There are a few colleges and universities in town and students will appreciate the reasonable cost of living and outdoor activities nearby.

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

Boone
Santa Fe

Boone and Santa Fe both offer reasonable public transit to get you around.

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

Public transit is generally limited in Santa Fe. There is a bus system - the Santa Fe Trails Bus Service.


Is Boone or Santa Fe a more walkable city?

Boone
Santa Fe

Boone and Santa Fe are very good when it comes to walkability.

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

Santa Fe is very walkable. The historic district is walkable and it's easy to visit most of the tourist sights in this area on foot.

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

Should I spend more time in Santa Fe or Boone?

How long in Boone or Santa Fe?

In either Boone or Santa Fe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Santa Fe than Boone because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Boone, and 2-5 days is enough time in Santa Fe.

Families should spend more time in Boone than Santa Fe. 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 Santa Fe. 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 Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe? Ideal Length of Stay
    Boone 2-4 
    Santa Fe 2-5

One day in Boone or Santa Fe?

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 Santa Fe, many people enjoy the live music and food that this artsy destination offers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. This historic town 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 Santa Fe?

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 Santa Fe. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. 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 Santa Fe?

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.

Santa Fe is a fun place to experience. In Santa Fe, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this destination offers. Visiting the old town is also a must. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A week in Boone or Santa Fe?

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 museums and skiing around the charming destination of Santa Fe. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. 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, Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe is $159. 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 Santa Fe in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boone $91
    Santa Fe $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boone $182
    Santa Fe $162
Compare Hotels in Boone and Santa Fe

Looking for a hotel in Boone or Santa Fe? 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 Santa Fe


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 Santa Fe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boone $33
    Santa Fe $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Fe

Also for Santa Fe, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Departure Transfer to Santa Fe Airport SAF: $125
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Santa Fe Airport (SAF): $62

Is it cheaper to fly into Boone or Santa Fe?

Prices for flights to both Santa Fe 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
    Santa Fe $43
Typical Food Prices in Boone

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


  • Restaurant Lunch for 2
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Fe

For Santa Fe, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • New Mexican Flavors Food Tour of the Santa Fe Plaza: $184
  • Santa Fe Farmers Market & Railyard Food Tour: $184
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Railyard Arts District: $189
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Downtown Plaza 'Sip & Savor': $209
  • Downtown Plaza "Sip and Savor" Half-day Food Tour: $209
  • Savor Wine Pairing Dinner: $228

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boone $53
    Santa Fe $17

Tours and Activities in Santa Fe

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Santa Fe.

  • 2 Hour Pottery Experience (Wheel or Hand-Building): $160
  • 2-Hour Photography Class While Touring Downtown Santa Fe, Smart Phones Welcome!: $85
  • A Walking Tour of Santa Fe's Most Beautiful and Historic Sites: $217
  • Canyon Road Art & History Walking Tour: $70
  • Downtown Santa Fe Walking Wine & Tapas Tour: $149
  • Enchanted Eats of Santa Fe Half-Day Tour: $962
  • Explore Santa Fe's Old Town & the Museum of Art: Private Tour: $195
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Santa Fe, NM: $15
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Walking Tour in Santa Fe: $70
  • Plaza Sip, Savor, & History Walking Tour in Santa Fe: $119
  • Private Canyon Road Art & History Walking Tour: $138
  • Railyard Sip, Savor, & History Walking Tour in Santa Fe: $119

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Boone $26
    Santa Fe $9.68

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Fe

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

  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery Tour and Tasting: $18
  • Architectural Walking Tour & Wine Tasting: $135


When comparing the travel costs between Boone and Santa Fe, 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 Santa Fe Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Boone or Santa Fe?

Santa Fe has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Boone. When comparing the sizes of Boone and Santa Fe, 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.