A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Boone vs. Vail for Skiing, Families, Couples, and Nightlife

Should you visit Boone or Vail?

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 Vail 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. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the nightlife, food, and hiking.

Vail

Vail is a resort-filled, charming, and picturesque ski town. With amazing attractions and sights, it's also a fun small town not to be missed. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. It's also popular because of the shopping, skiing, and nightlife.

Boone and Vail: 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
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
  • Home to the Vail Ski Resort


Is there more to do in Boone or Vail?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Vail. Although Boone and Vail are both popular with visitors, Vail has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Vail is more popular for its skiing, music, resorts, christmas markets, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere, while Boone is known for its museums. Vail is more touristy than Boone and is known for its world-class skiing, charming mountain town atmosphere, and adventurous outdoor activities. It is also home to The Vail Ski Resort. Boone is popular for its proximity to great hiking, skiing, and small town charm.

How is Boone different from Vail?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Boone or Vail Better for Skiing?

Boone
Vail

Vail is an amazing ski town to visit for skiing. Also, Boone is not as popular, but is still a nice town for snow skiing.

Vail is among the world's best ski destinations. This ski town has produced its share of Olympians. Vail is the third largest ski resort in the US and it has 31 lifts and 195 runs. There are five different bowls that offer beautiful views.

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.


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

Boone
Vail

Boone is a popular place for its historical sights. However, Vail does not have museums and landmarks.

Boone offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. 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.

Vail does not have museums and landmarks.

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

Boone
Vail

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Boone and Vail can be difficult as they are each good 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.

Vail offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The town has a diverse sampling of restaurants that include different ethnic options as well as taverns with comfort food. It's easy to find mountain-friendly restaurants where you can refuel during your ski vacation.

Is Boone or Vail Better for Nightlife?

Boone
Vail

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

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.

Vail offers plenty to do in the evening. Happy Hours start early, and then the partying can go late into the night. There are bars, lounges, breweries and live music that keep the atmosphere light and offer entertainment after your long day on the slopes. Do keep in mind that many places close or dramatically reduce their hours during the off-peak fall and spring months.


Is Boone or Vail Better for Music?

Boone
Vail

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

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Vail. You can often find live music at Shakedown Bar, Bridge Street Bar, and the Red Lion.

Boone is not a live music destination.

Is Boone or Vail Better for Resorts?

Boone
Vail

Vail is a great ski town for its luxury resorts. However, Boone is not a resort destination.

Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Vail. Designed as a resort town, Vail offers great accommodation. Nice resorts include Four Seasons Resort and Residences, the Ritz Carlton Club, and the Grand Hyatt.

Boone is not a resort destination.

Is Boone or Vail Better for Hiking?

Boone
Vail

You'll find great hiking in both Boone and Vail.

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.

Vail is a popular spot for hiking. During the warmer months, this resort town is surrounded by world-class hiking trails. You can enjoy the wildflowers, search for wildlife, or take in the sweeping mountain views. Popular hikes near Vail include Booth Falls, Davos Trail, and Shrine Ridge.


Is the Shopping Better in Boone or Vail?

Boone
Vail

If you're looking to go shopping, Boone and Vail both offer plenty of great 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.

Vail is an extremely popular place for shoppers. The cobblestone streets are lined with boutiques and ski shops that sell everything from evening dresses to outdoor gear. It's easy to pop into the many shops around downtown Vail and find anything you might need.

Is Boone or Vail Better for Christmas?

Boone
Vail

Vail is an amazing ski town to visit for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Boone does not offer Christmas activities.

People travel from all around to experience the Christmas season in Vail. The town is a winter wonderland during the holidays. Check out the iconic Christmas tree lighting and wander through the fairytale streets.

Boone does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Boone or Vail Better for Christmas Markets?

Boone
Vail

Vail is a great ski town for visiting Christmas markets. However, Boone does not offer Christmas markets.

The Christmas markets in Vail offer plenty to see during the holidays. The town's Christmas Market is picturesque, and the perfect place to pick up some unique gifts.

Boone does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Boone or Vail Better for Families?

Boone
Vail

Vail is an amazing ski town to visit for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Boone is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its family-friendly activities.

Vail is one of the most popular family destinations. With its world class skiing, rock climbing, ice skating, and ice cream, kids love this ski resort. The resort town has two terrain parks - Golden Peak and Avanti. Avanti is perfect for kids. It has small jumps, wide rails, and kid-friendly amenities. Golden Peak is designed for more advanced athletes. Vail also has nice beginner slopes that are great for kids.

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.

Is Boone or Vail Better for Couples?

Boone
Vail

Vail is an amazing ski town to visit for couples. Also, Boone is not as popular, but is still a nice town for romance.

For those traveling as a couple, Vail has plenty to offer. Couples who enjoy skiing and outdoor adventure will appreciate everything that this ski town has to offer. There are nice restaurants, beautiful gardens, and plenty of romantic activities to choose from.

Boone is a very popular place to visit for couples. 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.

Is Boone or Vail Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Boone
Vail

For backpackers, both Boone and Vail are good places to visit.

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.

It's common for backpackers to visit Vail. This ski town isn't completely closed off to budget travelers as there are a couple of hostels around town.


Is Boone or Vail Better for Students?

Boone
Vail

Boone is a must-visit destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Vail 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.

Vail is not popular with students.

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

Boone
Vail

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

While Vail offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There is a free bus service through the area.

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

Is Boone or Vail a more walkable city?

Boone
Vail

Vail is an amazing ski town to visit for its ease of walking around. Also, Boone is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its walkability.

Vail is a very easy ski town to get around on foot. The main downtown is pedestrian-only and perfect for popping in shops and restaurants.

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


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

Should I spend more time in Vail or Boone?

How long in Boone or Vail?

Both Boone and Vail have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Vail than in Boone. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Boone, and 3-7 days is enough time in Vail.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Vail than Boone 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 Vail.


  • How many days in Boone or Vail? Ideal Length of Stay
    Boone 2-4 
    Vail 3-7

One day in Boone or Vail?

Boone is a small town where visitors enjoy the skiing and nightlife. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

In Vail, many people enjoy the nightlife and live music that this vibrant small town offers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Lots of people come for the skiing. This ski 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 Vail?

Boone is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Vail. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Boone or Vail?

Boone is a small town, so you can explore the area with less time. This town offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Vail is a fun place to experience. In Vail, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this quaint small town offers. Lots of people come for the skiing. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A week in Boone or Vail?

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. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week 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.

In Vail, many people enjoy the shopping and skiing that this scenic small town offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the skiing. One week is often enough time to do most activities.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, and The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Vail 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 Vail is $291. 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 Vail in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boone $91
    Vail $174
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boone $182
    Vail $348
Compare Hotels in Boone and Vail

Looking for a hotel in Boone or Vail? 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 Vail


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 Vail Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boone $33
    Vail $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Vail

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

  • Private Eagle County / Vail Airport Transfer to Vail: $299
  • Private Eagle County Regional / Vail Airport Transfer to Beaver Creek: $299
  • Avon/Vail Valley to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer : $236
  • EGE Airport Roundtrip Transfer to Vail, Beaver Creek, and Avon: $228
  • Vail/Beaver Creek/Avon to Denver Airport DEN - Departure Transfer: $217
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Vail Airport EGE: $156
  • Eagle County Airport to Steamboat - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $152
  • Eagle Airport (EGE) to Glenwood Resorts Round-Trip Transfer: $152
  • Private Departure Transfer to Vail Airport EGE: $128
  • Eagle County Airport to Steamboat Springs-Round-Trip Transfer: $119
  • Eagle County Regional (EGE) to Steamboat Springs-Arrival Transfer: $119
  • Vail/Beaver Creek/Avon to Eagle County Airport-Departure Transfer: $114

Is it cheaper to fly into Boone or Vail?

Prices for flights to both Vail 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
    Vail $74
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
    Vail $133

Tours and Activities in Vail

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

  • Avon Segway Tour: $89
  • Bike Tour or Mountain Bike down Vail Mountain: $120
  • Dillon Marina & Shopping Tour: $267
  • Save the Mountain Escape Room Adventure: $45
  • Smartphone Driving Tour between Denver & Vail / Breckenridge: $7.99
  • Vail Segway Tour from Vail Village: $89

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Boone $26
    Vail $9.79


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

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


Which is Bigger, Boone or Vail?

Boone has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Vail. When comparing the sizes of Boone and Vail, 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.