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

Should you visit Boone or Winston-Salem?

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 Winston-Salem can help you decide which place is right for you.

Boone

Boone is a charming, relaxing, and quaint town. This is a great small town that is just waiting to be explored. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include food, hiking, and shopping.

Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem is a friendly, under-rated, and welcoming city. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Boone and Winston-Salem: 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
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less popular for students
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Boone or Winston-Salem?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Boone. Although Boone and Winston-Salem 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 Winston-Salem attracts visitors for its historical sights. Boone is more touristy than Winston-Salem and is popular for its proximity to great hiking, skiing, and small town charm. It is also well known for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Winston-Salem is famous for it's southern character and quaint college campuses.

How is Boone different from Winston-Salem?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Boone or Winston-Salem Better for Skiing?

Boone
Winston-Salem

Boone is notable for snow skiing. However, Winston-Salem 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.

Winston-Salem is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Boone or Winston-Salem?

Boone
Winston-Salem

You'll find a number of nice museums and attractions in both Winston-Salem 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.

Winston-Salem is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Old Salem has a nice concentration of museums and gardens. Outside of the old town you'll find several art museums like the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art.

Is the Food Better in Boone or Winston-Salem? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Boone
Winston-Salem

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Boone and Winston-Salem 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.

Winston-Salem offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. North Carolina barbecue is popular around town. The city is also the birthplace of Krispy Kreme donuts and during the holiday season you should sample the local Moravian Cookies.

Is Boone or Winston-Salem Better for Nightlife?

Boone
Winston-Salem

Boone is notable for its evening party scene. Also, Winston-Salem is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

Boone has plenty to do after the sun goes down. 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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Winston-Salem. Local breweries are popping up around town. You'll also find active nightlife venues near the colleges and universities.


Is Boone or Winston-Salem Better for its Old Town?

Boone
Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem is very good for its historic old town charm. However, Boone does not have a historic old town.

Winston-Salem has an old town worth visiting. Nearby Old Salem is filled with historic museums, gardens, and restaurants. A ticket is required for most of the venues, but the atmosphere and architecture are charming.

Boone does not have a historic old town.

Is Boone or Winston-Salem Better for Hiking?

Boone
Winston-Salem

Boone is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Winston-Salem is not a hiking destination.

Boone is a popular spot for hiking. 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.

Winston-Salem is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Boone or Winston-Salem?

Boone
Winston-Salem

Boone is notable for its shopping areas. Also, Winston-Salem is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit 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 Winston-Salem. You'll find a mix of larger shopping malls, retail outlets, and shopping centers around town.


Is Boone or Winston-Salem Better for Families?

Boone
Winston-Salem

Boone is notable for its family-friendly activities. Also, Winston-Salem is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit 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.

Winston-Salem is a family-friendly town. There are interactive museums like the Kaleideum science museums. There are also outdoor parks and playgrounds, kid-friendly restaurants, and a children's theater.

Is Boone or Winston-Salem Better for Couples?

Boone
Winston-Salem

Boone is notable for couples. However, Winston-Salem is a mediocre city for romance.

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.

Winston-Salem is not the best destination for a couple to visit. There are restaurants and movie theaters that make for a nice date night. There are also parks and walks that will get you outdoors.

Is Boone or Winston-Salem Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Boone
Winston-Salem

Boone is a popular place for backpackers. However, Winston-Salem is a mediocre city 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.

Winston-Salem is not the best destination for backpackers and budget travelers due to its high prices. It's not on the itinerary for most backpackers.


Is Boone or Winston-Salem Better for Students?

Boone
Winston-Salem

Boone is renowned for students. Also, Winston-Salem is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit 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.

Plenty of students visit Winston-Salem. Wake Forest University as well as colleges such as Salem College give parts of the city a collegiate vibe.

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

Boone
Winston-Salem

Boone and Winston-Salem 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 Winston-Salem. There are bus routes, but they are limited in their frequency and convenience, making a car essential for most visitors.

Is Boone or Winston-Salem a more walkable city?

Boone
Winston-Salem

Boone is notable for its ease of walking around. However, Winston-Salem is a mediocre city 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.

Winston-Salem is generally not a very walkable town. The downtown area is the most pedestrian-friendly part of town, but most of the city requires a car.


For even more information, also check out Is Boone Worth Visiting? and Is Winston-Salem Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Winston-Salem or Boone?

How long in Boone or Winston-Salem?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Boone or Winston-Salem to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Boone than Winston-Salem 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 Winston-Salem.

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

One day in Boone or Winston-Salem?

Even though Boone is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

In Winston-Salem, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this friendly destination offers. This city 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 Winston-Salem?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Boone. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Winston-Salem. 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 Winston-Salem?

Boone is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. 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.

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


A week in Boone or Winston-Salem?

Boone is a small town, so you can explore the area with less time. 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. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

You'll find food and shopping around the friendly destination of Winston-Salem. 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, Winston-Salem 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 Winston-Salem is $150. 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 Winston-Salem in more detail.



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

Looking for a hotel in Boone or Winston-Salem? 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 Winston-Salem


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 Winston-Salem Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boone $33
    Winston-Salem $23

Is it cheaper to fly into Boone or Winston-Salem?

Prices for flights to both Winston-Salem 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
    Winston-Salem $42
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
    Winston-Salem $20

Tours and Activities in Winston-Salem

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Winston-Salem are as follows:

  • Carolina History & Haunts Winston-Salem Historical Ghost Tour: $26
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Winston-Salem by Wacky Walks: $10

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Boone $26
    Winston-Salem $24


When comparing the travel costs between Boone and Winston-Salem, 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 Winston-Salem Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Boone or Winston-Salem?

Winston-Salem has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Boone. When comparing the sizes of Boone and Winston-Salem, 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.