A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Boston vs. Rapid City for Attractions, Families, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Boston or Rapid City?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Boston and Rapid City. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Boston

Boston is a proud, loyal, and historic city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. Visitors also love the live music, food, and shopping.

Rapid City

Rapid City is a fascinating, activity-filled, and friendly city. It's also known for food, hiking, and shopping.

Boston and Rapid City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Freedom Trail
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Home to Mount Rushmore
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Boston or Rapid City?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Boston than Rapid City. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Boston is very popular for its theatre productions, food, nightlife, music, beaches, historical sights, christmas markets, big city activities, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Rapid City attracts visitors for its hiking. Boston is famous for its enthusiastic sports fans, influential history, beautiful parks, and world-class universities. It is also well known for The Freedom Trail. Rapid City is famous for its proximity to Mount Rushmore and many other iconic parks.

How is Boston different from Rapid City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Boston or Rapid City?

Boston
Rapid City

Both Boston and Rapid City have first-rate landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Boston that are not to be missed. The city itself feels like a living museum. It is famous for Faneuil Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, the USS Constitution, as well as the many sites along the Freedom Trail. There are also many museums on the campuses of the world renowned universities in the city.

The museums and tourist attractions in Rapid City are world-renowned. You'll find a wide variety of museums and landmarks nearby. Popular places to visit that aren't far from town include the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, the South Dakota Air & Space Museum, and the Journey Museum & Learning Center. There's also the Museum of Geology and the National Presidential Wax Museum. And of course, there's the iconic Mount Rushmore.


Is Boston or Rapid City Better for Theater?

Boston
Rapid City

Boston is a very popular place for its theatre productions. However, Rapid City is not a theatre destination.

Boston has a number of performance venues where you can see a variety of shows. The city has many historic, beautifully restored theaters where you can enjoy a show. Head to the theater district for some of the most famous venues.

Rapid City is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Boston or Rapid City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Boston
Rapid City

Boston is a very popular place for its restaurants. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Boston has a huge number of terrific restaurants. There are many local dishes that utilize fresh caught seafood and comfort food flavors. The cuisine also takes advantage of the city's Italian and Irish populations. Famous local foods include New England Clam Chowder, lobster rolls, and baked beans. You'll find hearty sandwiches and filling meals that warm your soul.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Rapid City area. You'll find local restaurants in town that serve local specialties such as chislic (grilled meat), fry bread, and walleye (a local fish.

Is Boston or Rapid City Better for Nightlife?

Boston
Rapid City

Boston is a very popular place for nightlife and partying. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its evening party scene.

Boston has a large number of nightlife venues. The city is known for its breweries, craft beer, and vibrant university neighborhoods. It also hosts regular outdoor movies and world class sporting events. The nightlife scene is varied, with some areas catering to the student population and other areas focused on the professional or sport-loving crowds.

Rapid City is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. You'll find some places with live music and good drinks, but the city isn't really known for its nightlife scene.


Is Boston or Rapid City Better for Music?

Boston
Rapid City

Boston is very good for its live music scene. However, Rapid City is not a live music destination.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Boston. Popular music venues include Lizard Lounge, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, and The Middle East.

Rapid City is not a live music destination.

Is Boston or Rapid City Better for Beaches?

Boston
Rapid City

Boston is a decent place to visit for the beache. However, Rapid City is not a beach destination.

You can check out the beach in Boston. There are a few urban beaches in the greater Boston area that you can explore on a nice day.

Rapid City is not a beach destination.

Is Boston or Rapid City Better for its Old Town?

Boston
Rapid City

Boston is an unbeatable place for its old town. However, Rapid City does not have a historic old town.

With a famous historical old-town, Boston offers plenty to see. Boston is famous for its Freedom Trail, which takes visitors around the city's rich history. The oldest parts of the city are known as Boston Proper and include the neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, Historic Downtown, the North End, and the West End.

Rapid City does not have a historic old town.


Is Boston or Rapid City Better for Hiking?

Boston
Rapid City

Rapid City is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Boston is not a hiking destination.

Rapid City is a popular spot for hiking. The region is filled with national parks, state parks, and natural areas with wonderful hiking trails. You don't have to travel far to get into nature and experience some of South Dakota's best natural beauty.

Boston is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Boston or Rapid City?

Boston
Rapid City

Both Boston and Rapid City are nice shopping destinations.

Boston is a great destination for shopping. Head to Back Bay for some of the best high end shops. There are luxury brands and boutique venues that sell local art or crafts.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Rapid City. Rapid City has some interesting local shops as well as larger malls and shopping centers.

Is Boston or Rapid City Better for Christmas?

Boston
Rapid City

Boston is a very popular place for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Rapid City does not offer Christmas activities.

Since it has plenty to do, Boston is a very popular place to visit during Christmas. Christmas comes to life in the city with its Christmas Trees, holiday shows, and festivals.

Rapid City does not offer Christmas activities.


Is Boston or Rapid City Better for Christmas Markets?

Boston
Rapid City

Boston is a very popular place for visiting Christmas markets. However, Rapid City does not offer Christmas markets.

Boston has a large number of Christmas markets. There are a number of European style Christmas markets that pop up during the holiday season around town.

Rapid City does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Boston or Rapid City Better for Families?

Boston
Rapid City

Both Boston and Rapid City are first-rate family-friendly destinations.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Boston is very family-friendly. It's filled with history, but there are also many activities for kids who need a break from all of the historical stuff. Popular activities for all ages include the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, and exploring the waterfront, gardens, and parks around town.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Rapid City is a very family-friendly destination. Nearby national parks and outdoor activities, this is the perfect base for exploring the area with kids. Nearby you'll find the Big Thunder Gold Mine, which has tours and lets you pan for gold, and Custer State Park, which is filled with wildlife. Wall Drug is worth a stopoff, as is Dinosaur Park.

Is Boston or Rapid City Better for Couples?

Boston
Rapid City

Rapid City is notable for romance. Also, Boston is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its romantic activities.

Rapid City is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples will enjoy the amazing national parks in the area and the easy access to iconic landmarks like Mount Rushmore. There are many opportunities for wildlife spotting as well as great hiking trails and unique landscapes.

Boston makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples who enjoy history will enjoy exploring the city. Take a swan boat ride in the Public Garden and wander the unique route along the Freedom Trail. There are also many sporting and entertainment options around town.


Is Boston or Rapid City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Boston
Rapid City

Rapid City is notable for backpackers. Also, Boston is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Rapid City. Backpackers will appreciate the surrounding natural beauty and the nearby national parks.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Boston. Like most larger American cities, the city has a handful of hostels to choose from.

Is Boston or Rapid City Better for Students?

Boston
Rapid City

Boston is an unbeatable place for its student-friendly activities. However, Rapid City is not popular with students.

Students come from all over the world to visit Boston. It is a city of students, with a number of world renowned universities located here including Harvard University, Boston College, and MIT. Many neighborhoods are filled with students and there are many student-centered activities around town including festivals and an active nightlife scene.

Rapid City is not popular with students.

Is Boston or Rapid City Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Boston
Rapid City

Boston is an unbeatable place for times when you don't have a car. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Visitors in Boston can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. There's the T, which is the subway, as well as a trolley, bus, and water transportation system.

Public transit is generally limited in Rapid City. While there are a few buses, this isn't a realistic option for traveling through the region.


Is Boston or Rapid City a more walkable city?

Boston
Rapid City

Boston is an unbeatable place for its high level of walkability. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its ease of walking around.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Boston. The many parks and compact neighborhoods are best explored on foot.

Rapid City is generally not very walkable. While the downtown is walkable, most visitors use the city as a base for exploring the surrounding areas, and this requires a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Boston Worth Visiting? and Is Rapid City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Rapid City or Boston?

How long in Boston or Rapid City?

It's fun to spend time in either Boston or Rapid City. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Boston due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Boston, and 2-4 days is enough time in Rapid City.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Boston than Rapid City 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 Boston.


  • How many days in Boston or Rapid City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Boston 3-5 
    Rapid City 2-4

One day in Boston or Rapid City?

When visiting Boston, people usually allow for lots of time. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the destination of Rapid City. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Boston or Rapid City?

When visiting Boston, people usually allow for lots of time. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Rapid City is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the museums, as that's what most people do. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


Five days in Boston or Rapid City?

Boston, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. Visiting the old town is also a must. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this city. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Rapid City. Don't miss the museums, as that's what most people do. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Boston or Rapid City?

Boston is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the museums. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the activity-filled destination of Rapid City. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage, The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Rapid City or Boston?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Boston is $255, while the average daily cost in Rapid City is $116. 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 Boston and Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boston $166
    Rapid City $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boston $332
    Rapid City $120
Compare Hotels in Boston and Rapid City

Looking for a hotel in Boston or Rapid City? 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 Boston


Hotels in Rapid City


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: Boston Hotel Prices and Rapid City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boston $37
    Rapid City $53
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Boston

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Boston are as follows:


  • Taxi
    $35
  • Subway Daily Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Boston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Boston:

  • Transfer in private vehicle from Boston Airport (BOS) to City Downtown: $69
  • Round trip transfer in private vehicle from Boston downtown-to the Airport (BOS): $138
  • Round trip Airport Transfer: Logan - Boston: $300
  • Private Transfer in Boston (BOS) Airport/Home/Hotel/Work : $144
  • Private Transfer from Boston City to Boston (BOS) Airport: $103
  • Private Transfer from Boston City Hotels to Newport Cruise Port: $87
  • Private Transfer from Boston (BOS) Airport to Boston City: $103
  • Private Transfer between Boston Logan Airport and Boston City: $150
  • Private Departure Transfer to Boston Airport BOS: $28
  • Private Arrival Transfer from (BOS) Boston Airport: $28
  • Limo Private Transfer Logan International Airport to Boston: $160
  • Limo Private Transfer Boston to Logan International Airport : $160

Is it cheaper to fly into Boston or Rapid City?

Prices for flights to both Rapid City and Boston 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
    Boston $49
    Rapid City $23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Boston

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

  • Self Guided "The North End Pizza, Cannoli and Picnic" Solo Walking Tour : $5.50
  • Boston's North End Pizza & History Walking Food Tour: $49
  • Pizza Beer and Paul Revere Tour: $60
  • Boston's North End Small Group Food Tour : $81
  • Union Square, Somerville Neighborhood Food Tour: $90
  • Ultimate Boston Food Tour: North End & Boston Public Market: $99
  • Chinatown’s Culture and Cuisine Neighborhood Food Tour: $115
  • Boston Small-Group Walking Food Tour With Tastings: $115
  • Boston Signature Dinner Cruise: $117
  • Boston Premier Dinner Cruise on Odyssey: $138
  • Italian Dinner with Tiramisu Finale in Boston: $154
  • Boston 4th of July Plated Dinner Cruise: $166

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rapid City

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

  • Roller Coaster Tickets with Dinner and Show in Rapid City: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boston $33
    Rapid City $26
Typical Entertainment Prices in Boston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Boston are as follows:


  • Two Tickets to Celtics Game
    $101
  • Duck Tour
    $32

Tours and Activities in Boston

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Boston are as follows:

  • "Ghosts of Boston" Walking Ghost Tour: $25
  • "Witch Trials" Walking Tour in Salem: $25
  • 1 If By Land Walking Tours: $45
  • 1 or 2 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Trolley Tour of Boston: $46
  • 1-Day Tour to Portland-Maine from Boston: $175
  • 1692 Salem Day Tour: $32
  • 1692 Salem Night Walking Tour: $32
  • 2-Hour Beacon Hill True Crime Expert Guided Tour: $35
  • 2.5-Hour Salem History & Sightseeing Guided Walking Tour: $40
  • 90-Minute Boston Harbor Sunset Sightseeing Cruise: $52
  • 90-Minute Historical Walking Tour in Boston: $34
  • A Bostonian Christmas Tour: $216

Tours and Activities in Rapid City

For Rapid City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Mount Rushmore Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Rapid City SD: $15
  • Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours: $20
  • Pinnacle Zipline Tour in Keystone: $109
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $133
  • Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Tour with Two Meals and a Music Variety Show: $164
  • Badlands Winter Wonderland Adventure: $239
  • Full-Day Private Sightseeing Tour in South Dakota: $275
  • From Private Spearfish Canyon Tour: $650
  • From Private Devils Tower Tour and Hike: $650
  • Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour: $650
  • Badlands National Park Private Tour: $650

For more ideas for your next trip, check out Free Things to Do in Boston, Must-See Monuments and Memorials In Boston, and The Best Things To Do in Boston with Kids.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Boston $27
    Rapid City $6.93

Sample the Local Flavors in Boston

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Boston:

  • Salem Ghosts Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl: $27
  • Salem Booze and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl by US Ghost Adventures: $28
  • Boston Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Boston Small-Group Freedom Trail History Tour Pub Crawl: $60
  • Boston Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105


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

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


Which is Bigger, Boston or Rapid City?

Boston has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Rapid City. When comparing the sizes of Boston and Rapid City, 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.