A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Boston vs. San Diego for Attractions, Beaches, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Boston or San Diego?

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 San Diego. 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 traditional, classic, and proud 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.

San Diego

San Diego is a fun-filled, hip, and dynamic coastal city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. It's also known for beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Boston and San Diego: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Boston or San Diego?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Boston than San Diego. While San Diego is larger than Boston, Boston has more sights and attractions for tourists. Boston is very popular for its museums, theatre productions, food, historical sights, christmas markets, and big city activities, while San Diego attracts visitors for its music, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and hiking. San Diego is more touristy than Boston and is popular for its relaxed coastal atmosphere, its many kid-friendly sights, and its beautiful beaches with critter-filled tidal pools. 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.

How is Boston different from San Diego?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between San Diego 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 San Diego?

Boston
San Diego

Boston is renowned for its historical sights. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its sights and museums.

The museums and tourist attractions in Boston are world-renowned. 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.

San Diego offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. While the city is famous for it's beaches, zoos, and aquariums, don't overlook the museums and other landmarks. Popular options include the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, the Old Town State Historic Park, and Point Loma and Cabrillo Monument.


Is Boston or San Diego Better for Theater?

Boston
San Diego

Boston is great for its theatre productions. However, San Diego is not a theatre destination.

Boston offers many theater and performance venues for visitors. 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.

San Diego is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Boston or San Diego? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Boston
San Diego

Boston is great for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

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 San Diego area. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. There are many casual dining options that serve informal foods like burgers or salads, but there are also award-winning fine dining restaurants with elegant atmospheres. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.

Is Boston or San Diego Better for Nightlife?

Boston
San Diego

Evening events are excellent in both Boston and San Diego.

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

San Diego has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The heart of the city's nightlife scene is in the Gaslamp District, which is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues. There's a young student population that keeps the nightlife scene casual and fun.


Is Boston or San Diego Better for Music?

Boston
San Diego

San Diego is notable for live music. Also, Boston is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its live music scene.

If you love music, you'll find something to enjoy in San Diego. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.

The music scene in Boston is active and vibrant. Popular music venues include Lizard Lounge, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, and The Middle East.

Is Boston or San Diego Better for Resorts?

Boston
San Diego

San Diego is a good destination for its resorts. However, Boston is not a resort destination.

San Diego has a handful of resorts to choose from. Most people prefer to stay in hotels or VRBOs, but several popular resorts include Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Paradise Point, and the famous Hotel del Coronado.

Boston is not a resort destination.

Is Boston or San Diego Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Boston
San Diego

San Diego is a good destination for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Boston is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in San Diego. Popular snorkeling and diving spots include La Jolla Cove, Mission Bay, and Turtle Town. The water's a bit chili, but it's still worth going for a dive or popping on a mask and snorkeling around for a bit.

Boston is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is Boston or San Diego Better for Beaches?

Boston
San Diego

San Diego is an unbeatable place for its beaches. However, Boston is a mediocre city for the beache.

San Diego offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. The city has great beaches with tidal pools and interesting sea life at low tide. Adults and kids alike will enjoy hitting the beach when the tides are out and looking for local critters in the tidal pools. Popular beaches in the area include La Jolla Cove Beach, Coronado Beach, and Pacific Beach.

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.

Is Boston or San Diego Better for its Old Town?

Boston
San Diego

Boston is renowned for its old town. However, San Diego does not have a historic old town.

The old town of Boston is one of the most recognized in the world. 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.

San Diego does not have a historic old town.

Is Boston or San Diego Better for Hiking?

Boston
San Diego

San Diego is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Boston is not a hiking destination.

San Diego is a popular spot for hiking. The city is filled with parks and has tons of natural beauty. There is plenty of urban hiking in town, or you can visit more natural areas just out of town. Head to Torrey Pines State Park or Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail for some nice hikes.

Boston is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Boston or San Diego?

Boston
San Diego

Both Boston and San Diego 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 San Diego. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping. There are suburban shopping malls in the area as well as souvenir shops in the more touristy areas.

Is Boston or San Diego Better for Christmas?

Boston
San Diego

Boston is great for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, San Diego does not offer Christmas activities.

Boston is a very popular destination during Christmas. Christmas comes to life in the city with its Christmas Trees, holiday shows, and festivals.

San Diego does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Boston or San Diego Better for Christmas Markets?

Boston
San Diego

Boston is great for visiting Christmas markets. However, San Diego does not offer Christmas markets.

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

San Diego does not offer Christmas markets.


Is Boston or San Diego Better for Families?

Boston
San Diego

Both Boston and San Diego are terrific 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, San Diego is a very family-friendly destination. The city is filled with kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world-class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more. The year-round warm weather makes it easy to spend plenty of time outdoors in parks, playgrounds, and beaches where kids can stretch their legs and run around.

Is Boston or San Diego Better for Couples?

Boston
San Diego

San Diego is an unbeatable place for romance. Also, Boston is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its romantic activities.

San Diego is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. The beaches offer a great playground for adults who enjoy the water and warm weather. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.

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 San Diego Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Boston
San Diego

Both Boston and San Diego are nice destinations for backpackers.

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

Plenty of budget travelers visit San Diego. Backpackers will enjoy the young vibe of the city. There are a few great hostels near the beach or in town.


Is Boston or San Diego Better for Students?

Boston
San Diego

Boston and San Diego are both terrific destinations for students and younger travelers.

Boston is a very popular place to visit for students. 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.

Many students frequent San Diego. With its young population and many universities, international students will feel right at home in San Diego. There are also many great outdoor activities for the adventurous.

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

Boston
San Diego

Boston is renowned for times when you don't have a car. However, San Diego is not a good destination for its public transit.

Boston has a great 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 San Diego. The city has a trolley (light rail system) as well as a bus system. Most people depend on cars to get around, and you'll likely enjoy your trip a bit more if you have your own vehicle.

Is Boston or San Diego a more walkable city?

Boston
San Diego

Boston is renowned for its high level of walkability. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its ease of walking around.

Boston is a very easy city to get around on foot. The many parks and compact neighborhoods are best explored on foot.

San Diego is a somewhat walkable city. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.


For even more information, also check out Is Boston Worth Visiting? and Is San Diego Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in San Diego or Boston?

How long in Boston or San Diego?

In either Boston or San Diego, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. In our opinion, Boston has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Boston than San Diego. However, 3-5 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Boston than San Diego 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 San Diego? Ideal Length of Stay
    Boston 3-5 
    San Diego 3-5

One day in Boston or San Diego?

People visit Boston because there is so much to do. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Many travelers enjoy the live music and food when visiting the destination of San Diego. 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 San Diego?

People visit Boston because there is so much to do. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

San Diego is a great place to explore. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Boston or San Diego?

People visit Boston because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Most people head to the area for the museums. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in San Diego. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Boston or San Diego?

Boston is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the hip destination of San Diego. This coastal 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 10-Day Tours in United States of America, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America, The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, and The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, San Diego 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 San Diego is $202. 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 San Diego in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boston $166
    San Diego $115
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boston $332
    San Diego $230
Compare Hotels in Boston and San Diego

Looking for a hotel in Boston or San Diego? 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 San Diego


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 San Diego Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boston $37
    San Diego $24
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:

  • Luxor Limo Private Transfer and City Tour: $1,195
  • Private Transfer: between Manhattan and Boston: $960
  • Flynn Cruiseport Private Transfer to Boston: $681
  • Round trip Airport Transfer: Logan - Boston: $300
  • Boston Logan Airport to Killington/Okemo Private Transfer: $282
  • Boston Logan Airport (BOS): Private Transfer to Boston city: $242
  • Boston’s Logan International Airport to Providence – Arrival Private Transfer : $170
  • Boston Airport (BOS): Transfer to Flynn Cruise Port Boston: $167
  • Limo Private Transfer Boston to Logan International Airport : $160
  • Limo Private Transfer Logan International Airport to Boston: $160
  • Private Transfer in Boston (BOS) Airport/Home/Hotel/Work : $160
  • Boston Logan Airport (BOS) to Boston - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $156

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • San Diego International Airport (SAN) Private Arrival Transfer: $38
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in San Diego HTL-APT(SAN): $47
  • Private Departure Transfer to San Diego Airport SAN: $50
  • Tijuana to Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) – Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) to Tijuana hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $54
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Diego Airport SAN: $56
  • Transfer in private minivan from San Diego Downtown to San Diego Airport (SAN): $68
  • Transfer in private minivan from San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego Downtown: $68
  • San Diego Airport: One-Way Private Transfer to San Diego: $70
  • San Diego Airport - Private Round Trip Transfer: $70
  • Private Transfer from San Diego Port to San Diego city hotels: $74
  • Private Transfer to San Diego International Airport from San Diego: $77

Is it cheaper to fly into Boston or San Diego?

Prices for flights to both San Diego 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
    San Diego $45

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
  • AM Coffee Walks with Salem Food Tours: $34
  • Boston's North End Pizza & History Walking Food Tour: $49
  • Pizza Beer and Paul Revere Tour: $54
  • North End Pizza Tour with 3 Slices and Cannoli: $55
  • North End Food Experience with Pizza, Meats & Cheese: $68
  • Boston Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor: $77
  • Ultimate Boston Food Tour: North End & Boston Public Market: $80
  • Ultimate Food Tour of North End & Public Market: $80
  • Boston's North End Small Group Food Tour : $81
  • Union Square, Somerville Neighborhood Food Tour: $90

Typical Food Prices in San Diego

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


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

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

  • Old Town Tequila and Tacos Walking Food Tour: $81
  • Little Italy Food and Drink Walking Tour - Pizza, Pasta & Piazzas: $85
  • Gaslamp Quarter Downtown San Diego Food Tour: $89
  • Gaslamp Quarter Food Tour: $89
  • San Diego Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $95
  • San Diego, Seaport Village: Waterfront Walking Food Tour: $99
  • Guided Secret Food Tour: $101
  • Scenic Buffet Dinner Cruise: $108
  • San Diego Dinner Cruise: $116
  • Gourmet Dinner Cruise: $118
  • San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise: $118
  • Thanksgiving Day Buffet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $121

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boston $33
    San Diego $48
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: History Walking Tour of Boston: $45
  • 1 or 2 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with Harbor Cruise Option: $46
  • 1692 Salem Day Tour: $32
  • 1692 Salem Night Walking Tour: $32
  • 2 Hour North End 'Little Italy' Walking Tour : $35
  • 2-Hour Beacon Hill True Crime Expert Guided Tour: $35
  • 90-Minute Boston Harbor Sunset Sightseeing Cruise: $44
  • A Bostonian Christmas Tour: $215
  • A Bostonian Christmas Tour: $421
  • Albany Tulip Day Tour from Boston: $174

Typical Entertainment Prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

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

  • Waterfront Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.26
  • A Seaside Stroll: La Jolla's Hidden Treasures Self-Guided Tour: $7.99
  • Beaches & Bluffs San Diego's Ultimate Coastal Driving Tour: $9.95
  • Historical Walking Tour of San Diego: $10
  • San Diego Natural History Museum Ticket: $12
  • Apple Pies & Desert Skies: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $13
  • Haunted Historic Whaley House - Self-Guided Tour: $14
  • Explore Balboa in a Private Tour of San Diego Hidden Gems: $20
  • Private Walking Tour and Gaslamp Adventure in San Diego: $20
  • San Diego's Historic Treasures and Old Town Tour: $20
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in San Diego by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • San Diego Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21

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
    San Diego $21

Sample the Local Flavors in Boston

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Boston:

  • Haunted Pub Crawl of Historic Pubs and Taverns: $30
  • Boston Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Salem Ghosts Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • Boston Ghosts Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl : $34
  • Salem Booze and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl by US Ghost Adventures: $35
  • Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • History Pub Crawl Tour Along the Freedom Trail: $59
  • Boston Small-Group Freedom Trail History Tour Pub Crawl: $60
  • Boston Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105
  • Guided Craft Brewery Tour with a Snack: $105

Sample the Local Flavors in San Diego

Also in San Diego, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • San Diego Bar Hunt: Slammin' San Diego Bar Crawl: $13
  • Gaslamp Bar Crawls and Events: $20
  • History Tour Pub Crawl of Famous Gaslamp Quarter: $30
  • Brewery Tour with Tastings and Food Pairings: $85
  • Little Italy Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $119
  • Vino! Vino! Little Italy Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $125
  • Private Wine Tasting Tour in Valle de Guadalupe: $132
  • Cruise & Booze Brewery tours : $149
  • Baja Tour Guide wine tour: $169
  • Sidecar Wine Tasting Tour: $199
  • Brewery and Tap Room Sidecar Tour: $199
  • California Sunset Brewery Tour: $199


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Boston and San Diego, we can see that Boston is more expensive. And not only is San Diego much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Diego would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Diego 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 San Diego.

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


Which is Bigger, Boston or San Diego?

San Diego has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Boston. When comparing the sizes of Boston and San Diego, 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.


When is the best time to visit Boston or San Diego?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Boston or San Diego in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Boston as well as San Diego. The summer months attract visitors to Boston because of the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to San Diego this time of year.

In the summer, Boston is around the same temperature as San Diego. Typically, the summer temperatures in Boston in July average around 73°F (23°C), and San Diego averages at about 71°F (22°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in San Diego. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Boston this time of the year. In the summer, Boston often gets around the same amount of sunshine as San Diego. Boston gets 304 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Diego receives 306 hours of full sun.

Boston usually gets more rain in July than San Diego. Boston gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Boston 73°F (23°C) 
    San Diego 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Boston or San Diego in the Autumn?

Both San Diego and Boston are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Boston this time of year. Also, many travelers come to San Diego for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Boston is generally much colder than San Diego. Daily temperatures in Boston average around 54°F (12°C), and San Diego fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).

It's quite sunny in San Diego. Boston usually receives less sunshine than San Diego during autumn. Boston gets 194 hours of sunny skies, while San Diego receives 244 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Boston usually receives more rain than San Diego. Boston gets 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0.4 inches (9 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Boston 54°F (12°C) 
    San Diego 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Boston or San Diego in the Winter?

Both San Diego and Boston during the winter are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Boston for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to San Diego in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Boston. Boston is much colder than San Diego in the winter. The daily temperature in Boston averages around 29°F (-2°C) in January, and San Diego fluctuates around 57°F (14°C).

In San Diego, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the winter, Boston often gets less sunshine than San Diego. Boston gets 153 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Diego receives 239 hours of full sun.

Boston usually gets more rain in January than San Diego. Boston gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 1.8 inches (46 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Boston 29°F (-2°C) 
    San Diego 57°F (14°C)

Should I visit Boston or San Diego in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Boston and San Diego. Many visitors come to Boston in the spring for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to San Diego for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty during these months.

In the spring, Boston is much colder than San Diego. Typically, the spring temperatures in Boston in April average around 48°F (9°C), and San Diego averages at about 62°F (17°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in San Diego this time of the year. In Boston, it's very sunny this time of the year. Boston usually receives less sunshine than San Diego during spring. Boston gets 225 hours of sunny skies, while San Diego receives 277 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Boston usually receives more rain than San Diego. Boston gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0.8 inches (20 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Boston 48°F (9°C) 
    San Diego 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for San Diego and Boston

Boston San Diego
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 29°F (-2°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.8 inches (46 mm)
Feb 30°F (-1°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Mar 38°F (4°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Apr 48°F (9°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm)
May 58°F (15°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 68°F (20°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 67°F (19°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Jul 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 71°F (22°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Aug 72°F (22°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Sep 64°F (18°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 71°F (22°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm)
Oct 54°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.4 inches (9 mm)
Nov 45°F (7°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.5 inches (37 mm)
Dec 33°F (1°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm)