A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Boulder vs. Columbia River Gorge

Should you visit Boulder or Columbia River Gorge?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Boulder and Columbia River Gorge. 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. So, let's dig into it.

Boulder

Boulder is located on the edge of the Rocky Mountains in the state of Colorado. As home to the University of Colorado at Boulder, it's a college town with a liberal vibe and progressive values. In recent years, Boulder's economy has received a boost from the tech industry, which has grown rapidly in the area.

Boulder is also a great city to visit. It's surrounded by a beautiful mountain setting and there are countless outdoor sporting activities that you can enjoy. One unique aspect of Boulder is its role as home to many serious athletes who come here to train in the area's top facilities and programs.

Boulder's climate is similar to most of Colorado. It's a dry city with plenty of sunshine. Winters can vary dramatically from mild to incredibly cold and snowfall averages 44 inches a season. Summers are warm and dry with temperatures climbing above 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the warmest months.

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge is a popular destination in the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. The region's close proximity to Portland, which is just 30 minutes away, makes it a popular weekend destination.

The gorge is formed by the Columbia River, with an 80 mile stretch designated as a National Scenic Area. The area has many beautiful cliffs with a number of tall waterfalls and its protected status means that most new development must occur within one of the already established towns.

Which city is cheaper, Columbia River Gorge or Boulder?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Boulder is $181, while the average daily cost in Columbia River Gorge is $143. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Boulder and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.




Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Boulder, $186 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Boulder, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $93, such as in a hostel.

A hotel room in Columbia River Gorge is about $142 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boulder $93
    Columbia River Gorge $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boulder $186
    Columbia River Gorge $142


Food

In Boulder travelers spend around $80 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

The average traveler spends about $37 per day in Columbia River Gorge for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Boulder $80
    Columbia River Gorge $37
Typical Food prices in Boulder

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


  • 2 Coffees
    $8.75
  • Nice Dinner for Two
    $71


Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Columbia River Gorge is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $62 per person, per day, on local transportation in Columbia River Gorge.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boulder -
    Columbia River Gorge $62


Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Boulder, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $30 per day, per person.

Entertainment and activities in Columbia River Gorge typically cost an average of $16 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boulder $30
    Columbia River Gorge $16

Tours and Activities in Boulder

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

  • Listen to a Tour Guide While you Drive between Boulder and Vail: $3.75
  • Downtown An audio tour around this weird and beautiful town: $5.00
  • A natural healing experience in a private epsom salt bath.: $16
  • Astronomy Tour: $41
  • Holistic & Medicinal Tour: $42
  • Amazing Boulder Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Wild West-End Hiking Tour: $49
  • Half-Day eBike Mural Tour in Boulder: $90
  • Electric Cruiser Fat Tire Bike Tour - Best of Boulder: $97
  • Best of Boulder E-Bike Tour: $104
  • High-Vibes Foodie Tour: $106
  • Hiking Adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park from Boulder: $173


Alcohol

The average person spends about $9.49 on alcoholic beverages in Columbia River Gorge per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Boulder -
    Columbia River Gorge $9.49



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

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Boulder vs. Columbia River Gorge Travel Comparison

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