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

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 $153, 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, $164 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Boulder, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $82, 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 $82
    Columbia River Gorge $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boulder $164
    Columbia River Gorge $142

Food

In Boulder travelers spend around $43 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 $43
    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

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Boulder than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $41 on transportation in Boulder on average per day.

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 $41
    Columbia River Gorge $62

Is it cheaper to fly into Boulder or Columbia River Gorge?

Prices for flights to both Columbia River Gorge and Boulder 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Boulder, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $26 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 $26
    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

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Boulder, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $22.

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 $22
    Columbia River Gorge $9.49


When comparing the travel costs between Boulder and Columbia River Gorge, we can see that Boulder 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.

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Boulder vs. Columbia River Gorge Travel Comparison

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