Should you visit Boulder or Rapid City?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Boulder 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. So, let's dig into it.
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.
Rapid City is a large city in western South Dakota that is considered the gateway to the Black Hills National Forest. Rapid City is often used as a base for all types of outdoor activities, including tours to the infamous Mount Rushmore and surrounding parks. The city has a budding art scene and offers the perfect combination of a metropolitan city surrounded by stunning natural scenery. Rapid City experiences the best weather from June-September with temperatures in the 70's and 80's Fahrenheit. Temperatures drop to the low 20's F in the winter and the area receives the most rain pour in April and May.
Which city is cheaper, Rapid City 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 Rapid City is $93. 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 Rapid City in more detail.
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.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $96 in Rapid City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
In Rapid City travelers spend around $19 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.
Meals for one day
Rapid City $19
Typical Food prices in Boulder
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Boulder:
Nice Dinner for Two
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.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Rapid City than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $42 on transportation in Rapid City on average per day.
Is it cheaper to fly into Boulder or Rapid City?
Prices for flights to both Rapid City 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.
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.
Sightseeing expenses in Rapid City, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $21 per day, per person.
Tours and Activities in Boulder
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Boulder.
A natural healing experience in a private epsom salt bath.:
Amazing Boulder Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
Best of Boulder E-Bike Tour:
Boulder Backroads: E-Bike Dirt Road Tour:
Denver: 8-Hour Private Tour of Rocky Mountain National Park:
Downtown An audio tour around this weird and beautiful town:
Electric Cruiser Fat Tire Bike Tour - Best of Boulder:
Half-Day eBike Mural Tour in Boulder:
High-Vibes Foodie Tour:
Hiking Adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park from Boulder:
Holistic & Medicinal Tour:
Tours and Activities in Rapid City
For Rapid City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Badlands National Park Private Tour:
Bike Adventure on the Mickelson Trail - Private:
Black Hills: Private Tour of Mt. Rushmore & Flume Trail Hike:
Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills:
Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Bus Tour with Live Commentary:
Private Badlands National Park Day Tour:
Private Jeep Safari and Hiking Tour/ Two Person Minimum:
Private Mickelson Trail Bicycling Tour/ Two Person Minimum:
Private Mt Rushmore & Southern Black Hills Tour:
Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Full-Day Tour:
Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour:
Southern Black Hills Bicycle Tour - Private:
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.
Typically, people visiting Rapid City spend on average $5.54 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Boulder and Rapid City, we can see that Boulder 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 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 Rapid City.
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