A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Boulder vs. Rapid City for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Boulder 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 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Boulder or Rapid City?


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

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 place 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 $191, 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 Boulder and Rapid City in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boulder $102
    Rapid City $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boulder $204
    Rapid City $120
Compare Hotels in Boulder and Rapid City

Looking for a hotel in Boulder 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 Boulder

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: Boulder Hotel Prices and Rapid City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boulder $51
    Rapid City $53

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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Boulder $54
    Rapid City $23
Typical Food prices in Boulder

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

  • 2 Coffees
  • Nice Dinner for Two

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 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boulder $33
    Rapid City $26

Tours and Activities in Boulder

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

  • E-Bike Guided Tour in Boulder, Colorado: $105
  • "Boulder Peaks & Wilderness Tours: Mallory Cave Trail": $65
  • Amazing Boulder Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Best Family Small-Group E-Bike Guided Tour in Boulder, Colorado: $105
  • Best of Boulder E-Bike Tour: $104
  • Boulder Backroads: E-Bike Dirt Road Tour: $250
  • Boulder Flatirons Private Photo Adventure: $85
  • Boulder Ghost Tour: $20
  • Boulder Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Boulder Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Boulder Walking History Tour: $20
  • City Highlights Private Walking Tour with Guide: $470

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 Premium Van Tour - Public: $299
  • Badlands National Park Adventure, Wall Drug and Baja: $279
  • Badlands National Park Private Tour: $650
  • Badlands Sunset and Wildlife Adventure : $239
  • Badlands Sunset, Stars and Silhouettes Tour: $289
  • Badlands Winter Wonderland Adventure: $239
  • Bike Adventure on the Mickelson Trail - Private: $375
  • Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours: $20
  • Buffalo Jeep Safari & Mammoth Site Tour: $698
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $133
  • Devils Tower, Spearfish Canyon and Northern Black Hills Adventure: $299
  • From Private Devils Tower Tour and Hike: $650

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

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.

Which is Bigger, Boulder or Rapid City?

Boulder is bigger, and its population is about 48% larger than the population of Rapid City. When comparing the population of Boulder vs. 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 and the activities that interest you.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Boulder vs. Rapid City Travel Comparison

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