A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America California vs. Alaska for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit California or Alaska?

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 California and Alaska. 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: California or Alaska?


California is the most populous state in the U.S. and is known for a variety of attractions such as Hollywood, warm beaches, the San Francisco bay area, Redwood trees, national parks, and stunning mountain vistas. With a variety of locations and activities to offer, California has become one of the premier travel destinations in the world.


Alaska joined the United States of America as the 49th state. The US purchased the area from the Russian Empire in 1867 for just 7.2 million dollars (about two cents an acre). It became an organized territory in 1912 and a state in 1959. It is separated from the rest of the country by Canada and, although it is the largest state, it is the least densely populated and for many years had the lowest population. It covers an area equal to California, Texas and Montana combined and lies on the Arctic Circle. Many people consider Alaska to be the United State's "final frontier" because of its vast wilderness. It is also where you will find the highest point in North America.

Which place is cheaper, Alaska or California?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in California is $251, while the average daily cost in Alaska is $243. 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 California and Alaska in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    California $116
    Alaska $135
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    California $232
    Alaska $270
Compare Hotels in California and Alaska

Looking for a hotel in California or Alaska? 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 California

Hotels in Alaska

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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    California $43
    Alaska $51

Hired Cars and Shuttles in California

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

  • Private One-way Airport Transfer (San Francisco Airport To/From San Francisco): $16
  • One Way Transfer: Los Angeles from /to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) : $26
  • Hollywood Private Transfer to or from Universal Studios.: $26
  • John Wayne Airport (JWA) Private Transfer To or from Anaheim Resort.: $26
  • Anaheim Resort Private Transfer to or from Long Beach.: $30
  • Private Departure Transfer to John Wayne Orange County Airport SNA: $32
  • Private Arrival Transfer from John Wayne Orange County Airport SNA: $32
  • Long Beach Private Transfer to or from Los Angeles/Hollywood.: $33
  • Anaheim Resort Private Transfer To or From Hollywood, CA.: $34
  • Transfer in private vehicle from San Francisco Airport to City: $35
  • Anaheim Resort Private Transfer to or from Hollywood.: $35
  • Anaheim Resort Private Transfer to or from Universal Studios.: $36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Alaska

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Alaska:

  • Seward to Anchorage Private Tour and Transfer: $224
  • Seward to Anchorage Cruise Transfer and Private Tour: $1,606
  • SUV-Private Transfer, Seward Cruise ship to Anchorage : $285
  • SUV-Private Transfer, Anchorage to Seward Cruise Ship Terminal: $249
  • Private Transfer: Seward Cruise Port to Anchorage Airport (ANC): $336
  • Private Transfer from/to Anchorage Airport from/to Anchorage: $150
  • Private Transfer Whittier Cruise Port to Anchorage Airport ANC: $232
  • Private Transfer Anchorage Airport ANC to Seward Cruise Port: $332
  • Private Transfer Anchorage Airport (ANC) to Whittier Cruise Port: $232
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Anchorage Airport (ANC): $62
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Juneau Airport (JNU): $48
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Anchorage Airport ANC: $62

Is it cheaper to fly into California or Alaska?

Prices for flights to both Alaska and California 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
    California $48
    Alaska $57

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in California

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

  • Underground Donut Tour – Santa Monica (Artisan Donut Food Tour): $55
  • Pirates Dinner Adventure Buena Park: $69
  • Encinitas Food Tour: $70
  • Carlsbad Food Tour and Wine Tasting: $70
  • Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour: $75
  • Gaslamp Quarter Downtown San Diego Food Tour: $75
  • San Francisco: Mission District Small Group Mural Art and Food Tour: $79
  • Little Italy Food and Drink Walking Tour - Pizza, Pasta & Piazzas: $85
  • LA Venice Beach Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $85
  • San Francisco North Beach and Chinatown - Secret Food Tours: $86
  • San Francisco Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $86
  • Chinatown: Tea & Dim Sum Food Tour in San Francisco: $89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Alaska

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Alaska.

  • City of Anchorage SIGHTSEEING & FOOD Tour NEW FOR 2023!: $190
  • Northern Lights Experience and Cabin Dinner: $210
  • Northern Lights Viewing including Dinner and 1-Hour Dog Sledding: $315
  • Aurora Adventure Tour with Hot Pizza Party and Photography Fun: $388

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    California $62
    Alaska $65

Tours and Activities in California

For California, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Los Angeles Private Movie Tour: Lights Camera Distraction : $5.00
  • Avalon City: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.13
  • The Heart of Los Angeles’ Dreamland: A Self-Guide Tour in Culver City: $5.99
  • San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Private 1-Hour Walking Tour: $6.30
  • LA Angels Baseball Game Ticket at Angel Stadium: $6.49
  • Essential Downtown SLO: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • The Ghosts of San Francisco Haunted Audio App Walking Tour: $6.99
  • San Francisco's Glen Park and Glen Canyon: A Self-Guided Tour: $7.55
  • Pacific Coast Highway Smartphone Driving Tour between LA & San Diego: $7.99
  • Smartphone Driving Tour between Santa Maria & Monterey 'Big Sur': $7.99
  • Historic Folsom: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea's Fairytale Houses: A Self-Guided Walking Tour: $7.99

Tours and Activities in Alaska

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Alaska are as follows:

  • PREMIUM Sitka Scenic Tour: $89
  • Private Mat-Su Valley, Hatcher Pass & Local Wildlife Tour: $199
  • Spenard Neighborhood FOOD & TRUE CRIME Walking Tour NEW FOR 2023: $150
  • “OVER THE TOP TOURS”AK Wildlife & Totem poles Tour.: $95
  • 2 Hour Alaska Rainforest Walk and Totem Park Small Group Tour: $85
  • 2 Hour Tour in Ketchikan on the Tongass Trolley: $65
  • 2-Hour Guided Snowmobile Tour in Fairbanks: $295
  • 2-Hour Private Wildlife Tour in Sitka: $200
  • 2.5 Hours Sailing Adventure in Skagway: $150
  • 2.5-Hour Denali Wilderness ATV Adventure Tour: $124
  • 26 Glacier Cruise and Coach from Anchorage, AK: $317
  • 26 Glacier Tour - Self-Drive from Anchorage, AK: $226

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    California $21
    Alaska $20

Sample the Local Flavors in California

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

  • LA Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl By US Ghost Adventures: $35
  • San Francisco Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl : $35
  • Walk with Spirits: A Haunted Pub Crawl in San Francisco: $45
  • 2 to 3 Hour Bar Crawl in Castro San Francisco: $49
  • San Diego Brewery Tour: $95
  • Wine Tasting with Ghost Storytelling/Walk Santa Barbara "Paranormal Pairing": $95
  • 4 Hour Livermore Valley Wine Tour: $100
  • Semi-Private, Modified "Hop-On Hop-Off" Wine Tasting Tour from Paso Robles: $102
  • Temecula wine tasting tour: $105
  • 6-Hour Guided Wine Tour in Napa & Sonoma From Napa Valley: $109
  • Sonoma Wine Rides: Join In Group Wine Tasting Tour: $125
  • Little Italy Wine Tasting Walking Tour - Vino! Vino! : $125

Sample the Local Flavors in Alaska

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

  • Half-Day Anchorage Craft Brewery Tour and Tastings: $169

When comparing the travel costs between California and Alaska, we can see that California 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.

Which is Bigger, California or Alaska?

California is bigger, and its population is about 55 times larger than the population of Alaska. When comparing the population of California vs. Alaska, 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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California vs. Alaska Travel Comparison

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