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

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

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 city 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 $198, while the average daily cost in Alaska is $195. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for California and Alaska in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    California $92
    Alaska $108
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    California $184
    Alaska $216
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 $34
    Alaska $41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in California

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

  • San Diego: Private Transfer to/from San Diego Airport (SAN): $69
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From San Francisco International Airport to San Mateo City - One Way: $73
  • Private Airport Transfer from SFO to San Francisco: $79
  • Departure Private Transfer to San Francisco Cruise Port by Business Car: $84
  • Orange County: 1-Way Private Transfer to/from Anaheim Resort: $89
  • Los Angeles International Airport: Private Transfer to/from: $93
  • SF: Private Transfer to/from San Francisco Airport (SFO): $99
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From San Francisco International Airport to Oakland City - One Way: $105
  • Private San Francisco Transfer: Hotel to Airport or Cruise Port: $122
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From San Francisco International Airport to Union City - One Way: $137
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From San Francisco International Airport to Mountain View City - One Way: $147
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From San Francisco International Airport to San Francisco City - One Way: $166

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
  • Food Meals for one day
    California $37
    Alaska $45

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in California

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

  • Carlsbad Village: 3-Hour Local Food Tour: $70
  • San Francisco: Mission District Walking Food Tour: $75
  • San Francisco North Beach Food Tour: $75
  • San Francisco: Farmers' Market & Ferry Building Food Tour: $79
  • North Beach: Curated 4-Course Food Tour: $99
  • Monterey: Guided Walking Food Tour with Tastings: $150
  • Napa Valley Wine Train: Gourmet Express Lunch or Dinner: $175
  • Los Angeles: 3-Hour Secret Food Tour: $217
  • Napa or Sonoma Dinner Transportation: $500

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Alaska

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

  • Late Night Yurt Dinner and Northern Lights: $185
  • Fairbanks: Moonlight Dog Sled, Dinner, & Northern Lights: $285

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    California $49
    Alaska $52

Tours and Activities in California

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

  • San Francisco: Highlights Self-Guided Audio Tour with App: $5.57
  • San Francisco: Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $14
  • San Diego: Haunted Historic Whaley House - Self-Guided Tour: $14
  • San Francisco: Exploratorium After Dark Entry Ticket (18+): $20
  • Los Angeles: Skip-the-Line Battleship Iowa Museum Ticket: $23
  • Amazing Temecula Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $27
  • Los Angeles: Urban Adventure Quest Mini Scavenger Hunt: $27
  • San Francisco: 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Urban Hiking Tour: $29
  • Downtown Los Angeles: Food, Arts and Culture Walking Tour: $35
  • Newport Beach: Year-Round Whale Watching Cruise: $36
  • San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences Entry Ticket: $37
  • San Jose: Winchester Mystery House Tour: $42

Tours and Activities in Alaska

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

  • Anchorage: 1-Hour Trolley Tour: $20
  • Denali Park Zipline Adventure: $139
  • Denali Park Zipline Adventure: $143
  • Denali: 5-Hour Guided Wilderness Hiking Tour: $155
  • Denali: ATV Trailblazer Tour: $175
  • Denali: Denali National Park Walking Tour: $135
  • Fairbanks: 1-Hour Snowmobile Tour: $120
  • Fairbanks: Ice Fishing Day Tour: $238
  • From Anchorage: Glacier and Wildlife Discovery Tour: $215
  • From Anchorage: Wilderness, Wildlife, & Glacier Experience: $185
  • From Fairbanks: Chena Hot Springs Day Tour: $145
  • From Fairbanks: Chena Hot Springs Northern Lights Tour: $175

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    California $17
    Alaska $16

Sample the Local Flavors in California

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

  • Healdsburg Wine Tasting and Food Pairing Guided Walking Tour: $119
  • San Francisco: Napa and Sonoma Valley Wine Tour: $149
  • Malibu: Vintage VW Hippie Sightseeing Tour with Wine Tasting: $179
  • Golf Somm - A Sommelier-Led Golf and Wine Tour in Napa Valley: $308
  • 6-Hours Customized Private NAPA Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay Area: $480
  • 6-Hour Customized Private LIVERMORE Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay Area: $480
  • 6-Hours Customized Private RUSSIAN RIVER Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay: $480
  • 6-Hours Customized Private SONOMA Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay Area: $480
  • Napa Wine Tour: $500
  • Sonoma Wine Tours: $500
  • Napa Valley Wine Tour Planning and Transportation: $513
  • 8-Hour Napa Valley Wine Tour: $570


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.

Budget Your Trip

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California vs. Alaska Travel Comparison

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