A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Chapel Hill vs. Wilmington for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Chapel Hill or Wilmington?

Should I visit Chapel Hill or Wilmington? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is a college town in North Carolina that, together with Raleigh and Durham, makes up the Research Triangle area. The town is 28 miles northwest of Raleigh and 12 miles southwest of Durham. Chapel Hill dates back to 1819 when it was founded to support the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With a population of just over 52,000, Chapel Hill has the vibe of a small college town with the amenities of a larger community. It's proximity to both Raleigh and Durham give it an economic boost that provides economic diversity and security.

Wilmington

Wilmington is a port city in southeastern North Carolina. It's a great city to visit for it's nearby beaches, large historic district, and quaint atmosphere. The city has a population of about 115,000 and it's the eighth largest city in the state.

Wilmington is also home to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as well as the EUE Screen Gems Studios. This is the largest domestic television and movie production facility outside of California. The studio, which opened in 1984, helped grow Wilmington into a major base for film and television production. The city has been the backdrop for many movies and tv shows including Iron Man 3, Sleepy Hollow, One Tree Hill, and Revolution.

Which city is cheaper, Wilmington or Chapel Hill?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chapel Hill is $131, while the average daily cost in Wilmington is $163. 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 Chapel Hill and Wilmington in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $76. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Chapel Hill the cost is $152 on average.

The prices for places to stay in Wilmington can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $96, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $192.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chapel Hill $76
    Wilmington $96
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chapel Hill $152
    Wilmington $192

Food

While meal prices in Chapel Hill can vary, the average travelers spends about $39 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Chapel Hill should cost around $16 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Chapel Hill is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

Wilmington food costs typically run travelers around $45 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Chapel Hill $39
    Wilmington $45

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $27 per day to get around in Chapel Hill.

To get around in Wilmington, the average visitor spends $38 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chapel Hill $27
    Wilmington $38

Is it cheaper to fly into Chapel Hill or Wilmington?

Prices for flights to both Wilmington and Chapel Hill 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

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $14 per person, per day in Chapel Hill. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

In Wilmington, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $14 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chapel Hill $14
    Wilmington $14

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Chapel Hill may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $32 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Wilmington, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $31.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chapel Hill $32
    Wilmington $31


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chapel Hill and Wilmington, we can see that Wilmington is more expensive. And not only is Chapel Hill much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Chapel Hill would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Chapel Hill 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 Wilmington would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Wilmington than you might in Chapel Hill.

Budget Your Trip

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Chapel Hill vs. Wilmington Travel Comparison

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