A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Charleston vs. Houston for Food, Attractions, Nightlife, and Music

Should you visit Charleston or Houston?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Charleston or Houston, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Charleston

Charleston is a classic, picturesque, and charming coastal town. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. It also has a unique and quaint vibe that attracts lots of visitors. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Houston

Houston is a one-of-a-kind, sprawling, and southern city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. Other popular activities here include museums, nightlife, and live music.

Charleston and Houston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good music scene
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less walkable


How is Charleston different from Houston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Houston and Charleston. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Charleston or Houston Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Charleston
Houston

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Charleston or Houston.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Charleston. This city is famous for its many historic churches and plantations. You can also visit Fort Sumter National Monument by boat or take a tour of the USS Yorktown.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Houston. Head to Houston's Museum District to explore 19 different museums in a walkable area.


Is Charleston or Houston Better for Food?

Charleston
Houston

Most foodies will appreciate the restaurant options in Charleston a bit more than Houston.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Charleston is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. Food lovers will enjoy the city's low country classics. Local favorites include she crab soup, shrimp and grits, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Houston. The city is famous for its Texas barbecue, Mexican food, and a wide diversity of other different ethnic foods.

Is Charleston or Houston Better for Nightlife?

Charleston
Houston

Evening events are similar in both Charleston and Houston.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Charleston. As a college town, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs around town. There's also a lively music scene.

Houston has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The nightlife is at its best on weekends when bars, dance clubs, and concert halls come to life.

Is Charleston or Houston Better for Music?

Charleston
Houston

Both Charleston and Houston offer a variety of live music venues.

The music scene helps keep Charleston active and fun. You can hear a number of local bands or enjoy a more widely known group at larger venues in the area.

You'll find some good live music in Houston. Popular music venues include Fitzgerald's, Walter's Downtown, and The Continental Club.

Is Charleston or Houston Better for Shopping?

Charleston
Houston

Charleston usually beats out Houston for shopping.

Charleston is a world class destination for shoppers. The city is famous for its historic market in the center of town. Local goods, foods, and crafts are sold daily here. There are also many clothing and local shops throughout town.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Houston. There are a number of upscale malls and shopping centers that have brand names, chain stores, and the occasional local shop where you can pick up items.


Is Charleston or Houston Better for Families?

Charleston
Houston

Charleston and Houston are both fun destinations for the whole family.

Charleston is a family-friendly place to visit. The area has a number of family friendly activities like carriage rides and boat rides. The nearby beaches also make it a wonderful place to visit with kids.

Houston is a family-friendly coastal town. It is a large city with plenty of things that kids can enjoy including museums, theaters, a zoo, and even the Space Center.

Is Charleston or Houston a more walkable city?

Charleston
Houston

Charleston is more walkable than Houston.

Charleston is a very walkable destination. The downtown area is very walkable, but once you leave the historic heart, it's best to have a car.

Houston is generally not a very walkable coastal town. The most walkable neighborhood is the historic Houston Heights.

Should I spend more time in Houston or Charleston?

How long in Charleston or Houston?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Charleston and Houston. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Charleston than Houston.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Charleston is 2-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Houston is 2-3 days.


  • How many days in Charleston or Houston? Ideal Length of Stay
    Charleston 2-7 
    Houston 2-3

One day in Charleston or Houston?

In Charleston, you'll find shopping and museums. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This coastal town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

When visiting Houston, people usually allow for lots of time. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Charleston or Houston?

In Charleston, you'll find museums and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Charleston has to offer.

When visiting Houston, people usually allow for lots of time. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.


Five days in Charleston or Houston?

Charleston is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Charleston has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Houston, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Charleston or Houston?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Charleston. In Charleston, you'll find live music and food. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Houston is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Which city is cheaper, Houston or Charleston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Charleston is $136, while the average daily cost in Houston is $210. 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 Charleston and Houston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charleston $72
    Houston $113
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charleston $144
    Houston $226
Compare Hotels in Charleston and Houston

Looking for a hotel in Charleston or Houston? 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 Charleston


Hotels in Houston


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: Charleston Hotel Prices and Houston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charleston $26
    Houston $58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $124
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charleston Airport (CHS): $52
  • Private transfer: Charleston to Charleston Airport (CHS): $622

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Houston William P. Hobby Airport HOU: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer to Houston William P. Hobby Airport HOU: $36
  • Private Airport Transfer: Houston to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH): $40
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Houston George Bush Airport (IAH): $44
  • Private Departure Transfer to Houston George Bush Airport IAH: $44
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $47
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Houston Downtown to George Bush Airport: $47
  • Transfer in private minivan from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $47
  • Transfer in private minivan from Houston City Center to George Bush Airport: $47
  • Private Airport Transfer: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Houston: $52
  • Private Arrival Transfer from IAH Airport to Johnson Space Center: $61
  • Arrival Private Transfer Houston George Bush Airport IAH to Houston by Sedan Car: $62

Is it cheaper to fly into Charleston or Houston?

Prices for flights to both Houston and Charleston 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
    Charleston $46
    Houston $28
Typical Food prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of dining costs in Charleston are as follows:


  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
    $21
  • Breakfast
    $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston

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

  • Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour: $73
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Chef's Kitchen Guided Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Savor the Flavors Upper King Street Food Tour: $95
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Charleston: $129
  • Undiscovered 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class: $154
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Charleston w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Houston

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

  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $65
  • Downtown Houston Food Tour: $74
  • The Heights Food Tour: $74
  • Culinary Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $77

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charleston $17
    Houston $11
Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Charleston are as follows:


  • Patriots Point (for 2)
    $60

Tours and Activities in Charleston

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

  • Charleston's Haunted Ghost Tour - Smart Phone Guided Tour: $5.00
  • Charleston Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $16
  • Charleston's Pleasing Terrors Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Downtown Charleston Walking Tour with Certified Local Guide: $21
  • Historic Charleston Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour: $21
  • Highlights of Charleston Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Charleston French Quarter Historic Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Drayton Hall Plantation Admission Ticket in Charleston: $22
  • Small-Group Tour: Charleston Old Walled City Historical Walking Tour: $23
  • Charleston Terrors Walking Ghost Tour: $23
  • Charleston Ghosts of Liberty Guided Walking Tour: $25
  • 90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of Charleston: $25

Tours and Activities in Houston

Here are a few actual costs in Houston for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Ultimate Houston Self-Driving Audio Tour: $8.00
  • Houston Museum of Natural Sciences: Planetarium Ticket: $9.00
  • Haunted Houston Ghost Walking Tour (All Ages): $21
  • Space Center Houston Admission Ticket: $25
  • Museum of Natural Sciences Ticket: $25
  • Astroville Underground Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston: $26
  • Houston Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $30
  • 3D Printer Factory Tour plus 2 ft Tall Rocket!: $31
  • Houston's Official Hop on-Hop off Tour: $32
  • Astroville Weekend Downtown Houston Tour With Tunnel Access: $35
  • Underground Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston: $35
  • Astroville Rockets Basketball Game Day Tour with Tunnel Access: $36

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charleston $28
    Houston $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Charleston:

  • Charleston Bar Hunt: Charleston Chase Bar Crawl: $12
  • Ghost Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in Haunted Charleston: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market: $37

Sample the Local Flavors in Houston

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

  • Skip the Line: Distillery Tour Ticket: $21
  • Haunted Houston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Brewery Tour: $53
  • Astroville Downtown Bar Crawl & Tunnel Access (2 Cocktails Beverages Included): $58
  • SUV St. Arnold Brewery Tour: $487


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


When is the best time to visit Charleston or Houston?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Charleston or Houston in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Charleston and Houston. Many travelers come to Charleston for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, many visitors come to Houston in the summer for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Charleston is generally around the same temperature as Houston. Temperatures in Charleston average around 82°F (28°C), and Houston stays around 84°F (29°C).

Houston receives a lot of rain in the summer. Charleston gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Charleston usually receives more rain than Houston. Charleston gets 6.9 inches (176 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.8 inches (122 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Charleston 82°F (28°C) 
    Houston 84°F (29°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Houston in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Charleston as well as Houston. Many visitors come to Charleston in the autumn for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Additionally, most visitors come to Houston for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene during these months.

Charleston is cooler than Houston in the autumn. The temperature in Charleston is usually 67°F (19°C) in October, and Houston stays around 71°F (22°C).

It's quite rainy in Houston. Charleston usually gets less rain in October than Houston. Charleston gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Charleston 67°F (19°C) 
    Houston 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Houston in the Winter?

Both Houston and Charleston are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Charleston for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Houston because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Charleston is cooler than Houston. Typically, the winter temperatures in Charleston in January are around 47°F (9°C), and Houston is about 52°F (11°C).

In January, Charleston usually receives around the same amount of rain as Houston. Charleston gets 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Charleston 47°F (9°C) 
    Houston 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Houston in the Spring?

Both Houston and Charleston during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Charleston because of the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, the activities around the city are the main draw to Houston this time of year.

In April, Charleston is generally cooler than Houston. Temperatures in Charleston average around 64°F (18°C), and Houston stays around 70°F (21°C).

Charleston usually gets less rain in April than Houston. Charleston gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Charleston 64°F (18°C) 
    Houston 70°F (21°C)

Typical Weather for Houston and Charleston

Charleston Houston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 47°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Feb 50°F (10°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Mar 58°F (14°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm) 76°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Jun 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm) 84°F (29°C) 4.8 inches (122 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 83°F (29°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Sep 76°F (25°C) 4.8 inches (121 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Oct 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 71°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Nov 58°F (15°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm)
Dec 51°F (10°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)


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Charleston vs. Houston Travel Comparison

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