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

Should you visit Charleston or Memphis?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Charleston or Memphis, 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 picturesque, charming, and southern coastal town. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and live music.

Memphis

Memphis is a laid-back, soulful, and creative city. Other popular activities here include food, nightlife, and live music.

Charleston and Memphis: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less active music scene
Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples


How is Charleston different from Memphis?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Charleston or Memphis better for Food?

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Charleston and Memphis can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

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.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Memphis. The town has grown into a foodie destination with excellent barbecue and ribs.

Charleston
Memphis


Is Charleston or Memphis better for Nightlife?

Evening events are similar in both Charleston and Memphis.

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.

Memphis has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. Music is at the heart of the nightlife scene.

Charleston
Memphis

Is Charleston or Memphis better for Music?

For live music, you may want to head to Memphis over Charleston.

In Memphis you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. There are plenty of live music venues in the downtown area that you can explore. Several of the most famous include B.B. King's Blues Club, Handy Park Pavilion, and Blues City Cafe.

You'll find some good live music in Charleston. You can hear a number of local bands or enjoy a more widely known group at larger venues in the area.

Charleston
Memphis

Is Charleston or Memphis better for Shopping?

Charleston usually beats out Memphis 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.

Memphis is a good destination for shopping. The city has plenty of malls and chain stores where you can grab anything you might need.

Charleston
Memphis

Is Charleston or Memphis better for Families?

Charleston and Memphis 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.

Memphis is a family-friendly coastal town. The town has some great activities for kids including a zoo, several museums, petting farms, and a botanical garden.

Charleston
Memphis


Is Charleston or Memphis better for Couples?

While Memphis and Charleston are both popular destinations, overall Charleston is considered to be a more popular choice.

Charleston has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. This beautiful city is one of the most popular wedding destinations in America. It's a very romantic setting with beautiful hotels and bed and breakfasts that are perfect for couples on their honeymoon or looking for a romantic setting.

Memphis is a nice destination for couples. Couples who enjoy good music and southern food will enjoy a weekend here.

Charleston
Memphis

Is Charleston or Memphis a more walkable city?

Charleston and Memphis both are comparable when exploring on foot.

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.

Memphis is somewhat walkable. Most of the touristy parts of town are walkable, but if you want to explore further out you'll need a car.

Charleston
Memphis

Should I spend more time in Memphis or Charleston?

How long in Charleston or Memphis?

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

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


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

One day in Charleston or Memphis?

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.

With food and nightlife around the laid-back city of Memphis, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the live music. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Charleston or Memphis?

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.

With nightlife and live music around the destination of Memphis, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. One of the main draws to the area is the live music. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.


Five days in Charleston or Memphis?

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.

Memphis, 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 Memphis?

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

Memphis is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the live music. 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, Memphis 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 Memphis is $134. 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 Memphis in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charleston $72
    Memphis $67
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charleston $144
    Memphis $134
Compare Hotels in Charleston and Memphis

Looking for a hotel in Charleston or Memphis? 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 Memphis


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.
    Charleston $26
    Memphis $47

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Memphis

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Memphis Airport MEM: $72
  • Private Departure Transfer to Memphis Airport MEM: $72
  • Private Transfers: Memphis Airport: $109
  • Memphis Airport (MEM) to Memphis City - Arrival Private Transfer: $112
  • Memphis City to Memphis Airport (MEM) - Departure Private Transfer: $112
  • Memphis Airport (MEM) to Memphis City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $224
  • Private transfer: Memphis to Memphis Airport (MEM): $622
  • Private transfer: Memphis Airport (MEM) to Memphis: $622

Is it cheaper to fly into Charleston or Memphis?

Prices for flights to both Memphis 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
    Memphis $34
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

Typical Food prices in Memphis

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


  • Baskin Robins (for 2)
    $6.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Memphis

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

  • Taste of Downtown Memphis Food Tour: $64

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charleston $17
    Memphis $36
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:

  • 2-Hour Guided Kayaking Eco Tour in Charleston: $48
  • 2-Hour Paddle Board Eco Tour of Charleston Lowcountry: $48
  • 90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of Charleston: $25
  • Amazing Ladies of Charleston Walking Tour: $35
  • Best of Historic Charleston Walking Tour: $35
  • Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston: $61
  • Bruce Knows Insider Walking Tour of Downtown: $26
  • Car Service: Airport to / from Cruise Port: $130
  • Charleston Attraction & Tour Pass for 1, 2, or 3 Days: $73
  • Charleston Boo Hag & Brews Walking Ghost and Bar Tour: $29
  • Charleston Chicora Walking Tour: $26
  • Charleston City Bus Tour with Charleston Museum Admission: $32

Tours and Activities in Memphis

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

  • Memphis Music Hall of Fame Admission Ticket: $8.00
  • Memphis Music Hall of Fame Admission Ticket: $8.00
  • Memphis Cotton Museum Admission Ticket: $10
  • Entry Ticket to the Edge Motor Museum: $10
  • Rock 'n' Soul Museum with Audio Tour: $11
  • Beale Street Guided Walking Tour: $12
  • Skip the Line: Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum Admission Ticket: $15
  • 1-Hour Beale Street Guided Walking Tour: $16
  • Haunted Memphis Walking Ghost Tour: $16
  • Memphis Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Historic Memphis Guided Walking Tour: $21
  • Memphis Mojo Bus Tour: $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charleston $28
    Memphis $21

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 Memphis

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

  • 2-Hour Private Pedal Tavern Pub Crawl in Downtown Memphis: $800


When comparing the travel costs between Charleston and Memphis, we can see that Charleston 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.


When is the best time to visit Charleston or Memphis?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Charleston or Memphis in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Charleston as well as Memphis. The summer months attract visitors to Charleston because of the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the music scene and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Memphis this time of year.

Charleston is around the same temperature as Memphis in the summer. The temperature in Charleston is usually 82°F (28°C) in July, and Memphis stays around 83°F (29°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Memphis. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Charleston this time of the year. In the summer, Charleston often gets less sunshine than Memphis. Charleston gets 293 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Memphis receives 328 hours of full sun.

Charleston receives a lot of rain in the summer. Charleston usually gets more rain in July than Memphis. Charleston gets 6.9 inches (176 mm) of rain, while Memphis receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Charleston 82°F (28°C) 
    Memphis 83°F (29°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Memphis in the Autumn?

Both Memphis and Charleston are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Charleston this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Memphis for the shopping scene and the music scene.

In the autumn, Charleston is around the same temperature as Memphis. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Charleston in October are around 67°F (19°C), and Memphis is about 64°F (18°C).

It's quite sunny in Memphis. Charleston usually receives less sunshine than Memphis during autumn. At this time of the year, Charleston gets 197 hours of sunny skies, while Memphis receives 240 hours of full sun.

In October, Charleston usually receives more rain than Memphis. At this time of the year, Charleston gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Memphis receives 1.6 inches (41 mm) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Charleston 67°F (19°C) 
    Memphis 64°F (18°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Memphis in the Winter?

Both Memphis and Charleston during the winter are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Charleston for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, many visitors come to Memphis in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Memphis can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Charleston is generally much warmer than Memphis. Temperatures in Charleston average around 47°F (9°C), and Memphis stays around 40°F (5°C).

In the winter, Charleston often gets more sunshine than Memphis. Charleston gets 188 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Memphis receives 163 hours of full sun.

Charleston usually gets more rain in January than Memphis. Charleston gets 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Memphis receives 2.4 inches (62 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Charleston 47°F (9°C) 
    Memphis 40°F (5°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Memphis in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Charleston and Memphis. Many visitors come to Charleston in the spring for the beaches and the natural beauty.

Charleston is around the same temperature as Memphis in the spring. The temperature in Charleston is usually 64°F (18°C) in April, and Memphis stays around 64°F (18°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Memphis this time of the year. In Charleston, it's very sunny this time of the year. Charleston usually receives more sunshine than Memphis during spring. At this time of the year, Charleston gets 275 hours of sunny skies, while Memphis receives 254 hours of full sun.

Memphis receives a lot of rain in the spring. In April, Charleston usually receives less rain than Memphis. At this time of the year, Charleston gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Memphis receives 4.3 inches (109 mm) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Charleston 64°F (18°C) 
    Memphis 64°F (18°C)

Typical Weather for Memphis and Charleston

Charleston Memphis
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 47°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 40°F (5°C) 2.4 inches (62 mm)
Feb 50°F (10°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Mar 58°F (14°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm) 54°F (12°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 64°F (18°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm)
May 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Jun 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 80°F (27°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm) 83°F (29°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 82°F (28°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Sep 76°F (25°C) 4.8 inches (121 mm) 76°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Oct 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.6 inches (41 mm)
Nov 58°F (15°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)
Dec 51°F (10°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 44°F (7°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)


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Charleston vs. Memphis Travel Comparison

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