A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Charleston vs. Salt Lake City for Food, Couples, Attractions, and Nightlife

Should you visit Charleston or Salt Lake City?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Charleston or Salt Lake City, 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.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a notable, religious, and architectural city. Other popular activities here include museums, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Charleston and Salt Lake City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Home to Temple Square
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Charleston or Salt Lake City?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Charleston than Salt Lake City. While Salt Lake City is larger than Charleston, Charleston has more sights and attractions for tourists. Charleston is very popular for its food, nightlife, music, resorts, beaches, historical sights, shopping, christmas markets, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Salt Lake City attracts visitors for its museums, scuba diving & snorkeling, and hiking. Charleston is famous for its historic city market, low-country cuisine, Civil War history, and antebellum houses. It is also well known for The Waterfront Park. Salt Lake City is famous for its religious landmarks and its large Mormon population.

How is Charleston different from Salt Lake City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Charleston or Salt Lake City?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is notable for its sights and museums. Also, Charleston is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for its museums and history.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Salt Lake City can be an interesting and educational experience. Many of the fascinating sights around town are influenced by the city's Mormon culture. Temple Square is a highlight for most visitors. It spans 35 acres and is beautifully landscaped with several fountains. There are also four main churches - The Temple, the Tabernacle, the Temple Annex, and Assembly Hall. The city also has several museums such as the Natural History Museum and the historic Liberty Park.

Charleston is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. This city is famous for its many historic churches and plantations. The plantations are open to visit and will educate you on the city's past, which is heavily involved in slavery. You can also visit Fort Sumter National Monument by boat or take a tour of the USS Yorktown.


Is the Food Better in Charleston or Salt Lake City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston is a world-class destination for its restaurants. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Charleston has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. Food lovers will enjoy the city's low country classics. There are many local restaurants in town that serve southern specialties. You can also head a bit out of the town center if you want a waterfront restaurant. Local favorites include she-crab soup, shrimp and grits, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes.

Salt Lake City offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. In recent years the food scene has really improved and you'll find a variety of restaurants that serve everything from upscale dishes to more casual fare.

Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for Nightlife?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston is very good for its evening party scene. However, Salt Lake City is lacking in good options for nightlife.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Charleston. As a college town, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs around town. There's also a lively music scene. Head to the areas near the college for the most affordable and active nightlife. Popular clubs in town include Cure Night Club, Deco Nightclub, and Mynt.

Salt Lake City is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. Known for its large Mormon population, nightlife isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Salt Lake City. While it will likely never be a party city, there are a growing number of entertainment options around town.

Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for Music?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston is very good for its music scene. However, Salt Lake City is not a live music destination.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Charleston. You can hear a number of local bands or enjoy a more widely known group at larger venues in the area.

Salt Lake City is not a live music destination.


Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for Resorts?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston is very good for its luxury resorts. However, Salt Lake City is not a resort destination.

Charleston has a few great resort options. The town has mostly hotels and bed and breakfasts in the downtown area, but nearby Kiawah Island has a number of nice resorts to choose from. Kiawah Island is particularly kid-friendly if you're looking for a family beach vacation. If you have a bit more money to spend and want something more residential, check out nearby Seabrook Island.

Salt Lake City is not a resort destination.

Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a nice place to visit for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Charleston is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Salt Lake City has a few areas where visitors often go scuba diving or snorkeling. There are a number of good ski resorts nearby, making this a good base or starting point for a ski vacation.

Charleston is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for Beaches?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston is a very popular place for the beach. However, Salt Lake City is not a beach destination.

Charleston is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. The area has a number of beautiful and fun nearby beaches including Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island. Folly Beach is an active and quirky beach area, while Kiawah is more family-friendly. Seabrook is more residential and more expensive.

Salt Lake City is not a beach destination.


Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for its Old Town?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston is a world-class destination for its historic old town charm. However, Salt Lake City does not have a historic old town.

The historic old town of Charleston is revered around the world. Charleston's downtown is one of the most charming and well preserved Old Town's in the United States. It's easy to see why it's become a world class destination.

Salt Lake City does not have a historic old town.

Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for Hiking?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a nice place to visit for the nearby hiking options. However, Charleston is not a hiking destination.

Salt Lake City has hiking trails worth exploring. The city offers easy access to many diverse trails, so if you're a nature enthusiasts, you'll appreciate this destination.

Charleston is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Charleston or Salt Lake City?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston is a world-class destination for its shopping areas. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for shopping.

Many people travel to Charleston specifically to go shopping. 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, particularly along King Street, which has boutiques and high end outlets. Outside of town, stop by Tanger Outlet Mall if you want name brands at a discount price.

Salt Lake City is a great destination for shopping. The city has sprawling outlet malls as well as local stores and craft shops. City Creek Center is a favorite shopping destination, but there are also several large shopping malls that are worth visiting.


Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for Christmas?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston is a very popular place for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Salt Lake City does not offer Christmas activities.

Since it has plenty to do, Charleston is a very popular place to visit during Christmas. During the Christmas season there are a number of festivals, light shows, and even a boat parade that everyone can enjoy.

Salt Lake City does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for Christmas Markets?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston is very good for visiting Christmas markets. However, Salt Lake City does not offer Christmas markets.

Charleston offers some nice Christmas markets. Marion Square hosts Christmas Markets on weekends throughout the holiday season.

Salt Lake City does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for Families?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston and Salt Lake City are both nice destinations for the whole family.

Charleston is a family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of family-friendly activities like carriage rides and boat rides. There's also an aquarium, a waterfront park, and many kid-friendly museums. The nearby beaches also make it a wonderful place to visit with kids.

Salt Lake City is a family-friendly coastal town. There are museums that kids will enjoy like the Natural History Museum of Utah and the Leonardo Museum. There are also fun-filled activities like a visit to Lagoon Amusement Park. You can learn about history at This Is the Place Heritage Park or learn about the undersea world at Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.


Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for Couples?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston is a world-class destination for couples. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

For those traveling as a couple, Charleston has plenty to offer. 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.

Salt Lake City is a nice destination for couples. The city is filled with beautiful gardens like Red Butte Garden. There are also nice restaurants and romantic hotels that will make this a nice place for a couple's getaway.

Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for Students?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston is very good for its student-friendly activities. However, Salt Lake City is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Charleston. The city is a college town with a young vibe that is perfect for students. There's a nice university area where you'll find cheaper places to eat and a good nightlife scene.

Salt Lake City is not popular with students.

Is Charleston or Salt Lake City Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a nice place to visit for its public transit. However, Charleston is a mediocre coastal town for times when you don't have a car.

Salt Lake City has a few public transit options. There's a surprisingly good public transit system that includes light rail, buses, and commuter trains, but if you want to get out of town you'll need to have a car.

Public transit is mostly limited in Charleston. While there are some buses, you really must have a car to fully experience the entire area.


Is Charleston or Salt Lake City a more walkable city?

Charleston
Salt Lake City

Charleston is a very popular place for its ease of walking around. However, Salt Lake City is lacking in good options for its walkability.

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.

Salt Lake City is generally not very walkable. While some neighborhoods are walkable, like Temple Square, most visitors prefer to have a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Charleston Worth Visiting? and Is Salt Lake City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Salt Lake City or Charleston?

How long in Charleston or Salt Lake City?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Charleston and Salt Lake City. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Charleston than in Salt Lake City. Usually, 2-7 days is a good amount of time for Charleston, and 2-3 days is enough time in Salt Lake City.

Families should spend more time in Charleston than Salt Lake City. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Charleston, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Charleston than Salt Lake City. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Charleston that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Charleston than Salt Lake City if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Charleston.


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

One day in Charleston or Salt Lake City?

In Charleston, you'll find nightlife and live music. Visiting the old town is also a must. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

With museums and food around the religious city of Salt Lake City, there's plenty to do. 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 Salt Lake City?

Charleston is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

With food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the destination of Salt Lake City, there's plenty to do. 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 Salt Lake City?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Charleston. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

Salt Lake City, 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 Salt Lake City?

In Charleston, you'll find shopping and museums. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Your budget might influence how long you stay. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. One week is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Salt Lake City 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, and The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Salt Lake City or Charleston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Charleston is $170, while the average daily cost in Salt Lake City is $246. 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 Charleston and Salt Lake City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charleston $90
    Salt Lake City $119
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charleston $180
    Salt Lake City $238
Compare Hotels in Charleston and Salt Lake City

Looking for a hotel in Charleston or Salt Lake City? 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 Salt Lake City


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 Salt Lake City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charleston $33
    Salt Lake City $45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Private Transfer from Charleston Cruise Port to Charleston city: $54
  • Private Transfer from Charleston City to Charleston Cruise Port: $54
  • Isle of Palms/Sullivans Island to Charleston Airport –Departure Private Transfer: $103
  • From Boone Hall Plantation Entry with Transfers: $71
  • Folly Beach to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $103
  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $87
  • Charleston Airport: One-Way Transfer to Charleston: $153
  • Charleston Airport to Isle of Palms/Sullivans Island– Arrival Private Transfer: $103
  • Charleston Airport to Isle of Palms/Sullivans Island -Roundtrip Private Transfer: $206
  • Charleston Airport (CHS) to Kiawah/Seabrook Islands – Arrival Private Transfer: $117
  • Charleston Airport (CHS) to Folly Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $103
  • Charleston Airport (CHS) to Charleston city - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $173

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salt Lake City

Also for Salt Lake City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Departure Transfer to Salt Lake City Airport SLC: $36
  • Salt Lake City to Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) - Departure Private Transfer: $46
  • Private Transfer: Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City : $106
  • Private Transfer: Salt Lake City to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) : $106
  • Salt Lake Airport (SLC) to Canyons Village - Arrival Transfer: $114
  • Private Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City : $119
  • Private Transfer from SLC to Salt Lake City : $119
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Park City UT - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $180
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC): Transfer to Salt Lake City: $200
  • Salt Lake Airport (SLC) to Canyons Village - Round-Trip Transfer: $228
  • Private Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Park City hotel or address: $259

Is it cheaper to fly into Charleston or Salt Lake City?

Prices for flights to both Salt Lake City 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 $58
    Salt Lake City $50
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.

  • Charleston Sunset Blues & BBQ Dinner Cruise: $63
  • Charleston Harbor Luxury Dinner Cruise with Live Music: $88
  • Luxury Harbor Dinner Cruise: $93
  • Savor the Flavors Upper King Street Food Tour: $95
  • Charleston Food Tour: $99
  • Historic Downtown Food Tour with Tastings: $99
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour: $107
  • Charleston Farm-to-Table Food Tour and Chef's Challenge: $109
  • Charleston Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $110
  • Downtown Charleston Food Tour: $110
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $110
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $110

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charleston $22
    Salt Lake City $28
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 Hours Private Morris Island and River Cruise: $255
  • 1.5-Hour Charleston Harbor Cruise with Live Narration: $42
  • 2 Hours Shem Creek Safari Kayak Tour: $52
  • 2-Hour Guided Kayak Eco Tour in Charleston: $54
  • 300 Years of War and Peacetime in A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • 90-Minute Charleston City Sightseeing Bus Tour : $37
  • Afternoon Schooner Sightseeing Dolphin Cruise on Charleston Harbor: $56
  • An Amazing Guided Ghost Tour: $30
  • Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston: $78
  • Boone Hall Plantation All-Access Admission Ticket: $28
  • Bruce Knows Charleston Walking Tour: $30
  • Charleston Bird Watching Tour : $45

Tours and Activities in Salt Lake City

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

  • Mormon History - Salt Lake Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Mormon History Salt Lake Self-Guided Audio app Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Salt Lake City by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $13
  • Salt Lake City Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Salt Lake City & La Sal: Self-Guided Walking & Driving Tour: $20
  • Salt Lake City Haunted Old Town Tour: $23
  • Salt Lake City Ghost Tour: Outer Reaches Tour: $23
  • Haunted Walking Tour: $26
  • 45 Minute Great Salt Lake Boat Tour: $37
  • History & Culture Guided Walking Day Tour: $50
  • Salt Lake City Walking Tour: $50

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charleston $36
    Salt Lake City $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

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

  • Women and Wine Tour: $18
  • Charleston Women and Wine Tour: $20
  • Guided Pub Crawl and Haunted History Tour: $30
  • Bay Street Bastards Pub Crawl Shared Tour in Charleston : $35
  • Speakeasy Sagas Prohibition Pub Crawl: $35
  • Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $35
  • Historic District Haunted Pub Crawl Tour: $40
  • Charleston Brewery District Cruise (Public Tour): $95
  • Wadmalaw Island Wine Tasting and Tea Garden Trip: $135
  • Half Day Party Bus Brewery Tour of Charleston: $140


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Charleston and Salt Lake City, we can see that Salt Lake City 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 Salt Lake City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Salt Lake City than you might in Charleston.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Charleston Expensive? and Is Salt Lake City Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Charleston or Salt Lake City?

Salt Lake City has a larger population, and is about 84% larger than the population of Charleston. When comparing the sizes of Charleston and Salt Lake City, 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 along with the activities and attractions that interest you.