A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Charleston vs. San Diego for Food, Beaches, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Charleston or San Diego?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Charleston or San Diego, 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 southern, quaint, and historic 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. Visitors also love the live music, food, and beaches.

San Diego

San Diego is a relaxed, outdoorsy, and idyllic coastal city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Charleston and San Diego: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Charleston or San Diego?

Travelers will usually find more to do in San Diego than Charleston, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. San Diego is more popular for its museums, nightlife, music, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, hiking, and big city activities, while Charleston is known for its food, historical sights, shopping, christmas markets, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. San Diego is more touristy than Charleston and is popular for its relaxed coastal atmosphere, its many kid-friendly sights, and its beautiful beaches with critter-filled tidal pools. It is also home to The San Diego Zoo. Charleston is popular for its historic city market, low-country cuisine, Civil War history, and antebellum houses.

How is Charleston different from San Diego?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between San Diego 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 San Diego?

Charleston
San Diego

San Diego 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 San Diego can be an interesting and educational experience. While the city is famous for it's beaches, zoos, and aquariums, don't overlook the museums and other landmarks. Popular options include the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, the Old Town State Historic Park, and Point Loma and Cabrillo Monument.

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 San Diego? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Charleston
San Diego

Charleston is renowned for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Eat your way through Charleston, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. 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.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the San Diego area. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. There are many casual dining options that serve informal foods like burgers or salads, but there are also award-winning fine dining restaurants with elegant atmospheres. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.

Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Nightlife?

Charleston
San Diego

San Diego is notable for its evening party scene. Also, Charleston is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for nightlife.

San Diego has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The heart of the city's nightlife scene is in the Gaslamp District, which is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues. There's a young student population that keeps the nightlife scene casual and fun.

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.

Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Music?

Charleston
San Diego

San Diego is notable for its music scene. Also, Charleston is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for live music.

If you love music, you'll find something to enjoy in San Diego. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.

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.


Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Resorts?

Charleston
San Diego

With a similar set of options, good resorts can be found in both Charleston and San Diego.

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.

San Diego has a handful of resorts to choose from. Most people prefer to stay in hotels or VRBOs, but several popular resorts include Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Paradise Point, and the famous Hotel del Coronado.

Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Charleston
San Diego

San Diego is a nice place to visit for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Charleston is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

San Diego has a few areas where visitors often go scuba diving or snorkeling. Popular snorkeling and diving spots include La Jolla Cove, Mission Bay, and Turtle Town. The water's a bit chili, but it's still worth going for a dive or popping on a mask and snorkeling around for a bit.

Charleston is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Beaches?

Charleston
San Diego

San Diego is an amazing coastal city to visit for the beach. Also, Charleston is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for its beaches.

The beaches in San Diego are among the best in the world. The city has great beaches with tidal pools and interesting sea life at low tide. Adults and kids alike will enjoy hitting the beach when the tides are out and looking for local critters in the tidal pools. Popular beaches in the area include La Jolla Cove Beach, Coronado Beach, and Pacific Beach.

The beaches at Charleston attract visitors from all over. 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.


Is Charleston or San Diego Better for its Old Town?

Charleston
San Diego

Charleston is renowned for its old town. However, San Diego does not have a historic old town.

The old town of Charleston is one of the most recognized in 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.

San Diego does not have a historic old town.

Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Hiking?

Charleston
San Diego

San Diego is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Charleston is not a hiking destination.

San Diego is a popular spot for hiking. The city is filled with parks and has tons of natural beauty. There is plenty of urban hiking in town, or you can visit more natural areas just out of town. Head to Torrey Pines State Park or Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail for some nice hikes.

Charleston is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Charleston or San Diego?

Charleston
San Diego

Charleston is renowned for its shopping opportunities. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its shopping areas.

Known for shopping, Charleston draws large crowds to its stores. 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.

Many visitors go to San Diego to go shopping. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping. There are suburban shopping malls in the area as well as souvenir shops in the more touristy areas.


Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Christmas?

Charleston
San Diego

Charleston is great for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, San Diego does not offer Christmas activities.

Charleston is a very popular destination during Christmas. During the Christmas season there are a number of festivals, light shows, and even a boat parade that everyone can enjoy.

San Diego does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Christmas Markets?

Charleston
San Diego

Charleston is a good destination for visiting Christmas markets. However, San Diego does not offer Christmas markets.

Visiting the Christmas markets is popular in Charleston. Marion Square hosts Christmas Markets on weekends throughout the holiday season.

San Diego does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Families?

Charleston
San Diego

San Diego is an amazing coastal city to visit for its family-friendly activities. Also, Charleston is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

San Diego is an amazing family-friendly coastal city to visit. The city is filled with kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world-class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more. The year-round warm weather makes it easy to spend plenty of time outdoors in parks, playgrounds, and beaches where kids can stretch their legs and run around.

Charleston is a family-friendly coastal town. 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.


Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Couples?

Charleston
San Diego

Charleston and San Diego are both world-class to visit as a couple.

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.

San Diego is a great coastal town for couples, as it has plenty to offer. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. The beaches offer a great playground for adults who enjoy the water and warm weather. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.

Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Charleston
San Diego

San Diego is a nice place to visit for backpackers. However, Charleston is a mediocre coastal town for backpackers and budget travelers.

It's common for backpackers to visit San Diego. Backpackers will enjoy the young vibe of the city. There are a few great hostels near the beach or in town.

Charleston is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Hotels in the old town tend to be pricey and there isn't the backpacker community that you find in many other destinations. Still, there are a couple of hostels.

Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Students?

Charleston
San Diego

San Diego is an amazing coastal city to visit for students. Also, Charleston is not as famous, but is still a good coastal town to visit for its student-friendly activities.

San Diego is a great destination for students. With its young population and many universities, international students will feel right at home in San Diego. There are also many great outdoor activities for the adventurous.

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.


Is Charleston or San Diego Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Charleston
San Diego

Both Charleston and San Diego offer decent public transit options.

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

Public transit is mostly limited in San Diego. The city has a trolley (light rail system) as well as a bus system. Most people depend on cars to get around, and you'll likely enjoy your trip a bit more if you have your own vehicle.

Is Charleston or San Diego a more walkable city?

Charleston
San Diego

Charleston is great for its high level of walkability. Also, San Diego is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its ease of walking around.

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

San Diego is a somewhat walkable coastal town. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.

For even more information, also check out Is Charleston Worth Visiting? and Is San Diego Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in San Diego or Charleston?

How long in Charleston or San Diego?

In either Charleston or San Diego, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Charleston than San Diego because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-7 days is a good amount of time for Charleston, and 3-5 days is enough time in San Diego.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in San Diego than Charleston 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 San Diego.


  • How many days in Charleston or San Diego? Ideal Length of Stay
    Charleston 2-7 
    San Diego 3-5

One day in Charleston or San Diego?

You'll find nightlife and live music around the quaint coastal town of Charleston. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

With museums and nightlife around the relaxed coastal city of San Diego, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Charleston or San Diego?

You'll find live music and food around the classic destination of Charleston. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal town has to offer. This coastal town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

With nightlife and live music around the destination of San Diego, there's plenty to do. It's also a great beach destination, too. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Five days in Charleston or San Diego?

You'll find food and shopping around the charming coastal town of Charleston. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this coastal town makes for a great vacation. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal town has to offer.

San Diego, a popular coastal city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this coastal city. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Charleston or San Diego?

Charleston is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Charleston, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

San Diego is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. 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, San Diego 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 San Diego is $202. 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 San Diego in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charleston $90
    San Diego $115
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charleston $180
    San Diego $230
Compare Hotels in Charleston and San Diego

Looking for a hotel in Charleston or San Diego? 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 San Diego


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 San Diego Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charleston $33
    San Diego $24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • San Diego International Airport (SAN) Private Arrival Transfer: $38
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in San Diego HTL-APT(SAN): $47
  • Private Departure Transfer to San Diego Airport SAN: $50
  • Tijuana to Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) – Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) to Tijuana hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $54
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Diego Airport SAN: $56
  • Transfer in private minivan from San Diego Downtown to San Diego Airport (SAN): $68
  • Transfer in private minivan from San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego Downtown: $68
  • San Diego Airport: One-Way Private Transfer to San Diego: $70
  • San Diego Airport - Private Round Trip Transfer: $70
  • Private Transfer from San Diego Port to San Diego city hotels: $74
  • Private Transfer to San Diego International Airport from San Diego: $77

Is it cheaper to fly into Charleston or San Diego?

Prices for flights to both San Diego 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
    San Diego $45
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

Typical Food Prices in San Diego

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


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

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

  • Old Town Tequila and Tacos Walking Food Tour: $81
  • Little Italy Food and Drink Walking Tour - Pizza, Pasta & Piazzas: $85
  • Gaslamp Quarter Downtown San Diego Food Tour: $89
  • Gaslamp Quarter Food Tour: $89
  • San Diego Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $95
  • San Diego, Seaport Village: Waterfront Walking Food Tour: $99
  • Guided Secret Food Tour: $101
  • Scenic Buffet Dinner Cruise: $108
  • San Diego Dinner Cruise: $116
  • Gourmet Dinner Cruise: $118
  • San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise: $118
  • Thanksgiving Day Buffet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $121

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charleston $22
    San Diego $48
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

Typical Entertainment Prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

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

  • Waterfront Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.26
  • A Seaside Stroll: La Jolla's Hidden Treasures Self-Guided Tour: $7.99
  • Beaches & Bluffs San Diego's Ultimate Coastal Driving Tour: $9.95
  • Historical Walking Tour of San Diego: $10
  • San Diego Natural History Museum Ticket: $12
  • Apple Pies & Desert Skies: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $13
  • Haunted Historic Whaley House - Self-Guided Tour: $14
  • Explore Balboa in a Private Tour of San Diego Hidden Gems: $20
  • Private Walking Tour and Gaslamp Adventure in San Diego: $20
  • San Diego's Historic Treasures and Old Town Tour: $20
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in San Diego by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • San Diego Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charleston $36
    San Diego $21

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

Sample the Local Flavors in San Diego

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

  • San Diego Bar Hunt: Slammin' San Diego Bar Crawl: $13
  • Gaslamp Bar Crawls and Events: $20
  • History Tour Pub Crawl of Famous Gaslamp Quarter: $30
  • Brewery Tour with Tastings and Food Pairings: $85
  • Little Italy Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $119
  • Vino! Vino! Little Italy Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $125
  • Private Wine Tasting Tour in Valle de Guadalupe: $136
  • Cruise & Booze Brewery tours : $149
  • Baja Tour Guide wine tour: $169
  • Sidecar Wine Tasting Tour: $199
  • Brewery and Tap Room Sidecar Tour: $199
  • California Sunset Brewery Tour: $199


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Charleston and San Diego, we can see that San Diego 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 San Diego would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Diego 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 San Diego Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Charleston or San Diego?

San Diego has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Charleston. When comparing the sizes of Charleston and San Diego, 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.


When is the best time to visit Charleston or San Diego?

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 San Diego in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Charleston as well as San Diego. Many travelers come to Charleston for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, many visitors come to San Diego in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Charleston is generally a little warmer than San Diego. Daily temperatures in Charleston average around 82°F (28°C), and San Diego fluctuates around 71°F (22°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in San Diego. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Charleston this time of the year. In the summer, Charleston often gets around the same amount of sunshine as San Diego. Charleston gets 293 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Diego receives 306 hours of full sun.

Charleston receives a lot of rain in the summer. Charleston usually gets more rain in July than San Diego. Charleston gets 6.9 inches (176 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Charleston 82°F (28°C) 
    San Diego 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Charleston or San Diego in the Autumn?

Both San Diego and Charleston are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Charleston in the autumn for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to San Diego for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Charleston is around the same temperature as San Diego in the autumn. The daily temperature in Charleston averages around 67°F (19°C) in October, and San Diego fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).

It's quite sunny in San Diego. Charleston usually receives less sunshine than San Diego during autumn. Charleston gets 197 hours of sunny skies, while San Diego receives 244 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Charleston usually receives more rain than San Diego. Charleston gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0.4 inches (9 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Charleston 67°F (19°C) 
    San Diego 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Charleston or San Diego in the Winter?

Both San Diego and Charleston during the winter are popular places to visit. 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 San Diego because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Charleston is much colder than San Diego. Typically, the winter temperatures in Charleston in January average around 47°F (9°C), and San Diego averages at about 57°F (14°C).

In San Diego, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the winter, Charleston often gets less sunshine than San Diego. Charleston gets 188 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Diego receives 239 hours of full sun.

Charleston usually gets more rain in January than San Diego. Charleston gets 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 1.8 inches (46 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Charleston 47°F (9°C) 
    San Diego 57°F (14°C)

Should I visit Charleston or San Diego in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Charleston and San Diego. The spring months attract visitors to Charleston because of the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to San Diego this time of year.

In April, Charleston is generally around the same temperature as San Diego. Daily temperatures in Charleston average around 64°F (18°C), and San Diego fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in San Diego this time of the year. In Charleston, it's very sunny this time of the year. Charleston usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as San Diego during spring. Charleston gets 275 hours of sunny skies, while San Diego receives 277 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Charleston usually receives more rain than San Diego. Charleston gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0.8 inches (20 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Charleston 64°F (18°C) 
    San Diego 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for San Diego and Charleston

Charleston San Diego
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 47°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.8 inches (46 mm)
Feb 50°F (10°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Mar 58°F (14°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm)
May 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 67°F (19°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm) 71°F (22°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Sep 76°F (25°C) 4.8 inches (121 mm) 71°F (22°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm)
Oct 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.4 inches (9 mm)
Nov 58°F (15°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.5 inches (37 mm)
Dec 51°F (10°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm)