A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Charleston vs. Santa Fe for Food, Old Town, Couples, and Attractions

Should you visit Charleston or Santa Fe?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Charleston or Santa Fe, 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 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.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a artsy, cultural, and historic historic 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 museums, skiing, and live music.

Charleston and Santa Fe: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples

How is Charleston different from Santa Fe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Charleston or Santa Fe Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Santa Fe

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

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.

Santa Fe is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Head to the Museum of New Mexico Complex, which has four museums that give a great overview of the history of the area. Also make sure you visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

Is Charleston or Santa Fe Better for Food?

Santa Fe

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Charleston and Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe. Local dishes include sopaipillas made with Native American fry bread, slow-cooked beans, and anything made with red and green chile peppers.

Is Charleston or Santa Fe Better for Nightlife?

Santa Fe

Evening events are similar in both Charleston and Santa Fe.

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.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Santa Fe. While most of the town quiets down at night, the city has a few areas that stay active late into the night.

Is Charleston or Santa Fe Better for Music?

Santa Fe

Both Charleston and Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe. The town has an eclectic music scene that includes a mix of the blues, country, Latin American music, and bluegrass.

Is Charleston or Santa Fe Better for its Old Town?

Santa Fe

Charleston and Santa Fe both have historical old towns that attract visitors.

Charleston offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. 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.

Santa Fe is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. As the 2nd oldest city in the United States, the old town historic district is filled with charm. The Pueblo-style buildings are brightly colored and there are churches throughout.

Is Charleston or Santa Fe Better for Shopping?

Santa Fe

Both Charleston and Santa Fe are good shopping destinations.

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.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Santa Fe. There are many unique shops and art galleries that feature local artists and craftsmen.

Is Charleston or Santa Fe Better for Families?

Santa Fe

Charleston and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe is a family-friendly coastal town. There are a few kids' museums in Santa Fe including the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Meow Wolf Art Complex. Kids also enjoy the botanical gardens at Museum Hill and Bandelier National Monument just outside of the city.

Is Charleston or Santa Fe Better for Couples?

Santa Fe

While Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe is a nice destination for couples. There are many romantic inns around town, each with a lot of character. The town also has a lot of atmosphere that makes for a romantic getaway.

Is Charleston or Santa Fe a more walkable city?

Santa Fe

Charleston and Santa Fe 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.

Santa Fe is very walkable. The historic district is walkable and it's easy to visit most of the tourist sights in this area on foot.

Should I spend more time in Santa Fe or Charleston?

How long in Charleston or Santa Fe?

In either Charleston or Santa Fe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Charleston than Santa Fe because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Charleston is 2-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Santa Fe is 2-5 days.

  • How many days in Charleston or Santa Fe? Ideal Length of Stay
    Charleston 2-7 
    Santa Fe 2-5

One day in Charleston or Santa Fe?

The beautiful coastal town of Charleston offers museums and nightlife. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

With live music and food around the historic historic town of Santa Fe, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Charleston or Santa Fe?

Charleston is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this coastal town makes for a great vacation. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Charleston, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

With food and shopping around the destination of Santa Fe, there's plenty to do. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this historic town.

Five days in Charleston or Santa Fe?

Charleston is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Charleston, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Santa Fe, a popular historic town, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. Visiting the old town is also a must. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this historic town. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Charleston or Santa Fe?

Charleston is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Charleston has to offer. This coastal town offers something for everyone.

Santa Fe 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, Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe is $127. 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 Santa Fe in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charleston $72
    Santa Fe $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charleston $144
    Santa Fe $128
Compare Hotels in Charleston and Santa Fe

Looking for a hotel in Charleston or Santa Fe? 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 Santa Fe

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 Santa Fe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charleston $26
    Santa Fe $49

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 Santa Fe

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Santa Fe Airport (SAF): $62
  • Private Departure Transfer to Santa Fe Airport SAF: $125

Is it cheaper to fly into Charleston or Santa Fe?

Prices for flights to both Santa Fe 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 Meals for one day
    Charleston $46
    Santa Fe $35
Typical Food prices in Charleston

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

  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
  • Breakfast

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 Santa Fe

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

  • Dinner at the Coffee Farm: $55
  • Santa Fe Railyard Arts District Food Tour: $102
  • New Mexican Flavors Food Tour of the Santa Fe Plaza: $138

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charleston $17
    Santa Fe $13
Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston

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

  • Patriots Point (for 2)

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 Santa Fe

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

  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Small-Group Canyon Road Art Tour: $37
  • Beer and Art Tour: $40
  • Land Tour | Bantayan Island - Sightseeing - Guided Tour: $46
  • Walk Granada's Skyline Tour: $49
  • Canyon Road Curated Art Walking Tour: $52
  • Search for The Story-Documentary Film School Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $52
  • Santa Fe Architectural Walking Tour: $115
  • Small-Group E-Bike Adventure Tour through Hidden Santa Fe: $155
  • Lonely Planet Experiences: Private Walking Tour of Santa Fe: $170
  • Bantayan Island Day Tour From Cebu: $173
  • The Best of Santa Fe Walking Tour: $498

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charleston $28
    Santa Fe $7.74

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 Santa Fe

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

  • Join-In Wine Tours: $152
  • White Water Rafting and Wine Tour: $217

When comparing the travel costs between Charleston and Santa Fe, 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.

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Charleston vs. Santa Fe Travel Comparison

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