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

Should you visit Charleston or Virginia Beach?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Charleston or Virginia Beach, 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.

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is a fun-filled, relaxing, and bustling coastal city. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include nightlife and beaches.

Charleston and Virginia Beach: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable


How is Charleston different from Virginia Beach?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Charleston or Virginia Beach better for Food?

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

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.

Virginia Beach offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Seafood is plentiful around town. Make sure you try the She Crab Soup, soft shell crabs, and oysters.

Charleston
Virginia Beach


Is Charleston or Virginia Beach better for Nightlife?

Evening events are similar in both Charleston and Virginia Beach.

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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Virginia Beach. Popular places to hang out at night include Omega Bar, Peabody's Nightclub, and Sky Bar.

Charleston
Virginia Beach

Is Charleston or Virginia Beach better for Resorts?

With a similar set of options, resorts can be found in both Charleston and Virginia Beach.

You might not think of Charleston as a resort destination, but it has a few places. 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.

Virginia Beach has a handful of resorts to choose from. Some of the best resorts in the area include the Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and The Founders Inn and Spa.

Charleston
Virginia Beach

Is Charleston or Virginia Beach better for Beaches?

Both Charleston and Virginia Beach have beaches worth visiting.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Charleston. The area has a number of beautiful and fun nearby beaches including Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Virginia Beach. The beaches are long and sandy, but they can get crowded during the summer months. The waves are just the right size for playing in the surf.

Charleston
Virginia Beach

Is Charleston or Virginia Beach better for Families?

Charleston and Virginia Beach 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.

Virginia Beach is a very family-friendly destination. This is a popular family-friendly beach with a nice boardwalk, a fun waterpark, aquarium, and nice beaches.

Charleston
Virginia Beach


Is Charleston or Virginia Beach better for Couples?

While Virginia Beach 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.

Virginia Beach is a nice destination for couples. Couples will enjoy a nice escape to the beaches and boardwalk around Virginia Beach.

Charleston
Virginia Beach

Is Charleston or Virginia Beach a more walkable city?

Charleston is more walkable than Virginia Beach.

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.

Virginia Beach is generally not a very walkable coastal town. Most people prefer to have a car but do note that parking can be a nightmare, particularly during the summer season.

Charleston
Virginia Beach

Should I spend more time in Virginia Beach or Charleston?

How long in Charleston or Virginia Beach?

Both Charleston and Virginia Beach have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

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


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

One day in Charleston or Virginia Beach?

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 nightlife around the fun-filled coastal city of Virginia Beach, 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 Virginia Beach?

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 nightlife around the destination of Virginia Beach, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.


Five days in Charleston or Virginia Beach?

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.

Virginia Beach, a popular coastal city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. 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 Virginia Beach?

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 for a trip here.

Virginia Beach is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this coastal city makes for a great vacation. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal city has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Which city is cheaper, Virginia Beach 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 Virginia Beach is $104. 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 Virginia Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charleston $72
    Virginia Beach $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charleston $144
    Virginia Beach $120
Compare Hotels in Charleston and Virginia Beach

Looking for a hotel in Charleston or Virginia Beach? 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 Virginia Beach


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charleston $26
    Virginia Beach $31

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Virginia Beach

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Virginia Beach:


  • Beach Parking
    $10

Is it cheaper to fly into Charleston or Virginia Beach?

Prices for flights to both Virginia Beach 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
    Virginia Beach $25
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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charleston $17
    Virginia Beach $17
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 Virginia Beach

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

  • Haunted Walking Ghost Tour: $22
  • Sunset Stand Up Paddleboard Tour of Linkhorn Bay: $41
  • Wetland Zip Tour: $61
  • Sunset Dolphin Kayak Tours: $62
  • Small Group Dolphin Kayak Eco-Tour: $62
  • RIDE ALONG GREEK GODS & AQUATISM *Certified Tours*: $75
  • Tour of Virginia Beach (half day), for GROUPS of 10-16: $499
  • Tour of Virginia Beach, for GROUPS of 10-16: $831
  • All-Inclusive, Autumn Weekend Tour for GROUPS of 10-16: $5,901

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charleston $28
    Virginia Beach $8.51

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


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


When is the best time to visit Charleston or Virginia Beach?

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 Virginia Beach in the Summer?

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

In July, Charleston is generally around the same temperature as Virginia Beach. Temperatures in Charleston average around 82°F (28°C), and Virginia Beach stays around 79°F (26°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Virginia Beach. 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 Virginia Beach. Charleston gets 293 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Virginia Beach receives 279 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Virginia Beach. Charleston receives a lot of rain in the summer. Charleston usually gets more rain in July than Virginia Beach. Charleston gets 6.9 inches (176 mm) of rain, while Virginia Beach receives 5.7 inches (145 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Charleston 82°F (28°C) 
    Virginia Beach 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Virginia Beach in the Autumn?

Both Virginia Beach 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 Virginia Beach for the natural beauty of the area.

Charleston is a little warmer than Virginia Beach in the autumn. The temperature in Charleston is usually 67°F (19°C) in October, and Virginia Beach stays around 62°F (16°C).

It's quite sunny in Virginia Beach. Charleston usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Virginia Beach during autumn. At this time of the year, Charleston gets 197 hours of sunny skies, while Virginia Beach receives 211 hours of full sun.

In October, Charleston usually receives around the same amount of rain as Virginia Beach. At this time of the year, Charleston gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Virginia Beach receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Charleston 67°F (19°C) 
    Virginia Beach 62°F (16°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Virginia Beach in the Winter?

Both Virginia Beach 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. Also, many visitors come to Virginia Beach in the winter for the cuisine.

Virginia Beach can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Charleston is much warmer than Virginia Beach. Typically, the winter temperatures in Charleston in January are around 47°F (9°C), and Virginia Beach is about 39°F (4°C).

In the winter, Charleston often gets more sunshine than Virginia Beach. Charleston gets 188 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Virginia Beach receives 168 hours of full sun.

Charleston usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Virginia Beach. Charleston gets 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Virginia Beach receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Charleston 47°F (9°C) 
    Virginia Beach 39°F (4°C)

Should I visit Charleston or Virginia Beach in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Charleston and Virginia Beach. Many visitors come to Charleston in the spring for the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, most visitors come to Virginia Beach for the beaches and the natural beauty during these months.

In April, Charleston is generally a little warmer than Virginia Beach. Temperatures in Charleston average around 64°F (18°C), and Virginia Beach stays around 58°F (14°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Virginia Beach this time of the year. In Charleston, it's very sunny this time of the year. Charleston usually receives more sunshine than Virginia Beach during spring. At this time of the year, Charleston gets 275 hours of sunny skies, while Virginia Beach receives 253 hours of full sun.

In April, Charleston usually receives around the same amount of rain as Virginia Beach. At this time of the year, Charleston gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Virginia Beach receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Charleston 64°F (18°C) 
    Virginia Beach 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Virginia Beach and Charleston

Charleston Virginia Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 47°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Feb 50°F (10°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 58°F (14°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm) 49°F (10°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 64°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Jun 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.7 inches (145 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm)
Sep 76°F (25°C) 4.8 inches (121 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Oct 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Nov 58°F (15°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Dec 51°F (10°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)


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Charleston vs. Virginia Beach Travel Comparison

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