A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Charlotte vs. Duck for Families, Couples, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Charlotte or Duck?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Charlotte and Duck can help you decide which place is right for you.

Charlotte

Charlotte is a up-and-coming, growing, and evolving city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Duck

Duck is a traditional, compact, and charming beach town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the shopping, food, and beaches.

Charlotte and Duck: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in Charlotte or Duck?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Charlotte than Duck, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Charlotte is better known for its museums, nightlife, and big city activities, while Duck is more popular for its resorts, beaches, hiking, shopping, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Duck is more touristy than Charlotte and is popular for its quaint atmosphere and small town charm. Charlotte is well known for its banking industry and growing Uptown area. Also, Charlotte is famous for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

How is Charlotte different from Duck?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Charlotte or Duck?

Charlotte
Duck

Charlotte is a popular place for its sights and museums. However, Duck is not a good beach town for its museums and history.

Charlotte is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. The Mint Museum is a popular place to visit, as is the Gantt Center for African American Arts. Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and sports enthusiasts will enjoy a stop at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

If you're looking to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Duck. Hanging out at the beach and enjoy water sports or outdoor activities are the main draw of this town. You won't find much in the form of museums or indoor activities.


Is the Food Better in Charlotte or Duck? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Charlotte
Duck

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both Charlotte and Duck.

Charlotte is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The food scene continues to grow and change around town. You'll find the latest trendy restaurant changes regularly, but dishes often include upscale southern faire or classic American. There are also many international restaurants, particularly Mexican, Thai, and Chinese.

Duck offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. For such a small town, there's a decent selection of restaurants that range from local seafood eateries to pizza delivery. Homemade ice cream is a favorite in the area, but you also can't skip out on the flagship Duck Donuts store.

Is Charlotte or Duck Better for Nightlife?

Charlotte
Duck

Charlotte is a popular place for nightlife. However, Duck is not a good beach town for nightlife and partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Charlotte. Head Uptown for some of the best nightlife. The city has many bars and clubs that keep things fun late into the night.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Duck. It's known as a family-friendly destination that isn't often associated with a strong nightlife, but there is often live music and other festivals during the summer months.

Is Charlotte or Duck Better for Resorts?

Charlotte
Duck

Duck is very good for its luxury resorts. However, Charlotte is not a resort destination.

Duck has a few great resort options. Most of the accommodation around town is in the form of vacation beach rental houses that are perfect for family gatherings or larger groups.

Charlotte is not a resort destination.


Is Charlotte or Duck Better for Beaches?

Charlotte
Duck

Duck is terrific for the beach. However, Charlotte is not a beach destination.

With world-famous beaches, Duck is a very popular vacation destination. Long sandy beaches with great surf and a wonderful boardwalk make this a great beach destination. Kids play in the tidal pools and families relax under their beach umbrellas in a classic beach setting.

Charlotte is not a beach destination.

Is Charlotte or Duck Better for Hiking?

Charlotte
Duck

Duck is very good for hiking. However, Charlotte is not a hiking destination.

Many people include a hike when visiting Duck. The Duck Trail runs for six miles and passes through town. It's popular with walkers, cyclists, and inline skaters.

Charlotte is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Charlotte or Duck?

Charlotte
Duck

Duck is great for its shopping areas. Also, Charlotte is not as popular, but is still a nice city for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Duck. Head to the Waterfront Shops for some of the town's best shopping. You can wander along the boardwalk and check out the independent vendors and local restaurants.

Charlotte is a great destination for shopping. Shopping malls such as SouthPark Mall or Carolina Place offer all of the standard retailers. Concord Mills is another favorite mall in the area. Aside from the malls, there is no shortage of shopping centers around town.


Is Charlotte or Duck Better for Families?

Charlotte
Duck

Duck is great for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Charlotte is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Duck. Kid-friendly beaches, local ice cream joints, and the famed Duck Donuts all make this an ideal kid's beach destination. There's a waterpark nearby and plenty of water sports that the whole family can enjoy. The boardwalk is also a very family-friendly environment.

Charlotte is a family-friendly place to visit. There are a number of museums for kids, with one of the best being Discovery Place. It has many hands-on science based exhibits that kids will love. Another unique experience is a visit to the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Carowinds Amusement Park is also in the area as are many great parks, playgrounds, and natural areas.

Is Charlotte or Duck Better for Couples?

Charlotte
Duck

Duck is great for couples. Also, Charlotte is not as popular, but is still a nice city for romance.

Duck is a great beach town if you're traveling as a couple. It's a charming beach town with great local restaurants and a beautiful and peaceful setting. For couples who want to enjoy a relaxing beach town without the energy of a larger destination, then this is the perfect place. Much of the accommodation is in the form of rental houses, which can be a bit much for a couple, but the setting is perfect for a weekend escape.

Charlotte is a nice destination for couples. There are a number of date night activities around town, particularly Uptown. You can see a show or concert at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center or hit up one of the trendy bars or restaurants. There are also sporting events and other festivals that are fun to experience.

Is Charlotte or Duck Better for Students?

Charlotte
Duck

Charlotte is a popular place for students. However, Duck is not popular with students.

Charlotte is a good city to visit for students. There are a number of smaller colleges in town, but the biggest university is the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Duck is not popular with students.


Is Charlotte or Duck Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Charlotte
Duck

Charlotte is a popular place for its public transit. However, Duck is not a good beach town for times when you don't have a car.

Charlotte has a few public transit options. There's a light rail system as well as buses that travel around town.

Public transit is mostly limited in Duck. It's best to have a car if you want to exploring the Outer Banks and its many activities.

Is Charlotte or Duck a more walkable city?

Charlotte
Duck

Duck is terrific for its ease of walking around. Also, Charlotte is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its walkability.

Duck is a very easy beach town to get around on foot. It's a wonderfully walkable and pedestrian-friendly town with a great boardwalk and many walking and cycling paths.

Charlotte is somewhat walkable. The Uptown area is the most walkable part of the city.

For even more information, also check out Is Charlotte Worth Visiting? and Is Duck Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Duck or Charlotte?

How long in Charlotte or Duck?

Both Charlotte and Duck have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Duck than in Charlotte. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Charlotte, and 5-7 days is enough time in Duck.

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

Couples should spend more time in Duck than Charlotte. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Duck that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Charlotte than Duck 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 Charlotte.


  • How many days in Charlotte or Duck? Ideal Length of Stay
    Charlotte 1-3 
    Duck 5-7

One day in Charlotte or Duck?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Charlotte. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Even though Duck is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. 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.


A weekend in Charlotte or Duck?

Charlotte is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Duck is a small town where visitors enjoy the shopping and food. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This beach town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Charlotte or Duck?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the up-and-coming destination of Charlotte. This city offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Duck is a small town with plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this beach town makes for a great vacation. It's also a great beach destination, too. Most people head to the area for the beaches. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this beach town has to offer.

A week in Charlotte or Duck?

The growing city of Charlotte offers nightlife and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Duck 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 Duck, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, and The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Duck or Charlotte?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Charlotte is $191, while the average daily cost in Duck is $188. 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 Charlotte and Duck in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charlotte $118
    Duck $107
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charlotte $236
    Duck $214
Compare Hotels in Charlotte and Duck

Looking for a hotel in Charlotte or Duck? 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 Charlotte


Hotels in Duck


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: Charlotte Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charlotte $33
    Duck $66

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charlotte

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

  • Private Departure Transfer to Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT): $54
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Arrival Private Transfer: $67
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT): 1-Way Transfer to Charlotte: $99
  • Arrival Transfer: Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte in Business Car: $132
  • Departure Transfer: Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT in Business Car: $132
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $134
  • Charlotte Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Sedan: $150

Is it cheaper to fly into Charlotte or Duck?

Prices for flights to both Duck and Charlotte 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
    Charlotte $46
    Duck $45
Typical Food Prices in Charlotte

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


  • Pizza at Airport
    $4.03
  • Cracker Barrel Lunch (family of 4)
    $29

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charlotte $43
    Duck $13

Tours and Activities in Charlotte

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

  • Charlotte Ghost Walking Tour: Smartphone Audio & GPS Tour: $6.50
  • Charlotte Ghost Walking Tour - Smartphone guided audio/gps Tour at your own pace: $6.75
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Charlotte by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Self-Guided City Highlights Audio Tour: $12
  • Uptown A Self-Guided Audio Tour to the Heart of Queen City: $12
  • Uptown Funk: 1 Hour Guided Walking Tour of Charlotte: $15
  • UPTOWN AT SUNDOWN: 1 Hour Guided Arts Walking Tour in Charlotte: $15
  • UPTOWN FUNK: 1 Hour Guided Historical Walking Tour in Charlotte: $15
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Charlotte by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Charlotte Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Sea Life Charlotte Concord Aquarium Admission Ticket: $25
  • Queen City Ghosts Haunted Walking Tour: $26

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charlotte $20
    Duck $45

Sample the Local Flavors in Charlotte

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

  • Charlotte Brewery Crawl Tour: $48
  • 3-Hour Brewery Crawl on 7 passenger Cart: $48
  • Original Charlotte Brewery Tour - Craft Beer Experience : $125
  • Bar Crawl on a Rollin Disco Ball Golf Cart in Charlotte: $240


When comparing the travel costs between Charlotte and Duck, we can see that Charlotte 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.

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


Which is Bigger, Charlotte or Duck?

Charlotte has a larger population, and is about 1060 times larger than the population of Duck. When comparing the sizes of Charlotte and Duck, 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 Charlotte or Duck?

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 Charlotte or Duck in the Summer?

Both Duck and Charlotte during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Charlotte for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Duck because of the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Charlotte is around the same temperature as Duck. Typically, the summer temperatures in Charlotte in July average around 81°F (27°C), and Duck averages at about 78°F (26°C).

In Duck, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Charlotte. In the summer, Charlotte often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Duck. Charlotte gets 289 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Duck receives 279 hours of full sun.

Duck gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Charlotte. Charlotte usually gets less rain in July than Duck. Charlotte gets 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Charlotte 81°F (27°C) 
    Duck 78°F (26°C)

Should I visit Charlotte or Duck in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Charlotte and Duck. The autumn months attract visitors to Charlotte because of the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. Furthermore, the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Duck this time of year.

In October, Charlotte is generally around the same temperature as Duck. Daily temperatures in Charlotte average around 63°F (17°C), and Duck fluctuates around 62°F (16°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Duck this time of the year. In Charlotte, it's very sunny this time of the year. Charlotte usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Duck during autumn. Charlotte gets 223 hours of sunny skies, while Duck receives 211 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Charlotte usually receives less rain than Duck. Charlotte gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Charlotte 63°F (17°C) 
    Duck 62°F (16°C)

Should I visit Charlotte or Duck in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Charlotte as well as Duck. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Charlotte this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Duck for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Duck. Charlotte is a little warmer than Duck in the winter. The daily temperature in Charlotte averages around 42°F (6°C) in January, and Duck fluctuates around 41°F (5°C).

In the winter, Charlotte often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Duck. Charlotte gets 173 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Duck receives 168 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Duck. Charlotte usually gets less rain in January than Duck. Charlotte gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Charlotte 42°F (6°C) 
    Duck 41°F (5°C)

Should I visit Charlotte or Duck in the Spring?

Both Duck and Charlotte are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Charlotte for the activities around the city. Also, many visitors come to Duck in the spring for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Charlotte is a little warmer than Duck. Typically, the spring temperatures in Charlotte in April average around 63°F (17°C), and Duck averages at about 59°F (15°C).

It's quite sunny in Duck. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Charlotte. Charlotte usually receives more sunshine than Duck during spring. Charlotte gets 273 hours of sunny skies, while Duck receives 253 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Charlotte usually receives more rain than Duck. Charlotte gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Charlotte 63°F (17°C) 
    Duck 59°F (15°C)

Typical Weather for Duck and Charlotte

Charlotte Duck
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 42°F (6°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 41°F (5°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Feb 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Apr 63°F (17°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
May 71°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 67°F (19°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)
Jun 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 74°F (23°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Aug 80°F (27°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5 inches (127 mm)
Sep 74°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Nov 54°F (12°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Dec 46°F (8°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)