A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Charlotte vs. Nags Head for Families, Food, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Charlotte or Nags Head?

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 Nags Head 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. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Nags Head

It's also popular because of the food.

Charlotte and Nags Head: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Charlotte or Nags Head?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Charlotte than Nags Head, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Charlotte is more touristy than Nags Head and is known for its banking industry and growing Uptown area. Also, Charlotte is famous for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Nags Head is well known for

How is Charlotte different from Nags Head?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Nags Head 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 Nags Head?

Charlotte
Nags Head

Charlotte is a popular place for its historical sights. However, Nags Head does not have museums and landmarks.

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.

Nags Head does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Charlotte
Nags Head

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

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.

Nags Head offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are a wide variety of seafood restaurants that serve locally caught fish, shrimp, and crabs. Cajon flavors are popular and you'll also find cheese grits at many places.

Is Charlotte or Nags Head Better for Nightlife?

Charlotte
Nags Head

Charlotte is a popular place for nightlife. However, Nags Head is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

If you're looking for night time activities Charlotte has a few options to choose from. Head Uptown for some of the best nightlife. The city has many bars and clubs that keep things fun late into the night.

Nags Head is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is the Shopping Better in Charlotte or Nags Head?

Charlotte
Nags Head

Charlotte is a popular place for shopping. However, Nags Head is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Charlotte. 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.

Nags Head is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Charlotte or Nags Head Better for Families?

Charlotte
Nags Head

Nags Head 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 Nags Head. It makes a wonderful base for the many family-friendly activities in the area. Jockey's Ridge is a fun place to visit with kids. There are also wonderful beaches and many kids enjoying flying kites.

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 Nags Head Better for Couples?

Charlotte
Nags Head

Both Charlotte and Nags Head are notable destinations to visit as a couple.

Charlotte is a good city for couples to visit. 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.

Nags Head is a nice destination for couples. There are great seafood restaurants and a number of activities in the area that are fun for couples.

Is Charlotte or Nags Head Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Charlotte
Nags Head

Nags Head is very good for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Charlotte is not a good destination for backpackers.

Nags Head is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. This is one of the more affordable places to stay in the Outer Banks, so it appeals to more budget-oriented travelers.

Charlotte is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. While it's not a backpacker destination, there are some cheaper motels that budget travelers can stay at.


Is Charlotte or Nags Head Better for Students?

Charlotte
Nags Head

Charlotte is a popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Nags Head is not popular with students.

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

Nags Head is not popular with students.

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

Charlotte
Nags Head

Charlotte is a popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Nags Head does not have public transit.

While Charlotte offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There's a light rail system as well as buses that travel around town.

Nags Head does not have public transit.

Is Charlotte or Nags Head a more walkable city?

Charlotte
Nags Head

Charlotte is a popular place for its walkability. However, Nags Head is not a walkable destination.

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

Nags Head is not a walkable destination.


Should I spend more time in Nags Head or Charlotte?

How long in Charlotte or Nags Head?

Both Charlotte and Nags Head have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Nags Head than in Charlotte. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Charlotte, and 4-7 days is enough time in Nags Head.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Charlotte than Nags Head 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 Nags Head? Ideal Length of Stay
    Charlotte 1-3 
    Nags Head 4-7

One day in Charlotte or Nags Head?

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Charlotte. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Charlotte has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

You'll find food around the of Nags Head. 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 Nags Head?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the growing destination of Charlotte. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

You'll find food around the destination of Nags Head. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Charlotte or Nags Head?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the growing city of Charlotte. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

You'll find food around the of Nags Head. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this has to offer.


A week in Charlotte or Nags Head?

Charlotte is a popular choice for travelers. 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Nags Head is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Nags Head, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


Which place is cheaper, Nags Head 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 Nags Head is $149. 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 Nags Head in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charlotte $118
    Nags Head $80
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charlotte $236
    Nags Head $160
Compare Hotels in Charlotte and Nags Head

Looking for a hotel in Charlotte or Nags Head? 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 Nags Head


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 and Nags Head Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charlotte $33
    Nags Head $40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charlotte

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

  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Spartanburg - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $297
  • Arrival Private Transfer Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte by SUV: $187
  • Departure Private Transfer Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT by SUV: $168
  • Private Transfer: Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte in Luxury SUV: $164
  • Private Transfer: Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT in Luxury SUV: $164
  • Charlotte Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Sedan: $150
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Spartanburg - Arrival Private Transfer: $148
  • Charlotte Douglas Int. Airport One-Way Transfer to /from Charlotte: $148
  • Arrival Private Transfer Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte by Sedan car: $144
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $136
  • Arrival Transfer: Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte in Business Car: $134
  • Departure Transfer: Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT in Business Car: $134

Is it cheaper to fly into Charlotte or Nags Head?

Prices for flights to both Nags Head 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
    Nags Head $41
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
    Nags Head $14

Tours and Activities in Charlotte

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

  • 2 Hours African American History E-Bike Tour in Charlotte: $79
  • 90 Minute Historic Uptown Neighborhood Segway Tour of Charlotte: $75
  • Carolina History and Haunts Charlotte Historical Ghost Walking Tour : $25
  • Charlotte Ghost Walking Tour - Smartphone guided audio/gps Tour at your own pace: $6.75
  • Charlotte Ghost Walking Tour: Smartphone Audio & GPS Tour: $6.50
  • Charlotte Haunted Booze and Boos Ghost Walking Tour: $35
  • Charlotte Historic : Queen Bee City Tour: $39
  • Charlotte Historical City Tour: $45
  • Charlotte Hornets Basketball Game Ticket at Spectrum Center: $21
  • Charlotte Indoor Skydiving Experience with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate: $90
  • Charlotte Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Charlotte's Only Southern Charm Haunted/True Crime Golf Cart Tour: $48

Tours and Activities in Nags Head

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

  • 2-hour Outer Banks Wild Horse Tour by 4WD Truck: $57
  • Cape Hatteras Kayak Adventure in Rodanthe: $59
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour: $15
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $9.99
  • Corolla Kayak Adventure: $59
  • Manteo Historic Walking Tour: $28
  • OBX Ghost Tours: $25
  • Outer Banks Audio Driving Tour: $13
  • Outer Banks Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $25
  • Wright Brothers Carolina Dunes Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Wright Brothers Carolina Dunes: Self-Guided Driving Tour: $15

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charlotte $20
    Nags Head $12

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
  • Charlotte's Food and Brewery Walking Tour in LoSo District: $150
  • Bar Crawl on a Rollin Disco Ball Golf Cart in Charlotte: $240


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

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


Which is Bigger, Charlotte or Nags Head?

Charlotte has a larger population, and is about 190 times larger than the population of Nags Head. When comparing the sizes of Charlotte and Nags Head, 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 Nags Head?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Charlotte or Nags Head in the Summer?

Both Nags Head and Charlotte are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Charlotte for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Nags Head because of the family-friendly experiences.

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

It's quite sunny in Nags Head. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Charlotte. Charlotte usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Nags Head during summer. Charlotte gets 289 hours of sunny skies, while Nags Head receives 274 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Nags Head. It's quite rainy in Charlotte. In July, Charlotte usually receives less rain than Nags Head. Charlotte gets 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain, while Nags Head receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


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

Should I visit Charlotte or Nags Head in the Autumn?

Both Nags Head and Charlotte during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Charlotte because of the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene.

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

In Nags Head, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Charlotte. In the autumn, Charlotte often gets more sunshine than Nags Head. Charlotte gets 223 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nags Head receives 205 hours of full sun.

Charlotte usually gets less rain in October than Nags Head. Charlotte gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Nags Head receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Charlotte or Nags Head in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Charlotte and Nags Head. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Charlotte this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Nags Head for the cuisine.

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

Charlotte usually receives more sunshine than Nags Head during winter. Charlotte gets 173 hours of sunny skies, while Nags Head receives 147 hours of full sun in the winter.

Nags Head receives a lot of rain in the winter. In January, Charlotte usually receives less rain than Nags Head. Charlotte gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Nags Head receives 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


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

Should I visit Charlotte or Nags Head in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Charlotte as well as Nags Head. Many travelers come to Charlotte for the activities around the city.

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

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Nags Head. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Charlotte this time of the year. In the spring, Charlotte often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Nags Head. Charlotte gets 273 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nags Head receives 262 hours of full sun.

Charlotte usually gets more rain in April than Nags Head. Charlotte gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Nags Head receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Typical Weather for Nags Head and Charlotte

Charlotte Nags Head
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)