A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Charlotte vs. Phoenix for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Charlotte or Phoenix?

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 Phoenix can help you decide which place is right for you.

Charlotte

Charlotte is a evolving, up-and-coming, and growing city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Phoenix

Phoenix is a laid back, sprawling, and desert city. It's also popular because of the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Charlotte and Phoenix: 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 popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Charlotte or Phoenix?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Charlotte than Phoenix. While Phoenix is larger than Charlotte, Charlotte has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Charlotte is very popular for its big city activities, while Phoenix attracts visitors for its hiking. Charlotte is famous for its banking industry and growing Uptown area. It is also well known for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Phoenix is famous for its desert landscapes, high number of golf courses, and year round warm weather.

How is Charlotte different from Phoenix?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Charlotte
Phoenix

You'll find a number of nice museums and attractions in both Phoenix and Charlotte.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Charlotte. 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.

Phoenix is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. You'll find art, science, and cultural museums around town. Favorites include the Heard Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, S'edav Va'aki Museum, and the Arizona Science Museum.


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

Charlotte
Phoenix

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

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.

Phoenix offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are many mom-and-pop shops around town that serve everything from casual meals to quality steaks. There's also a huge selection of Mexican restaurants, as well as other international options such as sushi, dim sum, and Italian.

Is Charlotte or Phoenix Better for Nightlife?

Charlotte
Phoenix

The vibe at night is nice in both Charlotte and Phoenix.

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.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Phoenix. The best nightlife scene is found in downtown and central Phoenix. There are bars, restaurants, and venues where you can catch a show. North Phoenix also has grown into a popular evening spot with cocktail bars and pubs.

Is Charlotte or Phoenix Better for Hiking?

Charlotte
Phoenix

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

Many people include a hike when visiting Phoenix. You don't have to head far out of town for impressive hiking opportunities. You'll find trails that range from easy to challenging, and many pass through other-worldly landscapes. You'll find popular trails in Usery Mountain Regional Park, Papago Park, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, South Mountain Park and many others.

Charlotte is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Charlotte or Phoenix?

Charlotte
Phoenix

If you're looking to go shopping, Charlotte and Phoenix both offer plenty of nice spots.

Charlotte has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. 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.

Phoenix is a great destination for shopping. There are plenty of shopping centers, outlets, and malls where you'll find the standard chain stores. You'll also find farmer's markets around town.

Is Charlotte or Phoenix Better for Families?

Charlotte
Phoenix

You'll find nice kid-friendly activities in either Charlotte or Phoenix.

Charlotte offers lots of family activities. 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.

Phoenix is a family-friendly place to visit. Kids will love the Phoenix Zoo, the Arizona Science Center, the SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, and the Bearizona Wildlife Park. There's also a number of parks and gardens as well as a children's museum and several other interactive museums for kids.

Is Charlotte or Phoenix Better for Couples?

Charlotte
Phoenix

Both Charlotte and Phoenix are nice 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.

Phoenix is a nice destination for couples. There are many parks and gardens in town as well as beautiful hikes and outdoor activities that couples will enjoy. In the evening, there's theater, shows, and many romantic restaurants.


Is Charlotte or Phoenix Better for Students?

Charlotte
Phoenix

Charlotte is a city with good options for its student-friendly activities. However, Phoenix 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.

Phoenix is not popular with students.

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

Charlotte
Phoenix

Charlotte is a city with good options for times when you don't have a car. However, Phoenix is not known for its 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.

Public transit is generally limited in Phoenix. There's a bus and light rail system, but you really need your own vehicle to get around.

Is Charlotte or Phoenix a more walkable city?

Charlotte
Phoenix

Charlotte is a city with good options for its ease of walking around. However, Phoenix is not known for its walkability.

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

Phoenix is generally not very walkable. It's a sprawling city and the only real area that's walkable is the downtown.


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

Should I spend more time in Phoenix or Charlotte?

How long in Charlotte or Phoenix?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Charlotte and Phoenix. In our opinion, Charlotte has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Charlotte than Phoenix. However, 1-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

Couples should spend more time in Charlotte than Phoenix. 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 Phoenix 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 Phoenix? Ideal Length of Stay
    Charlotte 1-3 
    Phoenix 1-3

One day in Charlotte or Phoenix?

In Charlotte, you'll find nightlife and food. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

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

A weekend in Charlotte or Phoenix?

In Charlotte, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Charlotte has to offer.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the desert destination of Phoenix. 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.

Five days in Charlotte or Phoenix?

Charlotte is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the laid back city of Phoenix. 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.


A week in Charlotte or Phoenix?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Charlotte. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Charlotte. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Phoenix 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage, The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles.


Which place is cheaper, Phoenix 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 Phoenix is $238. 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 Phoenix in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charlotte $118
    Phoenix $144
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charlotte $236
    Phoenix $288
Compare Hotels in Charlotte and Phoenix

Looking for a hotel in Charlotte or Phoenix? 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 Phoenix


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 Phoenix Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charlotte $33
    Phoenix $39

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
  • Charlotte Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Sedan: $150
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $138
  • Arrival Transfer: Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte in Business Car: $135
  • Departure Transfer: Charlotte to Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT in Business Car: $135
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT): 1-Way Transfer to Charlotte: $99
  • Private Transfer to/from Airport: $72
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT): $54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phoenix

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

  • Sky Harbor Airport Private Transfer: $195
  • Private Roundtrip Transfer From Phoenix Harbor Airport to Phoenix: $190
  • Departure Private Transfer: Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury Van: $149
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Luxury Van: $149
  • Private Transfer from Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury Van: $149
  • Phoenix International Airport (PHX) - Private transfer From/to Hotels: $118
  • Arrival Private Transfer Phoenix Airport PHX to Phoenix City : $116
  • Departure Private Transfer: Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Private Transfer from Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Private Transfer from Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Departure Private Transfer Phoenix City to Phoenix Airport PHX : $109

Is it cheaper to fly into Charlotte or Phoenix?

Prices for flights to both Phoenix 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
    Phoenix $52
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

Typical Food Prices in Phoenix

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


  • Nice Lunch (for 2)
    $36
  • Indian Food Dinner (for 2)
    $32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Phoenix

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

  • Awesome French Crêpes Cooking Class: $75
  • Old Town Scottsdale Food Tour: $92
  • Quiche Lorraine French Cooking Class in Scottsdale: $129

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charlotte $43
    Phoenix $40

Tours and Activities in Charlotte

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

  • 2.5 Hour Black History Van Tour-Perseverance, Power, and Progress: $59
  • 90 Minute Historic Uptown Neighborhood Segway Tour of Charlotte: $75
  • Beer & BBQ Walking Tour - Craft Beer Experience : $115
  • Carolina History and Haunts Charlotte Historical Ghost Walking Tour : $27
  • Carolina Panthers Football Game Ticket at Bank of America Stadium: $34
  • Charlotte Artistic Family Friendly Adventure Tour : $35
  • Charlotte Comedy City Tour: $40
  • 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

Tours and Activities in Phoenix

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

  • Sonoran Desert 1/2 Mountain Bike tour beginner to advanced Pace: $160
  • 1.5 Hour Stretch Limo Golf Cart Tour, Ultimate Old Town Exploration: $89
  • 2 Hour Scottsdale Segway Tours - Ultimate Old Town Exploration: $79
  • 2 Hour Segway Tour - Sunsets, Segways & City Lights: $89
  • 2-Hour Arizona Desert Guided E-Bike Tour: $135
  • 3 Cities & Nature Tour. Shop, Art, History, Food. Scottsdale, Phoenix, & Tempe.: $168
  • 3 Hour Guided TomCar ATV Experience in Sonoran Desert: $219
  • 3 Hour Sonoran Desert Private Guided Mountain Bike Tour: $135
  • Apache Trail Tour and Lake Cruise: From Phoenix / Scottsdale: $225
  • Apache Trail and Dolly Steamboat Van Tour: $160
  • Arizona Cardinals Football Game Ticket at State Farm Stadium: $49
  • Box Canyon ATV Tour in Florence, Arizona: $235

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charlotte $20
    Phoenix $17

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
  • Bar Crawl on a Rollin Disco Ball Golf Cart in Charlotte: $240

Sample the Local Flavors in Phoenix

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

  • Scottsdale Bar Hunt: Scorching Scottsdale Bar Crawl: $12
  • Pedal Bar Crawl of Old Town Scottsdale: $55
  • Pedal Bar Crawl Tour of Downtown Phoenix: $70
  • Stretch Limo Party Cart - Custom Bar Crawls, Wine Tastings, Night Clubs & More: $155
  • Custom Arizona Brewery / Vineyard Tour: $245


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

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


Which is Bigger, Charlotte or Phoenix?

Phoenix has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Charlotte. When comparing the sizes of Charlotte and Phoenix, 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 Phoenix?

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 Phoenix in the Summer?

Both Phoenix and Charlotte are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Charlotte for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Phoenix in the summer for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences.

The heat can be very extreme in Phoenix. Charlotte is cooler than Phoenix in the summer. The daily temperature in Charlotte averages around 81°F (27°C) in July, and Phoenix fluctuates around 98°F (36°C).

It's quite sunny in Phoenix. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Charlotte. Charlotte usually receives less sunshine than Phoenix during summer. Charlotte gets 289 hours of sunny skies, while Phoenix receives 380 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Charlotte. In July, Charlotte usually receives more rain than Phoenix. Charlotte gets 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain, while Phoenix receives 0.8 inches (21 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Charlotte 81°F (27°C) 
    Phoenix 98°F (36°C)

Should I visit Charlotte or Phoenix in the Autumn?

Both Phoenix and Charlotte during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Charlotte in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. Furthermore, most visitors come to Phoenix for the hiking trails and the shopping scene during these months.

In the autumn, Charlotte is cooler than Phoenix. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Charlotte in October average around 63°F (17°C), and Phoenix averages at about 79°F (26°C).

In Phoenix, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Charlotte. In the autumn, Charlotte often gets less sunshine than Phoenix. Charlotte gets 223 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Phoenix receives 305 hours of full sun.

Charlotte usually gets more rain in October than Phoenix. Charlotte gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Phoenix receives 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Charlotte 63°F (17°C) 
    Phoenix 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Charlotte or Phoenix in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Charlotte and Phoenix. Most visitors come to Charlotte for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Phoenix because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In January, Charlotte is generally much colder than Phoenix. Daily temperatures in Charlotte average around 42°F (6°C), and Phoenix fluctuates around 58°F (14°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Phoenix this time of the year. Charlotte usually receives less sunshine than Phoenix during winter. Charlotte gets 173 hours of sunny skies, while Phoenix receives 254 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Charlotte usually receives more rain than Phoenix. Charlotte gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Phoenix receives 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Charlotte 42°F (6°C) 
    Phoenix 58°F (14°C)

Should I visit Charlotte or Phoenix in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Charlotte as well as Phoenix. The spring months attract visitors to Charlotte because of the activities around the city.

Charlotte is cooler than Phoenix in the spring. The daily temperature in Charlotte averages around 63°F (17°C) in April, and Phoenix fluctuates around 74°F (23°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Phoenix. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Charlotte this time of the year. In the spring, Charlotte often gets less sunshine than Phoenix. Charlotte gets 273 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Phoenix receives 355 hours of full sun.

Charlotte usually gets more rain in April than Phoenix. Charlotte gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Phoenix receives 0.2 inches (6 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Charlotte 63°F (17°C) 
    Phoenix 74°F (23°C)

Typical Weather for Phoenix and Charlotte

Charlotte Phoenix
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 42°F (6°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 58°F (14°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm)
Feb 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.9 inches (22 mm)
Apr 63°F (17°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 74°F (23°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm)
May 71°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 83°F (28°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jun 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 92°F (34°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 98°F (36°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm)
Aug 80°F (27°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 96°F (35°C) 0.9 inches (24 mm)
Sep 74°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 90°F (32°C) 0.9 inches (22 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 79°F (26°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm)
Nov 54°F (12°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Dec 46°F (8°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 58°F (15°C) 1 inches (25 mm)