Should you visit Charlottesville or Shenandoah National Park?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Charlottesville and Shenandoah National Park. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.
Located in central Virginia, Charlottesville is a little university town steeped in history and culture. Home to Thomas Jefferson, much of the town's architecture is heavily influenced by his hand, while the people scene is full of activities, dining, and entertainment. Many visitors are drawn to the area for the University of Virginia, the Historic Downtown Mall, plus many quaint vineyards and farms in the surrounding countryside.
Shenandoah National Park
One of the most visited destinations in the eastern part of the United States, Shenandoah National Park attracts over a million people each year for its beautiful mountain scenery, abundant wildlife, and vibrant colors in the autumn months. Established in 1935, it is the largest fully protected area in the mid-Appalachian region.
Which city is cheaper, Shenandoah National Park or Charlottesville?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Charlottesville is $123, while the average daily cost in Shenandoah National Park is $100. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Charlottesville and Shenandoah National Park in more detail.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Charlottesville, $128 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Charlottesville, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $64, such as in a hostel.
Travelers usually pay around $86 for a double occupancy room in Shenandoah National Park If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Shenandoah National Park $43
Typical double-occupancy room
Shenandoah National Park
Food in Charlottesville costs travelers about $34 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
The price of a meal in Shenandoah National Park can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $23 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $9.20 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Charlottesville than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $42 on transportation in Charlottesville on average per day.
Shenandoah National Park's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $56 per person, per day on transportation in Shenandoah National Park.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
Shenandoah National Park $56
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charlottesville
Also for Charlottesville, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Arrival Transfer from Charlotteville Airport (CHO):
Private Departure Transfer to Charlottesville Airport (CHO):
Sightseeing expenses in Charlottesville, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $14 per day, per person.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Shenandoah National Park can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $27 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
Shenandoah National Park $27
Tours and Activities in Charlottesville
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Charlottesville.
Immersive Art Experience at The Looking Glass Ticket:
Private Virginia BBQ Experience Tour:
Private Virginia Craft Beer Tour:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Charlottesville, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $42.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Shenandoah National Park, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.71.
Sample the Local Flavors in Charlottesville
Also in Charlottesville, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Private Wine Tours:
Weekday Virginia Private Custom Wine Tour from Charlottesville:
Virginia Private Custom Wine Tour from Charlottesville:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Charlottesville and Shenandoah National Park, we can see that Charlottesville is more expensive. And not only is Shenandoah National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Shenandoah National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Shenandoah National Park 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 Charlottesville would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Charlottesville than you might in Shenandoah National Park.
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