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

Should you visit Chattanooga or Boise?

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

Should I visit Chattanooga or Boise? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.


Chattanooga is a bustling, outdoorsy, and thriving city. It's also popular because of the hiking, shopping, and museums.


Boise is a authentic, friendly, and welcoming city. Other popular activities here include museums, nightlife, and shopping.

Chattanooga and Boise: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable

Is there more to do in Chattanooga or Boise?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Chattanooga. Although Chattanooga and Boise are roughly the same size, Chattanooga has more sights and attractions for tourists. Chattanooga is more touristy than Boise and is popular for it's hikes, railways, and nearby natural areas. It is also well known for Rock City. Boise is famous for its many outdoor and recreational activities.

How is Chattanooga different from Boise?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Chattanooga or Boise?


For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Chattanooga or Boise.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Chattanooga. It's a thriving city and there are a number of museums to explore. The Hunter Museum of American Art is great for art enthusiasts. There's also the Creative Discovery Museum, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, and the 6th Cavalry Museum, as well as several smaller museums that you can visit.

Boise is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. As the state capital, there's a nice selection of local museums around town. Favorites include the Boise Art Museum, the Basque Museum & Cultural Center, the Idaho Black History Museum, and Discovery Center.

Is the Food Better in Chattanooga or Boise? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?


Chattanooga is a popular place for its restaurants. However, Boise is lacking in options for its restaurant scene.

Chattanooga is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There are a growing number of restaurants that range from local dives to fine dining. Fried food is common, but you'll also find Mexican and classic hamburgers. Popular dishes that are local to the area include catfish, southern barbecue, and hush puppies.

Boise offers some easy restaurants to choose from. While Idaho has long been associated with the potato, the locals usually think of "finger steaks" when describing local food. These are deep-friend beef strips that are as good as they sound.

Is Chattanooga or Boise Better for Nightlife?


It's hard to distinguish whether Chattanooga or Boise has a better nightlife scene.

Chattanooga has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. You'll find plenty of bars and clubs around town. There are also a number of comedy and improv clubs that are fun to check out.

If you're looking for night time activities Boise has a few options to choose from. In downtown Boise you'll find a selection of bars, lounges, and breweries. There's enough around town to keep the nightlife scene interesting.

Is Chattanooga or Boise Better for Hiking?


Chattanooga is an excellent place to visit for its hiking trails. However, Boise is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Chattanooga. It's proximity to the mountains means that you don't have to go far to find good hiking. Within a half hour of town there are more than 50 trailheads. Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain are both hiking destinations. Several trails have swimming spots and many pass through nice forests or head to impressive viewpoints.

Boise is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Chattanooga or Boise?


Shopping is a popular activity in both Boise and Chattanooga.

Many visitors go to Chattanooga to go shopping. Head downtown for local shops or to the larger malls if you want mainstream stores. Many visitors enjoy antiquing while they're in town, but there are also farmer's markets and thrift stores.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Boise. You'll find a mix of local boutiques, independent vendors, and suburban shopping centers where you'll find anything that you might need.

Is Chattanooga or Boise Better for Families?


Chattanooga is a popular place for its kid-friendly activities. However, Boise is lacking in options for its family-friendly activities.

Chattanooga is a family-friendly city. Many people enjoy a visit to the Tennessee Aquarium, which has a touch tank and a butterfly exhibit, among other things. Near downtown, Coolidge Park is a great place for kids to get their energy out. There's also the popular Lookout Mountain Incline Railway as well as many hiking trails in the area.

Boise doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. You'll find parks, playgrounds, and the Discovery Center which will help keep kids entertained.

Is Chattanooga or Boise Better for Couples?


Chattanooga is a popular place for couples. However, Boise is lacking in options for romance.

Chattanooga is a good city for couples to visit. Many couples enjoy staying at a local inn and then dining in a nice restaurant or visiting a winery. There's an eclectic art district to explore as well as horse drawn carriages and plenty of nearby hiking trails.

Boise is not the best destination for a couple to visit. Date night activities include dining at a nice restaurants and seeing a show at the theater.

Is Chattanooga or Boise Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?


Chattanooga is an excellent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Boise is lacking in options for its public transit.

Chattanooga offers a very effecient public transportation network. The city has a convenient and free electric shuttle service. It travels through the downtown and has stops at many points of interest such as the Chattanooga Choo Choo and the Tennessee Aquarium.

Public transit is generally limited in Boise. There are infrequent buses around town, but visitors usually have a car to get around town efficiently.

Is Chattanooga or Boise a more walkable city?


Chattanooga is an excellent place to visit for its ease of walking around. However, Boise is lacking in options for its walkability.

Chattanooga is a very walkable destination. The city has put a lot of effort into improving its walkability. In particular, the downtown is nice to explore on foot.

Boise is generally not very walkable. There are a couple of walkable neighborhoods but, in general, the town isn't very walkable.

For even more information, also check out Is Chattanooga Worth Visiting? and Is Boise Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Boise or Chattanooga?

How long in Chattanooga or Boise?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Chattanooga or Boise to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Chattanooga than Boise because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Chattanooga, and 1-2 days is enough time in Boise.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Chattanooga than Boise 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 Chattanooga.

  • How many days in Chattanooga or Boise? Ideal Length of Stay
    Chattanooga 2-3 
    Boise 1-2

One day in Chattanooga or Boise?

In Chattanooga, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this thriving destination offers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting the friendly city of Boise. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in Chattanooga or Boise?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chattanooga. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the friendly destination of Boise. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Chattanooga or Boise?

Chattanooga is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Chattanooga. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

The authentic city of Boise offers museums and nightlife. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Chattanooga or Boise?

You'll find food and shopping around the thriving destination of Chattanooga. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Many people enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting Boise. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in United States of America, The Best Cultural Tours in United States of America, The Best Photography Tours in United States of America, and The Best Camping Tours in United States of America.

Which place is cheaper, Boise or Chattanooga?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chattanooga is $182, while the average daily cost in Boise is $146. 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 Chattanooga and Boise in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chattanooga $92
    Boise $75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chattanooga $184
    Boise $150
Compare Hotels in Chattanooga and Boise

Looking for a hotel in Chattanooga or Boise? 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 Chattanooga

Hotels in Boise

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: Chattanooga Hotel Prices and Boise Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chattanooga $35
    Boise $34
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Chattanooga

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chattanooga:

  • Chattanooga Zoo (for 2)

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Boise

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

  • Boise Air Terminal Airport One Way Transfer : $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Chattanooga or Boise?

Prices for flights to both Boise and Chattanooga 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 Meals for one day
    Chattanooga $59
    Boise $45

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chattanooga

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chattanooga.

  • MLK Walking Art History & Food Tour: $65
  • Historic Southside Food Tour in Chattanooga: $99
  • ChattaBrunch Food Tour: $99
  • Downtown Chattanooga Food Tour: $119

Typical Food Prices in Boise

For Boise, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • Hotel
  • Cracker Barrel Lunch (for 4)

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chattanooga $52
    Boise $30

Tours and Activities in Chattanooga

Here are a few actual costs in Chattanooga for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2 Virtual Reality Simulator Bundle for Outdoor Experiences: $27
  • ChattaBOOga Ghost Walk Tour in Chattanooga: $23
  • Chattanooga "C-Block Prison Break" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $36
  • Chattanooga "Locker Room Lockdown: Mascot Rescue" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $34
  • Chattanooga "Secret Agent" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $34
  • Chattanooga "The Inheritance Mystery Room" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $36
  • Chattanooga "Vaccine: Search For The Zombie Cure" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $36
  • Chattanooga Guided Walking Tour: $23
  • A Spooky and Family-Friendly Walking Tour: $25
  • Adults-Only Haunted City Walking Tour: $35
  • City Trolley Tour with Coker Automotive Museum visit: $44
  • City Trolley Tour with Coker Museum visit: $44

Typical Entertainment Prices in Boise

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Boise's activities, tours, and tickets:

  • Edwards Boise Imax

Tours and Activities in Boise

For Boise, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Boise by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Boise Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Boise Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $13
  • Boise Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • A Macabre History of Boise Walking Tour: $25
  • Hells Canyon Kirkwood Jet Boat Tour near Boise, Idaho: $218

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chattanooga $24
    Boise $24

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

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

Which is Bigger, Chattanooga or Boise?

Chattanooga has a larger population, and is about 7% larger than the population of Boise. When comparing the sizes of Chattanooga and Boise, 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.