Should you visit Chattanooga or Rapid City?
Should I visit Chattanooga or Rapid City? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
Located on the Tennessee River near the border of the U.S. state of Georgia, Chattanooga is Tennessee's fourth largest city and a major transportation hub. The city has received national recognition for the renaissance of its once dilapidated downtown and redevelopment of its riverfront, including the restoration of the historic Walnut Street Bridge.
Rapid City is a large city in western South Dakota that is considered the gateway to the Black Hills National Forest. Rapid City is often used as a base for all types of outdoor activities, including tours to the infamous Mount Rushmore and surrounding parks. The city has a budding art scene and offers the perfect combination of a metropolitan city surrounded by stunning natural scenery. Rapid City experiences the best weather from June-September with temperatures in the 70's and 80's Fahrenheit. Temperatures drop to the low 20's F in the winter and the area receives the most rain pour in April and May.
Which city is cheaper, Rapid City or Chattanooga?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Chattanooga is $145, while the average daily cost in Rapid City is $93. 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 Chattanooga and Rapid City in more detail.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $73. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Chattanooga the cost is $146 on average.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $96 in Rapid City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $28 per day to get around in Chattanooga.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Rapid City than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $42 on transportation in Rapid City on average per day.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Chattanooga
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chattanooga:
Chattanooga Zoo (for 2)
Is it cheaper to fly into Chattanooga or Rapid City?
Prices for flights to both Rapid City 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.
In Chattanooga travelers spend around $47 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
In Rapid City travelers spend around $19 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Meals for one day
Rapid City $19
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chattanooga
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chattanooga.
Small-Group Electric Bike Food Tour in Chattanooga:
2-Hour Small Group Southern Cuisine Food Tour in Chattanooga:
2-Hour Chattanooga Walking Food Tour:
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $42 per person, per day in Chattanooga. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Sightseeing expenses in Rapid City, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $21 per day, per person.
Tours and Activities in Chattanooga
Here are a few actual costs in Chattanooga for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Chattanooga "Awakening" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "C-Block Prison Break" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Locker Room Lockdown: Mascot Rescue" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Secret Agent" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Speakeasy" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "The Hunted" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "The Inheritance Mystery Room" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga "Vaccine: Search For The Zombie Cure" Escape Room Admission Ticket:
Chattanooga Guided Electric Bike City Tour:
Chattanooga Guided Party Bike Tour:
Chattanooga Guided Walking Tour:
Chattanooga Stand-Up Paddleboarding & Kayak Tour:
Tours and Activities in Rapid City
For Rapid City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Bus Tour with Live Commentary:
Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills:
Bike Adventure on the Mickelson Trail - Private:
Southern Black Hills Bicycle Tour - Private:
Private Mickelson Trail Bicycling Tour/ Two Person Minimum:
Private Jeep Safari and Hiking Tour/ Two Person Minimum:
Private Badlands National Park Day Tour:
Private Mt Rushmore & Southern Black Hills Tour:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Chattanooga may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $19 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Typically, people visiting Rapid City spend on average $5.54 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Sample the Local Flavors in Chattanooga
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Chattanooga:
Chattanooga Brewery Walking Tour with Beer Tastings:
Half-Day Private Wine Tour in Chattanooga:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chattanooga and Rapid City, we can see that Chattanooga is more expensive. And not only is Rapid City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Rapid City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Rapid City 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 Rapid City.
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