A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Cherokee vs. Durham for Attractions, Families, Couples, and Food

Should you visit Cherokee or Durham?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Cherokee or Durham, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Cherokee

Cherokee is a fascinating, cultural, and genuine town. Other popular activities here include food, hiking, and shopping.

Durham

Durham is a student-filled, sports oriented, and diverse city. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Cherokee and Durham: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
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


Is there more to do in Cherokee or Durham?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Cherokee than Durham, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Cherokee is better known for its hiking, while Durham is more popular for its museums and nightlife. Cherokee is more touristy than Durham and is known for its cultural experiences and nearby hiking trails. Also, Cherokee is famous for Oconaluftee Indian Village. Durham is well known for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team.

How is Cherokee different from Durham?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Cherokee or Durham?

Cherokee
Durham

Durham is notable for its sights and museums. Also, Cherokee is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its museums and history.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Durham can be an interesting and educational experience. Duke University is one of the most popular destinations in town. There are several museums on campus as well as the famous Duke Chapel. Elsewhere in Durham there's the Durham Museum of Life and Science.

Cherokee offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Many of the museums educate visitors on the Native American culture. Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Museum of the Cherokee People, and the Mountain Farm Museum each offer a unique and interesting perspective.


Is the Food Better in Cherokee or Durham? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Cherokee
Durham

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Cherokee and Durham can be difficult as they are each notable in their own way.

Cherokee offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are casual sandwich shops as well as several places that offer traditional Cherokee foods such as fry bread.

Durham has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Barbecue is a favorite around town. You'll also find plenty of restaurants that cater to the student population, particularly along Nineth Street near Duke's campus.

Is Cherokee or Durham Better for Nightlife?

Cherokee
Durham

Durham is a nice place to visit for nightlife. However, Cherokee is a mediocre town for nightlife and partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Durham. The younger population tends to hang out near campus and along Nineth Street. If you're looking for something less student oriented, head to downtown Durham.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Cherokee. The town is generally quiet but you can head to Harrah's Cherokee Casino for drinks and entertainment.

Is Cherokee or Durham Better for Hiking?

Cherokee
Durham

Cherokee is a well-known place for the nearby hiking options. However, Durham is not a hiking destination.

Cherokee is a popular spot for hiking. There are many trails in the area that pass through forests, wander by waterfalls, and take you to spectacular viewpoints. The fall foliage is particularly nice during the autumn months.

Durham is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Cherokee or Durham?

Cherokee
Durham

Both Cherokee and Durham are notable shopping destinations.

Cherokee is a great destination for shopping. There are craft shops and artisan vendors in the downtown area. It's fun to wander around for a few hours.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Durham. The Streets of Southpoint is the best mall in the area. Other shopping areas include Brightleaf Square and Nineth Street.

Is Cherokee or Durham Better for Families?

Cherokee
Durham

Cherokee is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Cherokee is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. It's proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park make this a fun destination for families. There are countless outdoor adventure activities. The town is also filled with Cherokee history and culture, so it offers educational experiences as well.

Durham is a family-friendly town. A highlight for kids is a visit to the Durham Museum of Life and Science. It has both an indoor and an outdoor section and brings science to life for families. There's also an impressive playground and climbing area. Other activities in town include the Notasium and Eno River State Park. If you plan ahead you could also organize a trip to the Duke Lemur Center.

Is Cherokee or Durham Better for Couples?

Cherokee
Durham

Cherokee is a well-known place for couples. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for romance.

Cherokee is a very popular place to visit for couples. Nearby there are many outdoor activities and adventure experiences. Couples who enjoy nature and exploring will appreciate a stay here.

Durham is a nice destination for couples. Have a picnic at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens or spend the day hiking at Eno River State Park. In the evening there's a wonderful selection of restaurants around town. Then you can check out a show at the Durham Performing Arts Center or see a Durham Bulls game.


Is Cherokee or Durham Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Cherokee
Durham

Cherokee is very good for backpackers. However, Durham is not a good city for backpackers and budget travelers.

Cherokee is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are several great campgrounds in the area as well as plenty of hiking opportunities.

Durham is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. The student population means there are a number of parties and bars around town, but most backpackers overlook this city.

Is Cherokee or Durham Better for Students?

Cherokee
Durham

Durham is notable for students. However, Cherokee is not popular with students.

Durham is a great city to visit as a student. Duke University has a stunning campus with a world class garden. There's also nearby Nineth Street, which has shops, restaurants, and bars that are geared toward the student population.

Cherokee is not popular with students.

Is Cherokee or Durham Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Cherokee
Durham

Both Cherokee and Durham offer respectable public transit options.

Public transit is generally limited in Cherokee. There are some bus and shuttle routes, but a private vehicle is important if you want to make the most of your visit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Durham. There are buses around town, but you really need a car to explore the area.


Is Cherokee or Durham a more walkable city?

Cherokee
Durham

Cherokee and Durham both are respectable when exploring on foot.

Cherokee is generally not very walkable. If you want to explore the area, you'll need a car to reach most places.

Durham is generally not a very walkable town. Downtown Durham and a few areas near Duke University are the most walkable areas.

For even more information, also check out Is Cherokee Worth Visiting? and Is Durham Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Durham or Cherokee?

How long in Cherokee or Durham?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Cherokee and Durham. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Cherokee than in Durham. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Cherokee, and 1-3 days is enough time in Durham.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Cherokee than Durham 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 Cherokee.


  • How many days in Cherokee or Durham? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cherokee 2-4 
    Durham 1-3

One day in Cherokee or Durham?

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the destination of Cherokee. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

The city of Durham offers food and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Cherokee or Durham?

Cherokee is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Durham is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Durham, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Cherokee or Durham?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Cherokee. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Durham is a popular choice for travelers. Five days 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. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Cherokee or Durham?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the cultural destination of Cherokee. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Durham is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in United States of America, The Best Walking Tours in United States of America, The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, and The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Durham or Cherokee?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cherokee is $174, while the average daily cost in Durham is $162. 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 Cherokee and Durham in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cherokee $158
    Durham $92
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cherokee $316
    Durham $184
Compare Hotels in Cherokee and Durham

Looking for a hotel in Cherokee or Durham? 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 Cherokee


Hotels in Durham


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: Cherokee Hotel Prices and Durham Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cherokee -
    Durham $33

Is it cheaper to fly into Cherokee or Durham?

Prices for flights to both Durham and Cherokee 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
    Cherokee $16
    Durham $44

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cherokee -
    Durham $26

Tours and Activities in Durham

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Durham are as follows:

  • True Crime Tour: $13
  • Downtown Durham Historian-Guided Walking Tour: $16
  • Durham African American History Tour: $16
  • Durham NC: Art Walking Tour: $20

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cherokee -
    Durham $34


When comparing the travel costs between Cherokee and Durham, we can see that Cherokee is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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


Which is Bigger, Cherokee or Durham?

Durham has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Cherokee. When comparing the sizes of Cherokee and Durham, 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 Cherokee or Durham?

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 Cherokee or Durham in the Summer?

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

In July, Cherokee is generally around the same temperature as Durham. Daily temperatures in Cherokee average around 81°F (27°C), and Durham fluctuates around 79°F (26°C).

It's quite sunny in Durham. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Cherokee. Cherokee usually receives more sunshine than Durham during summer. Cherokee gets 294 hours of sunny skies, while Durham receives 259 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Durham. It's quite rainy in Cherokee. In July, Cherokee usually receives less rain than Durham. Cherokee gets 4.7 inches (119 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cherokee 81°F (27°C) 
    Durham 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Cherokee or Durham in the Autumn?

Both Durham and Cherokee during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Cherokee because of the hiking trails and the shopping scene. Furthermore, the shopping scene are the main draw to Durham this time of year.

Cherokee is around the same temperature as Durham in the autumn. The daily temperature in Cherokee averages around 63°F (17°C) in October, and Durham fluctuates around 61°F (16°C).

In Durham, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Cherokee. In the autumn, Cherokee often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Durham. Cherokee gets 213 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Durham receives 211 hours of full sun.

Cherokee usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Durham. Cherokee gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cherokee 63°F (17°C) 
    Durham 61°F (16°C)

Should I visit Cherokee or Durham in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Cherokee and Durham. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Cherokee this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Durham for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Durham. It's quite cold in Cherokee in the winter. In the winter, Cherokee is around the same temperature as Durham. Typically, the winter temperatures in Cherokee in January average around 40°F (5°C), and Durham averages at about 40°F (5°C).

Cherokee usually receives less sunshine than Durham during winter. Cherokee gets 134 hours of sunny skies, while Durham receives 162 hours of full sun in the winter.

Cherokee gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Cherokee usually receives more rain than Durham. Cherokee gets 4.7 inches (119 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cherokee 40°F (5°C) 
    Durham 40°F (5°C)

Should I visit Cherokee or Durham in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Cherokee as well as Durham.

In April, Cherokee is generally around the same temperature as Durham. Daily temperatures in Cherokee average around 62°F (17°C), and Durham fluctuates around 60°F (16°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Durham. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Cherokee this time of the year. In the spring, Cherokee often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Durham. Cherokee gets 263 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Durham receives 251 hours of full sun.

Cherokee usually gets more rain in April than Durham. Cherokee gets 3.6 inches (92 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cherokee 62°F (17°C) 
    Durham 60°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Durham and Cherokee

Cherokee Durham
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm) 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Feb 44°F (7°C) 4.7 inches (120 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 4.8 inches (123 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 62°F (17°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm) 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 70°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Jun 78°F (25°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm)
Aug 80°F (27°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm)
Sep 74°F (24°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm) 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)