A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Clearwater vs. Durham for Attractions, Food, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Clearwater or Durham?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Clearwater and Durham. 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Clearwater

Clearwater is a relaxing, beautiful, and outdoorsy coastal city. Other popular activities here include scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and shopping.

Durham

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

Clearwater and Durham: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
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 Clearwater or Durham?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Clearwater than Durham. While Durham is larger than Clearwater, Clearwater has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Clearwater is more touristy than Durham and is known for its beautiful white sand beaches, laid back atmosphere, and watersports. Also, Clearwater is famous for Clearwater Beach. Durham is well known for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team.

How is Clearwater different from Durham?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Clearwater
Durham

Both Clearwater and Durham have high quality landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Clearwater. Perhaps most well known is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, but there are also a surprising number of museums nearby such as the Dalí Museum, the impressive Chihuly Glass Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Durham offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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.


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

Clearwater
Durham

Clearwater is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its restaurants.

Dining out in Clearwater is an experience not to be missed. Head to the waterfront for some of the best seafood. Unfortunately this is also where you'll find the highest prices. Shrimp, crab, and a fresh catch of the day are common on many menus.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Durham. 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 Clearwater or Durham Better for Nightlife?

Clearwater
Durham

Evening events are notable in both Clearwater and Durham.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Clearwater. You'll find laid back beach clubs, glitzy wine bars, and relaxed bars where you can spend a nice night out.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe 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.

Is Clearwater or Durham Better for Resorts?

Clearwater
Durham

Clearwater is a well-known place for its resorts. However, Durham is not a resort destination.

Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Clearwater. You'll find a number of nice resorts along the coastline. Some of the most popular are the Sandpearl Resort, the Opal Sands Resort, and the Clearwater Beach Marriott.

Durham is not a resort destination.


Is Clearwater or Durham Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Clearwater
Durham

Clearwater is very good for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Durham is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Clearwater. There's both snorkeling and diving nearby. Some of the best dive spots are within and hour of the shore and you'll find diving shops that offer trips.

Durham is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Clearwater or Durham Better for Beaches?

Clearwater
Durham

Clearwater is an amazing coastal city to visit for the beach. However, Durham is not a beach destination.

With world-famous beaches, Clearwater is a very popular vacation destination. Clearwater Beach is on many lists as one of the best beaches in America. It's the most popular beach in the area and it spreads out over 2.5 miles. Sand Key Beach is another popular destination as is the pristine Caladesi Island State Park.

Durham is not a beach destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Clearwater or Durham?

Clearwater
Durham

Both Clearwater and Durham are notable shopping destinations.

Clearwater is a great destination for shopping. You'll find all of the standard shopping options in the area such as malls, shopping centers, and outlets. Westfield Countryside Mall is a popular destination as is the Cleveland Street District.

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 Clearwater or Durham Better for Families?

Clearwater
Durham

Clearwater 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.

Clearwater is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. Check out the playground and activities around Pier 60. Less crowded and family-friendly Sand Key Park is another favorite spot and the playgrounds at New Coachman Park and Crest Lake Park are also fun. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is another popular attraction for visitors with kids.

Durham is a family-friendly coastal city. 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 Clearwater or Durham Better for Couples?

Clearwater
Durham

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

Clearwater is a very popular place to visit for couples. There are beautiful parks and beaches as well as romantic activities like sunset cruises and dolphin spotting tours. Couples will also enjoy dining on local seafood and shopping at the local venues.

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 Clearwater or Durham Better for Students?

Clearwater
Durham

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

Many students visit Durham. 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.

Clearwater is not popular with students.


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

Clearwater
Durham

Both Clearwater and Durham offer respectable public transit options.

Public transit is generally limited in Clearwater. The Clearwater Jolley Trolley connects some of the area's highlights. There are also public buses that run several routes through town.

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

Is Clearwater or Durham a more walkable city?

Clearwater
Durham

Clearwater is very good for its ease of walking around. However, Durham is not a good city for its walkability.

Clearwater is a somewhat walkable coastal city. The waterfront and downtown areas are surprisingly walkable.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Durham or Clearwater?

How long in Clearwater or Durham?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Clearwater and Durham. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Clearwater than in Durham. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Clearwater, and 1-3 days is enough time in Durham.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Clearwater 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 Clearwater.


  • How many days in Clearwater or Durham? Ideal Length of Stay
    Clearwater 3-5 
    Durham 1-3

One day in Clearwater or Durham?

Many travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the destination of Clearwater. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

With museums and nightlife around the student-filled city of Durham, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Durham, one day is sufficent for most.


A weekend in Clearwater or Durham?

Clearwater is a great place to explore. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

With nightlife and food around the destination of Durham, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Five days in Clearwater or Durham?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Clearwater. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Durham, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Clearwater or Durham?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the outdoorsy destination of Clearwater. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Durham is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


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


Which place is cheaper, Durham or Clearwater?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Clearwater is $309, 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 Clearwater and Durham in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Clearwater $141
    Durham $92
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Clearwater $282
    Durham $184
Compare Hotels in Clearwater and Durham

Looking for a hotel in Clearwater 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 Clearwater


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: Clearwater Hotel Prices and Durham Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Clearwater $221
    Durham $33

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Clearwater

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Clearwater:

  • St. Petersburg to St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) - Departure Private Transfer: $64
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Arrival Private Transfer : $64
  • Private Transfer from St Petersburg Clearwater Airport to St Pete Beach: $75
  • From Orlando: Clearwater Beach Day with Transfers and Lunch: $100
  • Clearwater Beach to St.Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) -Departure Private Transfer: $102
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $103
  • Private Transfer from Clearwater to Tampa Airport: $120
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $127

Is it cheaper to fly into Clearwater or Durham?

Prices for flights to both Durham and Clearwater 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
    Clearwater $46
    Durham $44

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

Tours and Activities in Clearwater

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

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Clearwater by Operation City Quest: $10
  • St. Petersburg Jungle Prada Site History Tour: $14
  • Clearwater; Aspirations Winery Tour and Tasting Experience: $21
  • The Coastal Sip 'n Roll: Jolley Trolley Beer Adventure: $25
  • Clearwater Daytime Yacht Sightseeing Cruise with Optional Dining : $27
  • Daytime Yacht Sightseeing Cruise with Optional Dining : $27
  • Clearwater Beach: Dolphins & Donuts Morning Cruise: $28
  • Two-hour Clearwater Area Trolley Sightseeing Tour: $28
  • 1-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Adventure Cruise from Madeira Beach: $28
  • Clearwater Beach: Dolphin and Sandbar Boat Cruise: $28
  • Mega Bite Dolphin Tour Boat in Clearwater Beach: $28
  • Clearwater Beach: Sunset and Harbor Lights Cruise: $28

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
    Clearwater -
    Durham $34

Sample the Local Flavors in Clearwater

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Clearwater:

  • The Tour and Wine Tasting Experience at Aspirations Winery: $20


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

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


Which is Bigger, Clearwater or Durham?

Durham has a larger population, and is about 89% larger than the population of Clearwater. When comparing the sizes of Clearwater 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 Clearwater 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 Clearwater or Durham in the Summer?

Both Durham and Clearwater are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Clearwater for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Durham in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Clearwater is generally around the same temperature as Durham. Daily temperatures in Clearwater average around 82°F (28°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 Clearwater. Clearwater usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Durham during summer. Clearwater gets 265 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 Clearwater. In July, Clearwater usually receives more rain than Durham. Clearwater gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Clearwater 82°F (28°C) 
    Durham 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Durham in the Autumn?

Both Durham and Clearwater during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Clearwater in the autumn for the shopping scene. Furthermore, most visitors come to Durham for the shopping scene during these months.

Clearwater is a little warmer than Durham in the autumn. The daily temperature in Clearwater averages around 75°F (24°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 Clearwater. In the autumn, Clearwater often gets more sunshine than Durham. Clearwater gets 234 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Durham receives 211 hours of full sun.

Clearwater usually gets less rain in October than Durham. Clearwater gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain this time of the year. Keep in mind that June to November is the hurricane season in Clearwater.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Clearwater 75°F (24°C) 
    Durham 61°F (16°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Durham in the Winter?

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

The weather in Durham can be very cold. In the winter, Clearwater is much warmer than Durham. Typically, the winter temperatures in Clearwater in January average around 60°F (15°C), and Durham averages at about 40°F (5°C).

In Clearwater, it's very sunny this time of the year. Clearwater usually receives more sunshine than Durham during winter. Clearwater gets 200 hours of sunny skies, while Durham receives 162 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Clearwater usually receives less rain than Durham. Clearwater gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Clearwater 60°F (15°C) 
    Durham 40°F (5°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Durham in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Clearwater as well as Durham. The spring months attract visitors to Clearwater because of the beaches.

In April, Clearwater is generally a little warmer than Durham. Daily temperatures in Clearwater average around 71°F (22°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 Clearwater this time of the year. In the spring, Clearwater often gets more sunshine than Durham. Clearwater gets 299 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Durham receives 251 hours of full sun.

Clearwater usually gets less rain in April than Durham. Clearwater gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, June to November in Clearwater is the hurricane season.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Clearwater 71°F (22°C) 
    Durham 60°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Durham and Clearwater

Clearwater Durham
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)