A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Columbia River Gorge vs. Seattle for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Columbia River Gorge or Seattle?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Columbia River Gorge or Seattle, 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.

Where Should I go: Columbia River Gorge or Seattle?

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge is a popular destination in the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. The region's close proximity to Portland, which is just 30 minutes away, makes it a popular weekend destination.

The gorge is formed by the Columbia River, with an 80 mile stretch designated as a National Scenic Area. The area has many beautiful cliffs with a number of tall waterfalls and its protected status means that most new development must occur within one of the already established towns.

Seattle

Situated on the Puget Sound in the state of Washington, Seattle is the largest city in the United States Pacific Northwest. It's a beautiful city surrounded by the water and mountains and filled with evergreen trees. It's also the home of some famous American institutions including Starbucks Coffee, Amazon, and Microsoft. The population of almost 700,000 continues to grow. As of 2014, the city was considered the fastest growing major city in the United States. The entire metropolitan area has about 3.6 million residents, making it the 15th largest metro area in the US. The natural beauty, growing economy, and educational base give Seattle a youthful vibe that keep the city young and energetic.

Which city is cheaper, Seattle or Columbia River Gorge?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Columbia River Gorge is $143, while the average daily cost in Seattle is $156. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Columbia River Gorge and Seattle in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbia River Gorge $71
    Seattle $94
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbia River Gorge $142
    Seattle $188
Compare Hotels in Columbia River Gorge and Seattle

Looking for a hotel in Columbia River Gorge or Seattle? 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 Columbia River Gorge


Hotels in Seattle


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbia River Gorge $62
    Seattle $18

Typical Local Transportation prices in Seattle

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


  • Lightrail from Airport (for 2)
    $5.50
  • Roundtrip Ferry to Bainbridge Island (for 2)
    $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seattle

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seattle:

  • Private Airport Transfer: Seattle to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA): $40
  • Private Departure Transfer from Seattle City to SEA Seattle Airport: $46
  • Seattle Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $50
  • Seattle Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $50
  • Seattle Arrival Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $50
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Seattle Tacoma Airport to Seattle Downtown: $60
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Seattle Downtown to Tacoma Airport: $60
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Seattle Tacoma International Airport to Kent City - One Way: $62
  • Private Departure Transfer to Seattle Tacoma Airport SEA: $64
  • Seattle Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive SUV: $65
  • Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) to Cruise Port - Arrival Private Transfer: $71
  • Cruise Port to Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) - Departure Private Transfer: $71

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia River Gorge or Seattle?

Prices for flights to both Seattle and Columbia River Gorge 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
    Columbia River Gorge $37
    Seattle $38

Typical Food prices in Seattle

Some typical examples of dining costs in Seattle are as follows:


  • Expresso & cookie at Pier 70
    $7.00
  • Cashews at Pike Place Market
    $6.00
  • 6 Mini Donuts at Pike Place Market
    $3.25
  • Chinese Lunch in International District (for 2)
    $21
  • Breakfast at Lowel's in Pike Place Market (for 2)
    $32
  • Breakfast at French Cafe (for 2)
    $37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Seattle

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

  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 1 Hour: $34
  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 2 Hours: $58
  • Pacific Northwest-Style Dinner and Pairing in Seattle: $61
  • Exclusive: Early-Access Food Tour of Pike Place Market: $73
  • Street Theater and Dinner in Seattle's Fremont District: $86
  • Seattle Dinner Cruise: $115

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbia River Gorge $16
    Seattle $12

Tours and Activities in Columbia River Gorge

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Columbia River Gorge are as follows:

  • Cascade Locks: 1-Hour Columbia River Sightseeing Cruise: $50
  • Cascade Locks: Columbia Gorge Sunday Brunch Cruise: $94
  • Portland: Columbia Gorge Flight Tour: $99
  • Portland: Multnomah Falls Scenic Air Tour: $199

Tours and Activities in Seattle

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

  • Private Auto-guided Tour of Seattle: $4.96
  • Historic Ballard audio tour: A slice of Seattle's quirky history: $5.00
  • Skip the Line: Sky View Observatory Admission Tickets: $10
  • Smith Tower Straight Up Observatory Access Ticket: $12
  • Seattle Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Seattle Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Seattle Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Seattle Walking Ghost Tour: $23
  • The Museum of Flight Admission Ticket: $25
  • Underground Walking Tour: $29
  • Beneath The Streets Underground History Tour: $29
  • Seattle Harbor Cruise: $36

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbia River Gorge $9.49
    Seattle $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Seattle

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Seattle:

  • Seattle Bar Hunt: Sleepless in Seattle Bar Crawl: $12
  • Haunted Seattle Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Georgetown Brewery Tour: $72
  • Bon Vivant Woodinville Wine Tasting Tour: $98
  • Seattle Coffee, Chocolate and Wine Tour: $112
  • Seattle Wine Tour (Hourly): $135


When comparing the travel costs between Columbia River Gorge and Seattle, we can see that Seattle 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.


When is the best time to visit Columbia River Gorge or Seattle?

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 Columbia River Gorge or Seattle in the Summer?

Both Seattle and Columbia River Gorge are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Also, the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Seattle this time of year.

In July, Columbia River Gorge is generally around the same temperature as Seattle. Temperatures in Columbia River Gorge average around 68°F (20°C), and Seattle stays around 67°F (19°C).

It's quite sunny in Seattle. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbia River Gorge. Columbia River Gorge usually receives more sunshine than Seattle during summer. At this time of the year, Columbia River Gorge gets 338 hours of sunny skies, while Seattle receives 313 hours of full sun.

In July, Columbia River Gorge usually receives less rain than Seattle. At this time of the year, Columbia River Gorge gets 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 0.9 inches (22 mm) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbia River Gorge 68°F (20°C) 
    Seattle 67°F (19°C)

Should I visit Columbia River Gorge or Seattle in the Autumn?

Both Seattle and Columbia River Gorge during the autumn are popular places to visit. Furthermore, many travelers come to Seattle for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Columbia River Gorge is around the same temperature as Seattle in the autumn. The temperature in Columbia River Gorge is usually 55°F (13°C) in October, and Seattle stays around 54°F (12°C).

In the autumn, Columbia River Gorge often gets more sunshine than Seattle. Columbia River Gorge gets 155 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Seattle receives 143 hours of full sun.

Columbia River Gorge usually gets less rain in October than Seattle. Columbia River Gorge gets 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbia River Gorge 55°F (13°C) 
    Seattle 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Columbia River Gorge or Seattle in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbia River Gorge and Seattle. Furthermore, many visitors come to Seattle in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Columbia River Gorge. In the winter, Columbia River Gorge is cooler than Seattle. Typically, the winter temperatures in Columbia River Gorge in January are around 40°F (4°C), and Seattle is about 42°F (5°C).

Columbia River Gorge usually receives more sunshine than Seattle during winter. At this time of the year, Columbia River Gorge gets 86 hours of sunny skies, while Seattle receives 67 hours of full sun.

Seattle receives a lot of rain in the winter. Columbia River Gorge gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Columbia River Gorge usually receives around the same amount of rain as Seattle. At this time of the year, Columbia River Gorge gets 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 5.4 inches (136 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbia River Gorge 40°F (4°C) 
    Seattle 42°F (5°C)

Should I visit Columbia River Gorge or Seattle in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Columbia River Gorge as well as Seattle. Additionally, most visitors come to Seattle for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty during these months.

In April, Columbia River Gorge is generally around the same temperature as Seattle. Temperatures in Columbia River Gorge average around 51°F (11°C), and Seattle stays around 51°F (11°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Seattle. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Columbia River Gorge this time of the year. In the spring, Columbia River Gorge often gets more sunshine than Seattle. Columbia River Gorge gets 231 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Seattle receives 212 hours of full sun.

Columbia River Gorge usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Seattle. Columbia River Gorge gets 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain, while Seattle receives 2.5 inches (64 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbia River Gorge 51°F (11°C) 
    Seattle 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Seattle and Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge Seattle
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm) 42°F (5°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Feb 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 45°F (7°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Mar 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Apr 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.5 inches (64 mm)
May 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Jun 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm)
Jul 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm) 67°F (19°C) 0.9 inches (22 mm)
Aug 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm) 67°F (19°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
Sep 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (49 mm)
Oct 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Nov 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm) 47°F (8°C) 5.7 inches (144 mm)
Dec 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm) 42°F (6°C) 6 inches (152 mm)


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Columbia River Gorge vs. Seattle Travel Comparison

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