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

Should you visit Columbia River Gorge or Seattle?

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

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 $144. 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 Columbia River Gorge and Seattle in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Columbia River Gorge is about $142 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

A hotel room in Seattle is about $188 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


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

Food

The average traveler spends about $37 per day in Columbia River Gorge for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

The price of a meal in Seattle can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $38 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $15 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • 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
  • Pike Place Market: Walking Food Tour: $48
  • Pike Place Market Chef-Guided Food Tour: $56
  • 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

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Columbia River Gorge is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $62 per person, per day, on local transportation in Columbia River Gorge.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $18 per day to get around in Seattle.


  • 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

Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Columbia River Gorge typically cost an average of $16 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $12 per person, per day in Seattle. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


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

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
  • Sky View Observatory General Admission Ticket: $20
  • Seattle Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Haunted Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Seattle Walking Ghost Tour: $23
  • The Museum of Flight Admission Ticket: $25
  • City Harbor Cruise: $26

Alcohol

The average person spends about $9.49 on alcoholic beverages in Columbia River Gorge per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in Seattle per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • 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
  • Half-Day Coffee, Chocolate, and Wine Tour: $99
  • Seattle Coffee, Chocolate and Wine Tour: $112
  • Seattle Wine Tour (Hourly): $135
  • 7-Hour Wenatchee White Water Rafting and Wine Tour: $145
  • From Snoqualmie Falls & Woodinville Wine Tasting: $209
  • Seattle All-Inclusive: Hike Mt. Rainier and Wine Tasting: $263


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.

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Columbia River Gorge vs. Seattle Travel Comparison

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