A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Columbia vs. Rapid City for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Columbia or Rapid City?

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

Should I visit Columbia or Rapid City? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Columbia or Rapid City?

Columbia

Both the largest and capital city of South Carolina, Columbia is literally the center of everything. Geographically it is located in the middle of the state, and it is the home to the University of South Carolina, the Army's Fort Jackson, as well as a variety of museums that celebrate the city's art, history, and culture.

Rapid City

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 Columbia?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Columbia is $0.00, 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Columbia and Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbia -
    Rapid City $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbia $0.00
    Rapid City $96
Compare Hotels in Columbia and Rapid City

Looking for a hotel in Columbia or Rapid City? 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


Hotels in Rapid City


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: Columbia Hotel Prices and Rapid City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbia -
    Rapid City $42

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia or Rapid City?

Prices for flights to both Rapid City and Columbia 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 $4.02
    Rapid City $19

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbia -
    Rapid City $21

Tours and Activities in Columbia

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Columbia 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: Columbia River Gorge 3-Hour Small Group Tour: $85
  • Portland: Multnomah Falls Scenic Air Tour: $199
  • Savannah: History & Ghosts Guided Tour with Beverage Stops: $20

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: $84
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $123
  • Bike Adventure on the Mickelson Trail - Private: $267
  • Southern Black Hills Bicycle Tour - Private: $267
  • Private Mickelson Trail Bicycling Tour/ Two Person Minimum: $299
  • Private Jeep Safari and Hiking Tour/ Two Person Minimum: $307
  • Private Badlands National Park Day Tour: $315
  • Private Mt Rushmore & Southern Black Hills Tour: $329

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbia $70
    Rapid City $5.54

Sample the Local Flavors in Columbia

Also in Columbia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Savannah: Pub Crawl and Ghost Tour: $30


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Columbia vs. Rapid City Travel Comparison

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