A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Columbus vs. Pocono Mountains for Families, Couples, Backpackers, and Attractions

Should you visit Columbus or Pocono Mountains?

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

Should I visit Columbus or Pocono Mountains? 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.

Columbus

Columbus is a authentic, friendly, and welcoming city. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Pocono Mountains

Pocono Mountains is a beautiful, magnificent, and relaxing region. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, and museums.

Columbus and Pocono Mountains: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Columbus or Pocono Mountains?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Pocono Mountains. Although Columbus and Pocono Mountains are popular destinations, Pocono Mountains has more sights and attractions for tourists. Pocono Mountains is very popular for its skiing, food, resorts, hiking, and impressive beauty, while Columbus attracts visitors for its nightlife. Pocono Mountains is more touristy than Columbus and is popular for its hiking trails, boating and fishing, and small towns. It is also well known for Bushkill Falls. Columbus is famous for its youthful energy and its growing arts scene.

How is Columbus different from Pocono Mountains?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Columbus or Pocono Mountains Better for Skiing?

Columbus
Pocono Mountains

Pocono Mountains is a very popular place for skiing and snowboarding. However, Columbus is not a skiing destination.

Pocono Mountains offers world-class skiing that is fun for everyone. There are a number of ski resorts in the area that offer family-friendly skiing or more advanced options. Some of the most popular ski areas are Big Boulder, Blue Mountain, Camelback Mountain, and Jack Frost Mountain.

Columbus is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Columbus or Pocono Mountains?

Columbus
Pocono Mountains

Spend time exploring the nice sights and museums in either Columbus or Pocono Mountains.

Columbus is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Popular museums around town include the Center of Science and Technology, the Franklin Park Conservatory, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Ohio History Center.

Pocono Mountains offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Visiting a local museum is a great way to learn about the area's history and Native American population. For a glimpse back in time, you can visit the Asa Packer Mansion, Grey Towers National Historic Landmark, or Columns Museum. The Old Jail Museum is a fascinating place to visit and even offers ghost tours. The Pocono Indian Museum and Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm are both worth a visit as well.

Is the Food Better in Columbus or Pocono Mountains? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Columbus
Pocono Mountains

Pocono Mountains is a popular place for its restaurants. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Pocono Mountains. Family-friendly restaurants are common. Many serve up casual American cuisine like burgers or pasta. There are also more upscale restaurants, some with impressive views, that will elevate your culinary experience. For a local experience, find a restaurant with a seasonal menu that makes the most of the local ingredients.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Columbus. Hearty and heavy comfort food is the mainstay in this town. There's pizza, casseroles, sausage, and milkshakes around town.

Is Columbus or Pocono Mountains Better for Nightlife?

Columbus
Pocono Mountains

Columbus is a city with good options for nightlife and partying. However, Pocono Mountains is a mediocre region for its evening party scene.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Columbus. The live music scene is growing. There are also a growing number of breweries around town.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Pocono Mountains. There are some resorts with casinos and bars as well as local breweries and bars. You'll also find a theater or two in the area.


Is Columbus or Pocono Mountains Better for Resorts?

Columbus
Pocono Mountains

Pocono Mountains is a popular place for its luxury resorts. However, Columbus is not a resort destination.

Pocono Mountains has a handful of resorts to choose from. Resorts range from family-friendly to romantic. Many have indoor pools or even water parks. Some also have spas, restaurants, and plenty of amenities.

Columbus is not a resort destination.

Is Columbus or Pocono Mountains Better for Hiking?

Columbus
Pocono Mountains

Pocono Mountains is a very popular place for its hiking trails. However, Columbus is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Pocono Mountains. There are miles of hiking trails that take you through forests or to spectacular waterfalls. Trails range from easy to challenging and each offers a great way to escape into nature. Some of the more popular trails are found in Tobyhanna State Park and Promised Land State Park. The Appalachian Trail also passes through the area.

Columbus is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Columbus or Pocono Mountains?

Columbus
Pocono Mountains

Shoppers can find a variety of nice stores in both Columbus and Pocono Mountains.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Columbus. In addition to the standard shopping malls and retail outlets, there are some interesting shops in the Short North Arts District, German Village, and Easton Town Center.

Pocono Mountains offers some nice shopping areas. Head to the towns for some the best local shopping. The downtown areas in each of the major towns - Jim Thorpe, Stroudsburg, Milford, and Honesdale - have local vendors, antique shops, and the occasional flea market or farmer's market.


Is Columbus or Pocono Mountains Better for Families?

Columbus
Pocono Mountains

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Columbus or Pocono Mountains.

Columbus is a very family-friendly destination. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a highlight for many families. Right by it is the Zoombezi Bay Waterpark. For hands-on science-based activities check out the Center of Science and Industry. Kids will also love the Legoland Discovery Center or the Anthony-Thomas Candy Factory. There are also many outdoor parks, greenways, and playgrounds to visit.

Pocono Mountains is a very kid-friendly city. There's horseback riding in the warmer seasons and kid-friendly skiing in the winter. The kids will also enjoy the hiking, ziplining, and indoor waterparks in the area. Animal farms and petting zoos are also popular, particularly with the younger kids.

Is Columbus or Pocono Mountains Better for Couples?

Columbus
Pocono Mountains

Pocono Mountains is a very popular place for romance. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.

Pocono Mountains makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Romantic resorts, cozy cabins, and luxurious spas all make this a wonderful couples destination. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the hiking and adventure sports in the area, while those looking for a more relaxed experience will appreciate the dining and cultural activities.

Most people don't think of Columbus as a couple's destination. You'll find restaurants and music venues that make for a nice date night. There are also wine tours and other entertainment options.

Is Columbus or Pocono Mountains Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Columbus
Pocono Mountains

Pocono Mountains is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for backpackers.

Pocono Mountains is very popular with the backpacker crowd. There's no shortage of campgrounds, cabins, and hiking opportunities that will let backpackers enjoy a bit of nature.

Columbus is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Although it's often overlooked by tourists, there is a hostel in town for backpackers and budget travelers.


Is Columbus or Pocono Mountains Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Columbus
Pocono Mountains

Visitors will find reasonable public transit in both Columbus and Pocono Mountains.

Public transit is mostly limited in Columbus. While there's a bus system, you'll really want to have a vehicle to get around town efficiently.

Public transit is generally limited in Pocono Mountains. There are some bus services that run between a few towns, but they're not an efficient way to get around.

Is Columbus or Pocono Mountains a more walkable city?

Columbus
Pocono Mountains

Columbus is a city with good options for its high level of walkability. However, Pocono Mountains is a mediocre region for its ease of walking around.

Columbus is a somewhat walkable place. The older neighborhoods are the most walkable, but if you want to get around town, you'll need to have a car.

Pocono Mountains is generally not a very walkable city. While there are plenty of hiking trails and some walkable towns, you really need a car to explore the area.

For even more information, also check out Is Columbus Worth Visiting? and Is Pocono Mountains Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Pocono Mountains or Columbus?

How long in Columbus or Pocono Mountains?

Both Columbus and Pocono Mountains have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Pocono Mountains than in Columbus. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Columbus, and 3-7 days is enough time in Pocono Mountains.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Pocono Mountains than Columbus 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 Pocono Mountains.


  • How many days in Columbus or Pocono Mountains? Ideal Length of Stay
    Columbus 1-2 
    Pocono Mountains 3-7

One day in Columbus or Pocono Mountains?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the welcoming destination of Columbus. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

The region of Pocono Mountains offers food and shopping. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


A weekend in Columbus or Pocono Mountains?

You'll find nightlife and shopping around the down-to-earth city of Columbus. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Pocono Mountains is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Columbus or Pocono Mountains?

Columbus is a popular choice for travelers. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Pocono Mountains is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Pocono Mountains, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Columbus or Pocono Mountains?

Columbus is a great place to explore. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Pocono Mountains is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Pocono Mountains has to offer. This region offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Anchorage, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles.


Which place is cheaper, Pocono Mountains or Columbus?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Columbus is $158, while the average daily cost in Pocono Mountains is $174. 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 Columbus and Pocono Mountains in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $72
    Pocono Mountains $89
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $144
    Pocono Mountains $178
Compare Hotels in Columbus and Pocono Mountains

Looking for a hotel in Columbus or Pocono Mountains? 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 Columbus


Hotels in Pocono Mountains


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: Columbus Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $50
    Pocono Mountains $49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus

Also for Columbus, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $66
  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $66
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $133
  • Columbus Ohio (CMH) Airport Arrival or Departure Private Transfer: $180

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Pocono Mountains?

Prices for flights to both Pocono Mountains and Columbus 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
    Columbus $49
    Pocono Mountains $53

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $46
    Pocono Mountains $30

Tours and Activities in Columbus

For Columbus, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Columbus with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure : $21
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $28
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Trolley Pub Holiday Lights Tour in Columbus: $45

Tours and Activities in Pocono Mountains

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

  • Delaware Water Gap Air Tour: $141
  • Private Mount Pocono Observation Air Tour: $64
  • Trolley Tour in Historic Jim Thorpe: $22

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $20
    Pocono Mountains $13


When comparing the travel costs between Columbus and Pocono Mountains, we can see that Pocono Mountains 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 Columbus Expensive? and Is Pocono Mountains Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Columbus or Pocono Mountains?

Columbus has a larger population, and is about 240 times larger than the population of Pocono Mountains. When comparing the sizes of Columbus and Pocono Mountains, 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 Columbus or Pocono Mountains?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Columbus or Pocono Mountains in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Columbus as well as Pocono Mountains. Many visitors come to Columbus in the summer for the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Pocono Mountains for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Columbus is around the same temperature as Pocono Mountains. Typically, the summer temperatures in Columbus in July average around 77°F (25°C), and Pocono Mountains averages at about 75°F (24°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Pocono Mountains. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Columbus this time of the year. In the summer, Columbus often gets less sunshine than Pocono Mountains. Columbus gets 254 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Pocono Mountains receives 288 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Pocono Mountains. Columbus receives a lot of rain in the summer. Columbus usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Pocono Mountains. Columbus gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Pocono Mountains receives 4.4 inches (111 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbus 77°F (25°C) 
    Pocono Mountains 75°F (24°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Pocono Mountains in the Autumn?

Both Pocono Mountains and Columbus are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Columbus for the shopping scene during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Pocono Mountains because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Columbus is generally a little warmer than Pocono Mountains. Daily temperatures in Columbus average around 57°F (14°C), and Pocono Mountains fluctuates around 55°F (13°C).

Columbus usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Pocono Mountains during autumn. Columbus gets 179 hours of sunny skies, while Pocono Mountains receives 168 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Columbus usually receives less rain than Pocono Mountains. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Pocono Mountains receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbus 57°F (14°C) 
    Pocono Mountains 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Pocono Mountains in the Winter?

Both Pocono Mountains and Columbus during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Columbus because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the skiing, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Pocono Mountains this time of year.

It's quite cold in Pocono Mountains in the winter. The weather in Columbus can be very cold. Columbus is much warmer than Pocono Mountains in the winter. The daily temperature in Columbus averages around 30°F (-1°C) in January, and Pocono Mountains fluctuates around 28°F (-2°C).

In the winter, Columbus often gets less sunshine than Pocono Mountains. Columbus gets 105 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Pocono Mountains receives 127 hours of full sun.

Columbus usually gets less rain in January than Pocono Mountains. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Pocono Mountains receives 3 inches (77 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C) 
    Pocono Mountains 28°F (-2°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Pocono Mountains in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbus and Pocono Mountains. Furthermore, many travelers come to Pocono Mountains for the natural beauty.

In the spring, Columbus is a little warmer than Pocono Mountains. Typically, the spring temperatures in Columbus in April average around 54°F (12°C), and Pocono Mountains averages at about 51°F (11°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Pocono Mountains this time of the year. Columbus usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Pocono Mountains during spring. Columbus gets 200 hours of sunny skies, while Pocono Mountains receives 213 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Columbus usually receives less rain than Pocono Mountains. Columbus gets 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain, while Pocono Mountains receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbus 54°F (12°C) 
    Pocono Mountains 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Pocono Mountains and Columbus

Columbus Pocono Mountains
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 28°F (-2°C) 3 inches (77 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 51°F (11°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 62°F (17°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm) 71°F (22°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 75°F (24°C) 4.4 inches (111 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 73°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Sep 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 66°F (19°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Dec 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 33°F (1°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)