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

Should you visit Columbus or Rapid City?

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

Should I visit Columbus 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: Columbus or Rapid City?

Columbus

The capital city of Ohio, Columbus sits at the meeting point of America's Rust Belt, Bible Belt, Appalachia, and the Plains. It is also home of Ohio State University, which is a major financial and economic force in the city. You'll likely need a car to navigate the city, although there is a bus system, COTA, which can take you to some of Columbus' highlights.

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 Columbus?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Columbus is $126, 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 Columbus and Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $58
    Rapid City $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $116
    Rapid City $96

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $40
    Rapid City $42

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus

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

  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $87
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $174
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $87

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Rapid City?

Prices for flights to both Rapid City 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 $39
    Rapid City $19

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $37
    Rapid City $21

Tours and Activities in Columbus

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

  • Central Park Bike Tour: $53
  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $21
  • New York City: 3-Hour City Highlights Guided Bike Tour: $60
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus: $11

Tours and Activities in Rapid City

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

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $16
    Rapid City $5.54


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

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.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Columbus vs. Rapid City Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.