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

Should you visit Columbus or San Diego?

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

Should I visit Columbus or San Diego? 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 San Diego?

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.

San Diego

For many visitors and locals alike, San Diego is a paradise. Located in southern California, not far from Los Angeles, it has the perfect climate, wonderful beaches, and a culturally rich environment. It's surrounded by beautiful landscape and has a strong focus on wildlife conservation and eco-friendly living. Home to about 1.3 million residents, it is California's second largest city. It also has many universities, a large tech industry, and a thriving economy. Despite its size, many people perceive San Diego as a slower, more relaxed city with a pleasant vibe away from the chaos of a large city.

Which city is cheaper, San Diego 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 San Diego is $161. 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 San Diego in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $58
    San Diego $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $116
    San Diego $182
Compare Hotels in Columbus and San Diego

Looking for a hotel in Columbus or San Diego? 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 San Diego


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 and San Diego Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $40
    San Diego $19

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • Transfer from San Diego International Airport to San Diego: $62
  • Tijuana Border Crossing Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $398
  • SAN Airport Private Transfer: $77
  • San Diego to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Departure Private Transfer: $357
  • San Diego to Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) - Departure Private Transfer: $342
  • San Diego hotel/address to San Diego Airport (SAN) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • San Diego Private Transfer To Palm Springs.: $398
  • San Diego Private Transfer To N. Hollywood/Burbank area.: $398
  • San Diego Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $389
  • San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego hotel/address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $119
  • San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $60
  • Private transfer: San Diego to San Diego Airport (SAN): $622

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or San Diego?

Prices for flights to both San Diego 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
    San Diego $36

Typical Food prices in San Diego

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to San Diego:


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • San Diego North Park Food Tour: $49
  • Liberty Station Food Tour: $49
  • Market and Guacamole Cooking Class in Tijuana Mexico: $89
  • Private Cooking Demonstration of Indian Fusion Cuisine in San Diego: $96
  • Farmers Market Tour & Social Cooking With A Chef: $100
  • San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise: $111
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours San Diego: $129
  • Secret Food Tours San Diego w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $37
    San Diego $38

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

Typical Entertainment prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Diego.

  • 1-Hour Voodoo Escape Room Experience in San Diego: $35
  • 1Hr GPS Guided Scooter Tour: Harbor/Gaslamp Quarter: $63
  • 2 Hour Whale Watching Kayak Tour for Two: $77
  • 4 Hour Whale Watching/Eco Adventure: $163
  • Affordable, Luxury Sailing Tour of San Diego's Bay and Coastal Waterways: $112
  • All Day San Diego City and Shopping Tour: $95
  • All Inclusive Beer Tour-Party bus: $169
  • Behind-the-Scenes at Petco Park Tour: $23
  • Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past: $69
  • Catamaran Sailing Cruise on San Diego Bay for up to 12 Guests: $1,200
  • Catamaran Sailing Cruise on San Diego Bay for up to 6 Guests: $600
  • Coastal Beauty - Private Sunset & Night Photography Tour: $455

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $16
    San Diego $17

Sample the Local Flavors in San Diego

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

  • San Diego Bar Hunt: Slammin' San Diego Bar Crawl: $12
  • Wine Tasting Or Beer Tasting: $15
  • San Diego Brewery Tour: $85
  • San Diego Micro Brewery Tour: $91
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $95
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $101
  • Private San Diego Brewery Tour: $107
  • All inclusive brewery tour-Fire Truck: $189
  • Luxury Private Wine Tasting Tour to Guadalupe Valley from San Diego.: $249
  • Private Wine Tour of Temecula from San Diego: $475


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


When is the best time to visit Columbus or San Diego?

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 Columbus or San Diego in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbus and San Diego. Also, the summer months attract visitors to San Diego because of the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Columbus is a little warmer than San Diego. Typically, the summer temperatures in Columbus in July are around 77°F (25°C), and San Diego is about 71°F (22°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in San Diego this time of the year. In Columbus, it's very sunny this time of the year. Columbus usually receives less sunshine than San Diego during summer. Columbus gets 254 hours of sunny skies, while San Diego receives 306 hours of full sun in the summer.

Columbus gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Columbus usually receives more rain than San Diego. Columbus gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbus 77°F (25°C) 
    San Diego 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Columbus or San Diego in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Columbus as well as San Diego. Also, the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to San Diego this time of year.

In October, Columbus is generally cooler than San Diego. Temperatures in Columbus average around 57°F (14°C), and San Diego stays around 68°F (20°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in San Diego. In the autumn, Columbus often gets less sunshine than San Diego. Columbus gets 179 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Diego receives 244 hours of full sun.

Columbus usually gets more rain in October than San Diego. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0.4 inches (9 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbus 57°F (14°C) 
    San Diego 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Columbus or San Diego in the Winter?

Both San Diego and Columbus are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Also, many travelers come to San Diego for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

It's quite cold in Columbus in the winter. Columbus is much colder than San Diego in the winter. The temperature in Columbus is usually 30°F (-1°C) in January, and San Diego stays around 57°F (14°C).

It's quite sunny in San Diego. Columbus usually receives less sunshine than San Diego during winter. Columbus gets 105 hours of sunny skies, while San Diego receives 239 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Columbus usually receives more rain than San Diego. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 1.8 inches (46 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C) 
    San Diego 57°F (14°C)

Should I visit Columbus or San Diego in the Spring?

Both San Diego and Columbus during the spring are popular places to visit. Furthermore, many visitors come to San Diego in the spring for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Columbus is cooler than San Diego. Typically, the spring temperatures in Columbus in April are around 54°F (12°C), and San Diego is about 62°F (17°C).

In San Diego, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the spring, Columbus often gets less sunshine than San Diego. Columbus gets 200 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Diego receives 277 hours of full sun.

Columbus usually gets more rain in April than San Diego. Columbus gets 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0.8 inches (20 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbus 54°F (12°C) 
    San Diego 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for San Diego and Columbus

Columbus San Diego
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.8 inches (46 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm) 67°F (19°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 71°F (22°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Sep 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 71°F (22°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.4 inches (9 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.5 inches (37 mm)
Dec 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm)


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Columbus vs. San Diego Travel Comparison

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