A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Dallas vs. Santa Fe for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Dallas or Santa Fe?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Dallas and Santa Fe can help you decide which place is right for you.

Dallas

Dallas is a chic, active, and upscale city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a artsy, cultural, and historic historic town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and skiing.

Dallas and Santa Fe: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Dallas or Santa Fe?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Santa Fe than Dallas. While Dallas is larger than Santa Fe, Santa Fe has more sights and attractions for tourists. Santa Fe is more popular for its skiing, music, historical sights, hiking, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere, while Dallas is known for its museums, nightlife, and big city activities. Santa Fe is more touristy than Dallas and is popular for its strong arts scene, its Pueblo-style architecture, and its unique local cuisine. It is also home to The Museum of New Mexico Complex. Dallas is popular for its Tex Mex cuisine, upscale shopping venues, and cowboy culture.

How is Dallas different from Santa Fe?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Dallas or Santa Fe Better for Skiing?

Dallas
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is very good for snow skiing. However, Dallas is not a skiing destination.

For winter sports and skiing, Santa Fe is a great destination to visit. There are a few good ski resorts not far from Santa Fe. Popular options include Taos Ski Valley, Ski Santa Fe, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, and Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort.

Dallas is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Dallas or Santa Fe?

Dallas
Santa Fe

Dallas is a great city for its historical sights. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its sights and museums.

Many visitors head to Dallas specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Museums range from historical to art and science with some of the favorites being the Dallas Contemporary Museum, the African American Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Frontiers of Flight Museum. The city is also home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the Nasher Sculpture Center. A must-see is the Sixth Floor Museum, which is in historic Dealey Plaza and is where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots that killed JFK. Today there's a museum that goes over the events of that day.

Santa Fe is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Head to the Museum of New Mexico Complex, which has four museums that give a great overview of the history of the area. Also make sure you visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

Is the Food Better in Dallas or Santa Fe? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Dallas
Santa Fe

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at very good restaurants in both Dallas and Santa Fe.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Dallas. There's a perfect combination of Texas cuisine and international flavors. You'll find Texas barbecue, Tex Mex, and steakhouses intermixed with Thai, Japanese, and Caribbean cuisine. There's also a great food truck scene and many local eateries.

Santa Fe has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. There are many local restaurants that use regional ingredients and offer great flavors. There are also cafes and bistros where you can enjoy breakfast or brunch. Local dishes include sopaipillas made with Native American fry bread, slow-cooked beans, and anything made with red and green chili peppers.

Is Dallas or Santa Fe Better for Nightlife?

Dallas
Santa Fe

Dallas is a great city for its evening party scene. However, Santa Fe is not known for nightlife.

The nightlife in Dallas has something for everybody. Head to East Dallas for the most active clubs with large dance floors and great music. The city also has rooftop lounges and plenty of live music as well as comedy clubs.

Most people don't head to Santa Fe specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. While most of the town quiets down at night, the city has a few areas that stay active late into the night. Live music is popular and diverse. It often includes different genres such as the blues, country, salsa or bluegrass.


Is Dallas or Santa Fe Better for Music?

Dallas
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is very good for its live music scene. However, Dallas is not a live music destination.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Santa Fe. The town has an eclectic music scene that includes a mix of the blues, country, Latin American music, and bluegrass.

Dallas is not a live music destination.

Is Dallas or Santa Fe Better for its Old Town?

Dallas
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a well-known place for its old town. However, Dallas does not have a historic old town.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Santa Fe. As the 2nd oldest city in the United States, the old town historic district is filled with charm. The Pueblo-style buildings are brightly colored and there are churches throughout.

Dallas does not have a historic old town.

Is Dallas or Santa Fe Better for Hiking?

Dallas
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is very good for the nearby hiking options. However, Dallas is not a hiking destination.

Many people include a hike when visiting Santa Fe. Because it's located right by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, there are many beautiful hikes right outside of town. Popular trails include the Picacho Peak Trail and the Nambe Lake Trail. Bandelier National also has many places to hike.

Dallas is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Dallas or Santa Fe?

Dallas
Santa Fe

Both Dallas and Santa Fe are very good shopping destinations.

Dallas is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. You'll find a very diverse shopping scene around town, with everything from quirky local vendors to upscale fashion boutiques. There are cowboy outfitters where you can get a feel for the Texas style, but there are also posh shopping centers and local flea markets.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Santa Fe. There are many unique shops and art galleries that feature local artists and craftsmen.

Is Dallas or Santa Fe Better for Families?

Dallas
Santa Fe

Dallas is a great city for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Dallas. The city is filled with families, and you'll find many kid-friendly activities around town. For some outdoor time you can visit the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden or the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The Dallas Zoo is a favorite for many kids and there are also a number of kid-friendly museums around town such as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Dallas World Aquarium.

Santa Fe is a family-friendly place to visit. There are a few kids' museums in Santa Fe including the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Meow Wolf Art Complex. Kids also enjoy the botanical gardens at Museum Hill and Bandelier National Monument just outside of the city.

Is Dallas or Santa Fe Better for Couples?

Dallas
Santa Fe

Dallas is a great city for couples. Also, Santa Fe is not as popular, but is still a nice historic town for romance.

Dallas is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. Head to the observation deck at Reunion Tower for spectacular views of the night skyline. The city also has many great comedy clubs and performing arts venues as well as fine dining restaurants that make for a great date night.

Santa Fe is a nice destination for couples. There are many romantic inns around town, each with a lot of character. The town also has a lot of atmosphere that makes for a romantic getaway.


Is Dallas or Santa Fe Better for Students?

Dallas
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is very good for students. However, Dallas is not a good city for its student-friendly activities.

Santa Fe is a good historic town to visit for students. There are a few colleges and universities in town and students will appreciate the reasonable cost of living and outdoor activities nearby.

Dallas is a decent spot for students. There are a couple of universities and colleges in the area that keep things interesting for students.

Is Dallas or Santa Fe Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Dallas
Santa Fe

Dallas is very good for times when you don't have a car. However, Santa Fe is not known for its public transit.

While Dallas offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. While it's still very much a car-centered city, the public transportation system, DART, is one of the fastest growing in the country. It includes both light rail and bus service.

Public transit is generally limited in Santa Fe. There is a bus system - the Santa Fe Trails Bus Service.

Is Dallas or Santa Fe a more walkable city?

Dallas
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a well-known place for its high level of walkability. However, Dallas is not a good city for its ease of walking around.

Santa Fe is a very walkable historic town. The historic district is walkable and it's easy to visit most of the tourist sights in this area on foot.

Dallas is generally not a very walkable city. The city is not particularly walkable, but there are several more walkable areas such as Ellum and Uptown.


For even more information, also check out Is Dallas Worth Visiting? and Is Santa Fe Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Santa Fe or Dallas?

How long in Dallas or Santa Fe?

In either Dallas or Santa Fe, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Santa Fe than Dallas because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Dallas, and 2-5 days is enough time in Santa Fe.

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

Couples should spend more time in Dallas than Santa Fe. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Dallas that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Santa Fe than Dallas 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 Santa Fe.


  • How many days in Dallas or Santa Fe? Ideal Length of Stay
    Dallas 2-4 
    Santa Fe 2-5

One day in Dallas or Santa Fe?

The city of Dallas offers food and shopping. 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.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Santa Fe. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Dallas or Santa Fe?

Dallas is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Dallas, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Santa Fe is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Dallas or Santa Fe?

Dallas is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Santa Fe. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Dallas or Santa Fe?

Dallas is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

Travelers enjoy the skiing and live music when visiting the historic destination of Santa Fe. This historic town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America, The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America, The Best Train & Rail Tours in United States of America, and The Best Sightseeing Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Santa Fe or Dallas?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dallas is $141, while the average daily cost in Santa Fe is $159. 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 Dallas and Santa Fe in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dallas $84
    Santa Fe $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dallas $168
    Santa Fe $162
Compare Hotels in Dallas and Santa Fe

Looking for a hotel in Dallas or Santa Fe? 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 Dallas


Hotels in Santa Fe


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: Dallas Hotel Prices and Santa Fe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dallas $28
    Santa Fe $61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dallas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dallas:

  • Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW): Transfer to Dallas: $204
  • Roundtrip Transfer Private Minivan Dallas Airport (DAL) - Dallas City Center: $181
  • Roundtrip Transfer Private Minivan Dallas Airport (DFW) - Dallas City Center: $138
  • Arrival Private Transfer Dallas Airport DAL to Fort Worth by Luxury Vehicle: $135
  • Private Transfer from Dallas Airport DFW to Dallas in Luxury SUV: $126
  • Departure Private Transfer: Dallas to Dallas Airport DFW in Luxury SUV: $126
  • Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW) to Plano / Allen - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $123
  • RoundtripTransfer Executive Private Car Dallas Airport (DFW) -Dallas City Center: $120
  • Private Transfer Fort Worth Airport DFW to Downtown Fort Worth by Luxury Vehicle: $109
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Dallas Airport DFW to Dallas in Business Car: $105
  • Departure Private Transfer: Dallas to Dallas Airport DFW in Business Car: $105
  • Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW) to Dallas - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $105

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Fe

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Santa Fe Airport (SAF): $62
  • Private Departure Transfer to Santa Fe Airport SAF: $125

Is it cheaper to fly into Dallas or Santa Fe?

Prices for flights to both Santa Fe and Dallas 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
    Dallas $35
    Santa Fe $43
Typical Food Prices in Dallas

Some typical examples of dining costs in Dallas are as follows:


  • Cowboys Stadium Tour (for 2)
    $55
  • Whataburger Lunch (family of 4)
    $21

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dallas

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Dallas.

  • West Village Happy Hour Food Tour: $39
  • Deep Ellum Foodie Lovers Tour with Food Tours of America: $85
  • Dallas Secret Food Tour: $89
  • Secret Food Tour of Dallas with Private Tour Option: $99

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Fe

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

  • New Mexican Flavors Food Tour of the Santa Fe Plaza: $184
  • Santa Fe Farmers Market & Railyard Food Tour: $184
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Railyard Arts District: $189
  • Wander New Mexico Food Tour - Downtown Plaza 'Sip & Savor': $209
  • Downtown Plaza "Sip and Savor" Half-day Food Tour: $209
  • Savor Wine Pairing Dinner: $228

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dallas $13
    Santa Fe $17

Tours and Activities in Dallas

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

  • 2 Hour Dallas Night Sightseeing E-Scooter Tour: $90
  • 1-Hour JFK Assassination Walking Tour: $28
  • 1-Hour JFK Assassination Walking Tour : $28
  • 2-Hour Historic Dallas Segway Tour: $79
  • 3-Hour Ropes Course & Zip Line Adventure : $60
  • 3hr Dallas Cowboys Stadium Small Group Tour with Transportation: $108
  • Dallas Indoor Skydiving Experience with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate: $114
  • Dallas Scavenger Hunt & Self-Guided Tour: $14
  • Dallas Terrors Ghost Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $28
  • Dallas and Cowboys Stadium Combo Tour: $153
  • Dallas and JFK Cruizer Tour : $35
  • Dallas and JFK Full-Day Tour with Sixth Floor Museum and Oswald Rooming House: $133

Tours and Activities in Santa Fe

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Santa Fe.

  • Historic Downtown Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Santa Fe Historic Downtown Smart Phone Audio App Self Guided GPS Walking Tour : $7.80
  • Santa Fe's Historic Gems: A Self-Guided Walking Tour: $9.99
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Santa Fe by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Santa Fe Secrets: $13
  • Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour of Historic Santa Fe: $15
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Santa Fe NM: $15
  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Willa Cather's Walking Tour in Santa Fe: $40
  • Santa Fe Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $49
  • Canyon Road Arts District Walking Tour: $69

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dallas $12
    Santa Fe $9.68

Sample the Local Flavors in Dallas

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

  • Dallas Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $36
  • Party Bike Pub Crawl in Deep Ellum and Downtown Dallas: $55
  • Dallas Party Bike Pub Crawl in Deep Ellum: $55

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Fe

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Santa Fe:

  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery Tour and Tasting: $18
  • Architectural Walking Tour & Wine Tasting: $135


When comparing the travel costs between Dallas and Santa Fe, we can see that Santa Fe 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 Dallas Expensive? and Is Santa Fe Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Dallas or Santa Fe?

Dallas has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Santa Fe. When comparing the sizes of Dallas and Santa Fe, 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.