Should you visit Dayton or Rapid City?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Dayton or Rapid City, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.
Located in southwest Ohio, Dayton is known as the "Gem City." It's the original home of Orville and Wilbur Wright, the brothers who designed the first airplane. You'll also find the Dayton Aviation Heritage Park here, which is one of the only multi-site National Parks in the United States. The cities climate has four different seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall. The winter months are quite cold and you can expect a decent amount of snow in the area. Spring remains cool and there are infrequent showers. This is also the peak time for tornadoes in the area. Summer is hot and humid and can be unpleasant at times, but fall is crisp and refreshing with occasional storms and infrequent tornadoes.
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 Dayton?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Dayton is $259, 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Dayton and Rapid City in more detail.
A hotel room in Dayton is about $400 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $96 in Rapid City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
The average traveler spends about $49 per day in Dayton for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
In Rapid City travelers spend around $19 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Meals for one day
Rapid City $19
Typical Food prices in Dayton
Some typical examples of dining costs in Dayton are as follows:
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $20 per day to get around in Dayton.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Rapid City than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $42 on transportation in Rapid City on average per day.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dayton
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dayton:
James M. Cox Dayton Airport (DAY) to Dayton - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
James M. Cox Dayton Airport (DAY) to Dayton - Departure Private Transfer:
James M. Cox Dayton Airport (DAY) to Dayton - Arrival Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Dayton or Rapid City?
Prices for flights to both Rapid City and Dayton 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.
Sightseeing expenses in Rapid City, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $21 per day, per person.
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 Full-Day Tour:
Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Bus Tour with Live Commentary:
Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills:
Bike Adventure on the Mickelson Trail - Private:
Southern Black Hills Bicycle Tour - Private:
Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour:
Black Hills: Private Tour of Mt. Rushmore & Flume Trail Hike:
Badlands National Park Private Tour:
Private Mickelson Trail Bicycling Tour/ Two Person Minimum:
Private Jeep Safari and Hiking Tour/ Two Person Minimum:
Private Badlands National Park Day Tour:
Private Mt Rushmore & Southern Black Hills Tour:
Typically, people visiting Rapid City spend on average $5.54 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Dayton and Rapid City, we can see that Dayton 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 Dayton would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Dayton than you might in Rapid City.
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