A Travel Price Comparison for California Death Valley National Park vs. Napa Valley for Food, Couples, Backpackers, and Hiking

Should you visit Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley?

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 Death Valley National Park and Napa Valley can help you decide which place is right for you.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is a striking, vast, and dramatic national park. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the hiking.

Napa Valley

Napa Valley is a idyllic, scenic, and picturesque area. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and hiking.

Death Valley National Park and Napa Valley: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Napa Valley. Although Death Valley National Park and Napa Valley are popular destinations, Napa Valley has more sights and attractions for tourists. Napa Valley is very popular for its food, nightlife, and shopping, while Death Valley National Park attracts visitors for its resorts. Death Valley National Park is famous for being the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in the U.S. Napa Valley is famous for its world class wineries and beautiful countryside. It is also well known for Louis M. Martini Winery.

How is Death Valley National Park different from Napa Valley?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Napa Valley and Death Valley National Park. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley?

Death Valley National Park
Napa Valley

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley.

Death Valley National Park offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. There are ghost towns and visitor centers with informational exhibits, but visitors spend most of their time exploring the outdoor environment.

While most people don't head to Napa Valley specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. Most visitors spend their time visiting vineyards, but there are a couple of local museums and galleries in the area that are worth checking out.


Is the Food Better in Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Death Valley National Park
Napa Valley

Napa Valley is renowned for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Death Valley National Park is not a good national park for its restaurants.

Napa Valley has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. It's most known for its world-class wine, but Napa Valley is also filled with Michelin starred restaurants and charming local eateries. Whether you're looking for a casual meal or something more upscale, there is no shortage of options. Most places take advantage of local ingredients that are very fresh. Menus change regularly and seasonal ingredients are common. And, of course, you'll find a wide selection of local wines.

Death Valley National Park offers some easy restaurants to choose from. There are restaurants at Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, and Panamint Springs, but most visitors prefer to bring their own food so that they can enjoy picnicking in a beautiful setting.

Is Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley Better for Nightlife?

Death Valley National Park
Napa Valley

Napa Valley is a well-known place for its evening party scene. However, Death Valley National Park is not a good national park for nightlife.

Napa Valley offers plenty to do in the evening. In the evening, visitors will enjoy the area's live music scene, theaters, and bars. There are also plenty of wine bars where you can continue to enjoy local wines.

Death Valley National Park doesn't offer many options. Beyond stargazing and relaxing around a campfire, there is no real nightlife in the area.

Is Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley Better for Resorts?

Death Valley National Park
Napa Valley

Death Valley National Park is adequate for its luxury resorts. However, Napa Valley is not a resort destination.

You might not think of Death Valley National Park as a resort destination, but it has a few places. There are historical inns and lodges in and around the park. The privately owned Inn at Death Valley is a popular option in Furnace Creek. If you stay outside the park, you can expect long drives to get most places.

Napa Valley is not a resort destination.


Is Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley Better for Hiking?

Death Valley National Park
Napa Valley

You'll find superb hiking in both Death Valley National Park and Napa Valley.

Death Valley National Park is a popular spot for hiking. Hikes will take you past desert landscapes, through canyons, and along sand dunes. The views are spectacular and the setting is other-worldly. Hiking is best between the months of November and March, as temperatures can be high other times of the year, particularly during the summer months.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Napa Valley. There are a number of state parks in the area, and there are also trails that pass by vineyards. Some of the best hiking trails are found in Alston Park, Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, or Las Posadas State Forest.

Is the Shopping Better in Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley?

Death Valley National Park
Napa Valley

Napa Valley is a well-known place for its shopping areas. However, Death Valley National Park is not a good national park for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Napa Valley. There are many interesting local boutiques in the different towns. You'll find shops selling clothing, jewelry, local items, and gifts. Some of the best shopping is found along First Street in downtown Napa.

Shopping in Death Valley National Park can be found for those interested. There are a couple of general stores where you can pick up items that you may need.

Is Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley Better for Families?

Death Valley National Park
Napa Valley

Death Valley National Park is a great national park for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Napa Valley is not as popular, but is still a nice area for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Death Valley National Park. Kids will love hiking and exploring the vast desert. There are also ghost towns and abandoned mines that will fascinate kids and adults alike. Junior programs, operated by the National Park Service, also offer interesting and educational programming for kids.

Napa Valley is a family-friendly place to visit. Vineyards and wine tasting may be what comes to mind for most travelers in Napa Valley, but those visiting with kids will appreciate the hiking trails, markets, and outdoor activities.


Is Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley Better for Couples?

Death Valley National Park
Napa Valley

Napa Valley is renowned for couples. Also, Death Valley National Park is not as famous, but is still a good national park to visit for romance.

For those traveling as a couple, Napa Valley has plenty to offer. It's long been considered a favorite honeymoon destination for newly-weds. The scenic vineyards and charming hotels make this the perfect couple's destination, whether you're celebrating an anniversary or simply want some time away together.

Death Valley National Park makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The stunning desert landscape will take your breathe away, particularly during sunrise and sunset, when the colors are dramatic and striking. In the evening, the sky fills with stars and couples can enjoy a bit of stargazing.

Is Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Death Valley National Park
Napa Valley

Death Valley National Park is terrific for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Napa Valley is not known for backpackers.

A large number of backpackers visit Death Valley National Park, as it is a very popular national park for budget travelers. Backpackers will enjoy hiking and camping in a unique desert environment. There are several campgrounds in the area that range from primitive to developed.

Napa Valley is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. It's considered to be more of a luxury destination than a backpacker's retreat, but there are a few affordable places to stay in the area.

Is Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Death Valley National Park
Napa Valley

Neither Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley offer decent public transit.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Death Valley National Park. There is no public transportation within the park.

Public transit is quite limited in Napa Valley. Public transit in the area is limited but within the city of Napa there are buses operated by the Vine Transit.


Is Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley a more walkable city?

Death Valley National Park
Napa Valley

Neither Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley are walkable places.

Death Valley National Park is not a walkable national park. This is a huge national park that requires a car to get around.

Napa Valley is not a very walkable national park. The vineyards are spread out and require a car or bike to access.

For even more information, also check out Is Death Valley National Park Worth Visiting? and Is Napa Valley Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Napa Valley or Death Valley National Park?

How long in Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley?

It's fun to spend time in either Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley. In our opinion, Napa Valley has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Napa Valley than Death Valley National Park. In general, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Death Valley National Park, and 1-4 days is enough time in Napa Valley.

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

Couples should spend more time in Napa Valley than Death Valley National Park. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Napa Valley that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Death Valley National Park than Napa Valley 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 Death Valley National Park.


  • How many days in Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley? Ideal Length of Stay
    Death Valley National Park 2-4 
    Napa Valley 1-4

One day in Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the vast national park of Death Valley National Park. Hikers are also drawn to this area. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

In Napa Valley, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this idyllic destination offers. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the food. Hikers are also drawn to this area. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A weekend in Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the dramatic destination of Death Valley National Park. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This national park offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

In Napa Valley, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this beautiful destination offers. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Many people spend a weekend here. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.


Five days in Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley?

The striking national park of Death Valley National Park offers . Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting Napa Valley. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. This area offers something for everyone.

A week in Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley?

Many people enjoy the when visiting Death Valley National Park. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the beautiful area of Napa Valley. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Lots of people come for the food. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, The Best Historical Tours in United States of America, The Best 10-Day Tours in United States of America, and The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Napa Valley or Death Valley National Park?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Death Valley National Park is $87, while the average daily cost in Napa Valley is $288. 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 Death Valley National Park and Napa Valley in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Death Valley National Park $37
    Napa Valley $126
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Death Valley National Park $74
    Napa Valley $252
Compare Hotels in Death Valley National Park and Napa Valley

Looking for a hotel in Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley? 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 Death Valley National Park


Hotels in Napa Valley


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: Napa Valley Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Death Valley National Park $41
    Napa Valley $183

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Napa Valley

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

  • Napa, CA to Sacramento Airport (SMF) - Departure Private Transfer : $112

Is it cheaper to fly into Death Valley National Park or Napa Valley?

Prices for flights to both Napa Valley and Death Valley National Park 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
    Death Valley National Park $20
    Napa Valley $62

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Death Valley National Park $36
    Napa Valley $28

Tours and Activities in Death Valley National Park

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Death Valley National Park are as follows:

  • Death Valley Self Guided Audio Driving Tour: $15
  • Death Valley on Mojave Desert VIP Small Group Tour from Las Vegas: $219

Tours and Activities in Napa Valley

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Napa Valley.

  • Self-Guided Napa Art Walking Tour: $7.20
  • Sonoma Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour & Game: $25
  • Napa Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Napa Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Napa Valley River History Kayak Tour: Single Kayaks: $79
  • Water To Wine! Guided kayak tour exploring the luxury of nature : $89
  • Napa and Sonoma Wine and Food Experience (Napa pickup): $119
  • Private Sailing Tour of Bodega Bay: $123
  • Napa Valley Wineries Tour Including Picnic Lunch: $125
  • Sonoma Valley Open Air Wine Trolley Tour: $125
  • The Original Napa Valley Wine Trolley "Up Valley" Castle Tour : $125
  • The Original Napa Valley Wine Trolley Classic Tour: $125

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Death Valley National Park $8.57
    Napa Valley $66

Sample the Local Flavors in Napa Valley

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Napa Valley:

  • Napa Private Wine Tour: $35
  • Private Self-Guided Wine Tasting Tour in Sonoma: $50
  • Intro to Wine Tasting with Napa Sommelière : $195
  • Healdsburg Cycling Wine Tour : $199
  • Yountville Food and Wine Tour in Napa: $275
  • Napa's Downtown Food & Wine Tour : $275
  • Private Sonoma and Napa Wine Tour Including Custom Concierge: $282
  • Private, Customized Sonoma Valley Wine Tour: $300


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Death Valley National Park Expensive? and Is Napa Valley Expensive?.