A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Destin vs. Sarasota for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Destin or Sarasota?

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 Destin and Sarasota can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Destin or Sarasota?


An upscale resort town located on the Florida Panhandle, Destin is best known for its white sand beaches and clear green waters, golfing opportunities, and world renowned fishing. The stretch of beach here (on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Choctawhatchee Bay) is nicknamed Florida's Emerald Coast.


Located on the Gulf Coast of southwest Florida, Sarasota is a popular city known for its thriving arts scene, selection of restaurants, plenty of shopping, and beautiful beaches. The metropolitan area is a hub of city culture, while the beaches offer escapes of fine white sand and aqua waters.

Which place is cheaper, Sarasota or Destin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Destin is $192, while the average daily cost in Sarasota is $249. 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 Destin and Sarasota in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Destin $111
    Sarasota $108
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Destin $222
    Sarasota $216
Compare Hotels in Destin and Sarasota

Looking for a hotel in Destin or Sarasota? 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 Destin

Hotels in Sarasota

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: Destin Hotel Prices and Sarasota Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Destin $50
    Sarasota -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sarasota

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

  • Private Transfer to Tampa International Airport: $171
  • Private Transfer to Southwest Florida Airport: $224
  • Private Transfer to Fort Lauderdale Airport: $824
  • Private Transfer to Miami International Airport: $960

Is it cheaper to fly into Destin or Sarasota?

Prices for flights to both Sarasota and Destin 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 Meals for one day
    Destin $51
    Sarasota $137

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Destin

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

  • Sunset Island Dinner -- A Top Ten Area Attraction: $575

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sarasota

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

  • Downtown Walking Food Tour in Sarasota: $110

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Destin $17
    Sarasota $11
Typical Entertainment prices in Destin

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Destin are as follows:

  • 1 Day Rental Umbrella and Chairs

Tours and Activities in Destin

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

  • Banana Boat Experience: $52
  • Crab Island and Dolphin Cruise: $50
  • 90 Minutes Sunset Cruise in Destin Harbor: $77
  • Captained Crab Island Tiki Cruise: $80
  • Captained Tiki Boat Crab Island Sunset & Harbor Lights Tour: $60
  • Clear Kayak Adventure in Fort Walton Beach : $69
  • Clear Kayaking Eco Adventure Tour in Marianna: $72
  • Crab Island Dolphin Jetski Adventure : $213
  • Deep Sea-Nearshore Gulf Fishing with IntraCoastal Experience: $1,040
  • Destin Harbor & Crab Island Sunset & Harbor tour: $50
  • Destin Private Catamaran and Snorkeling Tour 3hrs: $455
  • Destin Private Guided Sunset Cruise up to 6 Passengers: $230

Tours and Activities in Sarasota

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

  • Paddleboard Tour Through Lido Mangrove Tunnels: $55
  • Sharkey's LED illuminated Night & Sunset Tour on Glass Bottom Kayaks in Sarasota: $55
  • Siesta Key Guided Eco Tour: $56
  • Sarasota Mangrove Tunnel Guided Kayak Adventure: $56
  • Kayak Tour through Mangrove Tunnels: $57
  • Siesta Key Kayak Tour : $57
  • Sarasota Guided Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Tour: $59
  • Clear Kayak Glass Bottom Day Tour - Sarasota: $65
  • Clear Kayak LED Night Glass Bottom Tour - Anna Maria Island: $65
  • Clear Kayak Glass Bottom Day Tour - Anna Maria Island: $65
  • Clear Kayak LED Night Glass Bottom Tour - Sarasota: $65
  • Osprey: Guided Dolphin and Manatee SUP or Kayaking Tour: $65

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Destin $49
    Sarasota -

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

Which is Bigger, Destin or Sarasota?

Sarasota is bigger, and its population is about 4.4 times larger than the population of Destin. When comparing the population of Destin vs. Sarasota, 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 and the activities that interest you.

When is the best time to visit Destin or Sarasota?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Destin or Sarasota in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Destin as well as Sarasota. Many visitors come to Destin in the summer for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Destin is around the same temperature as Sarasota. Typically, the summer temperatures in Destin in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Sarasota averages at about 82°F (28°C).

It's quite rainy in Sarasota. Destin receives a lot of rain in the summer. Destin usually gets less rain in July than Sarasota. Destin gets 7.4 inches (189 mm) of rain, while Sarasota receives 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Destin 82°F (28°C) 
    Sarasota 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Destin or Sarasota in the Autumn?

Both Sarasota and Destin are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Destin for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Destin is generally cooler than Sarasota. Daily temperatures in Destin average around 69°F (21°C), and Sarasota fluctuates around 76°F (24°C).

It's quite rainy in Destin. In October, Destin usually receives more rain than Sarasota. Destin gets 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain, while Sarasota receives 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Destin 69°F (21°C) 
    Sarasota 76°F (24°C)

Should I visit Destin or Sarasota in the Winter?

Both Sarasota and Destin during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Destin because of the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Destin is cooler than Sarasota in the winter. The daily temperature in Destin averages around 50°F (10°C) in January, and Sarasota fluctuates around 59°F (15°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Destin. Destin usually gets more rain in January than Sarasota. Destin gets 4.6 inches (117 mm) of rain, while Sarasota receives 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Destin 50°F (10°C) 
    Sarasota 59°F (15°C)

Should I visit Destin or Sarasota in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Destin and Sarasota. The beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Destin this time of year.

In the spring, Destin is cooler than Sarasota. Typically, the spring temperatures in Destin in April average around 68°F (20°C), and Sarasota averages at about 73°F (23°C).

In April, Destin usually receives more rain than Sarasota. Destin gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while Sarasota receives 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Destin 68°F (20°C) 
    Sarasota 73°F (23°C)

Typical Weather for Sarasota and Destin

Destin Sarasota
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 50°F (10°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm) 59°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm)
Feb 54°F (12°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 60°F (16°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 67°F (20°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
May 74°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 78°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 82°F (28°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (189 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (188 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 5.3 inches (135 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm)
Oct 69°F (21°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 76°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)
Nov 61°F (16°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Dec 54°F (12°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Destin vs. Sarasota Travel Comparison

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