Which place is cheaper, Boulder or Durango?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Durango and Boulder. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.
Durango is a nature-filled, historic, and charming small town. You'll find plenty of local activities in this small town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Since it has a quaint atmosphere, you'll want to spend time soaking it all in. Visitors also love the hiking and museums.
Boulder is a biker-friendly, outdoorsy, and nature-filled city. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include live music, food, and hiking.
Travelers will usually find more to do in Boulder. Although Durango and Boulder are popular destinations, Boulder has more sights and attractions for tourists. Boulder is very popular for its food, nightlife, music, and shopping, while Durango attracts visitors for its museums, historical sights, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere. Durango is famous for its historic narrow gauge railroad, its charming small town atmosphere, and its many family-friendly activities. Boulder is famous for its outdoor sports, biker-friendly downtown, vibrant downtown, and many local breweries. It is also well known for The Flatirons.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Boulder and Durango. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Both Durango and Boulder are destinations which offer reasonable snow skiing.
Locals like to visit Durango to take advantage of their winter sports. Purgatory Ski Resort is about 20 minutes from town and it's a family-friendly mountain with beginner and intermediate runs. It's small, and geared specifically to the beginner and younger crowd.
Boulder is a fun local destination for snow skiers. The town offers access within an hour or two to several great ski resorts including Eldora Mountain, Vail, and Breckenridge.
Durango is a good destination for its historical sights. However, Boulder is not known for its sights and museums.
Durango offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Most visitors come to town specifically to ride the Silverton & Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad. There's also the D&SNGRR Railroad Museum, and the Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum.
Boulder offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Most people visit Boulder for the outdoor activities more than the museums and sights. If have the time you can wander around the University of Colorado Boulder campus, visit the Museum of Boulder, or see the Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art.
Boulder is a good destination for its restaurants. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.
There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Boulder. This is an often overlooked foodie town, with great farmer's markets and restaurants to try. There are many casual places to eat as well as vegetarian and vegan friendly options everywhere.
You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Durango. Most of the restaurants are casual and family-friendly, serving up burgers or sandwiches for a reasonable price. You'll also find some coffeeshops and even a few food trucks and international restaurants.
Boulder is a good destination for nightlife. However, Durango is lacking in good options for nightlife and partying.
With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Boulder. The town has breweries, craft beer, and plenty to do in the evening. Live music is popular and many venues are smaller with a more personal atmosphere. Check out The Bitter Bar or License No. 1 for a local vibe.
Things get quiet in the evenings in Durango. It's a small town that attracts tourists mainly for its train, so you won't find much in the way of a nightlife scene.
Boulder is a good destination for live music. However, Durango is not a live music destination.
You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in Boulder. During the summer months there are often outdoor concerts. Head to Pearl Street for open air stages or see a concert at Boulder Theater.
Durango is not a live music destination.
Durango is a good destination for its old town. However, Boulder does not have a historic old town.
Plenty of visitors enjoy exploring the old town in Durango. Filled with character, the downtown feels like you've stepped into a Western. The town has a long history as a mining and railroad community, which you can see throughout the historic area. It really feels like you're in the "Wild West."
Boulder does not have a historic old town.
Hiking trails can be found around both Durango and Boulder, and they are excellent.
Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Durango. It's surrounded by plenty of natural beautiful and there is an endless supply of hikes in the region. Popular nearby hikes include Animas Mountain Trail, Falls Creek Trail, and Purgatory Trail.
You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Boulder. There are many accessible hikes in the area that take you through the mountains, by wildflowers, or up mountain peaks. Popular hikes that are nearby include the Bear Peak Summit Hike, the trails in Eldorado Canyon State Park, and Boulder Falls.
Boulder is a good destination for shopping. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its shopping opportunities.
Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Boulder. The downtown area has many local retailers where you can shop for clothing, art, or home goods. You can also pick up outdoor gear, camping equipment, and any other items you may need in town. Make sure you wander down the pedestrian-friendly Pearl Street Mall.
If you're looking to go shopping, Durango has some nice offerings. The charming town has some boutiques that sell beautifully made Native American jewelry and other interesting items. There are also souvenir shops and other venues that target tourists specifically.
Durango is a good destination for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Boulder does not offer Christmas activities.
Christmas holiday activities are popular when visiting Durango. It is a great Christmas town where you can meet Santa, go skiing, and even take the Polar Express.
Boulder does not offer Christmas activities.
Durango is a great small town for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Boulder is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.
Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Durango is very family-friendly. In the area you'll find ziplining, alpine slides, and plenty of outdoor areas to explore - and of course there's the railroad.
Boulder is a family-friendly place to visit. The city has parks, playgrounds, a planetarium, and climbing gyms that are fun for kids of all ages. There are plenty places to get outdoors with hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor recreational activities. Eldorado Canyon State Park is a great place to explore as well.
Boulder is a good destination for romance. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.
Boulder is a nice destination for couples. This is a great city for couples who love outdoor adventures, hiking, rock climbing, and cycling. You can wander down Pearl Street or go for a bike ride. There are also great restaurants where you can enjoy a meal and then head to Panorama Point to take in the view.
Most people don't think of Durango as a couple's destination. The town may not be the first romantic destination that comes to mind, but the railroad combined with wandering the downtown can make for a great couple's getaway.
Durango and Boulder are both nice destinations for backpackers.
Plenty of backpackers visit Durango. With plenty of parks and outdoor areas nearby, backpackers will have plenty of places to explore.
Plenty of budget travelers visit Boulder. There are a number of backcountry areas in the region that are perfect for backpackers. The city also has a young population and several affordable places to stay.
Boulder is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Durango is not popular with students.
Many students visit Boulder. With the University of Colorado, Boulder in town, this city is a popular spot for students. It's an outdoor enthusiast's perfect base with many outdoor recreational activities in the area.
Durango is not popular with students.
Boulder is a decent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its public transit.
Public transit is mostly limited in Boulder. There are buses that run around town, but you really need a car to fully experience everything that the city has to offer.
Public transit is limited or non-existant in Durango. It's a small town with no real public transit options so a car is a must.
Boulder is a good destination for its walkability. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.
Boulder is somewhat walkable. The city has some nice walkable areas and it is very bike-friendly.
Durango is generally not very walkable. While the Main Street through town is walkable, it's not as pedestrian-friendly as some small towns.
Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Durango and Boulder. In our opinion, Boulder has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Boulder than Durango. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.
Families should spend more time in Durango than Boulder. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Durango, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in Boulder than Durango. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Boulder that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Boulder than Durango 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 Boulder.
Durango is a small town with plenty to do. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This small town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
In Boulder, you'll find nightlife and live music. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
Durango might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Durango has to offer.
In Boulder, you'll find live music and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Boulder has to offer.
Durango is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
Boulder is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Durango. Since Durango is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Boulder. Many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting Boulder. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Durango is $153, while the average daily cost in Boulder is $191. 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 Durango and Boulder in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Durango or Boulder? 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.
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.
Prices for flights to both Boulder and Durango 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.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Boulder:
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Durango's activities, tours, and tickets:
For Durango, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Boulder.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durango and Boulder, we can see that Boulder is more expensive. And not only is Durango much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Durango would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Durango 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 Boulder would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Boulder than you might in Durango.
Boulder is bigger, and its population is about 6.1 times larger than the population of Durango. When comparing the population of Durango vs. Boulder, 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.
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