A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Durham vs. Rapid City for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Durham or Rapid City?

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 Durham and Rapid City can help you decide which place is right for you.

Durham

Durham is a city in central North Carolina with about 230,000 residents. Together with Raleigh and Chapel Hill, it forms the Research Triangle area. Durham is often referred to as the "City of Medicine" and is home to the famous Duke University.

Durham's history is rooted in tobacco. The Duke family established American Tobacco, which controlled 90% of all cigarette production in the US during the second half of the 19th century. The family donated money to Trinity College, which changed its name to Duke University in 1924.

Today much of Durham's economy is centered around the university and Research Triangle Park. The area has many technology and pharmaceutical jobs and the economy continues to grow.

Rapid City

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 Durham?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Durham is $130, 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 Durham and Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation

Durham's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $146. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $73.

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.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $73
    Rapid City $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $146
    Rapid City $96

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Durham cost around $35 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $14.

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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Durham $35
    Rapid City $19

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $26 per day to get around in Durham.

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $26
    Rapid City $42

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Durham

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Durham:

  • Private Transfer from Durham to Manchester Airport (MAN): $407
  • Durham to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $139

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Rapid City?

Prices for flights to both Rapid City and Durham 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.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $21 per person, per day in Durham. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $21
    Rapid City $21

Tours and Activities in Durham

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

  • Trolley Pub Public Tour of Durham: $41

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: $84
  • Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Bus Tour with Live Commentary: $84
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $123
  • Bike Adventure on the Mickelson Trail - Private: $267
  • Southern Black Hills Bicycle Tour - Private: $267
  • Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour: $299
  • Black Hills: Private Tour of Mt. Rushmore & Flume Trail Hike: $299
  • Badlands National Park Private Tour: $299
  • Private Mickelson Trail Bicycling Tour/ Two Person Minimum: $299
  • Private Jeep Safari and Hiking Tour/ Two Person Minimum: $307
  • Private Badlands National Park Day Tour: $315
  • Private Mt Rushmore & Southern Black Hills Tour: $329

Alcohol

The average person spends about $27 on alcoholic beverages in Durham per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Typically, people visiting Rapid City spend on average $5.54 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $27
    Rapid City $5.54


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durham and Rapid City, we can see that Durham 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 Durham would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Durham than you might in Rapid City.

Budget Your Trip

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Durham vs. Rapid City Travel Comparison

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