A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Durham vs. Wilmington for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Durham or Wilmington?

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

Where Should I go: Durham or Wilmington?

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.

Wilmington

Wilmington is a port city in southeastern North Carolina. It's a great city to visit for it's nearby beaches, large historic district, and quaint atmosphere. The city has a population of about 115,000 and it's the eighth largest city in the state.

Wilmington is also home to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as well as the EUE Screen Gems Studios. This is the largest domestic television and movie production facility outside of California. The studio, which opened in 1984, helped grow Wilmington into a major base for film and television production. The city has been the backdrop for many movies and tv shows including Iron Man 3, Sleepy Hollow, One Tree Hill, and Revolution.

Which place is cheaper, Wilmington or Durham?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Durham is $162, while the average daily cost in Wilmington is $204. 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 Durham and Wilmington in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Durham $92
    Wilmington $120
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Durham $184
    Wilmington $240
Compare Hotels in Durham and Wilmington

Looking for a hotel in Durham or Wilmington? 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 Durham


Hotels in Wilmington


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: Durham Hotel Prices and Wilmington Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Durham $33
    Wilmington $47

Is it cheaper to fly into Durham or Wilmington?

Prices for flights to both Wilmington 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Durham $44
    Wilmington $56

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Durham $26
    Wilmington $17

Tours and Activities in Durham

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

  • Downtown Durham Historic Walking Tour: $13
  • Durham NC: Art Walking Tour: $20

Tours and Activities in Wilmington

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

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Southport, NC Walking Tour : $20
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Wilmington by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Eagles Island 50 minute Narrated Boat Cruise: $21
  • History and Architecture Walking Tour : $25
  • Wilmington History and Architecture Tour: $25
  • Spirit of the Holidays Catamaran Adventure: $25
  • Ghosts of the Port City Haunted Walking Tour: $26
  • Craft Beer and History Crawl Shared Experience in Wilmington: $30
  • Black Water Adventure Cruise: $33
  • Wilmington Ghosts: Phantoms of Pirates and Patriots Tour: $33
  • Wilmington Running Tour: Highlights of Historic Downtown: $45

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Durham $34
    Wilmington $39

Sample the Local Flavors in Wilmington

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Wilmington:

  • 3 Hour Wilmington E-Bike Bar Crawl Ride: $50
  • 3 Hour Wilmington E-Bike Dive Bar Crawl: $50
  • Private and Custom Brewery Tour in a '72 VW Bus : $92


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

Which is Bigger, Durham or Wilmington?

Durham is bigger, and its population is about 2.2 times larger than the population of Wilmington. When comparing the population of Durham vs. Wilmington, 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 Durham or Wilmington?

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 Durham or Wilmington in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Durham as well as Wilmington.

In the summer, Durham is around the same temperature as Wilmington. Typically, the summer temperatures in Durham in July average around 79°F (26°C), and Wilmington averages at about 81°F (27°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Wilmington. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Durham this time of the year. In the summer, Durham often gets less sunshine than Wilmington. Durham gets 259 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Wilmington receives 283 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Wilmington. Durham receives a lot of rain in the summer. Durham usually gets less rain in July than Wilmington. Durham gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Wilmington receives 8.1 inches (207 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Durham 79°F (26°C) 
    Wilmington 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Durham or Wilmington in the Autumn?

Both Wilmington and Durham are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.

In October, Durham is generally cooler than Wilmington. Daily temperatures in Durham average around 61°F (16°C), and Wilmington fluctuates around 65°F (18°C).

It's quite sunny in Wilmington. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Durham. Durham usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Wilmington during autumn. Durham gets 211 hours of sunny skies, while Wilmington receives 227 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Durham usually receives around the same amount of rain as Wilmington. Durham gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Wilmington receives 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Durham 61°F (16°C) 
    Wilmington 65°F (18°C)

Should I visit Durham or Wilmington in the Winter?

Both Wilmington and Durham during the winter are popular places to visit.

Durham can get quite cold in the winter. Durham is much colder than Wilmington in the winter. The daily temperature in Durham averages around 40°F (5°C) in January, and Wilmington fluctuates around 45°F (7°C).

In the winter, Durham often gets less sunshine than Wilmington. Durham gets 162 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Wilmington receives 180 hours of full sun.

Durham usually gets less rain in January than Wilmington. Durham gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Wilmington receives 3.9 inches (98 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Durham 40°F (5°C) 
    Wilmington 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit Durham or Wilmington in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Durham and Wilmington.

In the spring, Durham is around the same temperature as Wilmington. Typically, the spring temperatures in Durham in April average around 60°F (16°C), and Wilmington averages at about 63°F (17°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Wilmington this time of the year. In Durham, it's very sunny this time of the year. Durham usually receives less sunshine than Wilmington during spring. Durham gets 251 hours of sunny skies, while Wilmington receives 278 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Durham usually receives around the same amount of rain as Wilmington. Durham gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Wilmington receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Durham 60°F (16°C) 
    Wilmington 63°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for Wilmington and Durham

Durham Wilmington
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 70°F (21°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 77°F (25°C) 6 inches (152 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 81°F (27°C) 8.1 inches (207 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 80°F (27°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 75°F (24°C) 5 inches (128 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 65°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 56°F (14°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 49°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 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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Durham vs. Wilmington Travel Comparison

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