Should you visit Flagstaff or Big Sur?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Flagstaff and Big Sur can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
Located in northern Arizona near the San Francisco Peaks mountain range, Flagstaff is a small city surrounded by natural beauty. The city's proximity to a number of popular tourist sights, including Grand Canyon National Park, Oak Creek Canyon, the Arizona Snowbowl, Meteor Crater, and Historic Route 66, make it a common destination for tourists. It lies at an elevation of almost 7,000 feet with nearby areas climbing higher. In large part because of its altitude, the city has a cooler climate than the southern part of Arizona, which is famous for its low lying desert.
Big Sur is the 90-mile stretch of the California Central Coast which runs from the Carmel River in Monterey County south to San Carpoforo Creek in San Luis Obispo County and 20 miles east into the Santa Lucius Foothills.
However you look at it, California's Central Coast is beautiful and undoubtedly a huge tourist trap. If you're not willing to fork over big bucks for overnight stays on coastal hotels, be prepared ahead of time with your camping gear and get ready to go off the beaten track to avoid crowds as best you can and save your wallet.
While the weather in Central Coast is overall, mild and temperate, between 50 and 70 degrees year-round. The highs and lows during the year are in August and January, respectively, with dry summers and wet winters, making April through October the best times to visit but be warned: there will be crowds.
Which city is cheaper, Big Sur or Flagstaff?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Flagstaff is $60, while the average daily cost in Big Sur is $0.00. 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 Flagstaff and Big Sur in more detail.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $29 per person, per day in Flagstaff. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Tours and Activities in Flagstaff
Here are a few actual costs in Flagstaff for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Day Tour from Flagstaff:
Antelope Slot Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Day Tour from Flagstaff:
Comprehensive Grand Canyon Tour from Flagstaff:
Dark Skies Astrophotography Tour:
Flagstaff Adventure Zipline Course:
Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course-Adult Course:
Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course-Kids Course:
Flagstaff Segway Tour:
Small-Group Haunted City Tour:
From Flagstaff or Sedona: Hopi Lands Cultural Tour & Lunch:
From Grand Canyon National Park Tour:
From Grand Canyon Railroad Full-Day Tour:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Flagstaff and Big Sur, we can see that Flagstaff is more expensive. And not only is Big Sur much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Big Sur would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Big Sur 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 Flagstaff would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Flagstaff than you might in Big Sur.