A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Flagstaff vs. South Lake Tahoe for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Flagstaff or South Lake Tahoe?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Flagstaff and South Lake Tahoe can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Flagstaff

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.

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is the largest town on the famous Lake Tahoe that straddles the California-Nevada border in the Sierra Mountain Range. Located just south of Reno, Nevada and about 2 hours east of Sacramento, the Lake Tahoe area is easily accessible to many visitors.

Lake Tahoe is known for skiing and other winter sports, as well as plenty of warm weather activities such as hiking, swimming, boating, mountain biking, and more.

South Lake Tahoe has plenty of accommodations, restaurants, bars, and shopping. This is a good town to base yourself if you're looking to explore the area, as it has a large number of amenities.

Located on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe is the town of Stateline. Here you can find some casinos, as gambling is legal in Nevada.

If you're looking to go skiing or snowboarding, the Heavenly Ski Resort can be found on the southern edge of the town of South Lake Tahoe. Naturally, more ski resorts are located around the lake as well.

As swimming is also popular, several beach areas are on the southern section of the lake including the Regan Memorial City Beach, Lakeside Beach, Pope Beach, Emerald Bay State Park, and the Edgewood Resort area (on the Nevada side).

Which city is cheaper, South Lake Tahoe or Flagstaff?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Flagstaff is $133, while the average daily cost in South Lake Tahoe is $94. 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 South Lake Tahoe in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Flagstaff is $138. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

A hotel room in South Lake Tahoe is about $86 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Flagstaff $69
    South Lake Tahoe $43
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Flagstaff $138
    South Lake Tahoe $86

Food

Flagstaff food costs typically run travelers around $44 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

On average, meal and food prices in South Lake Tahoe cost around $30 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 $12.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Flagstaff $44
    South Lake Tahoe $30

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $30 per day to get around in Flagstaff.

The average price of local transportation around South Lake Tahoe is $20 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Flagstaff $30
    South Lake Tahoe $20

Is it cheaper to fly into Flagstaff or South Lake Tahoe?

Prices for flights to both South Lake Tahoe and Flagstaff 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 $22 per person, per day in Flagstaff. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

South Lake Tahoe's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $45 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Flagstaff $22
    South Lake Tahoe $45

Tours and Activities in Flagstaff

Here are a few actual costs in Flagstaff for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Self-Guided Downtown Flagstaff Walking Tour: $20
  • Self-Guided Flagstaff Driving Tour - History, Geology, Fun!: $20
  • Small-Group Haunted City Tour: $30
  • Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course-Kids Course: $30
  • Haunted Downtown Flagstaff Tour by Segway Bike or Walking: $31
  • Fun Flagstaff History Segway, Bike or Walking Tour: $31
  • Dark Skies Astrophotography Tour: $50
  • Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course-Adult Course: $61
  • Flagstaff Adventure Zipline Course: $61
  • Flagstaff Segway Tour: $89
  • Grand Canyon Classic Sightseeing Tour Departing Flagstaff: $154
  • Grand Falls Hidden Experience Tour: $160

Tours and Activities in South Lake Tahoe

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for South Lake Tahoe are as follows:

  • Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley: Full-Day Narrated Bus Tour: $60
  • Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley: $62
  • Virginia City Day Tour From Lake Tahoe: $65
  • Wine and Harvest Tour to Gold country from Lake Tahoe: $80
  • Happy Hour Cruise: $90
  • Sightseeing Cruise of Emerald Bay: $90
  • Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe: $94
  • 2 Hour Small Group Sailing Cruise Lake Tahoe: $99
  • Lake Tahoe: Half-Day Photographic Scenic Tour: $179
  • Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group: $179
  • Zephyr Cove Helicopter Tour: $180
  • Yosemite National Park: Full-Day Tour from Lake Tahoe: $200

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Flagstaff may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $23 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $28 on alcoholic beverages in South Lake Tahoe per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Flagstaff $23
    South Lake Tahoe $28


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Flagstaff and South Lake Tahoe, we can see that Flagstaff is more expensive. And not only is South Lake Tahoe much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to South Lake Tahoe would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in South Lake Tahoe 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 South Lake Tahoe.

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Flagstaff vs. South Lake Tahoe Travel Comparison

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