A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Fort Lauderdale vs. Durham for Couples, Nightlife, Families, and Food

Should you visit Fort Lauderdale or Durham?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Fort Lauderdale and Durham. 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.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a bustling, spirited, and luxury coastal city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include beaches, shopping, and nightlife.

Durham

Durham is a student-filled, sports oriented, and diverse city. It's also known for shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Fort Lauderdale and Durham: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Local Beaches
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Fort Lauderdale or Durham?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Fort Lauderdale than Durham. While Durham is larger than Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Fort Lauderdale is better known for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and impressive beauty, while Durham is more popular for its museums. Fort Lauderdale is more touristy than Durham and is known for its canals, beaches, walkable waterfront, and luxury resorts. Also, Fort Lauderdale is famous for The Local Beaches. Durham is well known for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team.

How is Fort Lauderdale different from Durham?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Durham and Fort Lauderdale. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Fort Lauderdale or Durham?

Fort Lauderdale
Durham

Durham is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. However, Fort Lauderdale does not have museums and landmarks.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Durham. Duke University is one of the most popular destinations in town. There are several museums on campus as well as the famous Duke Chapel. Elsewhere in Durham there's the Durham Museum of Life and Science.

Fort Lauderdale does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Fort Lauderdale or Durham? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Fort Lauderdale
Durham

Both Fort Lauderdale and Durham offer a number of notable restaurants to choose from.

Fort Lauderdale offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. Seafood is the obvious option with popular dishes being fish tacos, sea bass, and scallop risotto. There are many waterfront restaurants or you could head to Las Olas Boulevard, which has many bistros, cafes, and restaurants.

Durham has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Barbecue is a favorite around town. You'll also find plenty of restaurants that cater to the student population, particularly along Nineth Street near Duke's campus.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Durham Better for Nightlife?

Fort Lauderdale
Durham

Fort Lauderdale is a well-known place for its evening party scene. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

Fort Lauderdale offers plenty to do in the evening. Trendy and upscale partying is the name of the game in this Florida city. Most people head to the beach, Las Olas Blvd, River Front and The New Hard Rock Seminole Hotel Complex for the best bars and clubs. You'll find the most activity around the weekends, but there really is something going on any night of the week.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Durham. The younger population tends to hang out near campus and along Nineth Street. If you're looking for something less student oriented, head to downtown Durham.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Durham Better for Resorts?

Fort Lauderdale
Durham

Fort Lauderdale is an amazing coastal city to visit for its resorts. However, Durham is not a resort destination.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Fort Lauderdale is a perfect choice. Luxury beachfront resorts are plentiful in the area. Several of the most impressive include the Ritz-Carlton, W Fort Lauderdale, and the Dalmar. Most resorts have a beachfront pool, hot tubs, and depending on the resort, a kid's club.

Durham is not a resort destination.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Durham Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Fort Lauderdale
Durham

Fort Lauderdale is very good for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Durham is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Fort Lauderdale. Although the snorkeling doesn't compare to what you'll find further south around the Florida Keys, there are some great places to pull your mask and fins out in the area. Popular snorkeling spots nearby include the Vista Park Reef, Pompano Beach, and Hollywood North Beach Park.

Durham is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Durham Better for Beaches?

Fort Lauderdale
Durham

Fort Lauderdale is an amazing coastal city to visit for the beach. However, Durham is not a beach destination.

With world-famous beaches, Fort Lauderdale is a very popular vacation destination. With seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches, a fun boardwalk, and impressive views, the beaches here are among the best in the area. They are surprisingly walkable and, while there can be crowds, there's still a laid-back and relaxing atmosphere.

Durham is not a beach destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Fort Lauderdale or Durham?

Fort Lauderdale
Durham

Shopping is a popular activity in both Durham and Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale is a great destination for shopping. For interesting local boutiques head to Las Olas Boulevard and for name brand stores you'll want to visit Sawgrass Mills Mall.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Durham. The Streets of Southpoint is the best mall in the area. Other shopping areas include Brightleaf Square and Nineth Street.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Durham Better for Families?

Fort Lauderdale
Durham

Fort Lauderdale is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Fort Lauderdale is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. With seven miles of beautiful sandy beaches and a number of kid-oriented activities, the kids will love it here. Fun activities include Bluefoot Pirate Adventures, Butterfly World, and Funderdome. On sunny days there are many outdoor recreation areas and when the weather isn't cooperating, there are hands-on museums.

Durham is a family-friendly coastal city. A highlight for kids is a visit to the Durham Museum of Life and Science. It has both an indoor and an outdoor section and brings science to life for families. There's also an impressive playground and climbing area. Other activities in town include the Notasium and Eno River State Park. If you plan ahead you could also organize a trip to the Duke Lemur Center.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Durham Better for Couples?

Fort Lauderdale
Durham

Fort Lauderdale is an amazing coastal city to visit for couples. Also, Durham is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for romance.

For those traveling as a couple, Fort Lauderdale has plenty to offer. Fine dining, beautiful beaches, and great shopping make for a great romantic getaway. Couples and honeymooners love relaxing at the beaches in Fort Lauderdale. A sunset walk on the beach and a stay at a romantic resort will make for an unforgettable trip.

Durham is a nice destination for couples. Have a picnic at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens or spend the day hiking at Eno River State Park. In the evening there's a wonderful selection of restaurants around town. Then you can check out a show at the Durham Performing Arts Center or see a Durham Bulls game.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Durham Better for Students?

Fort Lauderdale
Durham

Durham is a great destination for students. However, Fort Lauderdale is not popular with students.

Many students visit Durham. Duke University has a stunning campus with a world class garden. There's also nearby Nineth Street, which has shops, restaurants, and bars that are geared toward the student population.

Fort Lauderdale is not popular with students.


Is Fort Lauderdale or Durham Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Fort Lauderdale
Durham

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Fort Lauderdale and Durham.

Public transit is generally limited in Fort Lauderdale. Transportation options include a water taxi and the Sun Trolley Hop-on Bus.

Public transit is mostly limited in Durham. There are buses around town, but you really need a car to explore the area.

Is Fort Lauderdale or Durham a more walkable city?

Fort Lauderdale
Durham

Fort Lauderdale is a well-known place for its ease of walking around. However, Durham is not a good city for its walkability.

Fort Lauderdale is a very walkable destination. It is one of the most walkable Florida communities with a boardwalk and several pedestrian areas that are fun to wander around.

Durham is generally not a very walkable coastal city. Downtown Durham and a few areas near Duke University are the most walkable areas.

For even more information, also check out Is Fort Lauderdale Worth Visiting? and Is Durham Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Durham or Fort Lauderdale?

How long in Fort Lauderdale or Durham?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Fort Lauderdale and Durham. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Fort Lauderdale than in Durham. Usually, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Fort Lauderdale, and 1-3 days is enough time in Durham.

Families should spend more time in Fort Lauderdale than Durham. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Fort Lauderdale, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Fort Lauderdale than Durham. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Fort Lauderdale that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Durham than Fort Lauderdale 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 Durham.


  • How many days in Fort Lauderdale or Durham? Ideal Length of Stay
    Fort Lauderdale 3-7 
    Durham 1-3

One day in Fort Lauderdale or Durham?

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the destination of Fort Lauderdale. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

The student-filled destination of Durham offers nightlife and food. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.


A weekend in Fort Lauderdale or Durham?

Fort Lauderdale is a great place to explore. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

The city of Durham offers food and shopping. A weekend here is typical. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.

Five days in Fort Lauderdale or Durham?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Fort Lauderdale. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Durham is a great place to explore. This city offers something for everyone. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Fort Lauderdale or Durham?

Many travelers enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the bustling destination of Fort Lauderdale. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Durham. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Train & Rail Tours in United States of America, The Best Sightseeing Tours in United States of America, The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in United States of America, and The Best Cultural Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Durham or Fort Lauderdale?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Fort Lauderdale is $182, while the average daily cost in Durham is $162. 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 Fort Lauderdale and Durham in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Fort Lauderdale $96
    Durham $92
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Fort Lauderdale $192
    Durham $184
Compare Hotels in Fort Lauderdale and Durham

Looking for a hotel in Fort Lauderdale or Durham? 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 Fort Lauderdale


Hotels in Durham


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: Fort Lauderdale Hotel Prices and Durham Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Fort Lauderdale $51
    Durham $33

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Fort Lauderdale

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Fort Lauderdale:

  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Delray Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $37
  • Fort Lauderdale to Miami Airport (MIA) - Departure Private Transfer: $37
  • Transfer Private Vehicle from City -Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL): $40
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Port Everglades - Arrival Private Transfer: $40
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Port Everglades-Arrival Transfer: $40
  • Port Everglades to Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) - Departure Private Transfer : $40
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Boynton Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $40
  • Fort Lauderdale to Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) - Departure Private Transfer: $40
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Coral Gables - Arrival Private Transfer: $48
  • Transfer Service Fort Lauderdale Miami Airport or Hotel or Port: $50
  • Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Doral hotel/address - Arrival Private Transfer: $50
  • Port Everglades Private Transfer from Weston: $58

Is it cheaper to fly into Fort Lauderdale or Durham?

Prices for flights to both Durham and Fort Lauderdale 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
    Fort Lauderdale $49
    Durham $44
Typical Food Prices in Fort Lauderdale

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Fort Lauderdale:


  • Quick Lunch
    $12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Fort Lauderdale

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Fort Lauderdale.

  • Hollywood Florida Walking Food Tour : $99
  • Downtown Fort Lauderdale Dinner & Drinks Tour: $109
  • Downtown Fort Lauderdale Dinner and Drinks Tour: $114

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Fort Lauderdale $15
    Durham $26

Tours and Activities in Fort Lauderdale

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

  • Audio Walking Tour of Las Olas Riverwalk: $7.35
  • Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk Self-guided Audio Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Pompano Beach by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Davie by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Pembroke Pines by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Skip the Line: Flamingo Gardens Admission Ticket in Fort Lauderdale: $24
  • 1-Hour Interactive Pirate Cruise in Ft. Lauderdale (arrive 30 minutes early): $25
  • Water Taxi Evening Pass Sunset Cruise (up to 5 hours!): $25
  • Ghosts and Ghouls Haunted Walking Tour: $26
  • Florida Everglades Airboat Adventure and Wildlife Encounter: $29
  • Fort Lauderdale Ghost Tour: $30
  • Jungle Queen Riverboat 90-Minute Narrated Sightseeing Cruise in Fort Lauderdale: $31

Tours and Activities in Durham

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

  • True Crime Tour: $13
  • Downtown Durham Historian-Guided Walking Tour: $16
  • Durham African American History Tour: $16
  • Durham NC: Art Walking Tour: $20

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Fort Lauderdale $33
    Durham $34
Typical Alcohol Prices in Fort Lauderdale

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Fort Lauderdale are as follows:


  • Beer
    $7.30

Sample the Local Flavors in Fort Lauderdale

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Fort Lauderdale:

  • Ft Lauderdale Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $37
  • Guided Happy Hour Bar Crawl by Beer Bike: $64
  • Pedibus Pub Crawl in Fort Lauderdale: $74
  • Party Bike Bar Crawl: $74


When comparing the travel costs between Fort Lauderdale and Durham, we can see that Fort Lauderdale is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Fort Lauderdale Expensive? and Is Durham Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Fort Lauderdale or Durham?

Durham has a larger population, and is about 20% larger than the population of Fort Lauderdale. When comparing the sizes of Fort Lauderdale and Durham, 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 along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Fort Lauderdale or Durham?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Durham in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Fort Lauderdale and Durham. Many travelers come to Fort Lauderdale for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Durham in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Fort Lauderdale is generally around the same temperature as Durham. Daily temperatures in Fort Lauderdale average around 83°F (28°C), and Durham fluctuates around 79°F (26°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Durham this time of the year. In Fort Lauderdale, it's very sunny this time of the year. Fort Lauderdale usually receives more sunshine than Durham during summer. Fort Lauderdale gets 316 hours of sunny skies, while Durham receives 259 hours of full sun in the summer.

Durham receives a lot of rain in the summer. Fort Lauderdale gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Fort Lauderdale usually receives more rain than Durham. Fort Lauderdale gets 5.9 inches (149 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Fort Lauderdale 83°F (28°C) 
    Durham 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Durham in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Fort Lauderdale as well as Durham. Many visitors come to Fort Lauderdale in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Durham for the shopping scene during these months.

Fort Lauderdale is much warmer than Durham in the autumn. The daily temperature in Fort Lauderdale averages around 78°F (26°C) in October, and Durham fluctuates around 61°F (16°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Durham. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Fort Lauderdale this time of the year. In the autumn, Fort Lauderdale often gets more sunshine than Durham. Fort Lauderdale gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Durham receives 211 hours of full sun.

Fort Lauderdale receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Fort Lauderdale usually gets more rain in October than Durham. Fort Lauderdale gets 5.6 inches (143 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Fort Lauderdale 78°F (26°C) 
    Durham 61°F (16°C)

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Durham in the Winter?

Both Durham and Fort Lauderdale are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Fort Lauderdale for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Durham because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Durham can be very cold. In the winter, Fort Lauderdale is much warmer than Durham. Typically, the winter temperatures in Fort Lauderdale in January average around 67°F (20°C), and Durham averages at about 40°F (5°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale usually receives more sunshine than Durham during winter. Fort Lauderdale gets 243 hours of sunny skies, while Durham receives 162 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Fort Lauderdale usually receives less rain than Durham. Fort Lauderdale gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Fort Lauderdale 67°F (20°C) 
    Durham 40°F (5°C)

Should I visit Fort Lauderdale or Durham in the Spring?

Both Durham and Fort Lauderdale during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Fort Lauderdale because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

In April, Fort Lauderdale is generally much warmer than Durham. Daily temperatures in Fort Lauderdale average around 75°F (24°C), and Durham fluctuates around 60°F (16°C).

In Durham, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Fort Lauderdale. In the spring, Fort Lauderdale often gets more sunshine than Durham. Fort Lauderdale gets 300 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Durham receives 251 hours of full sun.

Fort Lauderdale usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Durham. Fort Lauderdale gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Durham receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Fort Lauderdale 75°F (24°C) 
    Durham 60°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Durham and Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Durham
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 67°F (20°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Feb 68°F (20°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 72°F (22°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 79°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (162 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 9.4 inches (238 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Jul 83°F (28°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm)
Aug 83°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm) 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm)
Sep 82°F (28°C) 7.6 inches (194 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 78°F (26°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Dec 69°F (21°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)