A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Hershey vs. Rapid City

Should you visit Hershey or Rapid City?

Should I visit Hershey or Rapid City? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Hershey

Often called "Chocolatetown, USA" and "The Sweetest Place on Earth," Hershey, Pennsylvania is most known for being home to the famous Hershey's chocolates. The Hershey Company was founded in 1894 by Milton S. Hershey, and has grown to sell products in over sixty countries worldwide. Before the town was named Hershey, it was called Derry Church and was the hometown of the chocolatier. While there are now manufacturing plants in many locations, Hershey, PA, remains the location that draws the crowds. It is the place where the Hershey Company originated and is home to attractions like Hershey Park, Hershey Gardens, and Hershey's Chocolate World.

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 Hershey?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Hershey is $170, 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 Hershey and Rapid City in more detail.




Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $91. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Hershey the cost is $182 on average.

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
    Hershey $91
    Rapid City $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hershey $182
    Rapid City $96


Food

While meal prices in Hershey can vary, the average travelers spends about $49 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Hershey should cost around $20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Hershey is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

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
    Hershey $49
    Rapid City $19
Typical Food prices in Hershey

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


  • Frozen Hot Chocolate
    $4.19
  • Plain and Fancy Farm
    $46
  • Homemade Apple Butter
    $7.98


Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Hershey is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $39 per person, per day, on local transportation in Hershey.

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.
    Hershey $39
    Rapid City $42


Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Hershey typically cost an average of $43 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

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.
    Hershey $43
    Rapid City $21
Typical Entertainment prices in Hershey

Here are a few typical costs in Hershey for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Hershey Chocolate World (for 3)
    $75

Tours and Activities in Hershey

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

  • Skip the Line: AACA Museum Admission Ticket: $13

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

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Hershey may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $22 per day on alcoholic beverages.

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


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Hershey $22
    Rapid City $5.54



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

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Hershey vs. Rapid City Travel Comparison

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