A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Houston vs. Charlottesville for Attractions, Nightlife, Families, and Food

Should you visit Houston or Charlottesville?

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 Houston and Charlottesville. 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.

Houston

Houston is a diverse, sprawling, and southern city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. Visitors also love the live music, food, and shopping.

Charlottesville

Charlottesville is a collegiate, southern, and proud university town. As this is a charming small town, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. It also has a unique and quaint vibe that attracts lots of visitors. And you can't forget about the hiking, museums, and nightlife.

Houston and Charlottesville: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for students
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Small town charm
  • Quaint atmosphere


Is there more to do in Houston or Charlottesville?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Houston than Charlottesville, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Houston is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, music, shopping, and big city activities, while Charlottesville is more popular for its historical sights, hiking, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. Houston is well known for its sprawling size, its local Texas restaurants, and being the home to NASA. Also, Houston is famous for The Space Center Houston. Charlottesville is well known for being home to the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, and serving as a gateway to Shenandoah National Park.

How is Houston different from Charlottesville?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Houston or Charlottesville?

Houston
Charlottesville

Houston is a great city for its historical sights. Also, Charlottesville is not as popular, but is still a nice university town for its sights and museums.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Houston. Head to Houston's Museum District to explore 19 different museums in a walkable area. A highlight of a trip to the city is a visit to the Space Center, but other popular museums include the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Houston Children's Museum.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Charlottesville. A highlight of a trip to the area is a visit to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. The city is also famously home to the beautiful University of Virginia, which has a manicured and beautiful campus. History buffs will also appreciate visiting the Civil War Sites that are nearby as well.


Is the Food Better in Houston or Charlottesville? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Houston
Charlottesville

Houston is a good destination for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Charlottesville is not known for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Houston has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The city is famous for its Texas barbecue, Mexican food, and a wide diversity of other different ethnic foods. It's a surprisingly diverse city and this is reflected in the restaurant selection around town.

Charlottesville may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Head to the Historic Downtown Mall to enjoy an outdoor meal at a top rated restaurant. There are also restaurants that cater specifically to students and offer affordable and quick meals.

Is Houston or Charlottesville Better for Nightlife?

Houston
Charlottesville

Houston is a great city for nightlife and partying. Also, Charlottesville is not as popular, but is still a nice university town for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in Houston has something for everybody. The nightlife is at its best on weekends when bars, dance clubs, and concert halls come to life. There are a diversity of venues around town including dance clubs, Honky Tonks, and cocktail bars. Some of the most active nightlife areas are Downtown, Midtown, Montrose, Washington Avenue, and Rice Village.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Charlottesville. Charlottesville is a university town with an active nightlife. The best areas for nightlife are found around the Downtown Mall, Belmont neighborhood, the Corner, and University Ave west near the mall. Even though there are a number of activities to enjoy at night, this is still a small town and the nightlife scene reflects that.

Is Houston or Charlottesville Better for Music?

Houston
Charlottesville

Houston is a good destination for its live music scene. However, Charlottesville is not a live music destination.

You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in Houston. Popular music venues include Fitzgerald's, Walter's Downtown, and The Continental Club.

Charlottesville is not a live music destination.


Is Houston or Charlottesville Better for its Old Town?

Houston
Charlottesville

Charlottesville is a good destination for its old town. However, Houston does not have a historic old town.

Many people head to Charlottesville to see the old town. The Historic Downtown Mall is filled with restaurants and shops. It's a pedestrian only area with a lot of character and energy.

Houston does not have a historic old town.

Is Houston or Charlottesville Better for Hiking?

Houston
Charlottesville

Charlottesville is a good destination for its hiking experiences. However, Houston is not a hiking destination.

Charlottesville offers some nice hiking trails. Just outside of town there are plenty of hiking opportunities including in and around Shenandoah National Park. Hiking is at its best during the fall season when the leaves are changing.

Houston is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Houston or Charlottesville?

Houston
Charlottesville

Houston is a good destination for its shopping opportunities. However, Charlottesville is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Houston. There are a number of upscale malls and shopping centers that have brand names, chain stores, and the occasional local shop where you can pick up items.

Charlottesville is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Houston or Charlottesville Better for Christmas?

Houston
Charlottesville

Charlottesville is well known for its Christmas activities. However, Houston does not offer Christmas activities.

Visitors come from all around to experience the Christmas activities in Charlottesville. From Christmas lights on campus to a festive atmosphere at the Monticello, the town is beautiful for Christmas.

Houston does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Houston or Charlottesville Better for Families?

Houston
Charlottesville

Houston is a great city for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Charlottesville is not as popular, but is still a nice university town for its family-friendly activities.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Houston is very family-friendly. It is a large city with plenty of things that kids can enjoy including museums, theaters, a zoo, and even the Space Center. The Children's Museum of Houston is perfect for a rainy day. For science loving kids there's the Health Museum and the Museum of Natural Science. Houston also has a Six Flags nearby which the whole family can enjoy.

Charlottesville is a family-friendly place to visit. Wandering the campus of UVA, picking fruit at Carter Mountain Orchard or exploring the downtown mall, including the Virginia Discovery Museum are all activities that everyone can enjoy. There are also great hiking trails just outside of town.

Is Houston or Charlottesville Better for Couples?

Houston
Charlottesville

Houston and Charlottesville both notable destinations for a couple.

Houston makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There's a surprising diversity of restaurants around the city. There are also performing arts productions and many outdoor parks and gardens.

Charlottesville is a good city for couples to visit. The UVA campus is beautiful to explore, as is Monticello. The Downtown Mall has many great restaurants and activities that make for a nice date night and during the day, there's also beautiful hikes nearby that are at their peak during the fall season.


Is Houston or Charlottesville Better for Students?

Houston
Charlottesville

Charlottesville is a world-class destination for students. Also, Houston is still popular, but not quite as popular for its student-friendly activities.

Charlottesville is a very popular place to visit for students. The town is home to the beautiful University of Virginia and it's a popular destination for international students as well as local students. Much of the town is focused around student life, and the city's proximity to Washington, DC means it has access to global opportunities.

It's common for students to visit Houston. It's a large city with a number of universities and a large student population.

Is Houston or Charlottesville Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Houston
Charlottesville

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Houston and Charlottesville.

Public transit is generally limited in Houston. The system includes buses and a limited light rail. Houston is known as a car-centric city and you really need a car to fully experience it.

Public transit is mostly limited in Charlottesville. There is a bus system that runs between campus, downtown, and several neighborhoods in Charlottesville.

Is Houston or Charlottesville a more walkable city?

Houston
Charlottesville

Houston and Charlottesville both are respectable when exploring on foot.

Houston is generally not very walkable. The most walkable neighborhood is the historic Houston Heights, but most parts of the city aren't very walkable.

Charlottesville is generally not a very walkable city. While the University of Virginia campus and the Downtown Mall are both very walkable, most of the town is not.


For even more information, also check out Is Houston Worth Visiting? and Is Charlottesville Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Charlottesville or Houston?

How long in Houston or Charlottesville?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Houston and Charlottesville. In our opinion, Houston has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Houston than Charlottesville. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Charlottesville than Houston 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 Charlottesville.


  • How many days in Houston or Charlottesville? Ideal Length of Stay
    Houston 2-3 
    Charlottesville 2-3

One day in Houston or Charlottesville?

Houston is a big city with plenty to do. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Charlottesville is a small town with plenty to do. This university town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Houston or Charlottesville?

Houston is a big city with plenty to do. 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.

Charlottesville might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Charlottesville has to offer.

Five days in Houston or Charlottesville?

Houston 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.

Charlottesville is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.


A week in Houston or Charlottesville?

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Houston. 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Charlottesville. Since Charlottesville is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage.


Which place is cheaper, Charlottesville or Houston?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Houston is $262, while the average daily cost in Charlottesville is $154. 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 Houston and Charlottesville in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Houston $142
    Charlottesville $80
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Houston $284
    Charlottesville $160
Compare Hotels in Houston and Charlottesville

Looking for a hotel in Houston or Charlottesville? 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 Houston


Hotels in Charlottesville


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: Houston Hotel Prices and Charlottesville Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Houston $72
    Charlottesville $53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • William P.Hobby Airport (HOU): Transfer to Port of Galveston: $549
  • Houston George Bush Airport (IAH): Transfer to Houston: $353
  • Privat Transfer from Houston Airport (IAH) to Galveston Port: $196
  • George Bush Airport (IAH) to Galveston Port - Arrival Transfer: $196
  • Houston George Bush Airport (IAH) to Galveston Port - Arrival Private Transfer: $196
  • RoundTrip transfer in private minivan from-to HoustonAirport in Houston Downtown: $176
  • William P. Hobby Airport to Galveston Port Arrival Transfer: $170
  • Privat Transfer from Houston Airport (HOU) to Port of Galveston: $170
  • Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to Houston - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $164
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Houston APT-HTL (IAH): $151
  • Round trip transfer in private car from-to Houston Airport in Houston Downtown: $120
  • Departure Private Transfer: Houston to George Bush Airport IAH in Luxury SUV: $111

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charlottesville

Also for Charlottesville, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Charlotteville Airport (CHO): $50
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charlottesville Airport (CHO): $50

Is it cheaper to fly into Houston or Charlottesville?

Prices for flights to both Charlottesville and Houston 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
    Houston $35
    Charlottesville $42

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Houston

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

  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $72
  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $72
  • The Heights Food Tour in Houston: $76
  • Downtown Houston Food Tour: $76
  • Houston Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $85
  • Houston Downtown: Secret Food Tours: $89
  • East Downtown Food Tour: $90
  • Houston Heights Culture and Food Tour: $95
  • Montrose Food Tour: $97

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charlottesville

For Charlottesville, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • The UVA Corner Food Tour: Private Walking Food Tour in Charlottesville: $139
  • The Downtown Mall Food Tour: $149

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Houston $14
    Charlottesville $18

Tours and Activities in Houston

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

  • Houston Ghosts and Hauntings By US Ghost Adventures: $24
  • 2 Hours H- Town Tour with 15ft Open Air Party Truck On Wheels: $46
  • 2-Hour Private Sightseeing Cart Tour of Houston and Galveston: $256
  • Astroville Best of Houston City Driving Tour with Live Guide: $45
  • Astroville Best of Houston City Driving Tour with Live Guide: $45
  • Astroville Driving Tour & NASA Space Center Admission and Shuttle: $80
  • Astroville Private Best of Houston City Driving Tour: $370
  • Astroville Tunnel Tour & NASA Space Center Admission with Shuttle: $80
  • Astroville Tunnel Tour of Downtown Houston (Air-Conditioned): $33
  • Austin & Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Downtown In App Audio Walking Tour: $9.00
  • Driving City Tour & NASA Space Center Admission with Shuttle: $85

Tours and Activities in Charlottesville

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

  • Charlottesville Historic Downtown APP/GPS Smartphone Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Shenandoah National Park Audio Driving Tour: $7.99
  • Shenandoah National Park Self-Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Charlottesville Dark History Ghost Tour : $24
  • Ghosts of Court Square Walking Tour: $26

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Houston $13
    Charlottesville $53

Sample the Local Flavors in Houston

Also in Houston, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Brewery Pass with Beer Tastings: $50
  • Private Houston Brewery Tour by Cart: $57
  • 2-Hour Downtown Brewery Tour by Electric Cart: $70
  • Downtown Houston Brewery Bike Tour : $71

Sample the Local Flavors in Charlottesville

Also in Charlottesville, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Private Wine Tours (Minimum 3 & Maximum 6 ) Pickup Maximum 30 Mi : $85


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

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


Which is Bigger, Houston or Charlottesville?

Houston has a larger population, and is about 60 times larger than the population of Charlottesville. When comparing the sizes of Houston and Charlottesville, 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 Houston or Charlottesville?

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 Houston or Charlottesville in the Summer?

Both Charlottesville and Houston during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Houston because of the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Charlottesville this time of year.

Houston is a little warmer than Charlottesville in the summer. The daily temperature in Houston averages around 84°F (29°C) in July, and Charlottesville fluctuates around 78°F (26°C).

Charlottesville gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Houston. Houston usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Charlottesville. Houston gets 4.8 inches (122 mm) of rain, while Charlottesville receives 5 inches (128 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Houston 84°F (29°C) 
    Charlottesville 78°F (26°C)

Should I visit Houston or Charlottesville in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Houston and Charlottesville. The city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene are the main draw to Houston this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Charlottesville for the hiking trails, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Houston is a little warmer than Charlottesville. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Houston in October average around 71°F (22°C), and Charlottesville averages at about 59°F (15°C).

Houston gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Houston usually receives more rain than Charlottesville. Houston gets 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain, while Charlottesville receives 3.5 inches (90 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Houston 71°F (22°C) 
    Charlottesville 59°F (15°C)

Should I visit Houston or Charlottesville in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Houston as well as Charlottesville. Many travelers come to Houston for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, many visitors come to Charlottesville in the winter for the museums, the Christmas ambience, and the cuisine.

Charlottesville can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Houston is generally much warmer than Charlottesville. Daily temperatures in Houston average around 52°F (11°C), and Charlottesville fluctuates around 36°F (2°C).

Houston usually gets more rain in January than Charlottesville. Houston gets 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain, while Charlottesville receives 3.2 inches (83 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Houston 52°F (11°C) 
    Charlottesville 36°F (2°C)

Should I visit Houston or Charlottesville in the Spring?

Both Charlottesville and Houston are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Houston in the spring for the activities around the city. Also, most visitors come to Charlottesville for the small town charm and the natural beauty during these months.

Houston is a little warmer than Charlottesville in the spring. The daily temperature in Houston averages around 70°F (21°C) in April, and Charlottesville fluctuates around 58°F (14°C).

In April, Houston usually receives around the same amount of rain as Charlottesville. Houston gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Charlottesville receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Houston 70°F (21°C) 
    Charlottesville 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Charlottesville and Houston

Houston Charlottesville
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 52°F (11°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm) 36°F (2°C) 3.2 inches (83 mm)
Feb 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (80 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 49°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 70°F (21°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 58°F (14°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
May 76°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.8 inches (98 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 84°F (29°C) 4.8 inches (122 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5 inches (128 mm)
Aug 83°F (29°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Sep 80°F (27°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 71°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
Dec 55°F (13°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)