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

Should you visit Houston or Salt Lake City?

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 Salt Lake City. 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 southern, one-of-a-kind, and diverse city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It's also popular because of the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a architectural, notable, and religious city. And you can't forget about the scuba diving and snorkeling, hiking, and shopping.

Houston and Salt Lake City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Home to Temple Square
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in Houston or Salt Lake City?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Houston than Salt Lake City, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Houston is more popular for its nightlife, music, and big city activities, while Salt Lake City is known for its scuba diving & snorkeling and hiking. Salt Lake City is more touristy than Houston and is popular for its religious landmarks and its large Mormon population. Houston is popular for its sprawling size, its local Texas restaurants, and being the home to NASA. It is also home to The Space Center Houston.

How is Houston different from Salt Lake City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Salt Lake City 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 Salt Lake City?

Houston
Salt Lake City

Plenty of people visit the high quality sights and museums in both Houston and Salt Lake City.

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.

Salt Lake City offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Many of the fascinating sights around town are influenced by the city's Mormon culture. Temple Square is a highlight for most visitors. It spans 35 acres and is beautifully landscaped with several fountains. There are also four main churches - The Temple, the Tabernacle, the Temple Annex, and Assembly Hall. The city also has several museums such as the Natural History Museum and the historic Liberty Park.


Is the Food Better in Houston or Salt Lake City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Houston
Salt Lake City

Foodies will find both Houston and Salt Lake City both to be good destinations.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Houston. 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.

Salt Lake City is becoming an appealing option for foodies. In recent years the food scene has really improved and you'll find a variety of restaurants that serve everything from upscale dishes to more casual fare.

Is Houston or Salt Lake City Better for Nightlife?

Houston
Salt Lake City

Houston is a very popular place for its evening party scene. However, Salt Lake City is lacking in good options for nightlife.

Houston has a large number of nightlife venues. 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.

Salt Lake City is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. Known for its large Mormon population, nightlife isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Salt Lake City. While it will likely never be a party city, there are a growing number of entertainment options around town.

Is Houston or Salt Lake City Better for Music?

Houston
Salt Lake City

Houston is very good for its music scene. However, Salt Lake City is not a live music destination.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Houston. Popular music venues include Fitzgerald's, Walter's Downtown, and The Continental Club.

Salt Lake City is not a live music destination.


Is Houston or Salt Lake City Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Houston
Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a good destination for its diving and snorkeling. However, Houston is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Salt Lake City. There are a number of good ski resorts nearby, making this a good base or starting point for a ski vacation.

Houston is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Houston or Salt Lake City Better for Hiking?

Houston
Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a good destination for its hiking experiences. However, Houston is not a hiking destination.

Salt Lake City offers some nice hiking trails. The city offers easy access to many diverse trails, so if you're a nature enthusiasts, you'll appreciate this destination.

Houston is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Houston or Salt Lake City?

Houston
Salt Lake City

Shopping is a popular activity in both Salt Lake City and Houston.

Houston offers some nice shopping areas. 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.

Salt Lake City has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The city has sprawling outlet malls as well as local stores and craft shops. City Creek Center is a favorite shopping destination, but there are also several large shopping malls that are worth visiting.


Is Houston or Salt Lake City Better for Families?

Houston
Salt Lake City

Houston is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Houston. 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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Salt Lake City. There are museums that kids will enjoy like the Natural History Museum of Utah and the Leonardo Museum. There are also fun-filled activities like a visit to Lagoon Amusement Park. You can learn about history at This Is the Place Heritage Park or learn about the undersea world at Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.

Is Houston or Salt Lake City Better for Couples?

Houston
Salt Lake City

Houston and Salt Lake City both good 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.

Salt Lake City is a good city for couples to visit. The city is filled with beautiful gardens like Red Butte Garden. There are also nice restaurants and romantic hotels that will make this a nice place for a couple's getaway.

Is Houston or Salt Lake City Better for Students?

Houston
Salt Lake City

Houston is very good for its student-friendly activities. However, Salt Lake City is not popular with students.

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

Salt Lake City is not popular with students.


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

Houston
Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a good destination for its public transit. However, Houston is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in Salt Lake City, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There's a surprisingly good public transit system that includes light rail, buses, and commuter trains, but if you want to get out of town you'll need to have a car.

Public transit is mostly 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.

Is Houston or Salt Lake City a more walkable city?

Houston
Salt Lake City

Houston and Salt Lake City both are decent 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.

Salt Lake City is generally not a very walkable city. While some neighborhoods are walkable, like Temple Square, most visitors prefer to have a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Houston Worth Visiting? and Is Salt Lake City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Salt Lake City or Houston?

How long in Houston or Salt Lake City?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Houston and Salt Lake City. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Houston than Salt Lake City. 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 Salt Lake City than Houston. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Salt Lake City that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Salt Lake City 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 Salt Lake City.


  • How many days in Houston or Salt Lake City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Houston 2-3 
    Salt Lake City 2-3

One day in Houston or Salt Lake City?

Because Houston is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Salt Lake City, you'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling. This city 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 Salt Lake City?

Houston is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

In Salt Lake City, you'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping. 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 Salt Lake City has to offer.

Five days in Houston or Salt Lake City?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Houston. It offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Salt Lake City 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 Salt Lake City?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the city of Houston. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Salt Lake City. Many people enjoy the museums and food when visiting Salt Lake City. 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, Salt Lake City 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 Salt Lake City is $246. 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 Salt Lake City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Houston $142
    Salt Lake City $119
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Houston $284
    Salt Lake City $238
Compare Hotels in Houston and Salt Lake City

Looking for a hotel in Houston or Salt Lake City? 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 Salt Lake City


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 Salt Lake City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Houston $72
    Salt Lake City $45

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
  • William P. Hobby Airport to Galveston Port Arrival Transfer: $170
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Houston APT-HTL (IAH): $151
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $60
  • Transfer in private minivan from Houston George Bush Airport to Houston Downtown: $88
  • Transfer in private minivan from Houston City Center to George Bush Airport: $88
  • Sedan Airport Transfer in Houston: $165
  • SUV Airport Transfer in Houston: $200
  • RoundTrip transfer in private minivan from-to HoustonAirport in Houston Downtown: $176
  • Round trip transfer in private car from-to Houston Airport in Houston Downtown: $120
  • Private Departure Transfer to Houston George Bush Airport IAH: $51
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Houston William P. Hobby Airport HOU: $48

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salt Lake City

Also for Salt Lake City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Departure Transfer to Salt Lake City Airport SLC: $36
  • Private Transfer from SLC to Park City UT : $264
  • Private Transfer from SLC to Salt Lake City : $121
  • Private Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Park City hotel or address: $264
  • Private Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City : $122
  • Private Transfer: Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City : $108
  • Private Transfer: Salt Lake City to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) : $108
  • Salt Lake Airport (SLC) to Canyons Village - Arrival Transfer: $116
  • Salt Lake Airport (SLC) to Canyons Village - Round-Trip Transfer: $232
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Park City - Arrival Private Transfer : $92
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Park City UT - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $183
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City - Arrival Private Transfer: $46

Is it cheaper to fly into Houston or Salt Lake City?

Prices for flights to both Salt Lake City 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
    Salt Lake City $50

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Houston $14
    Salt Lake City $28

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
  • The Art of Fufu Cookbook Experience: West African Soup & Fufu : $100
  • 2 Hours H- Town Tour with 15ft Open Air Party Truck On Wheels: $46
  • 2-Hour Houston Skyline Tour: $69
  • 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

Tours and Activities in Salt Lake City

For Salt Lake City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Mormon History - Salt Lake Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Mormon History Salt Lake Self-Guided Audio app Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Salt Lake City by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $13
  • Salt Lake City Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Salt Lake City & La Sal: Self-Guided Walking & Driving Tour: $21
  • Salt Lake City Haunted Old Town Tour: $23
  • Salt Lake City Ghost Tour: Outer Reaches Tour: $23
  • Salt Lake Ghosts and Hauntings Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $26
  • Haunted Walking Tour: $26
  • Salt Lake City Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • 45 Minute Great Salt Lake Boat Tour: $37

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Houston $13
    Salt Lake City $17

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
  • Private 3-in-1 Sightseeing, Brewery, and Mural Tour of Houston by Cart: $115


When comparing the travel costs between Houston and Salt Lake City, we can see that Houston 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 Houston Expensive? and Is Salt Lake City Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Houston or Salt Lake City?

Houston has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Salt Lake City. When comparing the sizes of Houston and Salt Lake City, 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.