A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Houston vs. Shenandoah National Park for Attractions, Nightlife, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Houston or Shenandoah National Park?

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 Shenandoah National Park. 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. 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 nightlife, live music, and food.

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is a beautiful, scenic, and breathtaking national park. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the food, hiking, and skiing.

Houston and Shenandoah National Park: 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 for skiing
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to Skyline Drive
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in Houston or Shenandoah National Park?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Houston. Although Houston and Shenandoah National Park are both popular with visitors, Houston has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Houston is more popular for its museums, nightlife, music, shopping, and big city activities, while Shenandoah National Park is known for its skiing, hiking, and impressive beauty. Shenandoah National Park is more touristy than Houston and is popular for its local wildlife, dramatic viewpoints, and world class hiking trails. 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 Shenandoah National Park?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Houston or Shenandoah National Park Better for Skiing?

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is a good destination for winter skiing. However, Houston is not a skiing destination.

For winter sports and skiing, Shenandoah National Park is a great destination to visit. You'll find skiing and snowboarding at nearby Massanutten Resort, which is near Harrisonburg, Virginia. It's a family-friendly setting with slopes that are classified as "easiest", "more difficult", and "most difficult".

Houston is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Houston or Shenandoah National Park?

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Houston is great for its historical sights. However, Shenandoah National Park is not a good destination for its sights and museums.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into 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.

Shenandoah National Park offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. While most people spend their time outdoors enjoying the setting, there are museums in the area, as well as visitor centers that have exhibits and informative displays.

Is the Food Better in Houston or Shenandoah National Park? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Foodies will find both Houston and Shenandoah National Park 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.

Shenandoah National Park is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There are several restaurants along skyline drive where you can pick up a casual meal like fried chicken, burgers, or pasta.

Is Houston or Shenandoah National Park Better for Nightlife?

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Houston is great for its evening party scene. However, Shenandoah National Park is not a good destination for nightlife.

Many people head to Houston for the nightlife scene. 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.

Most people don't head to Shenandoah National Park specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. There are a number of breweries in the area, but most people enjoy stargazing and sitting by the campfire at night.


Is Houston or Shenandoah National Park Better for Music?

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Houston is a city with good options for its music scene. However, Shenandoah National Park is not a live music destination.

You'll find some good live music in Houston. Popular music venues include Fitzgerald's, Walter's Downtown, and The Continental Club.

Shenandoah National Park is not a live music destination.

Is Houston or Shenandoah National Park Better for Hiking?

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is a world-class destination for its hiking experiences. However, Houston is not a hiking destination.

Shenandoah National Park is well-known for its hiking and trekking. There are more than 500 miles of trails in the park that pass through varied landscapes and take you to beautiful viewpoints. Visitors range from weekend visitors to long term hikers who come to experience the breathtaking beauty and serene setting.

Houston is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Houston or Shenandoah National Park?

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Houston is a city with good options for its shopping areas. However, Shenandoah National Park is not a good destination for shopping.

Houston has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. 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.

Shenandoah National Park is a good destination for shopping. There are a handful of gift shops along Skyline Drive were you can pick up souvenirs or t-shirts.


Is Houston or Shenandoah National Park Better for Families?

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Both Houston and Shenandoah National Park are very good family-friendly destinations.

Houston is a very kid-friendly city. 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 family-friendly things to do in Shenandoah National Park. There are tons of kid-friendly hikes to overlooks or waterfalls. Kids will love scrambling over the rocks or running through the forest. There are also plenty of campgrounds where families can hang out, toast marshmallows and enjoy some quality time together.

Is Houston or Shenandoah National Park Better for Couples?

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is well known for its romantic activities. Also, Houston is still popular, but not quite as popular for couples.

Couples visit Shenandoah National Park frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Couples who enjoy nature will love a visit to the park. There are beautiful views and scenic spots that will make for a wonderful and romantic trip. Hiking, biking, and exploring will fill your time with adventure and fun.

Houston is a good city for couples to visit. There's a surprising diversity of restaurants around the city. There are also performing arts productions and many outdoor parks and gardens.

Is Houston or Shenandoah National Park Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is a world-class destination for backpackers. However, Houston is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Shenandoah National Park. Backpackers love the hiking trails and backcountry camping. Many people head to the park to escape into nature and enjoy some low key time in a serene setting.

Houston is not a backpacker-friendly destination.


Is Houston or Shenandoah National Park Better for Students?

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Houston is a city with good options for its student-friendly activities. However, Shenandoah National Park is not popular with students.

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

Shenandoah National Park is not popular with students.

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

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Houston is adequate for times when you don't have a car. However, Shenandoah National Park is not a good destination for its public transit.

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.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Shenandoah National Park. There's no real public transit in the park.

Is Houston or Shenandoah National Park a more walkable city?

Houston
Shenandoah National Park

Houston is adequate for its ease of walking around. However, Shenandoah National Park is not a good destination for its walkability.

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

Shenandoah National Park is not a walkable city. While there are plenty of hiking trails, a car is a must to reach most trailheads.


For even more information, also check out Is Houston Worth Visiting? and Is Shenandoah National Park Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Shenandoah National Park or Houston?

How long in Houston or Shenandoah National Park?

In either Houston or Shenandoah National Park, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Shenandoah National Park than Houston because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Houston, and 3-5 days is enough time in Shenandoah National Park.

Families should spend more time in Houston than Shenandoah National Park. 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.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Houston than Shenandoah National Park 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 Houston.


  • How many days in Houston or Shenandoah National Park? Ideal Length of Stay
    Houston 2-3 
    Shenandoah National Park 3-5

One day in Houston or Shenandoah National Park?

When visiting Houston, people usually allow for lots of time. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

In Shenandoah National Park, you'll find skiing and food. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. This national park 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 Shenandoah National Park?

When visiting Houston, people usually allow for lots of time. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation.A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Shenandoah National Park, you'll find food and skiing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Houston or Shenandoah National Park?

You'll find food and shopping around the one-of-a-kind city of Houston. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Shenandoah National Park is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Shenandoah National Park has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.


A week in Houston or Shenandoah National Park?

Houston is a great place to explore. 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. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Shenandoah National Park. Many people enjoy the food and skiing when visiting Shenandoah National Park. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. 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 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, and The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Shenandoah National Park 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 Shenandoah National Park is $125. 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 Shenandoah National Park in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Houston $142
    Shenandoah National Park $53
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Houston $284
    Shenandoah National Park $106
Compare Hotels in Houston and Shenandoah National Park

Looking for a hotel in Houston or Shenandoah National Park? 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 Shenandoah National Park


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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Houston $72
    Shenandoah National Park $70

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Houston or Shenandoah National Park?

Prices for flights to both Shenandoah National Park 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
    Shenandoah National Park $28

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
    Shenandoah National Park $34

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Houston $13
    Shenandoah National Park $7.14

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


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

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



When is the best time to visit Houston or Shenandoah National Park?

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 Shenandoah National Park in the Summer?

Both Shenandoah National Park and Houston during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Houston for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Shenandoah National Park because of the hiking and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Houston is a little warmer than Shenandoah National Park. Typically, the summer temperatures in Houston in July average around 84°F (29°C), and Shenandoah National Park averages at about 77°F (25°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Houston. Houston usually gets more rain in July than Shenandoah National Park. Houston gets 4.8 inches (122 mm) of rain, while Shenandoah National Park receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Houston 84°F (29°C) 
    Shenandoah National Park 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Houston or Shenandoah National Park in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Houston and Shenandoah National Park. The autumn months attract visitors to Houston because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene. Also, the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Shenandoah National Park this time of year.

In October, Houston is generally much warmer than Shenandoah National Park. Daily temperatures in Houston average around 71°F (22°C), and Shenandoah National Park fluctuates around 56°F (13°C).

Houston gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Houston usually receives more rain than Shenandoah National Park. Houston gets 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain, while Shenandoah National Park receives 3.3 inches (84 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Houston 71°F (22°C) 
    Shenandoah National Park 56°F (13°C)

Should I visit Houston or Shenandoah National Park in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Houston as well as Shenandoah National Park. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Houston this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Shenandoah National Park for the skiing, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Shenandoah National Park. Houston is much warmer than Shenandoah National Park in the winter. The daily temperature in Houston averages around 52°F (11°C) in January, and Shenandoah National Park fluctuates around 32°F (-0°C).

Houston usually gets more rain in January than Shenandoah National Park. Houston gets 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain, while Shenandoah National Park receives 2.8 inches (70 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Houston 52°F (11°C) 
    Shenandoah National Park 32°F (-0°C)

Should I visit Houston or Shenandoah National Park in the Spring?

Both Shenandoah National Park and Houston are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Houston for the activities around the city. Also, many visitors come to Shenandoah National Park in the spring for the natural beauty.

In the spring, Houston is much warmer than Shenandoah National Park. Typically, the spring temperatures in Houston in April average around 70°F (21°C), and Shenandoah National Park averages at about 54°F (12°C).

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


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Houston 70°F (21°C) 
    Shenandoah National Park 54°F (12°C)

Typical Weather for Shenandoah National Park and Houston

Houston Shenandoah National Park
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 52°F (11°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm) 32°F (-0°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm)
Feb 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 35°F (1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Mar 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Apr 70°F (21°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 76°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 72°F (22°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Jul 84°F (29°C) 4.8 inches (122 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Aug 83°F (29°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm) 75°F (24°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Sep 80°F (27°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 56°F (13°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm) 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Dec 55°F (13°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 36°F (2°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)