A Travel Price Comparison for California Joshua Tree National Park vs. Los Angeles for Attractions, Hiking, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Joshua Tree National Park and Los Angeles can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a unique, fascinating, and adventurous national park. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the hiking.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a glamourous, diverse, and multicultural 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 hiking, shopping, and museums.

Joshua Tree National Park and Los Angeles: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Home to Hollywood


Is there more to do in Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Los Angeles. Although Joshua Tree National Park and Los Angeles are popular destinations, Los Angeles has more sights and attractions for tourists. Los Angeles is very popular for its museums, theatre productions, food, nightlife, music, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, shopping, and big city activities, while Joshua Tree National Park attracts visitors for its impressive beauty. Los Angeles is more touristy than Joshua Tree National Park and is known for is many A-list celebrities, its world-famous clubs and venues, its glamourous beaches, and being the location of the iconic Hollywood. It is also well known for Hollywood. Joshua Tree National Park is famous for its unique vegetation and large boulders.

How is Joshua Tree National Park different from Los Angeles?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its museums and history. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for its museums and landmarks.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Los Angeles has many famous sights for visitors. The city has an eclectic list of monuments and museums. Notable landmarks include the famous Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory, the Getty Center, and the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Joshua Tree National Park offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. There are a couple of museums in the area that display local art or cultural and historical items.


Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles Better for Theater?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a very popular place for its shows and theatre. However, Joshua Tree National Park is not a theatre destination.

Los Angeles attracts a wide-range of world-class performances. While most people think of Hollywood when they think of LA, the city also has a thriving stage presence. Musicals and plays are popular throughout the city.

Joshua Tree National Park is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its restaurants. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

Many restaurants in Los Angeles have been singled out for their culinary prowess. As a huge and diverse city, there is no shortage of amazing food options around town. There are a wide range of cuisines represented and many different neighborhoods that specialize in specific types of food. Popular dishes around town include Cobb Salads, Mexican Tacos, and the French Dip Sandwich.

While Joshua Tree National Park is not famous for its food, you'll find what you need there. There aren't any restaurants inside the park, so you'll want to pack your own food and eat at one of the picnic areas.

Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles Better for Nightlife?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its evening party scene. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for nightlife.

Los Angeles is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. The city's nightlife scene is as diverse as the city itself. There are glamorous clubs where you might spot a celebrity, as well as local dives with a more down-to-earth vibe. Some of the most famous clubs in the city include Academy, Avalon, and Boardner's.

Things get quiet in the evenings in Joshua Tree National Park. Stargazing and gathering around campfires are the most popular activities during the evening.


Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles Better for Music?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its music scene. However, Joshua Tree National Park is not a live music destination.

Los Angeles has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. Music, movies, and show business - it's all part of what Los Angeles is known for. Several famous music venues include The Greek Theatre, Whiskey a Go Go, and The Roxy Theatre.

Joshua Tree National Park is not a live music destination.

Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles Better for Resorts?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a very popular place for its luxury resorts. However, Joshua Tree National Park is not a resort destination.

In Los Angeles, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. The city is home to a number of high end resorts including The Beverly Hill Hotel, The Langham Huntington Pasadena, and The Ritz-Carlton.

Joshua Tree National Park is not a resort destination.

Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a city with good options for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Joshua Tree National Park is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

It's fun to get in the water and check out the local marine life in Los Angeles. The coastal setting means that there are a number of places where you can put on a mask and hop in the water. Popular snorkeling or diving spots near the city include Santa Catalina Island, Diver's Cove, and Crystal Cove State Park. Many visitors find the water to be a bit chili, but the wildlife is unique and beautiful.

Joshua Tree National Park is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles Better for Beaches?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for the beach. However, Joshua Tree National Park is not a beach destination.

Los Angeles is considered to be a world-class beach destination. Ranging from beaches with stunning natural beauty to those with glamourous and fun atmospheres, this city has a number of beaches to choose from. There are many fun and high-energy urban beach settings, and there are also beaches that are lined with parks and offer a more natural environment. Some of the most popular are Santa Monica, Malibu, Huntington Beach, and Redondo Beach.

Joshua Tree National Park is not a beach destination.

Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles Better for Hiking?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Both Joshua Tree National Park and Los Angeles are destinations which offer fantastic hiking.

Around Joshua Tree National Park visitors will find world-class hiking trails. There are a wide range of hikes that include easy, moderate, and strenuous options. Some of the best hikes include Discovery Trail, Boy Scout Trail, and Black Rock Canyon Panorama Loop.

Los Angeles is well-known for its hiking and trekking. In and around the city you'll find world class urban hiking with views of the mountains and the ocean. Some of the most well-known hikes include the Charlie Turner Trail to Mount Hollywood, Runyon Canyon, and the Sara Wan Trailhead at Corral Canyon.

Is the Shopping Better in Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its shopping areas. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for shopping.

Many people travel to Los Angeles specifically to go shopping. Although it's most famous for the high end shopping at Rodeo Drive, there are actually many different shopping venues throughout the city. Other famous shopping areas include Robertson Blvd and the Grove.

Joshua Tree National Park has some shopping areas for those that seek them out. There is a park store where you can pick up gifts or other items.


Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles Better for Families?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Joshua Tree National Park is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Los Angeles is an extremely popular city to visit for families. With its many amusement parks, including nearby Disneyland, and its countless family-friendly parks and playgrounds, there is no shortage of things to do with kids around the city. Favorite activities include the amusement parks, exploring Venice Beach, a trip to the California Science Center, and taking a Warner Brothers Studio Tour.

Joshua Tree National Park is a very family-friendly place to visit. With its giant boulders that kids can scramble on and its Dr. Seuss-like Joshua Trees, this really is nature's best playground. There are also kid-friendly hikes and Junior Ranger Programs that will both educate and entertain the kids.

Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles Better for Couples?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for couples. Also, Joshua Tree National Park is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

Los Angeles is a great city for couples, as it has plenty to offer. It is a large, sprawling city with tucked away romantic scenes that are perfect for a couple's getaway or a dream honeymoon. There are also trendy nightclubs, world-class restaurants, and high-energy beaches that make for iconic date activities.

Couples visit Joshua Tree National Park frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Couples who enjoy the outdoors, adventure sports like rock climbing, and hiking through spectacular landscapes will find this to be the ultimate romantic destination.

Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Joshua Tree National Park is renowned for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Los Angeles is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

A large number of backpackers visit Joshua Tree National Park, as it is a very popular national park for budget travelers. There are campgrounds and hiking trails that are popular with backpackers and nature enthusiasts.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Los Angeles. The city is a major travel destination for all types, and backpackers will find no shortage of hostels or budget friendly accommodation around town.


Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles Better for Students?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is renowned for its student-friendly activities. However, Joshua Tree National Park is not popular with students.

Los Angeles is a very popular city for students. International students have long flocked to this for its major universities and diverse setting. Major universities in the area include UCLA, the University of Southern California, and the California Institute of Technology.

Joshua Tree National Park is not popular with students.

Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a city with good options for times when you don't have a car. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Los Angeles has some public transit options. Many of the public transit options are overlooked by visitors for a number of reasons, but options include the subway, light rail, and buses.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Joshua Tree National Park. There's no reliable public transportation in the park.

Is Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles a more walkable city?

Joshua Tree National Park
Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a city with good options for its ease of walking around. However, Joshua Tree National Park is lacking in good options for its walkability.

Los Angeles is a somewhat walkable city. The city is sprawling, but some of the neighborhoods are more walkable than others. Some of the more walkable neighborhoods include Hollywood, Koreatown, Downtown, and MacArthur Park.

Joshua Tree National Park is not a walkable national park. You need a car to truly explore the park.


For even more information, also check out Is Joshua Tree National Park Worth Visiting? and Is Los Angeles Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Los Angeles or Joshua Tree National Park?

How long in Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles?

Both Joshua Tree National Park and Los Angeles have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Los Angeles than in Joshua Tree National Park. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Joshua Tree National Park, and 5-7 days is enough time in Los Angeles.

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

Couples should spend more time in Los Angeles than Joshua Tree National Park. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Los Angeles that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Los Angeles than Joshua Tree 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 Los Angeles.


  • How many days in Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles? Ideal Length of Stay
    Joshua Tree National Park 2-4 
    Los Angeles 5-7

One day in Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the fascinating national park of Joshua Tree National Park. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Most people visit for the hiking. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Los Angeles is a diverse city where you can fill many days. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A weekend in Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the unique destination of Joshua Tree National Park. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This national park offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Los Angeles is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Anyone can find something fun to do here. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Five days in Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles?

The fascinating national park of Joshua Tree National Park offers . Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Los Angeles is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here. It offers something for everyone.


A week in Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles?

Many people enjoy the when visiting Joshua Tree National Park. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people visit for the hiking. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Los Angeles is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. One week is usually enough time to experience most activities. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


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


Which place is cheaper, Los Angeles or Joshua Tree National Park?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Joshua Tree National Park is $152, while the average daily cost in Los Angeles is $258. 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 Joshua Tree National Park and Los Angeles in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Joshua Tree National Park $87
    Los Angeles $140
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Joshua Tree National Park $174
    Los Angeles $280
Compare Hotels in Joshua Tree National Park and Los Angeles

Looking for a hotel in Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles? 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 Joshua Tree National Park


Hotels in Los Angeles


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: Los Angeles Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Joshua Tree National Park $47
    Los Angeles $42

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Los Angeles

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Los Angeles:


  • Hotel Parking for a Day
    $22
  • Taxi to Airport
    $55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Los Angeles

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

  • World Cruise Center to Long Beach Airport(LGB)-Departure Transfer: $66
  • World Cruise Center to Long Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $66
  • Universal Studios to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Departure Private Transfer: $80
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Los Angeles HTL-APT (LAX): $141
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Los Angeles APT-HTL (LAX): $141
  • Transfer To Or From LAX Airport: $160
  • San Pedro Cruise Center Private Transfer from or to Los Angeles: $89
  • RoundTrip private transfer from Los Angeles airportLAX to Anaheim: $149
  • Private Transfers between LAX Airport and Los Angeles: $519
  • Private Transfers between LAX Airport and LA City Center: $97
  • Private Transfer: Los Angeles to Ontario Airport ONT in Business Car: $241
  • Private Transfer: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Los Angeles : $87

Is it cheaper to fly into Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles?

Prices for flights to both Los Angeles and Joshua Tree National Park 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
    Joshua Tree National Park $35
    Los Angeles $60

Typical Food Prices in Los Angeles

For Los Angeles, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Mexican Dinner (family of 4)
    $32
  • Burritos for Two
    $15
  • Coffee and Danish
    $7.70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Los Angeles

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

  • Santa Monica Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $66
  • Venice Beach Food Tour with Tastings: $75
  • Silver Lake Food Tour with Comedian Foodie Guide!: $75
  • Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour: $89
  • West Hollywood Food Tour: $89
  • Downtown Food Tour: $89
  • Venice Beach Food Tour: $89
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour: $89
  • LA Venice Beach Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • Original Downtown Los Angeles Walking Food Tour with Six Taste: $110
  • Marina Del Rey: Night Cruise with Dinner: $124
  • Marina Del Rey: Thanksgiving Buffet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $136

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Joshua Tree National Park $27
    Los Angeles $82

Typical Entertainment Prices in Los Angeles

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Los Angeles's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Santa Monica Pier Rides (family of 4)
    $37
  • Bowling
    $13
  • Hollywood Tour for Two
    $30
  • Six Flags for 2
    $96

Tours and Activities in Los Angeles

For Los Angeles, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 1-Hour Private Ferrari Driving Tour: Hollywood to Beverly Hills: $289
  • 17 Miles and Pebble Beach Tour from Los Angeles to San Francisco: $144
  • 2-Hour Hollywood, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills Open Bus Tour: $39
  • 2-Hour Shared Celebrities Home Tours in Hollywood: $59
  • 2.5-hour Hollywood Chills Tour - Celebrity Scandals and Cemeteries : $219
  • 20 Min Ferrari driving tour in Hollywood: $99
  • 20 Min Lamborghini driving tour in Hollywood: $139
  • 30-Minute Ferrari GTA Tour of Hollywood: $169
  • 60-minute Virtual Reality Escape Room Adventure: $45
  • All Day LA Tour: Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica: $95
  • Amtrak Coast Starlight+ Santa Barbara 1-Day Tour: $218
  • App self-guided tour Celebrity homes in Beverly Hills: $4.32

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Joshua Tree National Park $4.93
    Los Angeles $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Los Angeles

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Los Angeles:

  • LA Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $33
  • LA Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • Street Walking Taco & Wine Tour: $125
  • Salsa Lesson and Burlesque Show: $139
  • Malibu: Vintage VW Sightseeing Tour and Wine Tasting: $195
  • Wine Tour at Fess Parker Winery by Helicopter: $4,299


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

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