A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Los Angeles vs. Rapid City for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Hiking

Should you visit Los Angeles or Rapid 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 Los Angeles and Rapid 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.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a multicultural, sprawling, and energetic city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. Visitors also love the museums, theater, and nightlife.

Rapid City

Rapid City is a friendly, fascinating, and activity-filled city. It's also popular because of the hiking, shopping, and museums.

Los Angeles and Rapid City: Pros and Cons

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
  • Big city activities
  • Home to Hollywood
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Home to Mount Rushmore
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping


Is there more to do in Los Angeles or Rapid City?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Los Angeles than Rapid City, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Los Angeles is more touristy than Rapid City 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 home to Hollywood. Rapid City is popular for its proximity to Mount Rushmore and many other iconic parks.

How is Los Angeles different from Rapid City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Los Angeles or Rapid City?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

You'll find a number of first-rate museums and attractions in both Rapid City and Los Angeles.

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.

Visitors will find world class museums and historical sights in Rapid City that are not to be missed. You'll find a wide variety of museums and landmarks nearby. Popular places to visit that aren't far from town include the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, the South Dakota Air & Space Museum, and the Journey Museum & Learning Center. There's also the Museum of Geology and the National Presidential Wax Museum. And of course, there's the iconic Mount Rushmore.


Is Los Angeles or Rapid City Better for Theater?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is a very popular place for its theatre productions. However, Rapid City is not a theatre destination.

Los Angeles has a number of performance venues where you can see a variety of shows. 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.

Rapid City is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Los Angeles or Rapid City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is an unbeatable place for its restaurants. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Los Angeles has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. 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.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Rapid City area. You'll find local restaurants in town that serve local specialties such as chislic (grilled meat), fry bread, and walleye (a local fish.

Is Los Angeles or Rapid City Better for Nightlife?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is an unbeatable place for nightlife and partying. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in Los Angeles is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. 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.

Rapid City is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. You'll find some places with live music and good drinks, but the city isn't really known for its nightlife scene.


Is Los Angeles or Rapid City Better for Music?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is an unbeatable place for its live music scene. However, Rapid City is not a live music destination.

With so many music venues, you're guaranteed a show any night of the week in Los Angeles. 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.

Rapid City is not a live music destination.

Is Los Angeles or Rapid City Better for Resorts?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is a very popular place for its luxury resorts. However, Rapid City is not a resort destination.

Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Los Angeles. The city is home to a number of high end resorts including The Beverly Hill Hotel, The Langham Huntington Pasadena, and The Ritz-Carlton.

Rapid City is not a resort destination.

Is Los Angeles or Rapid City Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is very good for its diving and snorkeling. However, Rapid City is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving 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.

Rapid City is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is Los Angeles or Rapid City Better for Beaches?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is an unbeatable place for the beache. However, Rapid City is not a beach destination.

With world-famous beaches, Los Angeles is a very popular vacation 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.

Rapid City is not a beach destination.

Is Los Angeles or Rapid City Better for Hiking?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is an unbeatable place for its hiking trails. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

Many people visit Los Angeles specifically for its hiking. 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.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Rapid City. The region is filled with national parks, state parks, and natural areas with wonderful hiking trails. You don't have to travel far to get into nature and experience some of South Dakota's best natural beauty.

Is the Shopping Better in Los Angeles or Rapid City?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is an unbeatable place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Known for shopping, Los Angeles draws large crowds to its stores. 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.

Many visitors go to Rapid City to go shopping. Rapid City has some interesting local shops as well as larger malls and shopping centers.


Is Los Angeles or Rapid City Better for Families?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Both Los Angeles and Rapid City are first-rate family-friendly destinations.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Los Angeles is very family-friendly. 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.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Rapid City is a very family-friendly destination. Nearby national parks and outdoor activities, this is the perfect base for exploring the area with kids. Nearby you'll find the Big Thunder Gold Mine, which has tours and lets you pan for gold, and Custer State Park, which is filled with wildlife. Wall Drug is worth a stopoff, as is Dinosaur Park.

Is Los Angeles or Rapid City Better for Couples?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is an unbeatable place for its romantic activities. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for couples.

For those traveling as a couple, Los Angeles 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 Rapid City frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Couples will enjoy the amazing national parks in the area and the easy access to iconic landmarks like Mount Rushmore. There are many opportunities for wildlife spotting as well as great hiking trails and unique landscapes.

Is Los Angeles or Rapid City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles and Rapid City are both high quality destinations for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers 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.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Rapid City. Backpackers will appreciate the surrounding natural beauty and the nearby national parks.


Is Los Angeles or Rapid City Better for Students?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is an unbeatable place for its student-friendly activities. However, Rapid City is not popular with students.

Students come from all over the world to visit Los Angeles. 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.

Rapid City is not popular with students.

Is Los Angeles or Rapid City Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is very good for times when you don't have a car. However, Rapid City 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 generally limited in Rapid City. While there are a few buses, this isn't a realistic option for traveling through the region.

Is Los Angeles or Rapid City a more walkable city?

Los Angeles
Rapid City

Los Angeles is very good for its high level of walkability. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its ease of walking around.

Los Angeles is a somewhat walkable place. 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.

Rapid City is generally not very walkable. While the downtown is walkable, most visitors use the city as a base for exploring the surrounding areas, and this requires a car.


For even more information, also check out Is Los Angeles Worth Visiting? and Is Rapid City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Rapid City or Los Angeles?

How long in Los Angeles or Rapid City?

It's fun to spend time in either Los Angeles or Rapid City. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Los Angeles due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 5-7 days is a good amount of time for Los Angeles, and 2-4 days is enough time in Rapid City.

Families should spend more time in Los Angeles than Rapid City. 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 Rapid City. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Los Angeles that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Los Angeles than Rapid City 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 Los Angeles or Rapid City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Los Angeles 5-7 
    Rapid City 2-4

One day in Los Angeles or Rapid City?

When visiting Los Angeles, people usually allow for lots of time. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the friendly city of Rapid City. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Most people visit for the museums. 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.

A weekend in Los Angeles or Rapid City?

When visiting Los Angeles, people usually allow for lots of time. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the friendly destination of Rapid City. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This city 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.

Five days in Los Angeles or Rapid City?

Los Angeles, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this city. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

The friendly city of Rapid City offers museums and food. 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.


A week in Los Angeles or Rapid City?

Los Angeles is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this city makes for a great vacation. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Many people enjoy the food and shopping when visiting Rapid City. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people visit for the museums. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, and The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Rapid City or Los Angeles?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Los Angeles is $258, while the average daily cost in Rapid City is $116. 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 Los Angeles and Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Los Angeles $140
    Rapid City $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Los Angeles $280
    Rapid City $120
Compare Hotels in Los Angeles and Rapid City

Looking for a hotel in Los Angeles or Rapid 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 Los Angeles


Hotels in Rapid 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: Los Angeles Hotel Prices and Rapid City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Los Angeles $42
    Rapid City $53
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 - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $120
  • 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: $518
  • Private Transfers between LAX Airport and LA City Center: $97
  • Private Transfer: Los Angeles to Ontario Airport ONT in Business Car: $241

Is it cheaper to fly into Los Angeles or Rapid City?

Prices for flights to both Rapid City and Los Angeles 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
    Los Angeles $60
    Rapid City $23
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
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour: $89
  • Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour: $89
  • West Hollywood Food Tour: $89
  • Downtown Food Tour: $89
  • Venice Beach 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: Sunset Cruise with Dinner: $124
  • Marina Del Rey: Thanksgiving Buffet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $136

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rapid City

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

  • Roller Coaster Tickets with Dinner and Show in Rapid City: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Los Angeles $82
    Rapid City $26
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: $4.29

Tours and Activities in Rapid City

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

  • Badlands National Park Private Tour: $650
  • Badlands Winter Wonderland Adventure: $239
  • Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours: $20
  • Buffalo Jeep Safari & Mammoth Site Tour: $700
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $133
  • From Private Devils Tower Tour and Hike: $650
  • From Private Spearfish Canyon Tour: $650
  • Full-Day Private Sightseeing Tour in South Dakota: $275
  • Mount Rushmore Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Tour with Two Meals and a Music Variety Show: $164
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Rapid City SD: $15
  • Pactola Lake: Private Kayak or Paddleboard Experience: $650

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Los Angeles $15
    Rapid City $6.93

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 Los Angeles and Rapid City, we can see that Los Angeles is more expensive. And not only is Rapid City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Rapid City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Rapid City and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in 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 Rapid City.

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


Which is Bigger, Los Angeles or Rapid City?

Los Angeles has a larger population, and is about 60 times larger than the population of Rapid City. When comparing the sizes of Los Angeles and Rapid 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.