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

Should you visit Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles 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.

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.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a notable, religious, and architectural city. It's also popular because of the scuba diving and snorkeling, hiking, and shopping.

Los Angeles and Salt Lake 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 scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Home to Temple Square
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less hiking options
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Los Angeles or Salt Lake City?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Los Angeles than Salt Lake City. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Los Angeles is more touristy than Salt Lake 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 well known for Hollywood. Salt Lake City is famous for its religious landmarks and its large Mormon population.

How is Los Angeles 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 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 Salt Lake City?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a world-class destination for its museums and history. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good 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.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Salt Lake City can be an interesting and educational experience. 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 Los Angeles or Salt Lake City Better for Theater?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a very popular place for its shows and theatre. However, Salt Lake 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.

Salt Lake City is not a theatre destination.

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

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a world-class destination for its restaurants. Also, Salt Lake 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.

Salt Lake City offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. 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 Los Angeles or Salt Lake City Better for Nightlife?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a world-class destination for its evening party scene. However, Salt Lake City is lacking in good options for nightlife.

People head to Los Angeles just to party. 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.

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 Los Angeles or Salt Lake City Better for Music?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a world-class destination for its music scene. However, Salt Lake City 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.

Salt Lake City is not a live music destination.

Is Los Angeles or Salt Lake City Better for Resorts?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a very popular place for its luxury resorts. However, Salt Lake 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.

Salt Lake City is not a resort destination.

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

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

You'll find nice places where you can go scuba diving or snorkeling in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery 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.

Salt Lake City has a few good snorkeling spots. There are a number of good ski resorts nearby, making this a good base or starting point for a ski vacation.


Is Los Angeles or Salt Lake City Better for Beaches?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a world-class destination for the beach. However, Salt Lake 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.

Salt Lake City is not a beach destination.

Is Los Angeles or Salt Lake City Better for Hiking?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a world-class destination for its hiking trails. Also, Salt Lake 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.

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

Is the Shopping Better in Los Angeles or Salt Lake City?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a world-class destination for its shopping areas. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good 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.

Salt Lake City is a great destination for shopping. 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 Los Angeles or Salt Lake City Better for Families?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a world-class destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Los Angeles is one of the most popular family destinations. 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.

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 Los Angeles or Salt Lake City Better for Couples?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a world-class destination for couples. Also, Salt Lake City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

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.

Salt Lake City is a nice destination for couples. 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 Los Angeles or Salt Lake City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a very popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Salt Lake City is lacking in good options 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.

Salt Lake City is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There are a couple of hostels in town, but most backpackers overlook this destination or breeze through town quickly.


Is Los Angeles or Salt Lake City Better for Students?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is a world-class destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Salt Lake 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.

Salt Lake City is not popular with students.

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

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Visitors will find nice public transit in both Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

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.

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.

Is Los Angeles or Salt Lake City a more walkable city?

Los Angeles
Salt Lake City

Los Angeles is very good for its ease of walking around. However, Salt Lake City 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.

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


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

Should I spend more time in Salt Lake City or Los Angeles?

How long in Los Angeles or Salt Lake City?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Los Angeles than in Salt Lake City. Usually, 5-7 days is a good amount of time for Los Angeles, and 2-3 days is enough time in Salt Lake City.

Families should spend more time in Los Angeles than Salt Lake 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 Salt Lake 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 Salt Lake 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 Salt Lake City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Los Angeles 5-7 
    Salt Lake City 2-3

One day in Los Angeles or Salt Lake City?

Because Los Angeles is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Visitors enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the notable city of Salt Lake City. 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 Salt Lake City?

Los Angeles is a great place to explore. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Anyone can find something fun to do here. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the architectural destination of Salt Lake City. 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 Salt Lake City?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Los Angeles. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

The religious city of Salt Lake City offers shopping and museums. 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 Salt Lake City?

Because Los Angeles is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Your budget might influence how long you stay. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. One week is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Many people enjoy the museums and food when visiting Salt Lake City. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Salt Lake 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 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 Los Angeles and Salt Lake City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Los Angeles $140
    Salt Lake City $119
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Los Angeles $280
    Salt Lake City $238
Compare Hotels in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City

Looking for a hotel in Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles


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: Los Angeles Hotel Prices and Salt Lake City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Los Angeles $42
    Salt Lake City $45
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: $65
  • World Cruise Center to Long Beach - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $119
  • World Cruise Center to Long Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $65
  • Universal Studios to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Departure Private Transfer: $79
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Los Angeles HTL-APT (LAX): $141
  • Transfer from Los Angeles airport. Transfer to LAX Airport: $123
  • San Diego Private Transfer To or From Universal Studios/Burbank.: $248
  • Roundtrip transfer in private car Los Angeles Airport (LAX)-Los Angeles Downtown: $100
  • RoundTrip private transfer from Los Angeles airportLAX to Anaheim: $133
  • Private transfer from Los Angeles airport LAX to Anheim: $67
  • Private Transfers between LAX Airport and Los Angeles: $515
  • Private Transfers between LAX Airport and LA City Center: $96

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salt Lake City

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

  • Salt Lake City to Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) - Departure Private Transfer: $46
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC): Transfer to Salt Lake City: $200
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Park City UT - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $180
  • Salt Lake Airport (SLC) to Canyons Village - Round-Trip Transfer: $228
  • Salt Lake Airport (SLC) to Canyons Village - Arrival Transfer: $114
  • Private Transfer: Salt Lake City to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) : $106
  • Private Transfer: Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City : $106
  • Private Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City : $119
  • Private Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Park City hotel or address: $259
  • Private Transfer from SLC to Salt Lake City : $119
  • Private Departure Transfer to Salt Lake City Airport SLC: $36

Is it cheaper to fly into Los Angeles or Salt Lake City?

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

  • Venice Beach Food Tour with Tastings: $75
  • Santa Monica Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $82
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour: $87
  • Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour: $89
  • Downtown Food Tour: $89
  • Venice Beach Food Tour: $89
  • LA Venice Beach Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $99
  • Night Cruise in Marina del Rey with Dinner: $124
  • Vegan African Dinner Party in Playa Del Ray: $132
  • Marina Del Rey: Thanksgiving Buffet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $136
  • Marina Del Rey: Christmas Eve Buffet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $136
  • Marina Del Rey: Christmas Day Buffet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $136

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Los Angeles $82
    Salt Lake City $28
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:

  • 2 Hour Celebrity Homes Tour: $175
  • 2 Hour Griffith Park Observatory Tour: $16
  • 2 Hours Self Guided E-Bike Tour in Hermosa Beach: $50
  • 2-Hour Hollywood Bus Tour: $45
  • 2-Hour Shared Celebrities Home Tours in Hollywood: $35
  • 2.5 Hour Private Tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills: $219
  • 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
  • 3 Hours Private Photoshoot and Self-Guided Tour in Los Angeles: $287
  • 30 minutes Ferrari GTA Tour (from Hollywood Blvd to Outpost): $169
  • 5 Hour Hollywood and Beverly Hills Shared Tour with 4 Stops: $89

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:

  • 2 Hour Salt Lake Boat Tour with Swimming on the Lake: $79
  • 4-Day Winter Yellowstone Tour: $2,499
  • 45 Minute Great Salt Lake Boat Tour: $37
  • 5-day Tour Yellowstone Park Los Angeles-Salt Lake City: $1,558
  • From 3-Day Yellowstone Wildlife Adventure: $999
  • From Private Bryce Canyon National Park Tour: $1,475
  • From Private Canyonlands National Park Tour: $1,475
  • From Private Capitol Reef National Park Tour: $1,475
  • From Private Goblin Valley State Park Tour: $1,475
  • From Private Tour of Arches National Park: $1,475
  • Great Salt Lake Flying Tour: $249
  • Great Salt Lake Guided Bus Tour from Salt Lake City: $70

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Los Angeles $15
    Salt Lake City $17

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: $40
  • Salsa Lesson, Burlesque and Mojitos : $149
  • Salsa Lesson and Burlesque Show: $149
  • Malibu: Vintage VW Sightseeing Tour and Wine Tasting: $195


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


Which is Bigger, Los Angeles or Salt Lake City?

Los Angeles has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Salt Lake City. When comparing the sizes of Los Angeles 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.