A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Miami vs. Charleston for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Resorts

Should you visit Miami or Charleston?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Miami and Charleston can help you decide which place is right for you.

Miami

Miami is a diverse, bustling, and high energy beach city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. Other popular activities here include shopping, nightlife, and live music.

Charleston

Charleston is a charming, southern, and quaint coastal town. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. It's also known for nightlife, live music, and food.

Miami and Charleston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Great resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less active music scene
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less popular with backpackers


How is Miami different from Charleston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Miami or Charleston Better for Food?

Miami
Charleston

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Miami and Charleston can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Miami has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. The city's food scene is as diverse as its population. It is known for its Stone Crabs, fish sandwiches, Cuban sandwiches, and Key Lime pie.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Charleston is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. Food lovers will enjoy the city's low country classics. Local favorites include she crab soup, shrimp and grits, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes.


Is Miami or Charleston Better for Nightlife?

Miami
Charleston

Party-goers will usually choose Miami over Charleston.

Miami has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. From the posh nightlife clubs in South Beach, to the local salsa dancing venues in Little Havana, Miami is a city that thrives with energy.

If you're looking for night time activities Charleston has a few options to choose from. As a college town, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs around town. There's also a lively music scene.

Is Miami or Charleston Better for Music?

Miami
Charleston

Miami generally offers more live music options than Charleston.

Miami is a world class music destination. Popular live music venues include Ball and Chain, Cafe La Trova, Flamingo Theater Bar.

The music scene helps keep Charleston active and fun. You can hear a number of local bands or enjoy a more widely known group at larger venues in the area.

Is Miami or Charleston Better for Resorts?

Miami
Charleston

Miami generally brings in more resort visitors than Charleston.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Miami is a perfect choice. Known for it's luxury, you'll find many resorts in the area. Popular options include The Ritz-Carlton South Beach, Fontainebleau, and Carillon Miami.

Not known for its high-end resorts, Charleston offers a few options. The town has mostly hotels and bed and breakfasts in the downtown area, but nearby Kiawah Island has a number of nice resorts to choose from.

Is Miami or Charleston Better for Beaches?

Miami
Charleston

Miami and Charleston are good choices for a beach vacation.

Many people head to Miami to enjoy the beach. If you're looking for long sandy beaches, luxury yacht clubs, and fine dining restaurants, the area's beaches have them all.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Charleston. The area has a number of beautiful and fun nearby beaches including Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island.


Is Miami or Charleston Better for Shopping?

Miami
Charleston

Shopping is a popular activity in both Charleston and Miami.

Miami is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. The city has every high end brand you could want, along with diverse neighborhoods with local finds and unique purchases.

Known for shopping, Charleston draws large crowds to its stores. The city is famous for its historic market in the center of town. Local goods, foods, and crafts are sold daily here. There are also many clothing and local shops throughout town.

Is Miami or Charleston Better for Families?

Miami
Charleston

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Miami or Charleston.

Miami doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. Because it's so big, you'll find some kid-friendly options in the area. There are kid-friendly museums and activities around the city.

Charleston offers lots of family activities. The area has a number of family friendly activities like carriage rides and boat rides. The nearby beaches also make it a wonderful place to visit with kids.

Is Miami or Charleston Better for Couples?

Miami
Charleston

Both Miami and Charleston are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Couples visit Miami frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. For couples who love nightlife, wining and dining, and high end beach clubs, this is the place to be.

Charleston has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. This beautiful city is one of the most popular wedding destinations in America. It's a very romantic setting with beautiful hotels and bed and breakfasts that are perfect for couples on their honeymoon or looking for a romantic setting.

Is Miami or Charleston Better for Students?

Miami
Charleston

Miami and Charleston are comparable places to visit for students.

Miami is popular with students. Spring break in Miami is the stuff of legends.

It's common for students to visit Charleston. The city is a college town with a young vibe that is perfect for students.


Is Miami or Charleston a more walkable city?

Miami
Charleston

Miami and Charleston both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Miami is very walkable. Many parts of city are surprisingly walkable and pedestrian friendly, allowing you to eat out, go shopping, or explore without the need for a car.

Charleston is a very walkable beach city. The downtown area is very walkable, but once you leave the historic heart, it's best to have a car.

Should I spend more time in Charleston or Miami?

How long in Miami or Charleston?

Both Miami and Charleston have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Charleston than Miami.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Miami is 7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Charleston is 2-7 days.


  • How many days in Miami or Charleston? Ideal Length of Stay
    Miami 7 
    Charleston 2-7

One day in Miami or Charleston?

When visiting Miami, people usually allow for lots of time. Anyone can find something fun to do here. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Charleston, many people enjoy the live music and food that this southern destination offers. It's also a great beach destination, too. This coastal town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Miami or Charleston?

When visiting Miami, 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Charleston. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Miami or Charleston?

Miami, a popular beach city, is full of activities for travelers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Charleston is a fun place to experience. In Charleston, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this quaint destination offers. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A week in Miami or Charleston?

Miami is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Charleston, many people enjoy the museums and nightlife that this quaint destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Which city is cheaper, Charleston or Miami?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Miami is $164, while the average daily cost in Charleston is $136. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Miami and Charleston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Miami $105
    Charleston $72
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Miami $210
    Charleston $144
Compare Hotels in Miami and Charleston

Looking for a hotel in Miami or Charleston? 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 Miami


Hotels in Charleston


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: Miami Hotel Prices and Charleston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Miami $30
    Charleston $26
Typical Local Transportation prices in Miami

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Miami are as follows:


  • Car Rental for a Day
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Miami

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Miami:

  • Transfers to Port of Miami: $28
  • Luxury Airport Transfer from Miami International Airport: $33
  • Private Departure Transfer: Miami City or Miami Beach to Miami Airport: $37
  • Private Arrival Transfer: MIA Miami Airport to Miami City or Miami Beach: $37
  • Miami Airport Transfer To Miami Area: $40
  • Private Airport Transfer: Miami International Airport (MIA) to Miami: $41
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Miami to Miami International Airport (MIA): $41
  • Miami Private Airport Transfer: $44
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Miami Downtown to Miami Airport: $46
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Miami Airport to Miami Downtown: $46
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Miami Airport to Miami Beach: $46
  • Private Miami International Airport (MIA) Transfer: $48

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $124
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charleston Airport (CHS): $52
  • Private transfer: Charleston to Charleston Airport (CHS): $622

Is it cheaper to fly into Miami or Charleston?

Prices for flights to both Charleston and Miami 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
    Miami $33
    Charleston $46
Typical Food prices in Miami

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Miami:


  • Lunch with Drinks (for 2)
    $45
  • David's Cafe Lunch (for 1)
    $16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Miami

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Miami.

  • Little Havana Street Food Tours: $61
  • Haitian Cooking Experience: $85
  • Private Little Havana Cuban Food Tour: $99
  • Private VIP Historical Citywide Food Tour: $159

Typical Food prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of dining costs in Charleston are as follows:


  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
    $21
  • Breakfast
    $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Charleston.

  • Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour: $73
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Chef's Kitchen Guided Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Savor the Flavors Upper King Street Food Tour: $95
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Charleston: $129
  • Undiscovered 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class: $154
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Charleston w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Miami $25
    Charleston $17

Tours and Activities in Miami

Here are a few actual costs in Miami for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1/2 Hour Jet Ski Island Adventure: $5.00
  • Haunted Themed Smartphone Audio Driving Tour: $7.84
  • Miami Dance Cruise: $11
  • Little Havana: Beyond Cuba Tour: $20
  • La Perle de Little Haiti Tour: $20
  • La Perle De Little Haiti Tour: $20
  • Pirates Adventures Sightseeing Tour from Miami: $23
  • Miami Skyline View Cruise: $23
  • Skip the Line: Zoo Miami Ticket with Optional Upgrade: $25
  • Biscayne Bay Boat Tour in Miami: $25
  • Best of Little Havana Miami Tour: $25
  • Sightseeing Cruise of Biscayne Bay: $27

Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Charleston are as follows:


  • Patriots Point (for 2)
    $60

Tours and Activities in Charleston

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Charleston are as follows:

  • Charleston's Haunted Ghost Tour - Smart Phone Guided Tour: $5.00
  • Charleston Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $16
  • Charleston's Pleasing Terrors Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Downtown Charleston Walking Tour with Certified Local Guide: $21
  • Historic Charleston Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour: $21
  • Highlights of Charleston Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Charleston French Quarter Historic Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Drayton Hall Plantation Admission Ticket in Charleston: $22
  • Small-Group Tour: Charleston Old Walled City Historical Walking Tour: $23
  • Charleston Terrors Walking Ghost Tour: $23
  • Charleston Ghosts of Liberty Guided Walking Tour: $25
  • 90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of Charleston: $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Miami $18
    Charleston $28
Typical Alcohol prices in Miami

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Miami are as follows:


  • Evening at a Bar
    $32

Sample the Local Flavors in Miami

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Miami:

  • Making Your Own Gin Distillery Tour and Tasting Experience: $190

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

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

  • Charleston Bar Hunt: Charleston Chase Bar Crawl: $12
  • Ghost Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in Haunted Charleston: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market: $37


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


When is the best time to visit Miami or Charleston?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Miami or Charleston in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Miami and Charleston. The beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Miami this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Charleston for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Miami is generally around the same temperature as Charleston. Temperatures in Miami average around 83°F (28°C), and Charleston stays around 82°F (28°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Charleston this time of the year. In Miami, it's very sunny this time of the year. Miami usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Charleston during summer. Miami gets 316 hours of sunny skies, while Charleston receives 293 hours of full sun in the summer.

Charleston receives a lot of rain in the summer. Miami gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Miami usually receives less rain than Charleston. Miami gets 5.9 inches (149 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 6.9 inches (176 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Miami 83°F (28°C) 
    Charleston 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Miami or Charleston in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Miami as well as Charleston. Many travelers come to Miami for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene. Also, many visitors come to Charleston in the autumn for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Miami is a little warmer than Charleston in the autumn. The temperature in Miami is usually 78°F (26°C) in October, and Charleston stays around 67°F (19°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Miami this time of the year. In the autumn, Miami often gets more sunshine than Charleston. Miami gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Charleston receives 197 hours of full sun.

Miami receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Miami usually gets more rain in October than Charleston. Miami gets 5.6 inches (143 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Miami 78°F (26°C) 
    Charleston 67°F (19°C)

Should I visit Miami or Charleston in the Winter?

Both Charleston and Miami are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Miami in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Charleston for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

In the winter, Miami is much warmer than Charleston. Typically, the winter temperatures in Miami in January are around 67°F (20°C), and Charleston is about 47°F (9°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Miami. Miami usually receives more sunshine than Charleston during winter. Miami gets 243 hours of sunny skies, while Charleston receives 188 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Miami usually receives less rain than Charleston. Miami gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Miami 67°F (20°C) 
    Charleston 47°F (9°C)

Should I visit Miami or Charleston in the Spring?

Both Charleston and Miami during the spring are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Miami for the beaches and the activities around the city during these months. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Charleston because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

In April, Miami is generally a little warmer than Charleston. Temperatures in Miami average around 75°F (24°C), and Charleston stays around 64°F (18°C).

In Charleston, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Miami. In the spring, Miami often gets more sunshine than Charleston. Miami gets 300 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Charleston receives 275 hours of full sun.

Miami usually gets more rain in April than Charleston. Miami gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Miami 75°F (24°C) 
    Charleston 64°F (18°C)

Typical Weather for Charleston and Miami

Miami Charleston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 67°F (20°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Feb 68°F (20°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Mar 72°F (22°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 58°F (14°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm)
Apr 75°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 64°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 79°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (162 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 9.4 inches (238 mm) 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 83°F (28°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm) 82°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm)
Aug 83°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm) 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm)
Sep 82°F (28°C) 7.6 inches (194 mm) 76°F (25°C) 4.8 inches (121 mm)
Oct 78°F (26°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Nov 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 58°F (15°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Dec 69°F (21°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 51°F (10°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)


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Miami vs. Charleston Travel Comparison

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