A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Michigan vs. California for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Michigan or California?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Michigan and California. 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. So, let's dig into it.

Michigan

Surrounded by four of the five great lakes, the U.S. state of Michigan consists of two peninsulas, the Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula. The Lower Peninsula is the portion shaped like a mitten and is a center of manufacturing and high-tech industry. It is also home to the country's three major automobile companies-General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler-whose headquarters are in the Detroit metropolitan area. The Upper Peninsula is separated from the Lower by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. In contrast, the Upper Peninsula is sparsely populated and is economically important for its status as a tourist destination and its abundance of natural resources.

California

California is the most populous state in the U.S. and is known for a variety of attractions such as Hollywood, warm beaches, the San Francisco bay area, Redwood trees, national parks, and stunning mountain vistas. With a variety of locations and activities to offer, California has become one of the premier travel destinations in the world.

Which city is cheaper, California or Michigan?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Michigan is $98, while the average daily cost in California is $198. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Michigan and California in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $104 for a double occupancy room in Michigan.

For a normal double-occupancy room in California, $184 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in California, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $92, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Michigan $52
    California $92
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Michigan $104
    California $184

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $24 per day to get around in Michigan.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in California than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $32 on transportation in California on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Michigan $24
    California $32

Hired Cars and Shuttles in California

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

  • San Diego: Private Transfer to/from San Diego Airport (SAN): $69
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From San Francisco International Airport to San Mateo City - One Way: $73
  • Private Airport Transfer from SFO to San Francisco: $79
  • Departure Private Transfer to San Francisco Cruise Port by Business Car: $84
  • Orange County: 1-Way Private Transfer to/from Anaheim Resort: $89
  • Los Angeles International Airport: Private Transfer to/from: $93
  • SF: Private Transfer to/from San Francisco Airport (SFO): $99
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From San Francisco International Airport to Oakland City - One Way: $105
  • Private San Francisco Transfer: Hotel to Airport or Cruise Port: $122
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From San Francisco International Airport to Union City - One Way: $137
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From San Francisco International Airport to Mountain View City - One Way: $147
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From San Francisco International Airport to San Francisco City - One Way: $166

Is it cheaper to fly into Michigan or California?

Prices for flights to both California and Michigan 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

While meal prices in Michigan can vary, the average travelers spends about $29 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Michigan should cost around $12 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Michigan is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

On average, meal and food prices in California cost around $37 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $15.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Michigan $29
    California $37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in California

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

  • Carlsbad Village: 3-Hour Local Food Tour: $70
  • San Francisco: Mission District Walking Food Tour: $75
  • San Francisco North Beach Food Tour: $75
  • San Francisco: Farmers' Market & Ferry Building Food Tour: $79
  • North Beach: Curated 4-Course Food Tour: $99
  • Monterey: Guided Walking Food Tour with Tastings: $150
  • Napa Valley Wine Train: Gourmet Express Lunch or Dinner: $175
  • Los Angeles: 3-Hour Secret Food Tour: $217
  • Napa or Sonoma Dinner Transportation: $500

Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $16 per person, per day in Michigan. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Sightseeing expenses in California, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $49 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Michigan $16
    California $49

Tours and Activities in Michigan

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

  • Traverse City: 6-Hour Tour of Sleeping Bear Dunes: $159
  • Traverse City: Ricksaw Tour: $129

Tours and Activities in California

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

  • San Francisco: Highlights Self-Guided Audio Tour with App: $5.57
  • San Francisco: Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $14
  • San Diego: Haunted Historic Whaley House - Self-Guided Tour: $14
  • San Francisco: Exploratorium After Dark Entry Ticket (18+): $20
  • Los Angeles: Skip-the-Line Battleship Iowa Museum Ticket: $23
  • Amazing Temecula Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $27
  • Los Angeles: Urban Adventure Quest Mini Scavenger Hunt: $27
  • San Francisco: 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Urban Hiking Tour: $29
  • Downtown Los Angeles: Food, Arts and Culture Walking Tour: $35
  • Newport Beach: Year-Round Whale Watching Cruise: $36
  • San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences Entry Ticket: $37
  • San Jose: Winchester Mystery House Tour: $42

Alcohol

The average person spends about $16 on alcoholic beverages in Michigan per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Typically, people visiting California spend on average $17 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Michigan $16
    California $17

Sample the Local Flavors in California

Also in California, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Healdsburg Wine Tasting and Food Pairing Guided Walking Tour: $119
  • San Francisco: Napa and Sonoma Valley Wine Tour: $149
  • Malibu: Vintage VW Hippie Sightseeing Tour with Wine Tasting: $179
  • Golf Somm - A Sommelier-Led Golf and Wine Tour in Napa Valley: $308
  • 6-Hours Customized Private NAPA Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay Area: $480
  • 6-Hour Customized Private LIVERMORE Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay Area: $480
  • 6-Hours Customized Private RUSSIAN RIVER Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay: $480
  • 6-Hours Customized Private SONOMA Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay Area: $480
  • Napa Wine Tour: $500
  • Sonoma Wine Tours: $500
  • Napa Valley Wine Tour Planning and Transportation: $513
  • 8-Hour Napa Valley Wine Tour: $570


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

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Michigan vs. California Travel Comparison

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