Which city is cheaper, San Diego or Monterey?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Monterey and San Diego. 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.
When it comes to California, Monterey may not be mentioned half as much as you hear about Los Angeles or San Francisco, but it is a beautiful city to visit, with a diverse expanse of exciting and relaxing things to do, whether you're looking for adventure, a quiet getaway, or romance.
Located on California's central coast, the city of Monterey was the first State Capital of California. It was also home to many artists, athletes, and musicians, such as John Steinbeck, Clint Eastwood, and Ron Johnson.
Monterey has mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm, dry summers. Cold season runs from December to April and warm season, from July until October. The peak travel seasons are during summer, from July to September. If you want to avoid crowds, the months of April and October are ideal times to visit for fewer crowds and comfortable weather.
For many visitors and locals alike, San Diego is a paradise. Located in southern California, not far from Los Angeles, it has the perfect climate, wonderful beaches, and a culturally rich environment. It's surrounded by beautiful landscape and has a strong focus on wildlife conservation and eco-friendly living. Home to about 1.3 million residents, it is California's second largest city. It also has many universities, a large tech industry, and a thriving economy. Despite its size, many people perceive San Diego as a slower, more relaxed city with a pleasant vibe away from the chaos of a large city.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Monterey is $136, while the average daily cost in San Diego is $161. 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 Monterey and San Diego in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Monterey or San Diego? 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.
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.
Also for Monterey, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Also for San Diego, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Prices for flights to both San Diego and Monterey 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.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to San Diego:
For San Diego, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
For Monterey, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Diego.
Also in San Diego, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Monterey and San Diego, we can see that San Diego is more expensive. And not only is Monterey much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Monterey would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Monterey 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 San Diego would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Diego than you might in Monterey.
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.
The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Monterey and San Diego. Also, the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to San Diego this time of year.
In July, Monterey is generally cooler than San Diego. Temperatures in Monterey average around 63°F (17°C), and San Diego stays around 71°F (22°C).
In July, Monterey usually receives more rain than San Diego. Monterey gets 0 inches (1 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain each month for the summer.
The autumn brings many poeple to Monterey as well as San Diego. Also, many travelers come to San Diego for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.
Monterey is cooler than San Diego in the autumn. The temperature in Monterey is usually 62°F (17°C) in October, and San Diego stays around 68°F (20°C).
Monterey usually gets more rain in October than San Diego. Monterey gets 0.6 inches (14 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0.4 inches (9 mm) of rain this time of the year.
Both San Diego and Monterey are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Also, many visitors come to San Diego in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.
In the winter, Monterey is cooler than San Diego. Typically, the winter temperatures in Monterey in January are around 51°F (11°C), and San Diego is about 57°F (14°C).
In January, Monterey usually receives more rain than San Diego. Monterey gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 1.8 inches (46 mm) of rain each month for the winter.
Both San Diego and Monterey during the spring are popular places to visit. Furthermore, most visitors come to San Diego for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty during these months.
In April, Monterey is generally cooler than San Diego. Temperatures in Monterey average around 56°F (13°C), and San Diego stays around 62°F (17°C).
Monterey usually gets more rain in April than San Diego. Monterey gets 1.1 inches (29 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0.8 inches (20 mm) of rain this time of the year.
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||51°F (11°C)||2.3 inches (58 mm)||57°F (14°C)||1.8 inches (46 mm)|
|Feb||53°F (12°C)||1.8 inches (47 mm)||59°F (15°C)||1.5 inches (39 mm)|
|Mar||54°F (12°C)||2.1 inches (55 mm)||59°F (15°C)||1.8 inches (45 mm)|
|Apr||56°F (13°C)||1.1 inches (29 mm)||62°F (17°C)||0.8 inches (20 mm)|
|May||59°F (15°C)||0.2 inches (4 mm)||64°F (18°C)||0.2 inches (5 mm)|
|Jun||62°F (16°C)||0.1 inches (2 mm)||67°F (19°C)||0.1 inches (2 mm)|
|Jul||63°F (17°C)||0 inches (1 mm)||71°F (22°C)||0 inches (1 mm)|
|Aug||64°F (18°C)||0.1 inches (2 mm)||73°F (23°C)||0.1 inches (3 mm)|
|Sep||64°F (18°C)||0.2 inches (6 mm)||71°F (22°C)||0.2 inches (6 mm)|
|Oct||62°F (17°C)||0.6 inches (14 mm)||68°F (20°C)||0.4 inches (9 mm)|
|Nov||56°F (13°C)||1.8 inches (45 mm)||62°F (17°C)||1.5 inches (37 mm)|
|Dec||51°F (10°C)||2 inches (51 mm)||57°F (14°C)||1.6 inches (40 mm)|
Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.