A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Nags Head vs. Chicago for Food, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Nags Head or Chicago?

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

Should I visit Nags Head or Chicago? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Nags Head

Other popular activities here include food.

Chicago

Chicago is a cosmopolitan, diverse, and vibrant city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include theater, nightlife, and live music.

Nags Head and Chicago: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Willis Tower (previously the Sears Tower)


Is there more to do in Nags Head or Chicago?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Chicago than Nags Head, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Chicago is more touristy than Nags Head and is popular for its thriving sports scene, its iconic local cuisine, and its world class shopping at the Magnificent Mile. Also, Chicago is famous for The Willis Tower (previously the Sears Tower). Nags Head is well known for

How is Nags Head different from Chicago?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Nags Head or Chicago?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is an amazing city to visit for its historical sights. However, Nags Head does not have museums and landmarks.

Travelers visit Chicago from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. There are countless landmarks, museums, and iconic sights in the area. Some of the most famous are the Art Institute of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Notable landmarks include the famous Willis Tower - formerly the Sears Tower, Buckingham Fountain, and the iconic Cloud Gate (the bean).

Nags Head does not have museums and landmarks.


Is Nags Head or Chicago Better for Theater?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is an amazing city to visit for theatre. However, Nags Head is not a theatre destination.

The theater and performance venues in Chicago draw crowds from around the world. Theater is big here with many of the major Broadway productions visiting the city. There is also an endless list of smaller, local theaters to choose from.

Nags Head is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Nags Head or Chicago? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is an amazing city to visit for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Nags Head is not as popular, but is still a nice for its local cuisine and restaurants.

For foodies, Chicago is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. With everything from award-winning luxury restaurants to local dives, this city has something for everyone. It also has very distinct local flavors and dishes that create an identity and bring great pride to the locals. While you're in town you have to try the famous deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, and Italian beef.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Nags Head. There are a wide variety of seafood restaurants that serve locally caught fish, shrimp, and crabs. Cajon flavors are popular and you'll also find cheese grits at many places.

Is Nags Head or Chicago Better for Nightlife?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is an amazing city to visit for nightlife. However, Nags Head is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Chicago has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. It has a wide range of activities at night, with everything from theater and comedy clubs to dance venues, sporting events, and local bars. It's easy to fill many evenings with whatever activity appeals to you. Popular bars and clubs include the Smart Bar, Beauty Bar, and Le Nocturne.

Nags Head is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.


Is Nags Head or Chicago Better for Music?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is an amazing city to visit for live music. However, Nags Head is not a live music destination.

Chicago is known as a music capital around the world. The city is the birthplace of such interesting styles as modern gospel and the Chicago style blues.

Nags Head is not a live music destination.

Is Nags Head or Chicago Better for Beaches?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is a popular place for its beaches. However, Nags Head is not a beach destination.

Chicago is a good option for a beach vacation. While you don't immediately think of beaches when you think of Chicago, there are some nice beaches by the lake. If the weather is nice, it's a great area to spend some time.

Nags Head is not a beach destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Nags Head or Chicago?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is an amazing city to visit for shopping. However, Nags Head is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Chicago. There are countless neighborhoods that are filled with boutiques, local vendors, and art galleries. The city has some of the country's best shopping opportunities, and the most notable area is the famous Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile.

Nags Head is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Nags Head or Chicago Better for Christmas?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is great for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Nags Head does not offer Christmas activities.

Chicago is a very popular destination during Christmas. There's a number of seasonal celebrations, ice skating, and excellent shopping.

Nags Head does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Nags Head or Chicago Better for Christmas Markets?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is a popular place for visiting Christmas markets. However, Nags Head does not offer Christmas markets.

Many visitors go to the Christmas markets in Chicago. Shopping is a highlight of a trip to the city, and the Christkindlmarkt is not to be missed.

Nags Head does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Nags Head or Chicago Better for Families?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is an amazing city to visit for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Nags Head is not as popular, but is still a nice for its family-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Chicago is a very family-friendly destination. The city has a large number of activities for kids, including zoos, Shedd Aquarium, impressive children's museums, and large and elaborate playgrounds in Millennium Park. It's easy to keep kids entertained in this very kid-focused city.

Nags Head is a very kid-friendly . It makes a wonderful base for the many family-friendly activities in the area. Jockey's Ridge is a fun place to visit with kids. There are also wonderful beaches and many kids enjoying flying kites.


Is Nags Head or Chicago Better for Couples?

Nags Head
Chicago

With fun activities for couples, both Nags Head and Chicago make for a notable place to visit.

Nags Head is a nice destination for couples. There are great seafood restaurants and a number of activities in the area that are fun for couples.

Chicago makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples will enjoy exploring the city's vibrant theater scene and diverse neighborhoods. There are many varied restaurants and entertainment options that make for a great date night. There are also sporting events, parks, and gardens where couples can explore.

Is Nags Head or Chicago Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Nags Head
Chicago

For backpackers, both Nags Head and Chicago are notable places to visit.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Nags Head. This is one of the more affordable places to stay in the Outer Banks, so it appeals to more budget-oriented travelers.

Chicago is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. The city doesn't have a huge backpacker vibe, but it does have a number of hostels that help keep costs in check.

Is Nags Head or Chicago Better for Students?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is an amazing city to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Nags Head is not popular with students.

Many students frequent Chicago. The city has a large number of universities that bring in students from around the country and around the globe. It's a huge international city with economic ties and many opportunities connected to the universities.

Nags Head is not popular with students.


Is Nags Head or Chicago Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is an amazing city to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Nags Head does not have public transit.

Public transit in Chicago is top-notch. There's a subway (the "L"), a commuter well, as well as buses and countless taxis available.

Nags Head does not have public transit.

Is Nags Head or Chicago a more walkable city?

Nags Head
Chicago

Chicago is great for its walkability. However, Nags Head is not a walkable destination.

Chicago is very walkable. The city has many restaurants, sights, and hotels that are easily accessible on foot.

Nags Head is not a walkable destination.

Should I spend more time in Chicago or Nags Head?

How long in Nags Head or Chicago?

In either Nags Head or Chicago, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Nags Head than Chicago because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 4-7 days is a good amount of time for Nags Head, and 3-5 days is enough time in Chicago.

Families should spend more time in Chicago than Nags Head. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Chicago, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Chicago than Nags Head. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Chicago that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Chicago than Nags Head 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 Chicago.


  • How many days in Nags Head or Chicago? Ideal Length of Stay
    Nags Head 4-7 
    Chicago 3-5

One day in Nags Head or Chicago?

In Nags Head, you'll find food. This offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

People visit Chicago because there is so much to do. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A weekend in Nags Head or Chicago?

In Nags Head, you'll find food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

People visit Chicago because there is so much to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Nags Head or Chicago?

Nags Head is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Nags Head has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

People visit Chicago because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

A week in Nags Head or Chicago?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Nags Head. In Nags Head, you'll find food. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Chicago is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas.


Which place is cheaper, Chicago or Nags Head?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nags Head is $149, while the average daily cost in Chicago is $288. 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 Nags Head and Chicago in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nags Head $80
    Chicago $198
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nags Head $160
    Chicago $396
Compare Hotels in Nags Head and Chicago

Looking for a hotel in Nags Head or Chicago? 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 Nags Head


Hotels in Chicago


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: Nags Head Hotel Prices and Chicago Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nags Head $40
    Chicago $37

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Chicago

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chicago:


  • Parking
    $19
  • Taxi Ride
    $10
  • Taxi from Airport
    $45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Chicago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Chicago:

  • Meet and Greet Private SUV Transfer from ORD to Downtown Chicago: $300
  • Meet and Greet Private SUV Transfer from MDW to Downtown Chicago: $300
  • RoundTrip transfer in private car from-to Chicago Airport (ORD)- Chicago City: $276
  • Curbside SUV Transfer from ORD to Downtown Chicago: $240
  • Private SUV Transfer from Chicago Downtown to O'Hare airport: $240
  • Meet and Greet Private Sedan Transfer from ORD to Downtown Chicago: $240
  • Departure Private Transfer: Chicago to O'Hare Airport ORD in Luxury Car: $236
  • Arrival Private Transfer: O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago in Luxury Car: $236
  • Private Sedan Transfer from Chicago Downtown to O'Hare airport: $220
  • Arrival Private Transfer: O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago in Luxury SUV: $204
  • Chicago Airport Transfer: O'Hare Airport ORD to Chicago in Luxury SUV: $204
  • Chicago Airport Transfer: Chicago to O'Hare Airport ORD in Luxury SUV: $204

Is it cheaper to fly into Nags Head or Chicago?

Prices for flights to both Chicago and Nags Head 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
    Nags Head $41
    Chicago $49

Typical Food Prices in Chicago

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


  • Dinner for 1
    $24
  • Dinner for 3
    $118

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chicago

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

  • Traveling Spoon Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza Private Online Cooking Class : $40
  • Chicago : Hands-on Cooking Classes With Local Chef: $55
  • Downtown Pizza Guided Walking Tour with Tastings: $58
  • Chicago's Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $63
  • Fulton Market Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $65
  • Chicago Bucktown-Wicker Park Pizza Crawl: $69
  • Lake Michigan Gourmet Brunch/Lunch/Dinner Cruise: $72
  • Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Self-Guided Tour: $75
  • Chicago Pizza Tour: $75
  • Chicago West Loop Pizza Crawl: $79
  • Downtown Family Food Tour by Bike with Sightseeing: $80
  • Nitti's Supper Club Dinner and Show: $85

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nags Head $14
    Chicago $47

Tours and Activities in Nags Head

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Nags Head.

  • Outer Banks Audio Driving Tour: $13
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour: $15
  • Wright Brothers Carolina Dunes Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Wright Brothers Carolina Dunes: Self-Guided Driving Tour: $15
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $15
  • Outer Banks Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $25
  • OBX Ghost Tours: $25
  • Manteo Historic Walking Tour: $28
  • Kitty Hawk Maritime Forest Kayak Tour: $49
  • 2-hour Outer Banks Wild Horse Tour by 4WD Truck: $57
  • Cape Hatteras Kayak Adventure in Rodanthe: $59
  • Alligator River Kayak Adventure: $59

Typical Entertainment Prices in Chicago

Here are a few typical costs in Chicago for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Sears Tower (family of 4)
    $102
  • Aquarium for 4
    $118
  • Water Taxi (family of 4)
    $22
  • IMAX Movie for Two
    $35
  • Shakespeare Play (2)
    $116
  • Art Institute (2)
    $36
  • U-Boat Tour (2)
    $8.00

Tours and Activities in Chicago

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

  • Windy City Ghosts: Hauntings of Chicago Walking Tour: $30
  • 2 Hour Pier Fireworks and Evening Segway Tour in Chicago: $78
  • 2-Hour Chicago Fireworks Segway Tour: $80
  • 2-Hour Chicago Lakefront and Museum Campus Segway Tour: $70
  • 2-Hour Guided Segway Tour of Chicago: $65
  • 2-Hour Haunted Segway Tour of Chicago: $78
  • 3 Hours Chicago Architecture Tour - Skyscrapers and Photo Ops: $135
  • Adults Party Art Experience: $66
  • African American Heritage Tour of Chicago : $125
  • Amazing Lakefront Segway Tour of Chicago: $79
  • App Chicago self-guided tours with multilingual audioguides: $9.76
  • Architectural and Historical Private Tour in Downtown Chicago: $199

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Free Things to Do in Chicago, Chicago Bucket List: The Best Places to See, and The Best Museums in Chicago.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nags Head $12
    Chicago $25

Sample the Local Flavors in Chicago

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

  • Malt Row Walking Brewery Tour: $30
  • Walking tour to Chicago dive bars: $41
  • Chicago Walking Brewery Tour in Malt Row: $85
  • Chicago Craft Brewery Barrel Bus Tour: $100
  • Craft Brewery Tour by Barrel Bus: $100


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Nags Head Expensive? and Is Chicago Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Nags Head or Chicago?

Chicago has a larger population, and is about 890 times larger than the population of Nags Head. When comparing the sizes of Nags Head and Chicago, 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.


When is the best time to visit Nags Head or Chicago?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Nags Head or Chicago in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Nags Head as well as Chicago. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Nags Head this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Chicago for the beaches, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Nags Head is generally around the same temperature as Chicago. Daily temperatures in Nags Head average around 78°F (26°C), and Chicago fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chicago. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Nags Head this time of the year. In the summer, Nags Head often gets less sunshine than Chicago. Nags Head gets 274 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 326 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Chicago. Nags Head receives a lot of rain in the summer. Nags Head usually gets more rain in July than Chicago. Nags Head gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 3.9 inches (100 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Nags Head 78°F (26°C) 
    Chicago 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Nags Head or Chicago in the Autumn?

Both Chicago and Nags Head are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Also, many visitors come to Chicago in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Nags Head is a little warmer than Chicago in the autumn. The daily temperature in Nags Head averages around 62°F (16°C) in October, and Chicago fluctuates around 56°F (14°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Nags Head. Nags Head usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Chicago during autumn. Nags Head gets 205 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 195 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Nags Head usually receives more rain than Chicago. Nags Head gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Nags Head 62°F (16°C) 
    Chicago 56°F (14°C)

Should I visit Nags Head or Chicago in the Winter?

Both Chicago and Nags Head during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Nags Head in the winter for the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Chicago for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months.

Chicago can be very cold during winter. Nags Head can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Nags Head is much warmer than Chicago. Typically, the winter temperatures in Nags Head in January average around 41°F (5°C), and Chicago averages at about 25°F (-4°C).

In the winter, Nags Head often gets more sunshine than Chicago. Nags Head gets 147 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chicago receives 134 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Nags Head. Nags Head usually gets more rain in January than Chicago. Nags Head gets 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 1.9 inches (47 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Nags Head 41°F (5°C) 
    Chicago 25°F (-4°C)

Should I visit Nags Head or Chicago in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Nags Head and Chicago. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Chicago because of the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In April, Nags Head is generally a little warmer than Chicago. Daily temperatures in Nags Head average around 59°F (15°C), and Chicago fluctuates around 52°F (11°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chicago this time of the year. In Nags Head, it's very sunny this time of the year. Nags Head usually receives more sunshine than Chicago during spring. Nags Head gets 262 hours of sunny skies, while Chicago receives 218 hours of full sun in the spring.

Chicago receives a lot of rain in the spring. In April, Nags Head usually receives less rain than Chicago. Nags Head gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Chicago receives 4.3 inches (108 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Nags Head 59°F (15°C) 
    Chicago 52°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Chicago and Nags Head

Nags Head Chicago
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 41°F (5°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 1.9 inches (47 mm)
Feb 42°F (6°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm) 29°F (-2°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
Mar 50°F (10°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Apr 59°F (15°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 52°F (11°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
May 67°F (19°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Jun 74°F (23°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Jul 78°F (26°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Aug 78°F (25°C) 5 inches (127 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Sep 72°F (22°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 62°F (16°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 56°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 44°F (7°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)
Dec 45°F (7°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)