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

Should you visit Nags Head or Portland?

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

Should I visit Nags Head or Portland? 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 reasons to visit include food.

Portland

Portland is a progressive, quirky, and eclectic city. With fun activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. It's a gorgeous place to visit. Other reasons to visit include shopping, nightlife, and live music.

Nags Head and Portland: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable


Is there more to do in Nags Head or Portland?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Portland. Although Nags Head and Portland are both popular with visitors, Portland has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Portland is more popular for its museums, nightlife, music, hiking, shopping, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while Nags Head is known for its food. Portland is more touristy than Nags Head and is known for its independent and vintage shops, thriving art scene, lush parks and gardens, progressive and quirky personality, and easy access to amazing natural beauty. It is also home to Washington Park. Nags Head is popular for

How is Nags Head different from Portland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Portland 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 Portland?

Nags Head
Portland

Portland is adequate for its historical sights. However, Nags Head does not have museums and landmarks.

While most people don't head to Portland specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. Visitors usually come for the city's outdoor recreation and eclectic personality more than the landmarks and museums. There are a few places to visit on a rainy day though including Pittock Mansion, the Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Nags Head does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Nags Head
Portland

Nags Head is a with good options for its restaurants. However, Portland is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around 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.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Portland. The town is more famous for it's craft beer than it's food, but there are still a number of local restaurants that offer unique Oregon dishes. You'll find no shortage of vegetarian and vegan options on most menus. There is also a big farm-to-table scene with many farmers markets around town as well.

Is Nags Head or Portland Better for Nightlife?

Nags Head
Portland

Portland is a popular place for nightlife. However, Nags Head is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

If you're looking for night time activities Portland has a few options to choose from. Famously, this town's nightlife is all about the craft beer and local breweries. Make sure you check out Bailey's Taproom, The Big Legrowlski, and The Commons Brewery.

Nags Head is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Nags Head or Portland Better for Music?

Nags Head
Portland

Portland is a popular place for live music. However, Nags Head is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Portland is active and vibrant. The town has a thriving live music and international folk dancing scene.

Nags Head is not a live music destination.


Is Nags Head or Portland Better for Hiking?

Nags Head
Portland

Portland is great for hiking. However, Nags Head is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors go to Portland for the hiking trails. Just outside of town you'll find amazing hikes and stunning natural beauty. In town there are many urban hikes through parks and gardens, but in just a short drive you also have access to Mount Hood and many of the region's most beautiful hikes around the Columbia River Gorge.

Nags Head is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Nags Head or Portland?

Nags Head
Portland

Portland is a popular place for shopping. However, Nags Head is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Portland. To fully experience shopping in town, head to the local vendors and thrift shops. There are many vintage clothing shops, book stores, and independent sellers around town. The city is also full of farmers markets. For some of the most interesting shopping, check out the Pearl District, Pioneer Place, Union Way, and Downtown neighborhoods.

Nags Head is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Nags Head or Portland Better for Families?

Nags Head
Portland

Nags Head is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Portland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Nags Head is a very family-friendly destination. 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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Portland. This is an outdoor city by nature, so families will appreciate the many parks and outdoor recreational activities around town. It's easy to fill a couple of days exploring and having fun with the kids. Kid-friendly activities include the zoo, the aerial tram, and several great museums.


Is Nags Head or Portland Better for Couples?

Nags Head
Portland

With fun activities for couples, both Nags Head and Portland make for a good 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.

Portland makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The laid-back, alternative vibe is fun to explore as a couple. There are independent bookstores, nice parks, and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. Couples who enjoy an eclectic city, breweries, and nature, will find a lot to do in town.

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

Nags Head
Portland

Portland is great for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Nags Head is not as popular, but is still a nice for backpackers.

Portland is very popular with the backpacker crowd. The town has drawn young explorers for years, and backpackers who like to step away from the mainstream will feel right at home here.

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

Is Nags Head or Portland Better for Students?

Nags Head
Portland

Portland is a popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Nags Head is not popular with students.

It's common for students to visit Portland. It's a young and relaxed city that attracts independent thinkers. There are many bookstores and breweries around town. The cost of living can be a bit high though.

Nags Head is not popular with students.


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

Nags Head
Portland

Portland is a popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Nags Head does not have public transit.

While Portland offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. The town has a bus and light rail system as well the Aerial tram.

Nags Head does not have public transit.

Is Nags Head or Portland a more walkable city?

Nags Head
Portland

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

Portland is very walkable. It is quite walkable, particularly in the tourist areas such as Downtown, Pearl, and Old Town Chinatown.

Nags Head is not a walkable destination.

Should I spend more time in Portland or Nags Head?

How long in Nags Head or Portland?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Nags Head and Portland. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Nags Head than in Portland. Usually, 4-7 days is a good amount of time for Nags Head, and 2-3 days is enough time in Portland.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Portland 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 Portland.


  • How many days in Nags Head or Portland? Ideal Length of Stay
    Nags Head 4-7 
    Portland 2-3

One day in Nags Head or Portland?

The of Nags Head offers food. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

You'll find live music and shopping around the city of Portland. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. 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 Portland?

Nags Head is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

You'll find shopping and nightlife around the scenic destination of Portland. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Nags Head or Portland?

Nags Head is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Nags Head, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the scenic city of Portland. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Nags Head or Portland?

Nags Head is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Nags Head has to offer. This offers something for everyone.

Portland is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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 One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage.


Which place is cheaper, Portland 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 Portland is $180. 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 Portland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nags Head $80
    Portland $97
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nags Head $160
    Portland $194
Compare Hotels in Nags Head and Portland

Looking for a hotel in Nags Head or Portland? 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 Portland


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 Portland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nags Head $40
    Portland $28

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Portland

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

  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Tigard hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $152
  • Arrival Private Transfer Portland Airport PDX to Portland City: $148
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $144
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Portland downtown - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $124
  • Private Transfer from Portland City Hotels to Astoria Cruise Port: $88
  • Private Transfer from Portland Airport (PDX) to Astoria Port: $88
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Beaverton hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $76
  • Tigard hotel or address to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $76
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Lake Oswego - Arrival Private Transfer: $72
  • Lake Oswego to Portland Airport (PDX) - Departure Private Transfer: $72
  • Portland Airport (PDX) to Portland downtown - Arrival Private Transfer: $62
  • Waterfall Express -PDX: Waterfall Trolley Tickets + Transfer: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Nags Head or Portland?

Prices for flights to both Portland 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
    Portland $43

Typical Food Prices in Portland

For Portland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Afternoon Drinks (for 2)
    $9.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Portland

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

  • Portland Delicious Donut Adventure & Walking Food Tour: $70
  • Walking Pizza Tour: $75
  • Secret Food Tour with Local Guide: $95
  • Brunch on Mississippi Food Tour: $95
  • Downtown Food Tour: $102
  • The Vibrant Kerns Hood Food Tour: $105
  • The Bustling Buckman Hood Food Tour: $105
  • Portland Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $109
  • Mississippi Avenue Walking Food Tour: $110
  • All-Inclusive Downtown Portland Food Tour: $119
  • Alphabet District Food Tour: $119
  • All-Inclusive Walking Food Tour: $119

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nags Head $14
    Portland $24

Tours and Activities in Nags Head

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

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

Tours and Activities in Portland

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

  • 2-hour Champagne Brunch Cruise on Willamette River: $102
  • 2-hour Lunch Cruise on Willamette River: $86
  • 7 Wonders of the Gorge 3.5-hour Jetboat Cruise: $90
  • 90 Minute Sailing Tour of Portland: $99
  • A Full Day of Wonder: Wine, Waterfalls, and Timberline Tour: $170
  • Aerial adventure above Portland, Oregon: $189
  • Afternoon Half-Day Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Tour from Portland: $75
  • Afternoon Multnomah Falls and Gorge Waterfalls Tour: $75
  • Air Tour of Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls from Portland: $199
  • Airplane Flight Tour over Portland, Oregon: $99
  • All Day Northern Oregon Wineries and Forest Bike Tour: $245
  • Amazing Private Gorge Air Tour for 3: $219

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nags Head $12
    Portland $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Portland

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Portland:

  • Portland Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Portland Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $40
  • Haunted Underground Shanghai Tunnel Tour with Brewery Tastings: $40
  • Weird Bar Crawl with Fanatical Local: $59
  • Guided Bike Tour with Brewery Visits: $65
  • Portland, Maine: Old Port Brewery & Pub Walking Tour: $89
  • Portland, Maine: Local Brewery & Spirits Bus Tour: $99
  • Waterfalls, Mt Hood, and Wine Tour (Tasting Fees Included): $135
  • Silver Falls Hike and Wine Tour: $179
  • Bed and Breakfast Wine Tour - Small Group, Joinable/Sharable: $198
  • From Willamette Valley Full-Day Wine Tour: $210
  • Multnomah Falls, Hood River Excursion Train Ride & Wine Tour: $210


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Nags Head and Portland, we can see that Portland 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 Portland would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Portland 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 Portland Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Nags Head or Portland?

Portland has a larger population, and is about 170 times larger than the population of Nags Head. When comparing the sizes of Nags Head and Portland, 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 Portland?

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 Nags Head or Portland in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Nags Head and Portland. Many visitors come to Nags Head in the summer for the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, most visitors come to Portland for the hiking, the small town charm, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Nags Head is a little warmer than Portland in the summer. The daily temperature in Nags Head averages around 78°F (26°C) in July, and Portland fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Portland this time of the year. In Nags Head, it's very sunny this time of the year. Nags Head usually receives less sunshine than Portland during summer. Nags Head gets 274 hours of sunny skies, while Portland receives 338 hours of full sun in the summer.

Nags Head gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Nags Head usually receives more rain than Portland. Nags Head gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Nags Head 78°F (26°C) 
    Portland 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Nags Head or Portland in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Nags Head as well as Portland. Additionally, the autumn months attract visitors to Portland because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the music scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Nags Head is a little warmer than Portland. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Nags Head in October average around 62°F (16°C), and Portland averages at about 55°F (13°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Nags Head this time of the year. In the autumn, Nags Head often gets more sunshine than Portland. Nags Head gets 205 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Portland receives 155 hours of full sun.

Nags Head usually gets more rain in October than Portland. Nags Head gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Nags Head 62°F (16°C) 
    Portland 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Nags Head or Portland in the Winter?

Both Portland and Nags Head are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The winter months attract visitors to Nags Head because of the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Portland this time of year.

It's quite cold in Portland in the winter. The weather in Nags Head can be very cold. In January, Nags Head is generally a little warmer than Portland. Daily temperatures in Nags Head average around 41°F (5°C), and Portland fluctuates around 40°F (4°C).

Nags Head usually receives more sunshine than Portland during winter. Nags Head gets 147 hours of sunny skies, while Portland receives 86 hours of full sun in the winter.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Portland. It's quite rainy in Nags Head. In January, Nags Head usually receives less rain than Portland. Nags Head gets 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Nags Head 41°F (5°C) 
    Portland 40°F (4°C)

Should I visit Nags Head or Portland in the Spring?

Both Portland and Nags Head during the spring are popular places to visit. Also, many travelers come to Portland for the small town charm and the natural beauty.

Nags Head is a little warmer than Portland in the spring. The daily temperature in Nags Head averages around 59°F (15°C) in April, and Portland fluctuates around 51°F (11°C).

In Portland, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Nags Head. In the spring, Nags Head often gets more sunshine than Portland. Nags Head gets 262 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Portland receives 231 hours of full sun.

Nags Head usually gets more rain in April than Portland. Nags Head gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Portland receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Nags Head 59°F (15°C) 
    Portland 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Portland and Nags Head

Nags Head Portland
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 41°F (5°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Feb 42°F (6°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Mar 50°F (10°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 59°F (15°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
May 67°F (19°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Jun 74°F (23°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Jul 78°F (26°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Aug 78°F (25°C) 5 inches (127 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Sep 72°F (22°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Oct 62°F (16°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Dec 45°F (7°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm)