A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Nags Head vs. Raleigh for Families, Food, and Couples

Should you visit Nags Head or Raleigh?

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

Should I visit Nags Head or Raleigh? 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.

Raleigh

Raleigh is a student-friendly, suburban-style, and friendly city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and museums.

Nags Head and Raleigh: 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
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for students
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Nags Head or Raleigh?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Raleigh than Nags Head, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Raleigh is more touristy than Nags Head and is popular for its many museums and being the home to North Carolina State University. Also, Raleigh is famous for North Carolina State University. Nags Head is well known for

How is Nags Head different from Raleigh?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Nags Head
Raleigh

Raleigh is a popular place for its historical sights. However, Nags Head does not have museums and landmarks.

Raleigh is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. As the state capital, there are a number of free museums in the area. There are also some kid-friendly options and other activities that are affiliated with the colleges and universities. Popular options include the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (free), the NC Museum of History (free), the NC Museum of Art (free), and Marbles Kids Museum.

Nags Head does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Nags Head
Raleigh

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Nags Head and Raleigh can be difficult as they are each notable in their own way.

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.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Raleigh. In addition to the standard chain restaurants, you'll find a number of local eateries with great southern dishes. Try some southern classics like barbecue, pimento cheese, and fried chicken and waffles. There are also good international options including Nepalese, Laotian, and Ethiopian flavors.

Is Nags Head or Raleigh Better for Nightlife?

Nags Head
Raleigh

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

If you're looking for night time activities Raleigh has a few options to choose from. Head to downtown Raleigh or the areas around NC State University for some of the best nightlife. Trivia nights and happy hours are popular and you'll find breweries popping up in many places.

Nags Head is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Nags Head or Raleigh Better for Families?

Nags Head
Raleigh

Nags Head is well known for its family-friendly activities. Also, Raleigh is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Nags Head is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. 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.

Raleigh offers lots of family activities. For such a small city, Raleigh has a number of unique kid-friendly activities like the popular Pullen Park and Marbles Kids' Museum. Pullen Park has small rides and a playground that are perfect for young kids. There's also the NC Museum of Natural History which is free and fun to explore with kids.


Is Nags Head or Raleigh Better for Couples?

Nags Head
Raleigh

Nags Head is a popular place for couples. However, Raleigh is not particularly known for romance.

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

Raleigh is not the best destination for a couple to visit. While it's often overlooked by couples who want a weekend away, there are a number of museums and some nice restaurants to explore.

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

Nags Head
Raleigh

Nags Head is a popular place for backpackers. However, Raleigh is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

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.

Raleigh is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

Is Nags Head or Raleigh Better for Students?

Nags Head
Raleigh

Raleigh is great for its student-friendly activities. However, Nags Head is not popular with students.

Raleigh is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. The city has a diverse student population with many nearby universities and colleges.

Nags Head is not popular with students.


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

Nags Head
Raleigh

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

Public transit is quite limited in Raleigh. The city's public transportation options are limited to a few bus lines that are mostly used by students.

Nags Head does not have public transit.

Is Nags Head or Raleigh a more walkable city?

Nags Head
Raleigh

Raleigh is adequate for its walkability. However, Nags Head is not a walkable destination.

Raleigh is generally not a very walkable city. The city is somewhat walkable in the downtown area, but everywhere else you'll need a car.

Nags Head is not a walkable destination.

Should I spend more time in Raleigh or Nags Head?

How long in Nags Head or Raleigh?

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

Families should spend more time in Nags Head than Raleigh. 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.

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


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

One day in Nags Head or Raleigh?

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.

You'll find food and museums around the city of Raleigh. 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 Raleigh?

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.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the suburban-style destination of Raleigh. 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 Raleigh?

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.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the student-friendly city of Raleigh. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Nags Head or Raleigh?

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.

Raleigh 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 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, Raleigh 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 Raleigh is $189. 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 Raleigh in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nags Head $80
    Raleigh $104
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nags Head $160
    Raleigh $208
Compare Hotels in Nags Head and Raleigh

Looking for a hotel in Nags Head or Raleigh? 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 Raleigh


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 Raleigh Hotel Prices.

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Raleigh

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Raleigh:

  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) to Durham - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $124
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) to Raleigh - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $119
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) to Durham - Arrival Private Transfer: $62
  • Durham to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $62
  • Raleigh to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) to Raleigh Arrival Private Transfer: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Nags Head or Raleigh?

Prices for flights to both Raleigh 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
    Raleigh $57

Typical Food Prices in Raleigh

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


  • The Pit Authentic BBQ (for 3)
    $84

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Raleigh

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

  • Private Cooking Class in Durham with an Expert Home Cook: $104

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nags Head $14
    Raleigh $37

Tours and Activities in Nags Head

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

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $12
  • Wright Brothers Carolina Dunes: Self-Guided Driving Tour: $13
  • 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
  • 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

Tours and Activities in Raleigh

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

  • Create Your Own Lipstick or Lip Gloss Class Experience in Raleigh: $60
  • Guided Walking Historian Tour in Downtown Durham: $16
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Chapel Hill, NC: $15
  • Private Pedicab Tour of Downtown Raleigh: $60
  • Raleigh African American History Tour: $16
  • Raleigh Downtown: Historic Walking Tours: $16
  • Raleigh Ghost and Urban Legend Tour: $16
  • Raleigh Ghosts and Ghouls Hauntings Tour: $30
  • Raleigh Historian-Guided Downtown Walking Tour: $16
  • Raleigh Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Ghosts and Ghouls Hauntings Walking Tour: $26
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nags Head $12
    Raleigh $27


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


Which is Bigger, Nags Head or Raleigh?

Raleigh has a larger population, and is about 90 times larger than the population of Nags Head. When comparing the sizes of Nags Head and Raleigh, 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 Raleigh?

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 Raleigh in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Nags Head as well as Raleigh. The summer months attract visitors to Nags Head because of the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, the city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Raleigh this time of year.

In July, Nags Head is generally around the same temperature as Raleigh. Daily temperatures in Nags Head average around 78°F (26°C), and Raleigh fluctuates around 79°F (26°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Raleigh. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Nags Head this time of the year. In the summer, Nags Head often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Raleigh. Nags Head gets 274 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Raleigh receives 259 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Raleigh. Nags Head receives a lot of rain in the summer. Nags Head usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Raleigh. Nags Head gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Nags Head 78°F (26°C) 
    Raleigh 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Nags Head or Raleigh in the Autumn?

Both Raleigh and Nags Head are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Also, many travelers come to Raleigh for the city's sights and attractions.

Nags Head is around the same temperature as Raleigh in the autumn. The daily temperature in Nags Head averages around 62°F (16°C) in October, and Raleigh fluctuates around 61°F (16°C).

It's quite sunny in Raleigh. 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 Raleigh during autumn. Nags Head gets 205 hours of sunny skies, while Raleigh receives 211 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Nags Head usually receives more rain than Raleigh. Nags Head gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Nags Head 62°F (16°C) 
    Raleigh 61°F (16°C)

Should I visit Nags Head or Raleigh in the Winter?

Both Raleigh and Nags Head during the winter are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Nags Head for the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Raleigh in the winter for the museums and the cuisine.

Raleigh can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Nags Head. In the winter, Nags Head is around the same temperature as Raleigh. Typically, the winter temperatures in Nags Head in January average around 41°F (5°C), and Raleigh averages at about 40°F (5°C).

In the winter, Nags Head often gets less sunshine than Raleigh. Nags Head gets 147 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Raleigh receives 162 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 Raleigh. Nags Head gets 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Nags Head or Raleigh in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Nags Head and Raleigh. Also, most visitors come to Raleigh for the activities around the city during these months.

In April, Nags Head is generally around the same temperature as Raleigh. Daily temperatures in Nags Head average around 59°F (15°C), and Raleigh fluctuates around 60°F (16°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Raleigh this time of the year. In Nags Head, it's very sunny this time of the year. Nags Head usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Raleigh during spring. Nags Head gets 262 hours of sunny skies, while Raleigh receives 251 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Nags Head usually receives around the same amount of rain as Raleigh. Nags Head gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Raleigh receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Nags Head 59°F (15°C) 
    Raleigh 60°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Raleigh and Nags Head

Nags Head Raleigh
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 41°F (5°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Feb 42°F (6°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 50°F (10°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 59°F (15°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 67°F (19°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Jun 74°F (23°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Jul 78°F (26°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm)
Aug 78°F (25°C) 5 inches (127 mm) 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm)
Sep 72°F (22°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Oct 62°F (16°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Dec 45°F (7°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)