Should you visit Napa Valley or San Diego?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Napa Valley and San Diego can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
Napa Valley, in the Bay Area of California, is a popular destination for its wineries and beautiful scenery. The area, referred to as Wine Country, is just north of San Francisco and makes for a great day or weekend trip. Many honeymooners visit the area for its romantic setting and popular bed and breakfasts. The best time to visit is during the months of September and October when the grapes are wipe. This time is referred to as the harvest "crush." The summer months are also a popular time but the crowds are often overwhelming.
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.
Which city is cheaper, San Diego or Napa Valley?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Napa Valley is $230, 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Napa Valley and San Diego in more detail.
Travelers usually pay around $202 for a double occupancy room in Napa Valley If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
For a normal double-occupancy room in San Diego, $182 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in San Diego, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $91, such as in a hostel.
Food in Napa Valley costs travelers about $50 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
The price of a meal in San Diego can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $36 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $14 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
Meals for one day
Napa Valley $50
San Diego $36
Typical Food prices in San Diego
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to San Diego:
Mexican Lunch for Two
Breakfast at Starbucks
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego
For San Diego, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
San Diego North Park Food Tour:
Liberty Station Food Tour:
Market and Guacamole Cooking Class in Tijuana Mexico:
Private Cooking Demonstration of Indian Fusion Cuisine in San Diego:
Farmers Market Tour & Social Cooking With A Chef:
San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise:
Private Tour: Secret Food Tours San Diego:
Secret Food Tours San Diego w/ Private Tour Option:
Napa Valley's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $146 per person, per day on transportation in Napa Valley.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in San Diego than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $19 on transportation in San Diego on average per day.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego
Also for San Diego, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private transfer: San Diego to San Diego Airport (SAN):
Private transfer: San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego:
San Diego Private Transfer To N. Hollywood/Burbank area.:
Tijuana Border Crossing Private Transfer To Los Angeles.:
San Diego Private Transfer To Palm Springs.:
Private Transfer from San Diego to Hollywood Burbank:
San Diego Private Transfer To Los Angeles.:
San Diego to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Departure Private Transfer:
San Diego to Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) - Departure Private Transfer:
Private Transfer From San Diego To Orange County.:
Private San Diego Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel:
Private San Diego Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Cruise Port:
Is it cheaper to fly into Napa Valley or San Diego?
Prices for flights to both San Diego and Napa Valley 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Napa Valley can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Sightseeing expenses in San Diego, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $38 per day, per person.
Typical Entertainment prices in San Diego
For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
San Diego Zoo
Sea World Parking
Tours and Activities in San Diego
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Diego.
1-Hour Voodoo Escape Room Experience in San Diego:
1Hr GPS Guided Scooter Tour: Harbor/Gaslamp Quarter:
2 Hour Whale Watching Kayak Tour for Two:
4 Hour Whale Watching/Eco Adventure:
90-Minute San Diego SEAL Tour:
Affordable, Luxury Sailing Tour of San Diego's Bay and Coastal Waterways:
All Day San Diego City and Shopping Tour:
All Inclusive Beer Tour-Party bus:
Behind-the-Scenes at Petco Park Tour:
Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past:
Catamaran Sailing Cruise on San Diego Bay for up to 12 Guests:
Catamaran Sailing Cruise on San Diego Bay for up to 6 Guests:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Napa Valley, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $53.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In San Diego, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $17.
Sample the Local Flavors in San Diego
Also in San Diego, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
San Diego Bar Hunt: Slammin' San Diego Bar Crawl:
Wine Tasting Or Beer Tasting:
San Diego Brewery Tour:
San Diego Micro Brewery Tour:
The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour:
The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour:
Private San Diego Brewery Tour:
All inclusive brewery tour-Fire Truck:
Luxury Private Wine Tasting Tour to Guadalupe Valley from San Diego.:
Private Wine Tour of Temecula from San Diego:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Napa Valley and San Diego, we can see that Napa Valley is more expensive. And not only is San Diego much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Diego would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Diego 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 Napa Valley would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Napa Valley than you might in San Diego.
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