A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America New Orleans vs. Rapid City for Food, Nightlife, Families, and Couples

Should you visit New Orleans or Rapid City?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between New Orleans and Rapid City can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

New Orleans

New Orleans is a energetic, fun-filled, and festive city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. Visitors also love the live music, food, and nightlife.

Rapid City

Rapid City is a fascinating, activity-filled, and friendly city. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, and museums.

New Orleans and Rapid City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
  • Home to the French Quarter
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Home to Mount Rushmore
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in New Orleans or Rapid City?

Tourists will generally find more to do in New Orleans than Rapid City. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. New Orleans is very popular for its food, nightlife, music, historical sights, big city activities, and quaint atmosphere, while Rapid City attracts visitors for its museums, hiking, and shopping. New Orleans is more touristy than Rapid City and is known for its jazz festivals, local cuisine, quaint balconies, and world class Mardi Gras parties. It is also well known for The French Quarter. Rapid City is famous for its proximity to Mount Rushmore and many other iconic parks.

The French Quarter
The French Quarter

How is New Orleans different from Rapid City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Rapid City and New Orleans. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in New Orleans or Rapid City?

New Orleans
Rapid City

Rapid City is a world-class destination for its museums and history. However, New Orleans does not have museums and landmarks.

Travelers visit Rapid City from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. You'll find a wide variety of museums and landmarks nearby. Popular places to visit that aren't far from town include the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, the South Dakota Air & Space Museum, and the Journey Museum & Learning Center. There's also the Museum of Geology and the National Presidential Wax Museum. And of course, there's the iconic Mount Rushmore.

New Orleans does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in New Orleans or Rapid City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

New Orleans
Rapid City

New Orleans is an unbeatable place for its restaurants. Also, Rapid City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

New Orleans has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. It has rapidly grown into one of the United State's most well known foodie destinations. It's the birthplace of bananas foster and popular for it's gumbo, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, and red beans and rice. While there are a number of celebrity chefs from New Orleans, you'll also find many local restaurants that aren't as well known but are equally worth visiting.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Rapid City area. You'll find local restaurants in town that serve local specialties such as chislic (grilled meat), fry bread, and walleye (a local fish.

Is New Orleans or Rapid City Better for Nightlife?

New Orleans
Rapid City

New Orleans is an unbeatable place for nightlife and partying. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in New Orleans is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. The nightlife scene is at its best during Mardi Gras. But year-round you'll find Bachelor and Bachelorette parties, spring breakers, and anyone who wants to enjoy a crazy time heads to New Orleans. New Orleans is a destination that attracts partiers any time of the year, and the French Quarter is the place to be if you're looking for a party.

Rapid City is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. You'll find some places with live music and good drinks, but the city isn't really known for its nightlife scene.

Is New Orleans or Rapid City Better for Music?

New Orleans
Rapid City

New Orleans is an unbeatable place for its live music scene. However, Rapid City is not a live music destination.

With so many music venues, you're guaranteed a show any night of the week in New Orleans. The city is known for its music festivals that feature jazz, blues, and many other types of live music. The Jazz Festival is a great time to visit.

Rapid City is not a live music destination.


Is New Orleans or Rapid City Better for its Old Town?

New Orleans
Rapid City

New Orleans is a very popular place for its old town. However, Rapid City does not have a historic old town.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of New Orleans. The French Quarter is filled with old architecture and beautiful historic landmarks.

Rapid City does not have a historic old town.

Is New Orleans or Rapid City Better for Hiking?

New Orleans
Rapid City

Rapid City is an excellent place to visit for its hiking trails. However, New Orleans is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Rapid City. The region is filled with national parks, state parks, and natural areas with wonderful hiking trails. You don't have to travel far to get into nature and experience some of South Dakota's best natural beauty.

New Orleans is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in New Orleans or Rapid City?

New Orleans
Rapid City

Rapid City is a city with good options for shopping. However, New Orleans is lacking in options for its shopping opportunities.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Rapid City. Rapid City has some interesting local shops as well as larger malls and shopping centers.

If you're looking to go shopping, New Orleans has some nice offerings. New Orleans shopping is mostly centered around shopping malls and chain stores.


Is New Orleans or Rapid City Better for Families?

New Orleans
Rapid City

Rapid City is a world-class destination for its kid-friendly activities. However, New Orleans is lacking in options for its family-friendly activities.

Rapid City is an extremely popular city to visit for families. Nearby national parks and outdoor activities, this is the perfect base for exploring the area with kids. Nearby you'll find the Big Thunder Gold Mine, which has tours and lets you pan for gold, and Custer State Park, which is filled with wildlife. Wall Drug is worth a stopoff, as is Dinosaur Park.

New Orleans doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. While there are some family-friendly activities in New Orleans like a zoo and several great parks, the city is more known for its parties and nightlife scene. Particularly during certain seasons, most people choose to visit New Orleans without kids.

Is New Orleans or Rapid City Better for Couples?

New Orleans
Rapid City

Rapid City is an excellent place to visit for romance. Also, New Orleans is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

Rapid City makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples will enjoy the amazing national parks in the area and the easy access to iconic landmarks like Mount Rushmore. There are many opportunities for wildlife spotting as well as great hiking trails and unique landscapes.

New Orleans makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Couples who enjoy a lively evening, fun festivals, and exploring absolutely amazing restaurants will enjoy a visit to New Orleans. It has a festive and unique atmosphere any time of the year. There are also nice hotels and beautiful parks.

Is New Orleans or Rapid City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

New Orleans
Rapid City

Rapid City is an excellent place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. However, New Orleans is lacking in options for backpackers.

Rapid City is very popular with the backpacker crowd. Backpackers will appreciate the surrounding natural beauty and the nearby national parks.

New Orleans is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There are a handful of hostels in New Orleans that are good options for backpackers who want to meet other travelers.


Is New Orleans or Rapid City Better for Students?

New Orleans
Rapid City

New Orleans is very good for its student-friendly activities. However, Rapid City is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit New Orleans. Students head to New Orleans to enjoy spring break and Mardi Gras.

Rapid City is not popular with students.

Is New Orleans or Rapid City Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

New Orleans
Rapid City

Visitors will find reasonable public transit in both New Orleans and Rapid City.

Public transit is mostly limited in New Orleans. The city has streetcar lines and bus lines that you can use, but you'll want to have a car if you want to venture outside of these main areas.

Public transit is generally limited in Rapid City. While there are a few buses, this isn't a realistic option for traveling through the region.

Is New Orleans or Rapid City a more walkable city?

New Orleans
Rapid City

New Orleans is very good for its high level of walkability. However, Rapid City is lacking in good options for its ease of walking around.

New Orleans is a somewhat walkable place. If you stick to the French Quarter and downtown areas, most things are walkable in New Orleans.

Rapid City is generally not very walkable. While the downtown is walkable, most visitors use the city as a base for exploring the surrounding areas, and this requires a car.


For even more information, also check out Is New Orleans Worth Visiting? and Is Rapid City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Rapid City or New Orleans?

How long in New Orleans or Rapid City?

It's fun to spend time in either New Orleans or Rapid City. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Rapid City due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for New Orleans, and 2-4 days is enough time in Rapid City.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Rapid City than New Orleans 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 Rapid City.


  • How many days in New Orleans or Rapid City? Ideal Length of Stay
    New Orleans 2-3 
    Rapid City 2-4

One day in New Orleans or Rapid City?

With food and nightlife around the fun-filled city of New Orleans, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the fascinating city of Rapid City. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Most people visit for the museums. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in New Orleans or Rapid City?

With nightlife and live music around the destination of New Orleans, there's plenty to do. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the activity-filled destination of Rapid City. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in New Orleans or Rapid City?

New Orleans, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

The activity-filled city of Rapid City offers museums and food. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.


A week in New Orleans or Rapid City?

New Orleans is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Many people enjoy the food and shopping when visiting Rapid City. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people visit for the museums. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, and The Best Historical Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Rapid City or New Orleans?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in New Orleans is $239, while the average daily cost in Rapid City is $116. 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 New Orleans and Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    New Orleans $125
    Rapid City $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    New Orleans $250
    Rapid City $120
Compare Hotels in New Orleans and Rapid City

Looking for a hotel in New Orleans or Rapid City? 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 New Orleans


Hotels in Rapid City


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: New Orleans Hotel Prices and Rapid City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    New Orleans $51
    Rapid City $53
Typical Local Transportation Prices in New Orleans

Some typical examples of transportation costs in New Orleans are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New Orleans

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

  • Transfer from New Orleans MSY or Port to New Orleans by Minibus: $169
  • Transfer from New Orleans MSY or Port to New Orleans City by SUV: $93
  • Private transfer: New Orleans to New Orleans Airport (MSY): $132
  • Private Transfer: New Orleans to Louis Armstrong Airport MSY in Luxury SUV : $115
  • Private Transfer: New Orleans to Louis Armstrong Airport MSY in Business Car: $103
  • Private Transfer: Louis Armstrong Airport MSY to New Orleans in Luxury SUV: $115
  • Private Transfer: Louis Armstrong Airport MSY to New Orleans in Business Car: $103
  • Private Transfer: Cruise Port to New Orleans Airport MSY in SUV: $115
  • Private Transfer to/from Louis Armstrong Intl Airport and NOLA: $25
  • Private Transfer in a Luxury Sedan from Louis Armstrong Airport: $69
  • Private Transfer in (Rover RSD) New Orleans MSY/Home/Hotel/Work : $44
  • Private Transfer New Orleans MSY or Port to New Orleans by Sedan: $76

Is it cheaper to fly into New Orleans or Rapid City?

Prices for flights to both Rapid City and New Orleans 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
    New Orleans $45
    Rapid City $23

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New Orleans

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

  • Cajun and Creole Cooking Class with Meal: $38
  • New Orleans Demonstration Cooking Class with Meal: $42
  • Evening Jazz Boat Cruise with Optional Dinner: $55
  • Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise with Dinner Option: $55
  • Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Jazz Dinner Cruise in New Orleans: $55
  • French Quarters Best Food Tour: Signature Flavors of New Orleans: $59
  • Private New Orleans Cajun Cooking Class with a Local Courtland: $64
  • The Premier New Orleans Food Tour: $77
  • Premier Food Tour in New Orleans: $77
  • Taste Of New Orleans Food Tour and Experience: $80
  • Private New Orleans Food Tour of the French Quarter : $85
  • New Orleans' Lower Garden Food Tour: $89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rapid City

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

  • Roller Coaster Tickets with Dinner and Show in Rapid City: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    New Orleans $55
    Rapid City $26
Typical Entertainment Prices in New Orleans

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for New Orleans's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Zoo & Aquarium Tickets (2)
    $75
  • Riverboat Cruise
    $70
  • French Quarter City Tour
    $100

Tours and Activities in New Orleans

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

  • Bom Creole Dining Experience w/ Pool and Louisiana Native Chef : $135
  • Walking Instagram Photo Tour in the French Quarter New Orleans: $27
  • 2-Hour Guided French Quarter Vampire Walking Tour: $25
  • 45 Minute Highlights Tour of the French Quarter: $23
  • 60-minute Tremé Walking Tour & Photo Experience: $15
  • A Locals' Drink Dat! Cocktail Tour: $200
  • A Self-Guided Tour of New Orleans’ Historic French Quarter: $9.99
  • A Walk in the Park: City Park New Orleans Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Adults Only True Crime Dark History New Orleans Walking Tour: $37
  • Adults-Only New Orleans Ghost, Crime, Voodoo, and Vampire Tour: $37
  • Airboat Swamp and Destrehan Plantation Tour from New Orleans: $179
  • Airboat Tour of Louisiana Swamps: $130

Tours and Activities in Rapid City

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

  • Badlands National Park Private Tour: $650
  • Badlands Winter Wonderland Adventure: $239
  • Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours: $20
  • Buffalo Jeep Safari & Mammoth Site Tour: $700
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $133
  • From Private Devils Tower Tour and Hike: $650
  • From Private Spearfish Canyon Tour: $650
  • Full-Day Private Sightseeing Tour in South Dakota: $275
  • Mount Rushmore Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Tour with Two Meals and a Music Variety Show: $164
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Rapid City SD: $15
  • Pactola Lake: Private Kayak or Paddleboard Experience: $650

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    New Orleans $60
    Rapid City $6.93

Sample the Local Flavors in New Orleans

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in New Orleans:

  • Hop on, Hop off Craft Brewery Bus Tour in New Orleans: $10
  • Haunted Pub Crawl In-App Audio Tour (ENG): $13
  • Guided Rum Distillery Tour and Tasting: $15
  • Guided Distillery Tour & Rum Tasting: $15
  • Private New Orleans Seafood Bar Crawl: $15
  • Spooky Ghost and Haunted Pub Crawl Tour: $17
  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $21
  • Ghost Tour and Haunted Pub Crawl Party: $25
  • Adults Only True Crime Pub Crawl: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl in New Orleans: $27
  • New Orleans Bar Crawl: $28
  • Guided Bourbon Street Bar Crawl with Shots: $28


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is New Orleans Expensive? and Is Rapid City Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, New Orleans or Rapid City?

New Orleans has a larger population, and is about 8 times larger than the population of Rapid City. When comparing the sizes of New Orleans and Rapid City, 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.