A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America New York City vs. Vail for Food, Nightlife, Music, and Families

Should you visit New York City or Vail?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for New York City and Vail. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

New York City

New York City is a energetic, cosmopolitan, and one-of-a-kind city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the live music, food, and shopping.

Vail

Vail is a vibrant, upscale, and resort-filled ski town. Since it offers so much small town charm with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. Other reasons to visit include food, hiking, and shopping.

New York City and Vail: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Home to the Statue of Liberty
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
  • Home to the Vail Ski Resort
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less active music scene
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in New York City or Vail?

Travelers will usually find more to do in New York City. Although New York City and Vail are popular destinations, New York City has more sights and attractions for tourists. New York City is very popular for its museums, theatre productions, food, nightlife, music, shopping, and big city activities, while Vail attracts visitors for its skiing, resorts, hiking, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. New York City is famous for its high-reaching skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, world-class theater scene, and endless energy. It is also well known for The Statue of Liberty. Vail is famous for its world-class skiing, charming mountain town atmosphere, and adventurous outdoor activities.

How is New York City different from Vail?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is New York City or Vail Better for Skiing?

New York City
Vail

Vail is a must-visit destination for skiing and snowboarding. However, New York City is not a skiing destination.

Vail is a top destination for snow skiing, and it attracts visitors from around the world. This ski town has produced its share of Olympians. Vail is the third largest ski resort in the US and it has 31 lifts and 195 runs. There are five different bowls that offer beautiful views.

New York City is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in New York City or Vail?

New York City
Vail

New York City is a must-visit destination for its historical sights. However, Vail does not have museums and landmarks.

The museums and tourist attractions in New York City are world-renowned. The sights and museums around the city are too numerous to list, but some of the most famous include the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and the Empire State Building. This is a city that is filled with iconic landmarks and you could spend weeks here and still not see it all.

Vail does not have museums and landmarks.

Is New York City or Vail Better for Theater?

New York City
Vail

New York City is a must-visit destination for its theatre productions. However, Vail is not a theatre destination.

The theater and performance venues in New York City draw crowds from around the world. Visiting Broadway is a quintessential NYC experience. Whether you enjoy the theater or simply want to experience something new, seeing a Broadway show is a true bucket list activity.

Vail is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in New York City or Vail? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

New York City
Vail

New York City is a must-visit destination for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Vail is not as popular, but is still a nice ski town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

For foodies, New York City is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. The city has a diverse variety of restaurants, with everything from local dives to Michelin star options. There are many neighborhoods that are notable for their ethnic cuisine, particularly Little Italy and Chinatown. Quintessential NYC dishes include NYC pizza, NYC hot dogs, bagels, and Chinese dim sum.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Vail area. The town has a diverse sampling of restaurants that include different ethnic options as well as taverns with comfort food. It's easy to find mountain-friendly restaurants where you can refuel during your ski vacation.


Is New York City or Vail Better for Nightlife?

New York City
Vail

New York City is a must-visit destination for nightlife and partying. Also, Vail is not as popular, but is still a nice ski town for its evening party scene.

New York City is a world class party destination. Known as the city that never sleeps, you can be assured that NYC has some of the best nightlife in the world. There are world class bars and clubs, but also local venues that have a more relaxed atmosphere. Several famous clubs include Paul's Cocktail Lounge, Le Bain, and Avant Gardner.

Vail offers plenty to do in the evening. Happy Hours start early, and then the partying can go late into the night. There are bars, lounges, breweries and live music that keep the atmosphere light and offer entertainment after your long day on the slopes. Do keep in mind that many places close or dramatically reduce their hours during the off-peak fall and spring months.

Is New York City or Vail Better for Music?

New York City
Vail

New York City is a must-visit destination for its live music scene. Also, Vail is not as popular, but is still a nice ski town for its music scene.

With so many music venues, you're guaranteed a show any night of the week in New York City. Popular music venues include Music Hall of Williamsburg, Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, and Forest Hills Stadium.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Vail. You can often find live music at Shakedown Bar, Bridge Street Bar, and the Red Lion.

Is New York City or Vail Better for Resorts?

New York City
Vail

Vail is an excellent place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, New York City is not a resort destination.

There are plenty of resorts in Vail to choose from. Designed as a resort town, Vail offers great accommodation. Nice resorts include Four Seasons Resort and Residences, the Ritz Carlton Club, and the Grand Hyatt.

New York City is not a resort destination.


Is New York City or Vail Better for Hiking?

New York City
Vail

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

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Vail. During the warmer months, this resort town is surrounded by world-class hiking trails. You can enjoy the wildflowers, search for wildlife, or take in the sweeping mountain views. Popular hikes near Vail include Booth Falls, Davos Trail, and Shrine Ridge.

New York City is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in New York City or Vail?

New York City
Vail

New York City is a must-visit destination for its shopping opportunities. Also, Vail is not as popular, but is still a nice ski town for its shopping areas.

Known for shopping, New York City draws large crowds to its stores. The shopping is as diverse as the city itself. Head for Fifth Avenue for high end shopping or check out any of the many street markets for local items. New York is known for its many flea markets where you can find vintage items at a good price. And if you're looking to pick up a souvenir shirt or knick knack, there are plenty of souvenir shops around town as well.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Vail. The cobblestone streets are lined with boutiques and ski shops that sell everything from evening dresses to outdoor gear. It's easy to pop into the many shops around downtown Vail and find anything you might need.

Is New York City or Vail Better for Christmas?

New York City
Vail

New York City and Vail are amazing destinations to visit around the Christmas season.

Known for its popular Christmas activities, New York City draws large crowds. Christmas in the city is a quintessential experience. From the Christmas tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center to seeing a live performance of the Nutcracker, everyone enjoys the holidays in New York.

Vail is a world class destination for shoppers. The town is a winter wonderland during the holidays. Check out the iconic Christmas tree lighting and wander through the fairytale streets.


Is New York City or Vail Better for Christmas Markets?

New York City
Vail

Visitors can find superb Christmas markets in both New York City and Vail.

Many people head to New York City to see its Christmas markets. There are a number of Christmas markets that pop up around town during the holiday season. Nothing will get you more in the holiday spirit than wandering these unique venues.

Vail has plenty of Christmas markets during the holiday season. The town's Christmas Market is picturesque, and the perfect place to pick up some unique gifts.

Is New York City or Vail Better for Families?

New York City
Vail

Vail is a must-visit destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, New York City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Vail is very family-friendly. With its world class skiing, rock climbing, ice skating, and ice cream, kids love this ski resort. The resort town has two terrain parks - Golden Peak and Avanti. Avanti is perfect for kids. It has small jumps, wide rails, and kid-friendly amenities. Golden Peak is designed for more advanced athletes. Vail also has nice beginner slopes that are great for kids.

New York City is a very kid-friendly city. The city has many activities for kids of all ages including world class museums, beautifully designed playgrounds, and theater shows designed just for young ones. There are many kid-friendly restaurants as well and older kids will enjoy visiting the iconic landmarks in this world-class city.

Is New York City or Vail Better for Couples?

New York City
Vail

New York City and Vail both amazing destinations for a couple.

New York City is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. From a beautiful carriage ride through Central Park, to a romantic river cruise at night, there is an endless list of unique activities that couples can enjoy in the city. Whether you're interested in theater, the arts, music, or nightlife, this city has it all.

Vail makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. Couples who enjoy skiing and outdoor adventure will appreciate everything that this ski town has to offer. There are nice restaurants, beautiful gardens, and plenty of romantic activities to choose from.


Is New York City or Vail Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

New York City
Vail

New York City is a great city for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Vail is not as popular, but is still a nice ski town for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit New York City. It isn't a particularly budget-friendly destination, but it does get its share of backpackers, so you'll find a nice list of hostels and affordable hangouts that are perfect for the backpacker crowd. This is probably one of the most popular cities for backpackers in the entire United States.

Vail is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. This ski town isn't completely closed off to budget travelers as there are a couple of hostels around town.

Is New York City or Vail Better for Students?

New York City
Vail

New York City is a must-visit destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Vail is not popular with students.

Many students frequent New York City. The city has a diverse population, and international students will feel right at home here exploring the city. There are also plenty of major universities including NYU, Columbia University, and Cornell University.

Vail is not popular with students.

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

New York City
Vail

New York City is a must-visit destination for times when you don't have a car. Also, Vail is not as popular, but is still a nice ski town for its public transit.

New York City has a world-class public transit network to take passengers everywhere in the city. The city has one of the largest subway systems in the world. There's also an elaborate bus system, ferry system, and yellow taxis all around town.

Vail has a few public transit options. There is a free bus service through the area.


Is New York City or Vail a more walkable city?

New York City
Vail

New York City and Vail are amazing when it comes to walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in New York City. The majority of the neighborhoods in Manhattan are very walkable and easy to explore on foot. Most people prefer not to drive here as it can be overwhelming and chaotic.

Getting around Vail on foot is easy. The main downtown is pedestrian-only and perfect for popping in shops and restaurants.

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

Should I spend more time in Vail or New York City?

How long in New York City or Vail?

Both New York City and Vail have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, New York City has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in New York City than Vail. However, 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in New York City than Vail 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 New York City.


  • How many days in New York City or Vail? Ideal Length of Stay
    New York City 3-7 
    Vail 3-7

One day in New York City or Vail?

New York City is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Even though Vail is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Don't miss the skiing, as that's what most people do. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in New York City or Vail?

New York City is a fun place to experience. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Vail. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Don't miss the skiing, as that's what most people do. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.


Five days in New York City or Vail?

New York City is a one-of-a-kind big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

Vail is a small town with plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This ski town offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A week in New York City or Vail?

New York City is a energetic city where you can fill many days. Many people spend one week here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.

Vail might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling.So, one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours Under $1000 in United States of America, The Best Luxury Tours to United States of America, The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, and The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Vail or New York City?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in New York City is $326, while the average daily cost in Vail is $291. 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 York City and Vail in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    New York City $175
    Vail $174
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    New York City $350
    Vail $348
Compare Hotels in New York City and Vail

Looking for a hotel in New York City or Vail? 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 York City


Hotels in Vail


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 York City Hotel Prices and Vail Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    New York City $49
    Vail $19
Typical Local Transportation Prices in New York City

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


  • Subway
    $4.50
  • Taxi Ride
    $8.00
  • Subway
    $2.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in New York City

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

  • Private Transfer: between Manhattan and Philadelphia: $529
  • La Guardia Airport Private Limousine Transfer: $489
  • Skip-the-line Tickets to Bronx Zoo with Private Transfers: $410
  • JFK Departure - Private Van Transfers to JFK Airport: $300
  • Empire State Building NYC Tour, Pre-booked Tickets, Transfer: $300
  • Skip the line One World Observatory Private Tour with Transfers : $296
  • Skip-the-line One World Observatory Tour with Transfers: $296
  • Central Park Zoo Skip the line Tickets and Private Transfers : $291
  • Central Park Zoo Skip-the-line Tickets & Private Transfers: $291
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in New York (hotel OR airport pick-up): $288
  • New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to New York - Round-Trip Private Transfer : $280
  • New York Airport (LGA) to New York - Round Trip Private Transfer: $277

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Vail

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

  • Vail/Beaver Creek/Avon to Eagle County Airport-Departure Transfer: $115
  • Vail/Beaver Creek/Avon to Denver Airport DEN - Departure Transfer: $218
  • Private Eagle County Regional / Vail Airport Transfer to Beaver Creek: $299
  • Private Eagle County / Vail Airport Transfer to Vail: $299
  • Private Departure Transfer to Vail Airport EGE: $128
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Vail Airport EGE: $156
  • Eagle County Regional (EGE) to Steamboat Springs-Arrival Transfer: $120
  • Eagle County Airport(EGE) to Steamboat - Arrival Private Transfer: $76
  • Eagle County Airport to Vail/Beaver Creek/Avon-Arrival Transfer: $115
  • Eagle County Airport to Steamboat Springs-Round-Trip Transfer: $120
  • Eagle County Airport to Steamboat - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $155
  • Eagle County Airport to Breckenridge Keystone: Arrival Transfer: $93

Is it cheaper to fly into New York City or Vail?

Prices for flights to both Vail and New York City 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 York City $50
    Vail $74
Typical Food Prices in New York City

For New York City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Gelato
    $7.50
  • Snacks for Two at Yankees Game
    $34
  • Coffee
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $6.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in New York City

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

  • Lower East Side and Essex Market Multicultural Food Tour: $39
  • Half-Day Private Pizza Crawl in Manhattan: $40
  • Shared Food Tour Bohemian Greenwichvillage: $45
  • NYC: Greenwich Village Guided Food Tour: $63
  • Pizza Walking Tour of Downtown Brooklyn: $65
  • Downtown Brooklyn Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • East Village Pizza Walk: $65
  • Greenwich Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • East Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour: $65
  • Gastro Pub Pre/Post Theater Dinner in Times Square: $67
  • NYC: Guided Food Tour of the West Village: $70
  • Chinatown New York Walking Food Tour: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    New York City $180
    Vail $133
Typical Entertainment Prices in New York City

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


  • Comedy Show Tickets
    $56
  • City Map
    $8.00
  • Broadway Musical
    $111
  • Broadway Show Program
    $10
  • Magazine
    $6.99

Tours and Activities in New York City

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

  • 3 Hour Session at Williamsburg's Adventure Park Area 53: $42
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and Amish FarmNHouse Tour from NY: $137
  • New York City Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village: $36
  • Tasting Tour of Brooklyn Spirits and Distilleries : $185
  • & Juliet on Broadway Ticket : $110
  • & Juliet on Broadway Ticket with VIP Experience and Lunch: $299
  • 1 Day Tour to Philadelphia and Hershey's Chocolate World: $179
  • 1 HR - NYC Private Classic Car Experience - Midtown: $75
  • 1 Hour Private Guided Pedicab Tour in New York City: $45
  • 1-Day Luxury New York City Tour at Your Choice: $35
  • 1-Day New York In-Depth Tour: $130
  • 1-Day Tour to Philadelphia and Amish Community: $120

Tours and Activities in Vail

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

  • Avon Segway Tour: $89
  • Bike Tour or Mountain Bike down Vail Mountain: $120
  • Dillon Marina & Shopping Tour: $267
  • Save the Mountain Escape Room Adventure: $45
  • Smartphone Driving Tour between Denver & Vail / Breckenridge: $7.99
  • Vail Segway Tour from Vail Village: $89

For more ideas for your next trip, check out The Best Things to do in New York City with Kids, Things to Do in Central Park in NYC, and The Best Museums in New York City.


Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    New York City $29
    Vail $9.79

Sample the Local Flavors in New York City

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in New York City:

  • NYC West Village Pub Crawl: $21
  • NYC: Brooklyn Nightlife Pub Crawl: $34
  • New York: Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • NYC: Manhattan's Only Whiskey Distillery Tour & Tasting: $42
  • Brooklyn Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl: $49
  • Little Italy Prohibition Pub Crawl: $64
  • New York Rooftop Pub Crawl: $69
  • Guided Brooklyn Craft Brewery Tour: $99
  • 1920s Schooner Sail with Wine Tasting: $139
  • Hudson Valley Craft Brewery Bike Tour: $145
  • Snow Tubing and Brewery Day Trip From NYC: $159


When comparing the travel costs between New York City and Vail, we can see that New York City is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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


Which is Bigger, New York City or Vail?

New York City has a larger population, and is about 1750 times larger than the population of Vail. When comparing the sizes of New York City and Vail, 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.