A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Orlando vs. Charleston for Food, Resorts, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Orlando or Charleston?

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

Should I visit Orlando or Charleston? 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.


Orlando is a active, family-friendly, and entertaining city. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.


Charleston is a historic, classic, and picturesque coastal town. 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 beaches, shopping, and museums.

Orlando and Charleston: Pros and Cons

  • Great resorts
  • Family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less family-friendly

How is Orlando different from Charleston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Orlando or Charleston Better for Food?


There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Orlando and Charleston.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Orlando. There are a diversity of restaurants on the Disney grounds and nearby. Restaurants can be challenging though, as reservations must be made months in advance.

Charleston has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. Food lovers will enjoy the city's low country classics. Local favorites include she crab soup, shrimp and grits, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes.

Is Orlando or Charleston Better for Nightlife?


The vibe at night is comparable in Orlando and Charleston.

If you're looking for night time activities Orlando has a few options to choose from. If you need a break from the kids, you'll find some of the best nightlife around Orlando at Disney Springs, Wall Street Plaza and Universal CityWalk.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Charleston. As a college town, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs around town. There's also a lively music scene.

Is Orlando or Charleston Better for Resorts?


Orlando tends to offer a wider variety of resorts than Charleston.

For the ultimate resort vacation, Orlando is a great choice. Disney World is famous for its many iconic resorts. Some of the most popular are the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Port Orleans Resort, and the Grand Floridian Resort.

Not known for its high-end resorts, Charleston offers a few options. The town has mostly hotels and bed and breakfasts in the downtown area, but nearby Kiawah Island has a number of nice resorts to choose from.

Is Orlando or Charleston Better for Shopping?


If you're looking to go shopping, Orlando and Charleston both offer plenty of spots.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Orlando. Shopping is a dream for any Disney enthusiast. There are countless malls and shops, both on and off the Disney grounds, that sell all of the Disney paraphernalia.

The abundance of shops in Charleston make it a world-class shopping destination. The city is famous for its historic market in the center of town. Local goods, foods, and crafts are sold daily here. There are also many clothing and local shops throughout town.

Is Orlando or Charleston Better for Christmas?


With various activities, both Orlando and Charleston are good places to visit during Christmas.

With so many activities, Orlando is a top place to visit during Christmas. Christmas at Disney World is lots of fun. There are decorations and all kinds of seasonal activities around town.

Charleston is an extremely popular place to visit during the Christmas season. During the Christmas season there are a number of festivals, light shows, and even a boat parade that everyone can enjoy.

Is Orlando or Charleston Better for Families?


There's generally more to do with your family in Orlando than Charleston.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Orlando is a very family-friendly destination. Known as a theme park capital, here you'll find the iconic Disney World, as well as Universal Studios, SeaWorld and many more.

Charleston is a family-friendly place to visit. The area has a number of family friendly activities like carriage rides and boat rides. The nearby beaches also make it a wonderful place to visit with kids.

Is Orlando or Charleston Better for Couples?


Couples will find a longer list of romantic activities in Charleston than Orlando.

Charleston makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. This beautiful city is one of the most popular wedding destinations in America. It's a very romantic setting with beautiful hotels and bed and breakfasts that are perfect for couples on their honeymoon or looking for a romantic setting.

Orlando makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. While most people visit the area with family, there is a niche crowd that enjoys honeymooning or vacationing here as a couple. There are many beautiful restaurants and interesting activities that couples can enjoy together.

Is Orlando or Charleston a more walkable city?


Charleston is generally more walkable than Orlando.

Charleston is very walkable. The downtown area is very walkable, but once you leave the historic heart, it's best to have a car.

Orlando is not a walkable city. The city is sprawling, so unless you stay on the Disney grounds, it's best to rent a car.

Should I spend more time in Charleston or Orlando?

How long in Orlando or Charleston?

Both Orlando and Charleston have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Charleston than Orlando.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Orlando is 7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Charleston is 2-7 days.

  • How many days in Orlando or Charleston? Ideal Length of Stay
    Orlando 7 
    Charleston 2-7

One day in Orlando or Charleston?

With theater and nightlife around the family-friendly city of Orlando, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Charleston, you'll find shopping and museums. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This coastal town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Orlando or Charleston?

With nightlife and food around the destination of Orlando, there's plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

In Charleston, you'll find museums and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Charleston has to offer.

Five days in Orlando or Charleston?

Orlando, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Charleston is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Charleston has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Orlando or Charleston?

Orlando 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Charleston. In Charleston, you'll find live music and food. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Which city is cheaper, Charleston or Orlando?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Orlando is $255, while the average daily cost in Charleston is $136. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Orlando and Charleston in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Orlando $123
    Charleston $72
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Orlando $246
    Charleston $144
Compare Hotels in Orlando and Charleston

Looking for a hotel in Orlando or Charleston? 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 Orlando

Hotels in Charleston

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: Orlando Hotel Prices and Charleston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Orlando $53
    Charleston $26
Typical Local Transportation prices in Orlando

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Orlando are as follows:

  • Parking
  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Orlando

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

  • Orlando Attractions Roundtrip Transfer: $19
  • Private Departure Transfer to Orlando Sanford Airport (SFB): $24
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Orlando Sanford Airport (SFB): $24
  • Shared Orlando Cruise Port Transfer: Airport to Port: $32
  • Shared Orlando Cruise Port Transfer: Port to Airport: $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Orlando to Orlando International Airport (MCO): $39
  • Private Airport Transfer: Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Orlando: $39
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Orlando Int. Airport (MCO) to Walt Disney World: $39
  • Disney World Resort to Orlando Airport MCO. Private Transfer Up to 4 pax: $45
  • Disney World or Universal Studios transfer to Orlando Airport MCO up to 4 pax: $45
  • Orlando (MCO) Airport transfer to / from Orlando area hotels (One Way) Regular: $52
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Orlando Airport to Hotel: $53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Private transfer: Charleston to Charleston Airport (CHS): $622
  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $124
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charleston Airport (CHS): $52

Is it cheaper to fly into Orlando or Charleston?

Prices for flights to both Charleston and Orlando 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 Meals for one day
    Orlando $51
    Charleston $46
Typical Food prices in Orlando

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Orlando:

  • Lunch for Two at Epcot

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Orlando

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

  • The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, Orlando: $34
  • Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando Dinner and Show Ticket: $50
  • The Rock Dinner Show in Orlando: $51
  • Food Tour of Celebration: $55
  • Pirates Dinner Adventure Orlando: $57

Typical Food prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of dining costs in Charleston are as follows:

  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
  • Breakfast

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston

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

  • Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour: $73
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Chef's Kitchen Guided Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Savor the Flavors Upper King Street Food Tour: $95
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Charleston: $129
  • Undiscovered 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class: $154
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Charleston w/ Private Tour Option: $277

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Orlando $163
    Charleston $17
Typical Entertainment prices in Orlando

For Orlando, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:

  • Universal Studios for Two

Tours and Activities in Orlando

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

  • A Walk Around Lake Eola Audio Tour: $6.65
  • Port Canaveral Cruise shuttles: $15
  • Port Canaveral Cruise shuttles: $15
  • Factory Adventure Tour in Chocolate Kingdom: $18
  • Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens Admission Ticket: $20
  • Orlando Walking Ghost Tour: $20
  • 1-Hour Haunted Walking Tour: $23
  • Titanic - The Artifact Exhibition Ticket: $24
  • Crayola Experience Orlando Ticket: $25
  • Lost Caverns Adventure Golf: $29
  • Skip the Line: Indoor Kart Racing Experience Ticket: $32
  • The Escape Game Epic 60-Minute Adventures: $37

Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Charleston are as follows:

  • Patriots Point (for 2)

Tours and Activities in Charleston

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Charleston are as follows:

  • 2-Hour Guided Kayaking Eco Tour in Charleston: $48
  • 2-Hour Paddle Board Eco Tour of Charleston Lowcountry: $48
  • 90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of Charleston: $25
  • Amazing Ladies of Charleston Walking Tour: $35
  • Best of Historic Charleston Walking Tour: $35
  • Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston: $61
  • Bruce Knows Insider Walking Tour of Downtown: $26
  • Car Service: Airport to / from Cruise Port: $130
  • Charleston Attraction & Tour Pass for 1, 2, or 3 Days: $73
  • Charleston Boo Hag & Brews Walking Ghost and Bar Tour: $29
  • Charleston Chicora Walking Tour: $26
  • Charleston City Bus Tour with Charleston Museum Admission: $32

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Orlando $24
    Charleston $28

Sample the Local Flavors in Orlando

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Orlando:

  • Florida Craft Beer & Brewery Tour: $65

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Charleston:

  • Charleston Bar Hunt: Charleston Chase Bar Crawl: $12
  • Ghost Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in Haunted Charleston: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market: $37

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

When is the best time to visit Orlando or Charleston?

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 Orlando or Charleston in the Summer?

Both Charleston and Orlando during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Orlando for the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Charleston in the summer for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Orlando is generally around the same temperature as Charleston. Temperatures in Orlando average around 82°F (28°C), and Charleston stays around 82°F (28°C).

Charleston gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Orlando. Orlando usually gets more rain in July than Charleston. Orlando gets 8.3 inches (211 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 6.9 inches (176 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Orlando 82°F (28°C) 
    Charleston 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Orlando or Charleston in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Orlando and Charleston. Many visitors come to Orlando in the autumn for the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Charleston for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Orlando is a little warmer than Charleston in the autumn. The temperature in Orlando is usually 75°F (24°C) in October, and Charleston stays around 67°F (19°C).

Orlando gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Orlando usually receives more rain than Charleston. Orlando gets 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Orlando 75°F (24°C) 
    Charleston 67°F (19°C)

Should I visit Orlando or Charleston in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Orlando as well as Charleston. Most visitors come to Orlando for the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Charleston because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Orlando is much warmer than Charleston. Typically, the winter temperatures in Orlando in January are around 59°F (15°C), and Charleston is about 47°F (9°C).

Orlando usually gets less rain in January than Charleston. Orlando gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Orlando 59°F (15°C) 
    Charleston 47°F (9°C)

Should I visit Orlando or Charleston in the Spring?

Both Charleston and Orlando are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, the beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Charleston this time of year.

In April, Orlando is generally a little warmer than Charleston. Temperatures in Orlando average around 72°F (22°C), and Charleston stays around 64°F (18°C).

In April, Orlando usually receives around the same amount of rain as Charleston. Orlando gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Orlando 72°F (22°C) 
    Charleston 64°F (18°C)

Typical Weather for Charleston and Orlando

Orlando Charleston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 59°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Feb 62°F (16°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 58°F (14°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm)
Apr 72°F (22°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 64°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 82°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 6.7 inches (171 mm) 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 7.2 inches (183 mm) 76°F (25°C) 4.8 inches (121 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm) 58°F (15°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 51°F (10°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)

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Orlando vs. Charleston Travel Comparison

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