Should you visit Phoenix or Big Sur?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Phoenix and Big Sur can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
The most populous city in the American Southwest, Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona and busiest hub of activity in the general area. Geographically it is located in the Sonoran Desert, making for long hot summers and mild winters. This climate has ensured a thriving tourism industry with plenty of attractions both in and around Phoenix.
Big Sur is the 90-mile stretch of the California Central Coast which runs from the Carmel River in Monterey County south to San Carpoforo Creek in San Luis Obispo County and 20 miles east into the Santa Lucius Foothills.
However you look at it, California's Central Coast is beautiful and undoubtedly a huge tourist trap. If you're not willing to fork over big bucks for overnight stays on coastal hotels, be prepared ahead of time with your camping gear and get ready to go off the beaten track to avoid crowds as best you can and save your wallet.
While the weather in Central Coast is overall, mild and temperate, between 50 and 70 degrees year-round. The highs and lows during the year are in August and January, respectively, with dry summers and wet winters, making April through October the best times to visit but be warned: there will be crowds.
Which city is cheaper, Big Sur or Phoenix?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Phoenix is $114, while the average daily cost in Big Sur is $0.00. 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 Phoenix and Big Sur in more detail.
Travelers usually pay around $92 for a double occupancy room in Phoenix If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $264 in Big Sur For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
In Phoenix travelers spend around $42 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Phoenix
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Phoenix:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Phoenix
For Phoenix, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Awesome French Crêpes Cooking Class:
Phoenix'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 $16 per person, per day on transportation in Phoenix.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phoenix
Also for Phoenix, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Transfer: Phoenix to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX):
Private Transfer: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to Phoenix:
SUV Airport One Way Transfer Phoenix to Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona, or Tucson:
Sedan Airport One Way Transfer Phoenix to Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona or Tucson:
Airport VAN Phoenix One Way Transfer Scottsdale Address:
Airport VAN Phoenix One Way Transfer Phoenix Address:
Phoenix Round Trip Private Airport-Hotel Transfer:
Phoenix Airport Transfers : Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury Van:
Phoenix Airport Transfers : Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Luxury Van:
Airport SUV Phoenix One Way Transfer Scottsdale Address:
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) to Phoenix - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Private Phoenix Transfer: Hotel to Airport:
Is it cheaper to fly into Phoenix or Big Sur?
Prices for flights to both Big Sur and Phoenix 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 Phoenix can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $29 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Phoenix
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Phoenix.
2-Day Grand Canyon Tour from Phoenix:
3-Day Sedona and Grand Canyon Rail Experience:
4 Person Guided U Drive Jeep Experience:
A Day In The Old West Adventure including Horseback Ride and Cowboy Lunch:
ATV Rentals and Tours:
Apache Trail Full Day Small Group Tour:
Apache Trail Small Group Tour with Canyon Lake Cruise:
Apache Trail and Dolly Steamboat Tour:
Awesome Instagram Tour of Phoenix:
BYOB Pedal Bar Experience In Old Town Scottsdale:
Biplane - 30 Minute Scenic Sightseeing Tour in Phoenix:
Christmas | Holiday Lights ISM Zoomtown Lights 2 Hour Tour:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Phoenix, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $13.
Sample the Local Flavors in Phoenix
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Phoenix:
Wine Tours, Airport Transportation and more!:
Custom Arizona Brewery Tour:
Private Southern Arizona Wine Tour Phoenix to Sonoita-Elgin Vineyards:
Private Wine Tour from Phoenix to Sonoita-Elgin Vineyards:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Phoenix and Big Sur, we can see that Phoenix is more expensive. And not only is Big Sur much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Big Sur would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Big Sur 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 Phoenix would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Phoenix than you might in Big Sur.
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