A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Phoenix vs. Sonoma for Food, Couples, Nightlife, and Hiking

Should you visit Phoenix or Sonoma?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Phoenix and Sonoma 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.

Phoenix

Phoenix is a laid back, sprawling, and desert city. It's also popular because of the nightlife, food, and hiking.

Sonoma

Sonoma is a scenic, serene, and relaxing county. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the nightlife, food, and beaches.

Phoenix and Sonoma: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Phoenix or Sonoma?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Sonoma. Although Phoenix and Sonoma are popular destinations, Sonoma has more sights and attractions for tourists. Sonoma is very popular for its food, nightlife, resorts, beaches, hiking, shopping, and impressive beauty, while Phoenix attracts visitors for its museums. Sonoma is more touristy than Phoenix and is known for its world-class winemaking and sustainable agriculture. It is also well known for Buena Vista Winery. Phoenix is famous for its desert landscapes, high number of golf courses, and year round warm weather.

How is Phoenix different from Sonoma?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Phoenix or Sonoma?

Phoenix
Sonoma

Phoenix is a city with good options for its historical sights. However, Sonoma is not known for its sights and museums.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Phoenix. You'll find art, science, and cultural museums around town. Favorites include the Heard Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, S'edav Va'aki Museum, and the Arizona Science Museum.

Sonoma offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. While most people don't think of museums when they think of Sonoma, there are actually some interesting local options. The California Indian Museum, the Cotati Museum, and the Depot Park Museum are also local are fascinating.


Is the Food Better in Phoenix or Sonoma? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Phoenix
Sonoma

Sonoma is an unbeatable place for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Phoenix is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Many restaurants in Sonoma have been singled out for their culinary prowess. Although wine may be the first thing you think about, the region is also filled with farm-to-table restaurants and award-winning dining options. The food is almost always fresh and local. You can sample many local ingredients such as vegetables, cheeses, olive oils, and fish.

Phoenix offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are many mom-and-pop shops around town that serve everything from casual meals to quality steaks. There's also a huge selection of Mexican restaurants, as well as other international options such as sushi, dim sum, and Italian.

Is Phoenix or Sonoma Better for Nightlife?

Phoenix
Sonoma

Sonoma is a great county for its evening party scene. Also, Phoenix is not as popular, but is still a nice city for nightlife.

The nightlife in Sonoma has something for everybody. Lounges, wine bars, and live music venues offer a variety of activities for visitors during the evening hours.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Phoenix. The best nightlife scene is found in downtown and central Phoenix. There are bars, restaurants, and venues where you can catch a show. North Phoenix also has grown into a popular evening spot with cocktail bars and pubs.

Is Phoenix or Sonoma Better for Resorts?

Phoenix
Sonoma

Sonoma is a great county for its luxury resorts. However, Phoenix is not a resort destination.

In Sonoma, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. Spa hotels, charming inns, and beautiful resorts all offer a variety of options for visitors.

Phoenix is not a resort destination.


Is Phoenix or Sonoma Better for Beaches?

Phoenix
Sonoma

Sonoma is a great county for the beach. However, Phoenix is not a beach destination.

The beaches at Sonoma attract visitors from all over. The county has a coastline that includes several great beaches as well as rocky shoreline. The beaches include secluded coves and picturesque cliffs as well as sand dunes and sandy beaches.

Phoenix is not a beach destination.

Is Phoenix or Sonoma Better for Hiking?

Phoenix
Sonoma

Sonoma is a great county for hiking. Also, Phoenix is not as popular, but is still a nice city for the nearby hiking options.

Many visitors go to Sonoma for the hiking trails. In between wine tastings you can explore the area's stunning natural beauty. There are hikes through the vineyards, along the coast, or through forested parks. Some of the best hikes are found in Jack London State Historic Park, Sugarloaf State Park, and Armstrong Woods State Park.

Phoenix offers some nice hiking trails. You don't have to head far out of town for impressive hiking opportunities. You'll find trails that range from easy to challenging, and many pass through other-worldly landscapes. You'll find popular trails in Usery Mountain Regional Park, Papago Park, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, South Mountain Park and many others.

Is the Shopping Better in Phoenix or Sonoma?

Phoenix
Sonoma

Sonoma is a great county for its shopping areas. Also, Phoenix is not as popular, but is still a nice city for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Sonoma. You'll find a range of local vendors in the area, selling everything from jewelry to art, home decor, and olive oil.

Phoenix is a great destination for shopping. There are plenty of shopping centers, outlets, and malls where you'll find the standard chain stores. You'll also find farmer's markets around town.


Is Phoenix or Sonoma Better for Families?

Phoenix
Sonoma

Both Phoenix and Sonoma are nice to visit with kids.

Phoenix offers lots of family activities. Kids will love the Phoenix Zoo, the Arizona Science Center, the SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, and the Bearizona Wildlife Park. There's also a number of parks and gardens as well as a children's museum and several other interactive museums for kids.

Sonoma is a family-friendly place to visit. While most people think immediately of wine tours, there's actually a lot more to Sonoma County. Kids will enjoy the many outdoor activities in the area, which include beaches, parks, wildlife viewing, and more. There's also horseback riding and even ziplining opportunities.

Is Phoenix or Sonoma Better for Couples?

Phoenix
Sonoma

Sonoma is an unbeatable place for couples. Also, Phoenix is not as popular, but is still a nice city for romance.

Sonoma is a great county for couples, as it has plenty to offer. It has long been a favorite honeymoon destination for couples who come for the vineyards and wine tours. There are also charming hotels, award winning restaurants, and beautiful beaches.

Phoenix is a nice destination for couples. There are many parks and gardens in town as well as beautiful hikes and outdoor activities that couples will enjoy. In the evening, there's theater, shows, and many romantic restaurants.

Is Phoenix or Sonoma Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Phoenix
Sonoma

Phoenix is adequate for times when you don't have a car. However, Sonoma is not known for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Phoenix. There's a bus and light rail system, but you really need your own vehicle to get around.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Sonoma. While there are buses, they are almost never used by tourists. There is the Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley which you should purchase tickets for in advance.


Is Phoenix or Sonoma a more walkable city?

Phoenix
Sonoma

Phoenix is adequate for its ease of walking around. However, Sonoma is not known for its walkability.

Phoenix is generally not a very walkable city. It's a sprawling city and the only real area that's walkable is the downtown.

Sonoma is not a walkable city. You really must have a car to get around the area and explore it efficiently.

For even more information, also check out Is Phoenix Worth Visiting? and Is Sonoma Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Sonoma or Phoenix?

How long in Phoenix or Sonoma?

It's fun to spend time in either Phoenix or Sonoma. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Sonoma due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Phoenix, and 2-4 days is enough time in Sonoma.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Sonoma than Phoenix 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 Sonoma.


  • How many days in Phoenix or Sonoma? Ideal Length of Stay
    Phoenix 1-3 
    Sonoma 2-4

One day in Phoenix or Sonoma?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Phoenix. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

In Sonoma, you'll find shopping and nightlife. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. One reason most visitors come is for the food. This county offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Phoenix or Sonoma?

Phoenix is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

In Sonoma, you'll find nightlife and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One reason most visitors come is for the food. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Sonoma has to offer.


Five days in Phoenix or Sonoma?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Phoenix. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Sonoma is a great place to explore. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Phoenix or Sonoma?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the sprawling destination of Phoenix. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Sonoma. Many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting Sonoma. One reason most visitors come is for the food. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage, The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Sonoma or Phoenix?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Phoenix is $238, while the average daily cost in Sonoma is $219. 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 Phoenix and Sonoma in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Phoenix $144
    Sonoma $93
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Phoenix $288
    Sonoma $186
Compare Hotels in Phoenix and Sonoma

Looking for a hotel in Phoenix or Sonoma? 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 Phoenix


Hotels in Sonoma


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: Phoenix Hotel Prices and Sonoma Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Phoenix $39
    Sonoma $134

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phoenix

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

  • Sky Harbor Airport Private Transfer: $195
  • Private Transfer from Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury Van: $149
  • Departure Private Transfer: Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury Van: $149
  • Phoenix International Airport (PHX) - Private transfer From/to Hotels: $118
  • Phoenix Airport (PHX) to Phoenix - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $117
  • Arrival Private Transfer Phoenix Airport PHX to Phoenix City : $116
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Private Transfer from Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Private Transfer from Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Departure Private Transfer: Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Departure Private Transfer Phoenix City to Phoenix Airport PHX : $109
  • One-Way Transfer Sky Harbor Airport to Phoenix: $104

Is it cheaper to fly into Phoenix or Sonoma?

Prices for flights to both Sonoma 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Phoenix $52
    Sonoma $56
Typical Food Prices in Phoenix

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


  • Nice Lunch (for 2)
    $36
  • Indian Food Dinner (for 2)
    $32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Phoenix

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

  • Old Town Scottsdale Food Tour: $92
  • Scottsdale Waterfront Food Tour: $95
  • Quiche Lorraine French Cooking Class in Scottsdale: $129

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Phoenix $40
    Sonoma $16

Tours and Activities in Phoenix

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

  • Sonoran Desert 1/2 Mountain Bike tour beginner to advanced Pace: $160
  • Sonoran Desert Stunning Sunset Private Mountain bike tour. Group: $189
  • 1.5 Hour Stretch Limo Golf Cart Tour, Ultimate Old Town Exploration: $89
  • 2 Hour Scottsdale Segway Tours - Ultimate Old Town Exploration: $79
  • 2 Hour Segway Tour - Sunsets, Segways & City Lights: $89
  • 2-Hour Arizona Desert Guided E-Bike Tour: $135
  • 3 Cities & Nature Tour. Shop, Art, History, Food. Scottsdale, Phoenix, & Tempe.: $168
  • 3 Hour Guided TomCar ATV Tour in Sonoran Desert: $219
  • 3 Hour Sonoran Desert Private Guided Mountain Bike Tour: $135
  • Adventure Yoga Experience on Camelback Mountain: $75
  • Amazing 2-Hour Guided Hiking Adventure in Phoenix, Arizona: $125
  • Apache Trail Tour and Lake Cruise: From Phoenix / Scottsdale: $225

Tours and Activities in Sonoma

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

  • Create your own wine blend experience: $140
  • From Napa Valley Classic Sidecar Tour to 3 Wineries: $300
  • Sonoma Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour & Game: $49
  • Sonoma Valley: Guided Winery Tour with Picnic Lunch: $126
  • Sonoma Valley: Wine Trolley Tasting Tour with Lunch: $125

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Phoenix $17
    Sonoma $41

Sample the Local Flavors in Phoenix

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

  • Scottsdale Bar Hunt: Scorching Scottsdale Bar Crawl: $12
  • Pedal Bar Crawl of Old Town Scottsdale: $55
  • Stretch Limo Party Cart - Custom Bar Crawls, Wine Tastings, Night Clubs & More: $155
  • Custom Arizona Brewery / Vineyard Tour: $245

Sample the Local Flavors in Sonoma

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

  • San Francisco: Half-Day Wine Tour with 2 Tastings Included: $189
  • Sonoma Food & Wine Tour: $235


When comparing the travel costs between Phoenix and Sonoma, we can see that Phoenix 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 Phoenix Expensive? and Is Sonoma Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Phoenix or Sonoma?

Phoenix has a larger population, and is about 140 times larger than the population of Sonoma. When comparing the sizes of Phoenix and Sonoma, 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.


When is the best time to visit Phoenix or Sonoma?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Phoenix or Sonoma in the Summer?

Both Sonoma and Phoenix are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The summer months attract visitors to Phoenix because of the hiking and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Sonoma this time of year.

It's very hot in Phoenix this time of the year. Phoenix is much warmer than Sonoma in the summer. The daily temperature in Phoenix averages around 98°F (36°C) in July, and Sonoma fluctuates around 73°F (23°C).

In July, Phoenix usually receives more rain than Sonoma. Phoenix gets 0.8 inches (21 mm) of rain, while Sonoma receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Phoenix 98°F (36°C) 
    Sonoma 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Phoenix or Sonoma in the Autumn?

Both Sonoma and Phoenix during the autumn are popular places to visit. The hiking trails and the shopping scene are the main draw to Phoenix this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Sonoma for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Phoenix is much warmer than Sonoma. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Phoenix in October average around 79°F (26°C), and Sonoma averages at about 62°F (17°C).

Phoenix usually gets less rain in October than Sonoma. Phoenix gets 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain, while Sonoma receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Phoenix 79°F (26°C) 
    Sonoma 62°F (17°C)

Should I visit Phoenix or Sonoma in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Phoenix and Sonoma. Many travelers come to Phoenix for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Sonoma in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In January, Phoenix is generally much warmer than Sonoma. Daily temperatures in Phoenix average around 58°F (14°C), and Sonoma fluctuates around 46°F (8°C).

In January, Phoenix usually receives less rain than Sonoma. Phoenix gets 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain, while Sonoma receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Phoenix 58°F (14°C) 
    Sonoma 46°F (8°C)

Should I visit Phoenix or Sonoma in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Phoenix as well as Sonoma. Also, most visitors come to Sonoma for the beaches and the natural beauty during these months.

Phoenix is much warmer than Sonoma in the spring. The daily temperature in Phoenix averages around 74°F (23°C) in April, and Sonoma fluctuates around 56°F (13°C).

Phoenix usually gets less rain in April than Sonoma. Phoenix gets 0.2 inches (6 mm) of rain, while Sonoma receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Phoenix 74°F (23°C) 
    Sonoma 56°F (13°C)

Typical Weather for Sonoma and Phoenix

Phoenix Sonoma
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 58°F (14°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm) 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 62°F (17°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 66°F (19°C) 0.9 inches (22 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 74°F (23°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm) 56°F (13°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 83°F (28°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 92°F (34°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 69°F (21°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 98°F (36°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 96°F (35°C) 0.9 inches (24 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 90°F (32°C) 0.9 inches (22 mm) 70°F (21°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 79°F (26°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 66°F (19°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 58°F (15°C) 1 inches (25 mm) 46°F (8°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)