A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Phoenix vs. South Lake Tahoe for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Phoenix or South Lake Tahoe?

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 South Lake Tahoe 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.

Where Should I go: Phoenix or South Lake Tahoe?

Phoenix

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.

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is the largest town on the famous Lake Tahoe that straddles the California-Nevada border in the Sierra Mountain Range. Located just south of Reno, Nevada and about 2 hours east of Sacramento, the Lake Tahoe area is easily accessible to many visitors.

Lake Tahoe is known for skiing and other winter sports, as well as plenty of warm weather activities such as hiking, swimming, boating, mountain biking, and more.

South Lake Tahoe has plenty of accommodations, restaurants, bars, and shopping. This is a good town to base yourself if you're looking to explore the area, as it has a large number of amenities.

Located on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe is the town of Stateline. Here you can find some casinos, as gambling is legal in Nevada.

If you're looking to go skiing or snowboarding, the Heavenly Ski Resort can be found on the southern edge of the town of South Lake Tahoe. Naturally, more ski resorts are located around the lake as well.

As swimming is also popular, several beach areas are on the southern section of the lake including the Regan Memorial City Beach, Lakeside Beach, Pope Beach, Emerald Bay State Park, and the Edgewood Resort area (on the Nevada side).

Which city is cheaper, South Lake Tahoe or Phoenix?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Phoenix is $187, while the average daily cost in South Lake Tahoe is $94. 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 Phoenix and South Lake Tahoe in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Phoenix $113
    South Lake Tahoe $43
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Phoenix $226
    South Lake Tahoe $86

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Phoenix $28
    South Lake Tahoe $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phoenix

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

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Phoenix Airport (PHX): $26
  • Private Departure Transfer to Phoenix Airport (PHX): $26
  • Private Phoenix International Airport Transfer to Pittsburgh: $48
  • Transfer from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Phoenix: $56
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) to Phoenix - Arrival Private Transfer: $60
  • Phoenix to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Arrival Private Transfers: Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Business Car: $76
  • Departure Private Transfers: Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Business Car: $76
  • Departure Private Transfer to Phoenix Airport PHX by Business or Luxury Vehicle: $78
  • Arrival Private Transfer Phoenix Airport PHX to Phoenix Business-Luxury Vehicle: $78
  • Airport Sedan Phoenix One Way Transfer to Phoenix Address: $91
  • Airport Sedan Phoenix One Way Transfer Scottsdale Address: $91

Is it cheaper to fly into Phoenix or South Lake Tahoe?

Prices for flights to both South Lake Tahoe 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 $42
    South Lake Tahoe $30
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:

  • Awesome French Crêpes Cooking Class: $65

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Phoenix $32
    South Lake Tahoe $45

Tours and Activities in Phoenix

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

  • Skip the Line: Heard Museum Admission Ticket: $18
  • Phoenix Walking Ghost Tour: $20
  • Phoenix Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Phoenix Zoo: One Day General Admission Ticket: $23
  • RoRo Street Art Tour: $27
  • Lockdown- Samurai Escape Room Experience: $28
  • Phoenix Legends Bike Tour: $43
  • Tabletop Adventure - Gaming in Nature: $46
  • BYOB Pedal Bar Experience In Old Town Scottsdale: $53
  • Private Group Sonoran Desert 1.5 Hour Hiking Adventure: $75
  • Scottsdale: Half-Day Casual Bike Tour with Guide: $75
  • Private Group Sonoran Desert Half Day Hiking Adventure: $95

Tours and Activities in South Lake Tahoe

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for South Lake Tahoe are as follows:

  • 2 Hour Small Group Sailing Cruise Lake Tahoe: $99
  • Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe: $94
  • Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley: $62
  • Lake Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Circle the Lake: $392
  • Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group: $179
  • Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Lakes and Waterfalls: $265
  • Tahoe's Sand Harbor Helicopter Tour: $265
  • Zephyr Cove Helicopter Tour: $180

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Phoenix $13
    South Lake Tahoe $28

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!: $100
  • Custom Arizona Brewery Tour: $245
  • Scottsdale: Mountain Biking and Brewery Tour: $250
  • From Phoenix/Scottsdale: Sedona Hiking & Wine Tasting Tour: $275
  • Private Southern Arizona Wine Tour Phoenix to Sonoita-Elgin Vineyards: $997
  • Private Wine Tour from Phoenix to Sonoita-Elgin Vineyards: $1,650


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Phoenix and South Lake Tahoe, we can see that Phoenix is more expensive. And not only is South Lake Tahoe much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to South Lake Tahoe would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in South Lake Tahoe 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 South Lake Tahoe.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Phoenix vs. South Lake Tahoe Travel Comparison

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