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?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Phoenix and South Lake Tahoe can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

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 $114, 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Phoenix and South Lake Tahoe in more detail.



Accommodation

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.

A hotel room in South Lake Tahoe is about $86 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Phoenix $46
    South Lake Tahoe $43
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Phoenix $92
    South Lake Tahoe $86

Food

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.

On average, meal and food prices in South Lake Tahoe cost around $30 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $12.


  • 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

Local Transportation

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.

The average price of local transportation around South Lake Tahoe is $20 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Phoenix $16
    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 Scottsdale Address: $91
  • Airport Sedan Phoenix One Way Transfer to Phoenix 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.





Entertainment

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.

South Lake Tahoe's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $45 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Phoenix $29
    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
  • RoRo Street Art Tour: $27
  • Lockdown- Samurai Escape Room Experience: $28
  • Phoenix Legends Bike Tour: $43
  • Urban Adventure Quest Scavenger Hunt in Phoenix: $44
  • Tabletop Adventure - Gaming in Nature: $46
  • BYOB Pedal Bar Experience In Old Town Scottsdale: $53
  • Scottsdale: Half-Day Casual Bike Tour with Guide: $56
  • Scottsdale: Half-Day Road Bike Tour: $60
  • Scottsdale: Half-Day Sonoran Desert Hiking Tour: $60

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 Scenic Driving Tour: $249
  • Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group: $179
  • Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley: Full-Day Narrated Bus Tour: $60
  • Lake Tahoe: Half-Day Photographic Scenic Tour: $179
  • Happy Hour Cruise: $90
  • Sightseeing Cruise of Emerald Bay: $90
  • Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Lakes and Waterfalls: $265
  • Tahoe's Sand Harbor Helicopter Tour: $265

Alcohol

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.

The average person spends about $28 on alcoholic beverages in South Lake Tahoe per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • 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
  • 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.

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Phoenix vs. South Lake Tahoe Travel Comparison

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