A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina Raleigh vs. Wilmington for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Raleigh or Wilmington?

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

Should I visit Raleigh or Wilmington? 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.

Where Should I go: Raleigh or Wilmington?

Raleigh

Raleigh is the capital city of the state of North Carolina. The city has a population of about 450,000 and is home to many colleges and university including North Carolina State University, Shaw University, Saint Augustine's College, Meredith College and Peace University. The city has a wide range of museums, restaurants, theaters, and parks. There's also an extensive greenway system that is great for biking or running.

Wilmington

Wilmington is a port city in southeastern North Carolina. It's a great city to visit for it's nearby beaches, large historic district, and quaint atmosphere. The city has a population of about 115,000 and it's the eighth largest city in the state.

Wilmington is also home to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as well as the EUE Screen Gems Studios. This is the largest domestic television and movie production facility outside of California. The studio, which opened in 1984, helped grow Wilmington into a major base for film and television production. The city has been the backdrop for many movies and tv shows including Iron Man 3, Sleepy Hollow, One Tree Hill, and Revolution.

Which city is cheaper, Wilmington or Raleigh?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Raleigh is $151, while the average daily cost in Wilmington is $163. 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 Raleigh and Wilmington in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Raleigh $83
    Wilmington $96
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Raleigh $166
    Wilmington $192
Compare Hotels in Raleigh and Wilmington

Looking for a hotel in Raleigh or Wilmington? 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 Raleigh


Hotels in Wilmington


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Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Raleigh Hotel Prices and Wilmington Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Raleigh $30
    Wilmington $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Raleigh

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Raleigh:

  • Raleigh to Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) - Departure Private Transfer: $124

Is it cheaper to fly into Raleigh or Wilmington?

Prices for flights to both Wilmington and Raleigh 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
    Raleigh $46
    Wilmington $45
Typical Food prices in Raleigh

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Raleigh:


  • The Pit Authentic BBQ (for 3)
    $84

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Raleigh

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

  • Raleigh, NC - Walking Food Tours: $62

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Raleigh $30
    Wilmington $14

Tours and Activities in Raleigh

Here are a few actual costs in Raleigh for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Trolley Pub Public Tour of Raleigh: $41

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Raleigh $22
    Wilmington $31

Sample the Local Flavors in Raleigh

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

  • Raleigh Bar Hunt: Rowdy Raleigh Bar Crawl: $12


When comparing the travel costs between Raleigh and Wilmington, we can see that Wilmington 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.


When is the best time to visit Raleigh or Wilmington?

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 Raleigh or Wilmington in the Summer?

Both Wilmington and Raleigh during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Raleigh for the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Raleigh is around the same temperature as Wilmington. Typically, the summer temperatures in Raleigh in July are around 79°F (26°C), and Wilmington is about 81°F (27°C).

In Wilmington, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Raleigh. In the summer, Raleigh often gets less sunshine than Wilmington. Raleigh gets 259 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Wilmington receives 283 hours of full sun.

Wilmington gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Raleigh. Raleigh usually gets less rain in July than Wilmington. Raleigh gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Wilmington receives 8.1 inches (207 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Raleigh 79°F (26°C) 
    Wilmington 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Raleigh or Wilmington in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Raleigh and Wilmington.

In October, Raleigh is generally cooler than Wilmington. Temperatures in Raleigh average around 61°F (16°C), and Wilmington stays around 65°F (18°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Wilmington this time of the year. In Raleigh, it's very sunny this time of the year. Raleigh usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Wilmington during autumn. Raleigh gets 211 hours of sunny skies, while Wilmington receives 227 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Raleigh usually receives around the same amount of rain as Wilmington. Raleigh gets 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain, while Wilmington receives 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Raleigh 61°F (16°C) 
    Wilmington 65°F (18°C)

Should I visit Raleigh or Wilmington in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Raleigh as well as Wilmington. Most visitors come to Raleigh for the museums and the cuisine during these months.

Raleigh can be very cold during winter. Raleigh is much colder than Wilmington in the winter. The temperature in Raleigh is usually 40°F (5°C) in January, and Wilmington stays around 45°F (7°C).

In the winter, Raleigh often gets less sunshine than Wilmington. Raleigh gets 162 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Wilmington receives 180 hours of full sun.

Raleigh usually gets less rain in January than Wilmington. Raleigh gets 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain, while Wilmington receives 3.9 inches (98 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Raleigh 40°F (5°C) 
    Wilmington 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit Raleigh or Wilmington in the Spring?

Both Wilmington and Raleigh are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

In the spring, Raleigh is around the same temperature as Wilmington. Typically, the spring temperatures in Raleigh in April are around 60°F (16°C), and Wilmington is about 63°F (17°C).

It's quite sunny in Wilmington. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Raleigh. Raleigh usually receives less sunshine than Wilmington during spring. Raleigh gets 251 hours of sunny skies, while Wilmington receives 278 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Raleigh usually receives around the same amount of rain as Wilmington. Raleigh gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Wilmington receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Raleigh 60°F (16°C) 
    Wilmington 63°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for Wilmington and Raleigh

Raleigh Wilmington
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Feb 43°F (6°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
Mar 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Apr 60°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
May 68°F (20°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 70°F (21°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Jun 76°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 77°F (25°C) 6 inches (152 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 81°F (27°C) 8.1 inches (207 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 4.9 inches (125 mm) 80°F (27°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm)
Sep 73°F (23°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 75°F (24°C) 5 inches (128 mm)
Oct 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 65°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Nov 53°F (11°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 56°F (14°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 49°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)


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Raleigh vs. Wilmington Travel Comparison

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