A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America San Diego vs. Aspen for Food, Families, Nightlife, and Music

Should you visit San Diego or Aspen?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for San Diego and Aspen. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

San Diego

San Diego is a fun-filled, hip, and dynamic coastal city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. As this is a very quaint destination, you'll find it has a special atmosphere. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Aspen

Aspen is a charming, quaint, and vibrant ski town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. Visitors also love the nightlife, live music, and food.

San Diego and Aspen: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Cons
  • Less popular for food
Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less family-friendly


How is San Diego different from Aspen?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is San Diego or Aspen Better for Food?

San Diego
Aspen

Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Aspen a bit more than San Diego.

Eat your way through Aspen, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The town hosts many food festivals and there is a growing selection of diverse restaurants.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the San Diego area. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.


Is San Diego or Aspen Better for Nightlife?

San Diego
Aspen

The vibe at night is comparable in San Diego and Aspen.

Many people head to San Diego for the nightlife scene. The heart of the city's nightlife scene is in the Gaslamp District, which is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues.

Aspen has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The people in Aspen know how to have a good time. The nightlife scene includes craft beer, live music, and dancing.

Is San Diego or Aspen Better for Music?

San Diego
Aspen

San Diego and Aspen are both destinations where visitors can find live music.

The music scene in San Diego draws a good crowd. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.

If you love music, you'll find something to enjoy in Aspen. Popular music venues in town include Silver City Mountain Saloon and Belly Up Aspen.

Is San Diego or Aspen Better for Resorts?

San Diego
Aspen

There are resorts to choose from in both San Diego and Aspen.

With a selection of resorts, San Diego makes a nice vacation spot. Most people prefer to stay in hotels or VRBOs, but several popular resorts include Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Paradise Point, and the famous Hotel del Coronado.

Aspen is known as a popular and fun resort destination. Popular resorts in the area include The Little Nell, Hotel Jerome, and St. Regis Aspen.

Is San Diego or Aspen Better for Hiking?

San Diego
Aspen

Hiking trails can be found around both San Diego and Aspen.

Many visitors go to San Diego for the hiking trails. The city is filled with parks and has tons of natural beauty. Head to Torrey Pines State Park or Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail for some nice hikes.

Aspen is a popular spot for hiking. During the summer and fall seasons, hiking is a great way to explore Aspen's nearby beauty. Popular trails include the Ute Trail, the Lost Man Trail, and the famous Maroon Bells Scenic Trail.


Is San Diego or Aspen Better for Shopping?

San Diego
Aspen

If you're looking to go shopping, San Diego and Aspen both offer plenty of spots.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting San Diego. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Aspen. The has many great local shops and art galleries where you can pick interesting items or fine art.

Is San Diego or Aspen Better for Families?

San Diego
Aspen

Families may find more to do in San Diego than Aspen.

With a huge array of activities for kids, San Diego is very family-friendly. It has a number of kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more.

Aspen is a family-friendly place to visit. Families that enjoy skiing together hiking, rock climbing, and having adventures will enjoy a visit to this town. Aspen Mountain is not a great option for beginning skiers, but further away, Aspen Snowmass offers good beginner slopes.

Is San Diego or Aspen Better for Couples?

San Diego
Aspen

San Diego and Aspen both fun destinations for a couple.

San Diego makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.

Aspen is a very popular place to visit for couples. Aspen is both a popular ski destination as well as an established town. There are many great restaurants and activities that couples can enjoy.

Is San Diego or Aspen Better for Public Transit?

San Diego
Aspen

San Diego and Aspen both offer public transit to get you around.

Public transit is mostly limited in San Diego. The city has a trolley (light rail system) as well as a bus system. Most people depend on cars to get around.

Aspen has a few public transit options. There are several shuttle buses around the town.


Is San Diego or Aspen a more walkable city?

San Diego
Aspen

San Diego and Aspen are similar when it comes to walkability.

San Diego is a somewhat walkable place. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.

Aspen is a very walkable destination. The town is compact enough that it can be explored on foot. If you're planning to head into the mountains to hike, you'll likely need a car.

Should I spend more time in Aspen or San Diego?

How long in San Diego or Aspen?

In either San Diego or Aspen, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. You can fill a similar amount of time in either place.

The ideal length of time for a trip to San Diego is 3-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Aspen is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in San Diego or Aspen? Ideal Length of Stay
    San Diego 3-5 
    Aspen 3-5

One day in San Diego or Aspen?

In San Diego, many people enjoy the nightlife and live music that this outdoorsy destination offers. It's also a great beach destination, too. Lots of people come for the beaches. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

Even though Aspen is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in San Diego or Aspen?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in San Diego. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Aspen is a small town where visitors enjoy the nightlife and live music. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This ski town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in San Diego or Aspen?

San Diego is a fun place to experience. In San Diego, many people enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling that this destination offers. Lots of people come for the beaches. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Aspen is a small town with plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this ski town makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this ski town has to offer.


A week in San Diego or Aspen?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the dynamic destination of San Diego. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the beaches. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Aspen is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, Aspen or San Diego?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Diego is $161, while the average daily cost in Aspen is $235. 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 San Diego and Aspen in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Diego $91
    Aspen $136
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Diego $182
    Aspen $272
Compare Hotels in San Diego and Aspen

Looking for a hotel in San Diego or Aspen? 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 San Diego


Hotels in Aspen


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: San Diego Hotel Prices and Aspen Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Diego $19
    Aspen $45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • Arrival Private Transfer San Diego Airport SAN to San Diego City by Business Car: $71
  • Arrival Private Transfer San Diego Airport SAN to San Diego by Executive SUV: $85
  • Arrival and Departure Transfer: Hotel to and from San Diego International Airport: $70
  • Departure Private Transfer San Diego to San Diego Airport SAN in Business Car: $63
  • Private Airport Transfer San Deigo Arrival And Departure: $67
  • Private Airport Transfer: Hotel to and from San Diego International Airport: $70
  • Private Airport Transfer: San Diego International Airport (SAN) to San Diego: $46
  • Private Airport Transfer: from San Diego to San Diego Int. Airport (SAN): $35
  • Private Arrival Transfer from SAN San Diego Airport to San Diego City: $49
  • Private Arrival Transfer from San Diego Airport SAN: $48
  • Private Departure Transfer from San Diego to SAN San Diego Airport: $46
  • Private Departure Transfer to San Diego Airport SAN: $48

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aspen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Aspen:

  • Private Transfer: Aspen to Denver International Airport (DEN): $1,321
  • Aspen hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $796
  • Private Eagle County Regional Airport Transfer to Aspen: $400
  • Private Departure Transfer to Aspen Airport (ASE): $36
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Aspen Airport (ASE): $36

Is it cheaper to fly into San Diego or Aspen?

Prices for flights to both Aspen and San Diego 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
    San Diego $36
    Aspen $68
Typical Food prices in San Diego

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


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

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

  • San Diego North Park Food Tour: $49
  • Liberty Station Food Tour: $49
  • Market and Guacamole Cooking Class in Tijuana Mexico: $89
  • Private Cooking Demonstration of Indian Fusion Cuisine in San Diego: $96
  • Farmers Market Tour & Social Cooking With A Chef: $100
  • San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise: $111
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours San Diego: $129
  • Secret Food Tours San Diego w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Diego $38
    Aspen $36
Typical Entertainment prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

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

  • La Jolla: Explore California's Riviera on a self-guided audio tour: $5.40
  • La Jolla: Ultimate Self-Guided Combo Tour: $12
  • San Diego Zoo Hunt: Roar with Rex Adventure at the San Diego Zoo: $12
  • San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter Historic True Crime Tour: $16
  • San Diego Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • San Diego Balboa Park Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Behind-the-Scenes at Petco Park Tour: $23
  • San Diego Gaslamp District Ghost Tour: $24
  • Ghost-Themed Walking Tour: $25
  • Skip-the-Line: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket: $26
  • San Diego Harbor Cruise: $28
  • Tijuana Walking Tour from San Diego: $28

Tours and Activities in Aspen

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

  • Aspen's DarkSide Ghost Tour: $40
  • Aspen's Past to Present Historic Tour: $40
  • Glimpse of Aspen Tour: $40

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Diego $17
    Aspen $16

Sample the Local Flavors in San Diego

Also in San Diego, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • San Diego Bar Hunt: Slammin' San Diego Bar Crawl: $12
  • Wine Tasting Or Beer Tasting: $15
  • San Diego Brewery Tour: $85
  • San Diego Micro Brewery Tour: $91
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $95
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $101
  • Private San Diego Brewery Tour: $107
  • All inclusive brewery tour-Fire Truck: $189
  • Luxury Private Wine Tasting Tour to Guadalupe Valley from San Diego.: $249
  • Private Wine Tour of Temecula from San Diego: $475


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Diego and Aspen, we can see that Aspen is more expensive. And not only is San Diego much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Diego would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Diego 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 Aspen would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Aspen than you might in San Diego.

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San Diego vs. Aspen Travel Comparison

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