Which place is cheaper, Durango or San Diego?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for San Diego and Durango. 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 is a idyllic, fun-filled, and hip coastal city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. Other reasons to visit include live music, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.
Durango is a nature-filled, historic, and charming small town. You'll find plenty of local activities in this small town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Since it has a quaint atmosphere, you'll want to spend time soaking it all in. Visitors also love the hiking and museums.
Travelers will usually find more to do in San Diego. Although San Diego and Durango are popular destinations, San Diego has more sights and attractions for tourists. San Diego is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, music, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, shopping, and big city activities, while Durango attracts visitors for its skiing, historical sights, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere. San Diego is more touristy than Durango and is known for its relaxed coastal atmosphere, its many kid-friendly sights, and its beautiful beaches with critter-filled tidal pools. It is also well known for The San Diego Zoo. Durango is famous for its historic narrow gauge railroad, its charming small town atmosphere, and its many family-friendly activities.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Durango and San Diego. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Durango is adequate for skiing. However, San Diego is not a skiing destination.
Durango is a fun local destination for snow skiers. Purgatory Ski Resort is about 20 minutes from town and it's a family-friendly mountain with beginner and intermediate runs. It's small, and geared specifically to the beginner and younger crowd.
San Diego is not a skiing destination.
San Diego is a very popular place for its museums and history. Also, Durango is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.
Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around San Diego. While the city is famous for it's beaches, zoos, and aquariums, don't overlook the museums and other landmarks. Popular options include the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, the Old Town State Historic Park, and Point Loma and Cabrillo Monument.
Durango offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Most visitors come to town specifically to ride the Silverton & Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad. There's also the D&SNGRR Railroad Museum, and the Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum.
San Diego is a good destination for its restaurants. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.
There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around San Diego. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. There are many casual dining options that serve informal foods like burgers or salads, but there are also award-winning fine dining restaurants with elegant atmospheres. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.
You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Durango. Most of the restaurants are casual and family-friendly, serving up burgers or sandwiches for a reasonable price. You'll also find some coffeeshops and even a few food trucks and international restaurants.
San Diego is a very popular place for nightlife. However, Durango is lacking in good options for nightlife and partying.
San Diego has a large number of nightlife venues. The heart of the city's nightlife scene is in the Gaslamp District, which is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues. There's a young student population that keeps the nightlife scene casual and fun.
Things get quiet in the evenings in Durango. It's a small town that attracts tourists mainly for its train, so you won't find much in the way of a nightlife scene.
San Diego is a very popular place for live music. However, Durango is not a live music destination.
It's worth checking out the music scene in San Diego while you're in town. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.
Durango is not a live music destination.
San Diego is a good destination for its luxury resorts. However, Durango is not a resort destination.
San Diego has a handful of resorts to choose from.
Durango is not a resort destination.
San Diego is a good destination for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Durango is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.
Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in San Diego. Popular snorkeling and diving spots include La Jolla Cove, Mission Bay, and Turtle Town. The water's a bit chili, but it's still worth going for a dive or popping on a mask and snorkeling around for a bit.
Durango is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.
San Diego is a world-class destination for its beaches. However, Durango is not a beach destination.
San Diego offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. The city has great beaches with tidal pools and interesting sea life at low tide. Adults and kids alike will enjoy hitting the beach when the tides are out and looking for local critters in the tidal pools. Popular beaches in the area include La Jolla Cove Beach, Coronado Beach, and Pacific Beach.
Durango is not a beach destination.
Durango is a good destination for its old town. However, San Diego does not have a historic old town.
Plenty of visitors enjoy exploring the old town in Durango. Filled with character, the downtown feels like you've stepped into a Western. The town has a long history as a mining and railroad community, which you can see throughout the historic area. It really feels like you're in the "Wild West."
San Diego does not have a historic old town.
Hiking trails can be found around both San Diego and Durango, and they are excellent.
Many visitors go to San Diego for the hiking trails. The city is filled with parks and has tons of natural beauty. There is plenty of urban hiking in town, or you can visit more natural areas just out of town. Head to Torrey Pines State Park or Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail for some nice hikes.
Durango is a popular spot for hiking. It's surrounded by plenty of natural beautiful and there is an endless supply of hikes in the region. Popular nearby hikes include Animas Mountain Trail, Falls Creek Trail, and Purgatory Trail.
San Diego is a good destination for shopping. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its shopping opportunities.
Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in San Diego. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping. There are suburban shopping malls in the area as well as souvenir shops in the more touristy areas.
If you're looking to go shopping, Durango has some nice offerings. The charming town has some boutiques that sell beautifully made Native American jewelry and other interesting items. There are also souvenir shops and other venues that target tourists specifically.
Durango is a good destination for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, San Diego does not offer Christmas activities.
Christmas holiday activities are popular when visiting Durango. It is a great Christmas town where you can meet Santa, go skiing, and even take the Polar Express.
San Diego does not offer Christmas activities.
San Diego is a world-class destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Durango is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.
With a huge array of activities for kids, San Diego is very family-friendly. The city is filled with kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world-class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more. The year-round warm weather makes it easy to spend plenty of time outdoors in parks, playgrounds, and beaches where kids can stretch their legs and run around.
Durango is a very kid-friendly coastal city. In the area you'll find ziplining, alpine slides, and plenty of outdoor areas to explore - and of course there's the railroad.
San Diego is a world-class destination for romance. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its romantic activities.
San Diego is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. The beaches offer a great playground for adults who enjoy the water and warm weather. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.
Most people don't think of Durango as a couple's destination. The town may not be the first romantic destination that comes to mind, but the railroad combined with wandering the downtown can make for a great couple's getaway.
For backpackers, both San Diego and Durango are nice places to visit.
Plenty of backpackers visit San Diego. Backpackers will enjoy the young vibe of the city. There are a few great hostels near the beach or in town.
Plenty of budget travelers visit Durango. With plenty of parks and outdoor areas nearby, backpackers will have plenty of places to explore.
San Diego is a world-class destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Durango is not popular with students.
San Diego is a very popular place to visit for students. With its young population and many universities, international students will feel right at home in San Diego. There are also many great outdoor activities for the adventurous.
Durango is not popular with students.
San Diego is a decent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its public transit.
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, and you'll likely enjoy your trip a bit more if you have your own vehicle.
Public transit is limited or non-existant in Durango. It's a small town with no real public transit options so a car is a must.
San Diego is a good destination for its walkability. However, Durango is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.
San Diego is somewhat walkable. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.
Durango is generally not very walkable. While the Main Street through town is walkable, it's not as pedestrian-friendly as some small towns.
Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both San Diego and Durango. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in San Diego than in Durango. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for San Diego, and 2-3 days is enough time in Durango.
Families should spend more time in San Diego than Durango. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in San Diego, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in San Diego than Durango. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in San Diego that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in San Diego than Durango 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 San Diego.
In San Diego, you'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. This coastal city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.
Even though Durango is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. 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.
In San Diego, you'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
Durango is a small town where visitors enjoy the museums. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this small town has to offer. This small town offers a variety of activities to choose from.
San Diego is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that San Diego has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
Durango is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in San Diego. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting San Diego. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.
Durango is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in San Diego is $202, while the average daily cost in Durango is $153. 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 San Diego and Durango in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in San Diego or Durango? 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.
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.
Also for San Diego, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Prices for flights to both Durango 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.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to San Diego:
For San Diego, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for San Diego.
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Durango's activities, tours, and tickets:
For Durango, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Also in San Diego, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Diego and Durango, we can see that San Diego is more expensive. And not only is Durango much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Durango would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Durango 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 San Diego would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Diego than you might in Durango.
San Diego is bigger, and its population is about 81.4 times larger than the population of Durango. When comparing the population of San Diego vs. Durango, 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 and the activities that interest you.
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