A Travel Price Comparison for California San Diego vs. Sonoma for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit San Diego or Sonoma?

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 Sonoma. 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.

Where Should I go: San Diego or Sonoma?

San Diego

For many visitors and locals alike, San Diego is a paradise. Located in southern California, not far from Los Angeles, it has the perfect climate, wonderful beaches, and a culturally rich environment. It's surrounded by beautiful landscape and has a strong focus on wildlife conservation and eco-friendly living. Home to about 1.3 million residents, it is California's second largest city. It also has many universities, a large tech industry, and a thriving economy. Despite its size, many people perceive San Diego as a slower, more relaxed city with a pleasant vibe away from the chaos of a large city.

Sonoma

When people say Sonoma, they are often referring to the region's wine country, but in fact, Sonoma is a county, a valley, and a town. The county covers 1,768 square miles and is more spread out than nearby Napa. There are more than 30 cities and towns in the county and 425 wineries with tasting rooms. The county also borders the Pacific Ocean, and the beautiful 55 mile stretch of coastline is rugged and dramatic.

Which city is cheaper, Sonoma 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 Sonoma is $176. 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 Sonoma in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Diego $91
    Sonoma $74
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Diego $182
    Sonoma $148
Compare Hotels in San Diego and Sonoma

Looking for a hotel in San Diego or Sonoma? 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 Sonoma


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 Sonoma Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Diego $19
    Sonoma $107

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • Private transfer: San Diego to San Diego Airport (SAN): $622
  • Private transfer: San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego: $622
  • San Diego Private Transfer To N. Hollywood/Burbank area.: $398
  • Tijuana Border Crossing Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $398
  • San Diego Private Transfer To Palm Springs.: $398
  • Private Transfer from San Diego to Hollywood Burbank: $397
  • San Diego Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $389
  • San Diego to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Departure Private Transfer: $357
  • San Diego to Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) - Departure Private Transfer: $342
  • Private Transfer From San Diego To Orange County.: $298
  • Private San Diego Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $192
  • Private San Diego Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Cruise Port: $128

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sonoma

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

  • From San Francisco: Transfer to Lake Tahoe & Palisades Tahoe: $1,699
  • Private transfer from SFO to Sonoma: $215
  • Private transfer from Sonoma to SFO: $215

Is it cheaper to fly into San Diego or Sonoma?

Prices for flights to both Sonoma 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
    Sonoma $45
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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sonoma

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

  • Wine Country Food Tours. Sightseeing to various local artisanal food producers: $462

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Diego $38
    Sonoma $13
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.

  • 1-Hour Voodoo Escape Room Experience in San Diego: $35
  • 1Hr GPS Guided Scooter Tour: Harbor/Gaslamp Quarter: $63
  • 2 Hour Whale Watching Kayak Tour for Two: $77
  • 4 Hour Whale Watching/Eco Adventure: $163
  • Affordable, Luxury Sailing Tour of San Diego's Bay and Coastal Waterways: $112
  • All Day San Diego City and Shopping Tour: $95
  • All Inclusive Beer Tour-Party bus: $169
  • Behind-the-Scenes at Petco Park Tour: $23
  • Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past: $69
  • Catamaran Sailing Cruise on San Diego Bay for up to 12 Guests: $1,200
  • Catamaran Sailing Cruise on San Diego Bay for up to 6 Guests: $600
  • Coastal Beauty - Private Sunset & Night Photography Tour: $455

Tours and Activities in Sonoma

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

  • #1 Private Walking Food, Wine & History Tour: $139
  • 6 Hour Private Wine Sonoma Tours Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passengers Van: $499
  • All-Inclusive Sonoma Wine and Picnic Tour: $198
  • Behind-the-Scenes Food and Wine E-Bike or Regular Bike Tour: $151
  • Point Reyes Station: Food and Farm Tour with Lunch: $225
  • Rides by me, Sonoma Sidecar Wine-Tasting tours: $220
  • Small-Group Wine-Tasting Tour through Sonoma Valley: $130
  • Sonoma County Wine Segway Tour: $151
  • Sonoma Food and Wine Private Group Tour: $138
  • Sonoma Valley Full-Day Pedal Assist Bike Tour with Lunch - (Reg. Bike Optional): $151
  • Sonoma Valley Half-Day Wine Country Tour: $100
  • Sonoma Valley Wine Buyer's Picnic Tour: $125

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Diego $17
    Sonoma $33

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Sonoma

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

  • 2-Hour Private Guided E-Trike Wine Tour at Sonoma: $80
  • Sonoma County Wine Tasting Tour: $103
  • #1 Small Group Sonoma Walking Food and Wine Tour: $105
  • Napa Valley: Guided Wine Tour with Picnic Lunch: $119
  • Sonoma County: Small-Group Wine Tasting Tour: $130
  • From San Francisco: Redwoods and Wine Tasting: $179
  • Private Sonoma and Napa Wine Tour Including Custom Concierge: $225
  • Wine Tours: $513
  • 6 Hour Napa or Sonoma Wine Tour in Private Limousine: $675
  • 8-Hour Private Wine Tour Experience for up to 6 Guests - San Francisco to Sonoma: $680
  • Guided Private Wine Tour to Napa and Sonoma Wine Country: $800
  • 8 Hour Napa or Sonoma Wine Tour in Private Limousine: $875


When comparing the travel costs between San Diego and Sonoma, we can see that Sonoma 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 San Diego or Sonoma?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit San Diego or Sonoma in the Summer?

Both Sonoma and San Diego are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to San Diego for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, San Diego is around the same temperature as Sonoma. Typically, the summer temperatures in San Diego in July are around 71°F (22°C), and Sonoma is about 73°F (23°C).

In July, San Diego usually receives less rain than Sonoma. San Diego gets 0 inches (1 mm) of rain, while Sonoma receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    San Diego 71°F (22°C) 
    Sonoma 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit San Diego or Sonoma in the Autumn?

Both Sonoma and San Diego during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to San Diego because of the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, San Diego is generally a little warmer than Sonoma. Temperatures in San Diego average around 68°F (20°C), and Sonoma stays around 62°F (17°C).

San Diego usually gets less rain in October than Sonoma. San Diego gets 0.4 inches (9 mm) of rain, while Sonoma receives 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    San Diego 68°F (20°C) 
    Sonoma 62°F (17°C)

Should I visit San Diego or Sonoma in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both San Diego and Sonoma. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to San Diego this time of year.

San Diego is much warmer than Sonoma in the winter. The temperature in San Diego is usually 57°F (14°C) in January, and Sonoma stays around 46°F (8°C).

In January, San Diego usually receives less rain than Sonoma. San Diego gets 1.8 inches (46 mm) of rain, while Sonoma receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    San Diego 57°F (14°C) 
    Sonoma 46°F (8°C)

Should I visit San Diego or Sonoma in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to San Diego as well as Sonoma. Many travelers come to San Diego for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In the spring, San Diego is a little warmer than Sonoma. Typically, the spring temperatures in San Diego in April are around 62°F (17°C), and Sonoma is about 56°F (13°C).

San Diego usually gets less rain in April than Sonoma. San Diego gets 0.8 inches (20 mm) of rain, while Sonoma receives 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    San Diego 62°F (17°C) 
    Sonoma 56°F (13°C)

Typical Weather for Sonoma and San Diego

San Diego Sonoma
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 57°F (14°C) 1.8 inches (46 mm) 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Feb 59°F (15°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Mar 59°F (15°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
Apr 62°F (17°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm) 56°F (13°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm)
May 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 67°F (19°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 69°F (21°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 71°F (22°C) 0 inches (1 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm) 70°F (21°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Oct 68°F (20°C) 0.4 inches (9 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm)
Nov 62°F (17°C) 1.5 inches (37 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Dec 57°F (14°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm) 46°F (8°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)


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San Diego vs. Sonoma Travel Comparison

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