A Travel Price Comparison for California Santa Monica vs. Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park for Families, Food, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park?

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

Should I visit Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park? 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.

Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a active, lively, and funfilled town. It's also known for nightlife, food, and beaches.

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is a underrated, vast, and overlooked park. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the hiking.

Santa Monica and Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Home to the Santa Monica Pier
Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Santa Monica. Although Santa Monica and Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park are popular destinations, Santa Monica has more sights and attractions for tourists. Santa Monica is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, beaches, and shopping, while Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park attracts visitors for its hiking and impressive beauty. Santa Monica is more touristy than Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park and is known for its active lifestyle and fun-filled activities. It is also well known for the Santa Monica Pier. Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is famous for its alpine lakes, hydrothermal activity, and unique volcanoes.

How is Santa Monica different from Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park and Santa Monica. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park?

Santa Monica
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Santa Monica is a town with good options for its sights and museums. However, Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is not a good park for its museums and history.

Santa Monica is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. There's a thriving arts scene and a number of museums around town. Check out the Museum of Flying, the California Heritage Museum, or the Santa Monica History Museum.

While most people don't head to Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. Visit the Loomis Museum to learn about the park history and see historic photos of the park. The building was constructed in 1972 and is worth a stopover.


Is the Food Better in Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Santa Monica
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Santa Monica is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is not a good park for its restaurants.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Santa Monica makes for a great culinary experience. You'll find a diversity of restaurants in the area, many of which make use of the town's many farmer's markets. The restaurant scene has a beachy vibe with a lot of outdoor dining opportunities. There are also a range of cuisines to choose from such as Mexican, Italian, casual, and upscale.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. You'll find restaurants and shops at three locations within the park. Options are much more limited during the winter months, but you will find places to eat on the south side of the park in Mineral, Mill Creek, and Chester. On the north side, the closest towns are Shingletown and Old Station.

Is Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park Better for Nightlife?

Santa Monica
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Santa Monica is a well-known place for nightlife. However, Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is not a good park for nightlife and partying.

Santa Monica offers plenty to do in the evening. There's a relaxed and laid back vibe to the nightlife scene. Many venues offer outdoor seating and live music in a casual setting. You can hang out on a patio and enjoy the California climate while you sip cold drinks and the beach town atmosphere.

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park doesn't offer many options. Stargazing and campfire chats are the best ways to enjoy evening in the park.

Is Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park Better for Beaches?

Santa Monica
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Santa Monica is an amazing town to visit for its beaches. However, Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is not a beach destination.

Santa Monica is considered to be a world-class beach destination. Santa Monica Beach is large and lined with bike trails. It's also filled with activity and you'll find many water sports, beach volleyball, and surfing in the area. There's also the famous Santa Monica Pier, which has an amusement park aquarium, Ferris wheal, dining, and shopping.

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is not a beach destination.


Is Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park Better for Hiking?

Santa Monica
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Santa Monica is not a hiking destination.

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is a popular spot for hiking. There are more than 150 miles of hiking trails in the park. Many pass by the park's hydrothermal areas, but there are also trails that follow the edge of the alpine lakes or go through flower-filled meadows. Bumpass Hell Trail is one of the most notable hikes, but visitors also enjoy Lassen Peak Trail, Cinder Cone Trail, and Manzanita Lake Loop.

Santa Monica is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park?

Santa Monica
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Santa Monica is a well-known place for shopping. However, Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is not a good park for its shopping opportunities.

Santa Monica is an extremely popular place for shoppers. It's easy to pass the time shopping in Santa Monica. There are independent vendors, fashion boutiques, and art galleries. Head to Montana Avenue or Main Street for some of the best shopping.

If you're looking to go shopping, Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park has some nice offerings. There are stores and gift shops near the visitor centers.

Is Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park Better for Families?

Santa Monica
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Santa Monica is an amazing town to visit for its family-friendly activities. Also, Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is not as famous, but is still a good park to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Santa Monica is an extremely popular town to visit for families. Many families spend their days hanging out on the beaches, soaking up the sun, and even trying to surf. There's a boardwalk as well as bike paths that are perfect for people watching. You should also check out the Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, which is a thrilling amusement park.

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is a family-friendly town. While many of the hikes in the park are challenging for kids, there are still some great options for those with little legs. Manzanita Lake Trail is less than two miles and makes a great introductory hike. Bumpass Hell Trail is three miles, and it's a highlight of any trip to the park.


Is Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park Better for Couples?

Santa Monica
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

With fun activities for couples, both Santa Monica and Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park make for a excellent place to visit.

Santa Monica is a very popular place to visit for couples. Fun days on the beach, peaceful walks at sunset, and a wild nightlife scene make this the perfect couples destination for couples who enjoy activity and excitement.

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The setting makes a romantic backdrop for those who enjoy hiking and outdoor adventures. You can go kayaking or river rafting during the day and then enjoy stargazing at night.

Is Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Santa Monica
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is notable for backpackers. Also, Santa Monica is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is a great park to visit for backpackers. There is a large backcountry area which offers a unique hiking and camping experience. You'll need to purchase permits before your trip.

Santa Monica is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There's no shortage of activities in the area, whether you're into surfing, partying, or sunbathing. There's also at least one hostel that's great for budget travelers and backpackers.

Is Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Santa Monica
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is not a good place to visit for its public transit. However, Santa Monica does not have public transit.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. There is no public transportation in the park.

Santa Monica does not have public transit. The Metro E Line connects the city to downtown Los Angeles. There's also the Big Blue Bus as well the Santa Monica Circuit, which are small electric carts that offer free rides between Wilshire Boulevard and Marine Street, and from the ocean to Fifth Street.


Is Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park a more walkable city?

Santa Monica
Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Santa Monica is a well-known place for its walkability. However, Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is not a good park for its high level of walkability.

Santa Monica is very walkable. The city is very walkable, particularly in the more touristy areas.

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is not a very walkable town. The park is large, so to efficiently access the different hiking trails you'll need to have a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Santa Monica Worth Visiting? and Is Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park or Santa Monica?

How long in Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Santa Monica and Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. In our opinion, Santa Monica has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Santa Monica than Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. In general, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Santa Monica, and 2-3 days is enough time in Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Families should spend more time in Santa Monica than Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Santa Monica, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Santa Monica than Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Santa Monica that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.


  • How many days in Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park? Ideal Length of Stay
    Santa Monica 1-3 
    Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park 2-3

One day in Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park?

In Santa Monica, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this destination offers. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

In Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park, many people enjoy the that this overlooked park offers. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park?

Santa Monica, a popular town, is full of activities for travelers. In Santa Monica, many people enjoy the museums and nightlife that this active destination offers. Lots of people come for the beaches. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is a fun place to experience. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.


Five days in Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the town of Santa Monica. It's also a great beach destination, too. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Lots of people come for the beaches. Five days 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.

You'll find around the overlooked destination of Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

A week in Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park?

Santa Monica is a popular choice for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is a popular place to visit. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas.


Which place is cheaper, Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park or Santa Monica?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Santa Monica is $210, while the average daily cost in Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is $126. 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 Santa Monica and Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santa Monica $123
    Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park $62
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santa Monica $246
    Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park $124
Compare Hotels in Santa Monica and Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Looking for a hotel in Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park? 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 Santa Monica


Hotels in Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park


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: Santa Monica Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santa Monica $50
    Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park $56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Monica

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santa Monica:

  • Santa Monica to Los Angeles Airport Departure Private Transfer: $74
  • Santa Monica to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Deparure Private Transfer: $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park?

Prices for flights to both Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park and Santa Monica 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
    Santa Monica $52
    Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park $30

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santa Monica

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

  • Los Angeles Premier Dinner Cruise from Marina del Rey: $124

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santa Monica $38
    Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park $21

Tours and Activities in Santa Monica

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Santa Monica are as follows:

  • Santa Monica Pier's Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $9.99
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Discover Santa Monica: $13
  • LA & Self-Guided Aerospace Legacy Audio Tour: $30
  • Explore Malibu's Coast: PCH & Beyond - Self Guided Audio Tour: $30
  • Scavenger Hunt Experience in Santa Monica: $30
  • Santa Monica Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Santa Monica Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour: $49
  • Onewheel Board Experience: $60
  • Los Angeles: Latin Dance Club Crawl Experience: $65
  • Sights and Sips Cruise Tour in Marina del Rey: $69
  • LA: Santa Monica & Venice Beach Guided Bike or eBike Tour: $72
  • 3-Hour Santa Monica and Venice Beach Bike Guided Tour : $72

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santa Monica $21
    Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park $19

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Monica

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

  • Private Vintage VW Hippie Tour to Malibu with wine tasting: $195


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Santa Monica Expensive? and Is Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park?

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 Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park in the Summer?

Both Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park and Santa Monica are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Santa Monica in the summer for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Santa Monica is generally cooler than Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. Daily temperatures in Santa Monica average around 70°F (21°C), and Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park fluctuates around 83°F (29°C).

In July, Santa Monica usually receives less rain than Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. Santa Monica gets 0 inches (0 mm) of rain, while Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park receives 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Santa Monica 70°F (21°C) 
    Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park 83°F (29°C)

Should I visit Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park in the Autumn?

Both Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park and Santa Monica during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Santa Monica for the shopping scene during these months. Furthermore, the autumn months attract visitors to Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Santa Monica is around the same temperature as Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park in the autumn. The daily temperature in Santa Monica averages around 67°F (20°C) in October, and Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park fluctuates around 66°F (19°C).

Santa Monica usually gets less rain in October than Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. Santa Monica gets 0.2 inches (6 mm) of rain, while Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park receives 1.5 inches (37 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Santa Monica 67°F (20°C) 
    Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park 66°F (19°C)

Should I visit Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Santa Monica and Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. The winter months attract visitors to Santa Monica because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park this time of year.

In the winter, Santa Monica is much warmer than Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. Typically, the winter temperatures in Santa Monica in January average around 57°F (14°C), and Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park averages at about 47°F (9°C).

Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park receives a lot of rain in the winter. In January, Santa Monica usually receives less rain than Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. Santa Monica gets 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain, while Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park receives 4.1 inches (104 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Santa Monica 57°F (14°C) 
    Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park 47°F (9°C)

Should I visit Santa Monica or Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Santa Monica as well as Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. The beaches are the main draw to Santa Monica this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park for the natural beauty.

In April, Santa Monica is generally around the same temperature as Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. Daily temperatures in Santa Monica average around 61°F (16°C), and Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park fluctuates around 60°F (16°C).

Santa Monica usually gets less rain in April than Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. Santa Monica gets 0.2 inches (4 mm) of rain, while Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park receives 1.4 inches (35 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Santa Monica 61°F (16°C) 
    Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park 60°F (16°C)

Typical Weather for Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park and Santa Monica

Santa Monica Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 57°F (14°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm) 47°F (9°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm)
Feb 58°F (15°C) 0.9 inches (24 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Mar 58°F (15°C) 0.4 inches (10 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Apr 61°F (16°C) 0.2 inches (4 mm) 60°F (16°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
May 63°F (17°C) 0 inches (1 mm) 69°F (21°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm)
Jun 66°F (19°C) 0 inches (0 mm) 78°F (25°C) 0.4 inches (11 mm)
Jul 70°F (21°C) 0 inches (0 mm) 83°F (29°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Aug 71°F (22°C) 0 inches (0 mm) 81°F (27°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm)
Sep 70°F (21°C) 0 inches (1 mm) 76°F (25°C) 0.6 inches (16 mm)
Oct 67°F (20°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm) 66°F (19°C) 1.5 inches (37 mm)
Nov 62°F (17°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Dec 58°F (14°C) 0.6 inches (15 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.4 inches (88 mm)