Should you visit Sonoma or Columbia River Gorge?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Sonoma and Columbia River Gorge can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
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.
Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge is a popular destination in the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. The region's close proximity to Portland, which is just 30 minutes away, makes it a popular weekend destination.
The gorge is formed by the Columbia River, with an 80 mile stretch designated as a National Scenic Area. The area has many beautiful cliffs with a number of tall waterfalls and its protected status means that most new development must occur within one of the already established towns.
Which city is cheaper, Columbia River Gorge or Sonoma?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Sonoma is $176, while the average daily cost in Columbia River Gorge is $143. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Sonoma and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.
Travelers usually pay around $148 for a double occupancy room in Sonoma If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
A hotel room in Columbia River Gorge is about $142 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Columbia River Gorge $71
Typical double-occupancy room
Columbia River Gorge
Food in Sonoma costs travelers about $45 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
The average traveler spends about $37 per day in Columbia River Gorge for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Meals for one day
Columbia River Gorge $37
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:
Sonoma's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $107 per person, per day on transportation in Sonoma.
The cost of a taxi ride in Columbia River Gorge is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $62 per person, per day, on local transportation in Columbia River Gorge.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sonoma
Also for Sonoma, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private transfer from SFO to Sonoma:
Private transfer from Sonoma to SFO:
Is it cheaper to fly into Sonoma or Columbia River Gorge?
Prices for flights to both Columbia River Gorge and Sonoma 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Sonoma can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $13 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Entertainment and activities in Columbia River Gorge typically cost an average of $16 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Tours and Activities in Sonoma
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sonoma.
Sonoma Valley Wine Buyer's Picnic Tour:
Small-Group Wine-Tasting Tour through Sonoma Valley:
Sonoma Food and Wine Private Group Tour:
#1 Private Walking Food, Wine & History Tour:
Sonoma County Wine Segway Tour:
Behind-the-Scenes Food and Wine E-Bike or Regular Bike Tour:
Sonoma Valley Full-Day Pedal Assist Bike Tour with Lunch - (Reg. Bike Optional):
All-Inclusive Sonoma Wine and Picnic Tour:
Rides by me, Sonoma Sidecar Wine-Tasting tours:
Pt. Reyes Food and Farm Tour with Lunch:
6 Hour Private Wine Sonoma Tours Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passengers Van:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Sonoma, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $33.
The average person spends about $9.49 on alcoholic beverages in Columbia River Gorge per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
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:
Sonoma County Wine Tasting Tour:
#1 Small Group Sonoma Walking Food and Wine Tour:
All-Inclusive Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch:
Private Sonoma and Napa Wine Tour Including Custom Concierge:
6 Hour Napa or Sonoma Wine Tour in Private Limousine:
8-Hour Private Wine Tour Experience for up to 6 Guests - San Francisco to Sonoma:
8 Hour Napa or Sonoma Wine Tour in Private Limousine:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Sonoma and Columbia River Gorge, we can see that Sonoma is more expensive. And not only is Columbia River Gorge much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbia River Gorge would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbia River Gorge 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 Sonoma would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Sonoma than you might in Columbia River Gorge.
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