A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Sonoma vs. Columbia River Gorge for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Sonoma or Columbia River Gorge?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Sonoma and Columbia River Gorge can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Sonoma or Columbia River Gorge?

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.

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 place 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 $219, while the average daily cost in Columbia River Gorge is $179. 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 Sonoma and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sonoma $93
    Columbia River Gorge $89
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sonoma $186
    Columbia River Gorge $178
Compare Hotels in Sonoma and Columbia River Gorge

Looking for a hotel in Sonoma or Columbia River Gorge? 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 Sonoma


Hotels in Columbia River Gorge


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: Sonoma Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sonoma $134
    Columbia River Gorge $78

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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Sonoma $56
    Columbia River Gorge $46

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sonoma $16
    Columbia River Gorge $20

Tours and Activities in Sonoma

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

  • Sonoma Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour & Game: $49
  • Sonoma Valley: Wine Trolley Tasting Tour with Lunch: $125
  • Sonoma Valley: Guided Winery Tour with Picnic Lunch: $126
  • Create your own wine blend experience: $140
  • From Napa Valley Classic Sidecar Tour to 3 Wineries: $300

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sonoma $41
    Columbia River Gorge $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Sonoma

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

  • San Francisco: Half-Day Wine Tour with 2 Tastings Included: $189
  • Sonoma Food & Wine Tour: $235


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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Sonoma Expensive? and Is Columbia River Gorge Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Sonoma or Columbia River Gorge?

Columbia River Gorge has a larger population, and is about 18% larger than the population of Sonoma. When comparing the sizes of Sonoma and Columbia River Gorge, 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 along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Sonoma or Columbia River Gorge?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Sonoma or Columbia River Gorge in the Summer?

Both Columbia River Gorge and Sonoma during the summer are popular places to visit.

In the summer, Sonoma is a little warmer than Columbia River Gorge. Typically, the summer temperatures in Sonoma in July average around 73°F (23°C), and Columbia River Gorge averages at about 68°F (20°C).

Sonoma usually gets less rain in July than Columbia River Gorge. Sonoma gets 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Sonoma 73°F (23°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Sonoma or Columbia River Gorge in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Sonoma and Columbia River Gorge.

In October, Sonoma is generally a little warmer than Columbia River Gorge. Daily temperatures in Sonoma average around 62°F (17°C), and Columbia River Gorge fluctuates around 55°F (13°C).

In October, Sonoma usually receives less rain than Columbia River Gorge. Sonoma gets 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Sonoma 62°F (17°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Sonoma or Columbia River Gorge in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Sonoma as well as Columbia River Gorge.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Columbia River Gorge. Sonoma is much warmer than Columbia River Gorge in the winter. The daily temperature in Sonoma averages around 46°F (8°C) in January, and Columbia River Gorge fluctuates around 40°F (4°C).

It's quite rainy in Columbia River Gorge. Sonoma usually gets less rain in January than Columbia River Gorge. Sonoma gets 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Sonoma 46°F (8°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 40°F (4°C)

Should I visit Sonoma or Columbia River Gorge in the Spring?

Both Columbia River Gorge and Sonoma are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

In the spring, Sonoma is a little warmer than Columbia River Gorge. Typically, the spring temperatures in Sonoma in April average around 56°F (13°C), and Columbia River Gorge averages at about 51°F (11°C).

In April, Sonoma usually receives less rain than Columbia River Gorge. Sonoma gets 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Sonoma 56°F (13°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Columbia River Gorge and Sonoma

Sonoma Columbia River Gorge
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Feb 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 56°F (13°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
May 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Jun 69°F (21°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Jul 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Aug 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Sep 70°F (21°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Oct 62°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 54°F (12°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Dec 46°F (8°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm)