Should you visit South Lake Tahoe or Aspen?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between South Lake Tahoe or Aspen, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.
South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe is the largest town on the famous Lake Tahoe that straddles the California-Nevada border in the Sierra Mountain Range. Located just south of Reno, Nevada and about 2 hours east of Sacramento, the Lake Tahoe area is easily accessible to many visitors.
Lake Tahoe is known for skiing and other winter sports, as well as plenty of warm weather activities such as hiking, swimming, boating, mountain biking, and more.
South Lake Tahoe has plenty of accommodations, restaurants, bars, and shopping. This is a good town to base yourself if you're looking to explore the area, as it has a large number of amenities.
Located on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe is the town of Stateline. Here you can find some casinos, as gambling is legal in Nevada.
If you're looking to go skiing or snowboarding, the Heavenly Ski Resort can be found on the southern edge of the town of South Lake Tahoe. Naturally, more ski resorts are located around the lake as well.
As swimming is also popular, several beach areas are on the southern section of the lake including the Regan Memorial City Beach, Lakeside Beach, Pope Beach, Emerald Bay State Park, and the Edgewood Resort area (on the Nevada side).
Aspen is a famous, and notably expensive travel destination. The town is one of the country's most famous and recognizable ski destinations, and prices can climb high during the ski season. Although still expensive, you can often find better deals during the summer months or shoulder seasons. For visitors who want to enjoy the area's hiking, natural beauty, and charm, these are the times to visit.
Which city is cheaper, Aspen or South Lake Tahoe?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in South Lake Tahoe is $94, while the average daily cost in Aspen is $235. 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 South Lake Tahoe and Aspen in more detail.
A hotel room in South Lake Tahoe is about $86 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
The average price for accommodation for two people in Aspen is $272. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
On average, meal and food prices in South Lake Tahoe cost around $30 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $12.
The price of a meal in Aspen can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $68 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $27 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
Meals for one day
South Lake Tahoe $30
The average price of local transportation around South Lake Tahoe is $20 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $45 per day to get around in Aspen.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aspen
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Aspen:
Private Departure Transfer to Aspen Airport (ASE):
Private Arrival Transfer from Aspen Airport (ASE):
Private Eagle County Regional Airport Transfer to Aspen:
Aspen hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer:
Private Transfer: Aspen to Denver International Airport (DEN):
Is it cheaper to fly into South Lake Tahoe or Aspen?
Prices for flights to both Aspen and South Lake Tahoe 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.
South Lake Tahoe's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $45 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $36 per person, per day in Aspen. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Tours and Activities in South Lake Tahoe
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for South Lake Tahoe are as follows:
Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley: Full-Day Narrated Bus Tour:
Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley:
Virginia City Day Tour From Lake Tahoe:
Wine and Harvest Tour to Gold country from Lake Tahoe:
Happy Hour Cruise:
Sightseeing Cruise of Emerald Bay:
Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe:
2 Hour Small Group Sailing Cruise Lake Tahoe:
Lake Tahoe: Half-Day Photographic Scenic Tour:
Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group:
Zephyr Cove Helicopter Tour:
Yosemite National Park: Full-Day Tour from Lake Tahoe:
Tours and Activities in Aspen
Here are a few actual costs in Aspen for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Aspen's DarkSide Ghost Tour:
Aspen's Past to Present Historic Tour:
Glimpse of Aspen Tour:
The average person spends about $28 on alcoholic beverages in South Lake Tahoe per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Aspen may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $16 per day on alcoholic beverages.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between South Lake Tahoe and Aspen, we can see that Aspen is more expensive. And not only is South Lake Tahoe much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to South Lake Tahoe would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in South Lake Tahoe 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 Aspen would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Aspen than you might in South Lake Tahoe.
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