Should you visit South Lake Tahoe or Boulder?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between South Lake Tahoe or Boulder, 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).
Boulder is located on the edge of the Rocky Mountains in the state of Colorado. As home to the University of Colorado at Boulder, it's a college town with a liberal vibe and progressive values. In recent years, Boulder's economy has received a boost from the tech industry, which has grown rapidly in the area.
Boulder is also a great city to visit. It's surrounded by a beautiful mountain setting and there are countless outdoor sporting activities that you can enjoy. One unique aspect of Boulder is its role as home to many serious athletes who come here to train in the area's top facilities and programs.
Boulder's climate is similar to most of Colorado. It's a dry city with plenty of sunshine. Winters can vary dramatically from mild to incredibly cold and snowfall averages 44 inches a season. Summers are warm and dry with temperatures climbing above 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the warmest months.
Which city is cheaper, Boulder 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 Boulder is $153. 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 Boulder in more detail.
A hotel room in South Lake Tahoe is about $86 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Boulder, $164 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Boulder, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $82, such as in a hostel.
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.
In Boulder travelers spend around $43 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Meals for one day
South Lake Tahoe $30
Typical Food prices in Boulder
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Boulder:
Nice Dinner for Two
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.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Boulder than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $41 on transportation in Boulder on average per day.
Is it cheaper to fly into South Lake Tahoe or Boulder?
Prices for flights to both Boulder 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.
Sightseeing expenses in Boulder, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $26 per day, per person.
Tours and Activities in South Lake Tahoe
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for South Lake Tahoe are as follows:
2 Hour Small Group Sailing Cruise Lake Tahoe:
Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe:
Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley:
Lake Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Circle the Lake:
Lake Tahoe Scenic Driving Tour:
Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group:
Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley: Full-Day Narrated Bus Tour:
Lake Tahoe: Half-Day Photographic Scenic Tour:
Happy Hour Cruise:
Sightseeing Cruise of Emerald Bay:
Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Lakes and Waterfalls:
Tahoe's Sand Harbor Helicopter Tour:
Tours and Activities in Boulder
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Boulder.
Listen to a Tour Guide While you Drive between Boulder and Vail:
Downtown An audio tour around this weird and beautiful town:
A natural healing experience in a private epsom salt bath.:
Holistic & Medicinal Tour:
Amazing Boulder Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
Wild West-End Hiking Tour:
Half-Day eBike Mural Tour in Boulder:
Electric Cruiser Fat Tire Bike Tour - Best of Boulder:
Best of Boulder E-Bike Tour:
High-Vibes Foodie Tour:
Hiking Adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park from Boulder:
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.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Boulder, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $22.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between South Lake Tahoe and Boulder, we can see that Boulder 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 Boulder would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Boulder than you might in South Lake Tahoe.
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