Should you visit South Lake Tahoe or Moab?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between South Lake Tahoe or Moab, 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).
Moab is the closest town to Arches National Park in Utah's Canyon Country. It is also a popular base for exploring Canyonlands National Park. It's a small town that serves mainly to accommodate tourists to the popular national parks and other surrounding wildlife areas. It has grown dramatically in recent years and has a population of just over 5,000. In town you will find hotels and motels, a handful of restaurants and a few shops where you can stock up on supplies. There's a small museum, the Museum of Moab, and a variety of tour operators in town. You can easily book river rafting trips, jeep expeditions, and tours of the surrounding area. For many, exploring Arches National Park on your own is a more enjoyable and independent experience.
Which city is cheaper, Moab 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 Moab is $124. 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 Moab in more detail.
A hotel room in South Lake Tahoe is about $86 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $164 in Moab For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
While meal prices in Moab can vary, the average travelers spends about $30 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Moab should cost around $12 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Moab is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
South Lake Tahoe $30
Typical Food prices in Moab
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Moab:
Breakfast for Two
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Moab
For Moab, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Sound and Light Show with Dinner:
Moab Dinner Cruise with Sound and Light Show:
Colorado River Sunset Boat Tour with Optional Dinner:
Sunset Jetboat Ride with Dinner on the Colorado River from Moab:
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.
To get around in Moab, the average visitor spends $14 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Is it cheaper to fly into South Lake Tahoe or Moab?
Prices for flights to both Moab 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.
In Moab, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $2.50 per person, per day.
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:
Typical Entertainment prices in Moab
For Moab, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Slickrock Trail Pass
Tours and Activities in Moab
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Moab.
Arches National Park Self-Driving Audio Tour:
Ultimate Utah Combo Self-Driving Audio Tour:
1-Hour Colorado River Speed Boat Tour:
Guided Half-Day Mountain Bike Tour in Moab:
Moab High Ropes Challenge Course 2-Hour Adventure:
Colorado River and Fisher Towers Half-Day Rafting Tour:
Self-Drive 2.5-Hour Hells Revenge 4x4 Guided Tour:
Moab Stand Up Paddleboarding: Splish and Splash Tour:
Full Day Colorado Rafting Tour from Moab:
Calm Water Cruise in Inflatable Boat on Colorado River:
Moab U-Drive Slickrock Guided Tour:
Moab Off Road & Back Country Adventure:
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 Moab, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $53.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between South Lake Tahoe and Moab, we can see that Moab 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 Moab would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Moab than you might in South Lake Tahoe.
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