A Travel Price Comparison for California South Lake Tahoe vs. Redwood National Park for Hiking, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down 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 a idyllic, scenic, and breathtaking town. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and hiking.

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is a impressive, monumental, and grand park. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the beaches and hiking.

South Lake Tahoe and Redwood National Park: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park?

Tourists will generally find more to do in South Lake Tahoe. Although South Lake Tahoe and Redwood National Park are both popular with visitors, South Lake Tahoe has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. South Lake Tahoe is more popular for its skiing, museums, food, nightlife, resorts, and shopping, while Redwood National Park is known for its beaches. South Lake Tahoe is popular for its casino resorts, ski resorts, and beautiful setting. It is also home to the Heavenly Gondola. Redwood National Park is popular for being the home of the world's tallest trees.

How is South Lake Tahoe different from Redwood National Park?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Redwood National Park and South Lake Tahoe. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park Better for Skiing?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

South Lake Tahoe is well known for winter skiing. However, Redwood National Park is not a skiing destination.

South Lake Tahoe is a well-known ski destination which attracts visitors from far and wide. There are three ski resorts in the area. Heavenly Mountain Resort is the largest, but if you're looking for something smaller, head to Kirkwood, which is tucked away and less well known. There's also Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, which is popular with groups and families because it caters to a range of skill levels.

Redwood National Park is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

South Lake Tahoe is a town with a few options for its museums and landmarks. However, Redwood National Park is not particularly known for its historical sights.

South Lake Tahoe offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Most people spend their time exploring the area's nature, but you can also stop by Tallac Historic Site or the Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum.

If you're looking to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Redwood National Park. There is little in the form of museums, but you can visit the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center on the south side of the park and see exhibits about Yurok culture and the area's ecology.

Is the Food Better in South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

South Lake Tahoe is a good destination for its restaurant scene. However, Redwood National Park is not particularly known for its local flavors and cuisine.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the South Lake Tahoe area. While most resorts have their own restaurants, there are a number of options around town that specialize in "alpine comfort cuisine", which is worth sampling. You'll also find plenty of cafes that serve up a hearty breakfast - the perfect way to start an active day.

While Redwood National Park is not famous for its food, you'll find what you need there. There are no dining or grocery options within the park but there are some options just outside the park.

Is South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park Better for Nightlife?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

South Lake Tahoe is an amazing town to visit for its evening party scene. However, Redwood National Park is not particularly known for nightlife.

South Lake Tahoe has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. The resort town has plenty of nightclubs, bars, and music venues. There are outdoor options when the weather is warm as well as indoor settings for cooler weather. You'll also find casinos and live shows.

The nightlife scene is quiet in Redwood National Park The laid back setting offers little in the form of nightlife.


Is South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park Better for Resorts?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

South Lake Tahoe is well known for its resorts. However, Redwood National Park is not a resort destination.

There are plenty of resorts in South Lake Tahoe to choose from. It's a resort town, so there are plenty of options to choose from, many with pools, spas, or casinos.

Redwood National Park is not a resort destination.

Is South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park Better for Beaches?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is a nice place to visit for the beache. However, South Lake Tahoe is not a beach destination.

Redwood National Park has a beach worth visiting. The park runs along the Pacific coastline and there are 70 miles of coastal trail in the park. Beaches are rugged and sandy and favorite sections include Gold Bluff Beach, Crescent Beach, and Enderts Beach, which has great tidal pools.

South Lake Tahoe is not a beach destination.

Is South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park Better for Hiking?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

South Lake Tahoe and Redwood National Park are both places where visitors can find world-class hiking trails.

Known for its hiking, South Lake Tahoe draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. There are miles of beautiful hikes in the area that follow the lake's shore or explore the diverse terrain. Skyline Trail Hike is a favorite. It is accessible by lift and offers spectacular views. For a relaxing stroll check out Fallen Leaf Lake Hike.

Around Redwood National Park visitors will find world-class hiking trails. Hikes range from coastal trails to world-renowned hikes through the redwoods. You'll feel humbled in the presence of these grand and majestic trees. Several of the most well-known hikes include Fern Canyon, the Cathedral Trees Trail, and Redwood Creek Trail.


Is the Shopping Better in South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

South Lake Tahoe is a good destination for its shopping areas. However, Redwood National Park is not particularly known for shopping.

Many visitors go to South Lake Tahoe to go shopping. Most of the shopping involves retailers selling ski gear or outdoor equipment. There are also clothing shops, gift stores, and some art galleries.

Shopping in Redwood National Park can be found for those interested. You'll find park stores at the visitor centers if you want to pick up a small gift or souvenir.

Is South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park Better for Families?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

South Lake Tahoe is an amazing town to visit for its family-friendly activities. Also, Redwood National Park is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, South Lake Tahoe is very family-friendly. Kids will love the outdoor adventures that the area is filled with. There are gondolas, lakefront beaches, adventure parks, and tubing. There are also miles of hiking trails and a beautiful setting that even the young ones will appreciate.

Redwood National Park is a very family-friendly destination. There are plenty of kid-friendly hikes in the park and the kids will love exploring the varied landscapes and diverse ecosystems. Less than a mile long, Fern Canyon is the perfect hike for little kids and it's not-to-be-missed. Cathedral Trees Trail is three miles, and also a highlight of any trip to the park.

Is South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park Better for Couples?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

South Lake Tahoe is an amazing town to visit for couples. Also, Redwood National Park is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

South Lake Tahoe is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. It's beautiful setting and wide variety of adventurous activities make this the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. The lake has hidden coves and nearby hiking trails. There are also hot springs, gondolas, and carriage rides. You can go hiking when the weather is warm or skiing when the weather is cold.

Redwood National Park is a great town if you're traveling as a couple. There are historic lodges that make for a romantic getaway. You can fill your days with hikes through magical landscapes and breathtaking settings surrounded by the impressive redwoods.


Is South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is an amazing park to visit for backpackers. Also, South Lake Tahoe is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Redwood National Park. There are miles of backcountry trails that let you can explore the park in relative peace and solitude. This is an amazing way to experience the park, but do make sure you purchase a permit in advance.

South Lake Tahoe is a good town to visit for backpackers. There are a couple of hostels in the area and the skiing and hiking attracts the backpacker crowd.

Is South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

South Lake Tahoe is a town with a few options for its public transit. However, Redwood National Park is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit is generally limited in South Lake Tahoe. While there are some shuttles and buses, if you really want to explore the area, you'll need your own car.

Public transit is quite limited in Redwood National Park. There's no public transportation within the park.

Is South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park a more walkable city?

South Lake Tahoe
Redwood National Park

South Lake Tahoe is well known for its ease of walking around. However, Redwood National Park is not particularly known for its walkability.

South Lake Tahoe is a very walkable destination. Once you get to town, the area is very walkable.

Redwood National Park is not a very walkable town. The park is large and spread out, so you'll need a car to get around.


For even more information, also check out Is South Lake Tahoe Worth Visiting? and Is Redwood National Park Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Redwood National Park or South Lake Tahoe?

How long in South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park?

In either South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. In our opinion, South Lake Tahoe has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in South Lake Tahoe than Redwood National Park. However, 3-5 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in South Lake Tahoe than Redwood National Park. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in South Lake Tahoe, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in South Lake Tahoe than Redwood National Park. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in South Lake Tahoe that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in South Lake Tahoe than Redwood National Park if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in South Lake Tahoe.


  • How many days in South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park? Ideal Length of Stay
    South Lake Tahoe 3-5 
    Redwood National Park 3-5

One day in South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park?

In South Lake Tahoe, you'll find food and shopping. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

You'll find around the impressive destination of Redwood National Park. Hikers are also drawn to this area. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. This park offers a variety of activities to choose from.

A weekend in South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in South Lake Tahoe. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. It offers something for everyone.

You'll find around the monumental park of Redwood National Park. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Most people head to the area for the hiking. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.

Five days in South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park?

South Lake Tahoe is a fun place to experience. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this town. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Redwood National Park is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A week in South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park?

You'll find nightlife and food around the idyllic destination of South Lake Tahoe. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Redwood National Park is a great place to explore. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Most people head to the area for the hiking. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage.


Which place is cheaper, Redwood National Park 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 $118, while the average daily cost in Redwood National Park is $111. 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 South Lake Tahoe and Redwood National Park in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    South Lake Tahoe $54
    Redwood National Park $44
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    South Lake Tahoe $108
    Redwood National Park $88
Compare Hotels in South Lake Tahoe and Redwood National Park

Looking for a hotel in South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park? 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 South Lake Tahoe


Hotels in Redwood National Park


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: South Lake Tahoe Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    South Lake Tahoe $24
    Redwood National Park $53

Is it cheaper to fly into South Lake Tahoe or Redwood National Park?

Prices for flights to both Redwood National Park 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    South Lake Tahoe $38
    Redwood National Park $33

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    South Lake Tahoe $56
    Redwood National Park $33

Tours and Activities in South Lake Tahoe

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for South Lake Tahoe are as follows:

  • Driving Lake Tahoe: A Self-Guided Audio Tour From Tahoe City to Incline Village: $9.99
  • Driving Lake Tahoe: A Self-Guided Tour From Incline Village to South Lake Tahoe: $12
  • Driving Lake Tahoe: A Self-Guided Tour from South Lake Tahoe to Tahoe City: $12
  • Lake Tahoe: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour: $15
  • Tallac Historic Site Pope House Tour: $16
  • Ultimate Lake Tahoe Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Tallac Historic Site Grand Estates Tour: $20
  • Lake Tahoe: Self-Guided Driving Tour: $25
  • Full Day Self-Guided Bike Tour of Lake Tahoe: $69
  • Guided Tour of Historic Virginia City and Carson City from South Lake Tahoe: $70
  • Introductory Snowshoe Shared Experience: $75
  • Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley: $80

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    South Lake Tahoe $34
    Redwood National Park $11

Sample the Local Flavors in South Lake Tahoe

Also in South Lake Tahoe, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Lake Tahoe: Emerald Bay Sunset Wine Tasting Yacht Cruise: $150


When comparing the travel costs between South Lake Tahoe and Redwood National Park, we can see that South Lake Tahoe is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is South Lake Tahoe Expensive? and Is Redwood National Park Expensive?.