A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America South Lake Tahoe vs. Seattle for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit South Lake Tahoe or Seattle?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between South Lake Tahoe or Seattle, 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).

Seattle

Situated on the Puget Sound in the state of Washington, Seattle is the largest city in the United States Pacific Northwest. It's a beautiful city surrounded by the water and mountains and filled with evergreen trees. It's also the home of some famous American institutions including Starbucks Coffee, Amazon, and Microsoft. The population of almost 700,000 continues to grow. As of 2014, the city was considered the fastest growing major city in the United States. The entire metropolitan area has about 3.6 million residents, making it the 15th largest metro area in the US. The natural beauty, growing economy, and educational base give Seattle a youthful vibe that keep the city young and energetic.

Which city is cheaper, Seattle 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 Seattle is $156. 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 Seattle in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in South Lake Tahoe is about $86 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

A hotel room in Seattle is about $188 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    South Lake Tahoe $43
    Seattle $94
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    South Lake Tahoe $86
    Seattle $188

Food

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 Seattle can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $38 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $15 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    South Lake Tahoe $30
    Seattle $38

Typical Food prices in Seattle

Some typical examples of dining costs in Seattle are as follows:


  • Expresso & cookie at Pier 70
    $7.00
  • Cashews at Pike Place Market
    $6.00
  • 6 Mini Donuts at Pike Place Market
    $3.25
  • Chinese Lunch in International District (for 2)
    $21
  • Breakfast at Lowel's in Pike Place Market (for 2)
    $32
  • Breakfast at French Cafe (for 2)
    $37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Seattle

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Seattle.

  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 1 Hour: $34
  • Pike Place Market: Walking Food Tour: $48
  • Pike Place Market Chef-Guided Food Tour: $56
  • Chef Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market- 2 Hours: $58
  • Pacific Northwest-Style Dinner and Pairing in Seattle: $61
  • Exclusive: Early-Access Food Tour of Pike Place Market: $73
  • Street Theater and Dinner in Seattle's Fremont District: $86
  • Seattle Dinner Cruise: $115

Local Transportation

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 $18 per day to get around in Seattle.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    South Lake Tahoe $20
    Seattle $18

Typical Local Transportation prices in Seattle

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Seattle:


  • Lightrail from Airport (for 2)
    $5.50
  • Roundtrip Ferry to Bainbridge Island (for 2)
    $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seattle

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seattle:

  • Private Airport Transfer: Seattle to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA): $40
  • Private Departure Transfer from Seattle City to SEA Seattle Airport: $46
  • Seattle Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $50
  • Seattle Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive Sedan: $50
  • Seattle Arrival Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer: $50
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Seattle Tacoma Airport to Seattle Downtown: $60
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Seattle Downtown to Tacoma Airport: $60
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Seattle Tacoma International Airport to Kent City - One Way: $62
  • Private Departure Transfer to Seattle Tacoma Airport SEA: $64
  • Seattle Departure Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Executive SUV: $65
  • Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) to Cruise Port - Arrival Private Transfer: $71
  • Cruise Port to Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA) - Departure Private Transfer: $71

Is it cheaper to fly into South Lake Tahoe or Seattle?

Prices for flights to both Seattle 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.





Entertainment

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 $12 per person, per day in Seattle. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    South Lake Tahoe $45
    Seattle $12

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: $60
  • Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley: $62
  • Virginia City Day Tour From Lake Tahoe: $65
  • Wine and Harvest Tour to Gold country from Lake Tahoe: $80
  • Happy Hour Cruise: $90
  • Sightseeing Cruise of Emerald Bay: $90
  • Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe: $94
  • 2 Hour Small Group Sailing Cruise Lake Tahoe: $99
  • Lake Tahoe: Half-Day Photographic Scenic Tour: $179
  • Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group: $179
  • Zephyr Cove Helicopter Tour: $180
  • Yosemite National Park: Full-Day Tour from Lake Tahoe: $200

Tours and Activities in Seattle

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Seattle are as follows:

  • Private Auto-guided Tour of Seattle: $4.96
  • Historic Ballard audio tour: A slice of Seattle's quirky history: $5.00
  • Skip the Line: Sky View Observatory Admission Tickets: $10
  • Smith Tower Straight Up Observatory Access Ticket: $12
  • Seattle Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Seattle Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Sky View Observatory General Admission Ticket: $20
  • Seattle Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Haunted Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Seattle Walking Ghost Tour: $23
  • The Museum of Flight Admission Ticket: $25
  • City Harbor Cruise: $26

Alcohol

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.

The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in Seattle per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    South Lake Tahoe $28
    Seattle $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Seattle

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

  • Seattle Bar Hunt: Sleepless in Seattle Bar Crawl: $12
  • Haunted Seattle Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Georgetown Brewery Tour: $72
  • Bon Vivant Woodinville Wine Tasting Tour: $98
  • Half-Day Coffee, Chocolate, and Wine Tour: $99
  • Seattle Coffee, Chocolate and Wine Tour: $112
  • Seattle Wine Tour (Hourly): $135
  • 7-Hour Wenatchee White Water Rafting and Wine Tour: $145
  • From Snoqualmie Falls & Woodinville Wine Tasting: $209
  • Seattle All-Inclusive: Hike Mt. Rainier and Wine Tasting: $263


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between South Lake Tahoe and Seattle, we can see that Seattle 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 Seattle would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Seattle than you might in South Lake Tahoe.

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South Lake Tahoe vs. Seattle Travel Comparison

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