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

Should you visit South Lake Tahoe or Sun Valley?

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 Sun Valley, 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 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).

Sun Valley

Sun Valley is a beautiful resort city in the Wood River Valley area of Idaho, most famous for becoming a snowy wonderland every winter. The area was actually named the 2nd best ski resort by Ski Magazine and was a favorite place of escape for Ernest Hemingway. Whether you visit in winter or summer, you're always met with beautiful scenery that's perfect for exploring. The best time of year for winter activities is December-March, while June-August is best for hiking and exploring the area.

Which city is cheaper, Sun Valley 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 Sun Valley is $147. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for South Lake Tahoe and Sun Valley in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    South Lake Tahoe $43
    Sun Valley $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    South Lake Tahoe $86
    Sun Valley $152

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    South Lake Tahoe $20
    Sun Valley $49

Is it cheaper to fly into South Lake Tahoe or Sun Valley?

Prices for flights to both Sun Valley 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 $30
    Sun Valley $38

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    South Lake Tahoe $45
    Sun Valley $33

Tours and Activities in South Lake Tahoe

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

  • Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley: $62
  • Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe: $94
  • 2 Hour Small Group Sailing Cruise Lake Tahoe: $99
  • Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group: $179
  • Zephyr Cove Helicopter Tour: $180
  • Tahoe's Sand Harbor Helicopter Tour: $265
  • Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Lakes and Waterfalls: $265
  • Lake Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Circle the Lake: $392

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    South Lake Tahoe $28
    Sun Valley $39


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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South Lake Tahoe vs. Sun Valley Travel Comparison

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