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

Should you visit South Lake Tahoe or Vail?

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 Vail, 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.

Where Should I go: South Lake Tahoe or Vail?

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).

Vail

Vail is one of the premier ski resort areas in the United States. Located in central Colorado, Vail is not far from Denver and situated in the heart of the Rockies. Here you'll find a quaint mountain town designed around tourism, especially for the winter, although plenty of visitors come in the warmer months, too.

High-end hotels, condos, and other accommodation options are surrounded by shops and restaurants that are all somewhat expensive compared to other costs in the United States. Because of this, Vail is definitely not considered an "affordable" travel option for many. However, good deals can be found if you look around and do some research.

Which city is cheaper, Vail 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 Vail is $233. 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 Vail in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    South Lake Tahoe $43
    Vail $139
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    South Lake Tahoe $86
    Vail $278
Compare Hotels in South Lake Tahoe and Vail

Looking for a hotel in South Lake Tahoe or Vail? 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 Vail


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    South Lake Tahoe $20
    Vail $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Vail

Also for Vail, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Shared Transfer from Vail or Beaver Creek to Denver Downtown: $99
  • Private Departure Transfer to Vail Airport EGE: $128
  • Private Eagle County Regional Airport Transfer to Beaver Creek: $190
  • Private Eagle County Airport Transfer to Vail: $210
  • Transfer in private minivan from Vail city to Denver International Airport (DEN): $291
  • Private Transfer: Vail to Denver International Airport (DEN): $576
  • Private Airport Transfer Service - Vail Hotels to Denver Int'l Airport: $600

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

Prices for flights to both Vail 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
    Vail $60

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    South Lake Tahoe $45
    Vail $106

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

Tours and Activities in Vail

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Vail.

  • Listen to a Tour Guide While you Drive between Vail & Denver: $3.75
  • Vail Segway Tour from Vail Village: $89
  • Dillon Marina & Shopping Tour: $267
  • Glenwood Adventure Park Tour: $350
  • Fall Leaves Tour from Vail: $373
  • Glenwood Hot Springs Tour: $377
  • Blackhawk-Central City Casino Tour from Vail: $377
  • Aspen Independence Pass Day Tour: $545
  • Historic Mining Town Tour: $693

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    South Lake Tahoe $28
    Vail $7.83

Sample the Local Flavors in Vail

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

  • Vail Valley Brewery & Wine Tour: $377
  • Palisade Wine Tour from Vail: $779


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

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