A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Tampa vs. Charleston for Food, Couples, Beaches, and Families

Should you visit Tampa or Charleston?

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

Should I visit Tampa or Charleston? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Tampa

Tampa is a easy-going, low-key, and laid-back city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include beaches.

Charleston

Charleston is a picturesque, charming, and southern coastal town. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and live music.

Tampa and Charleston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere


How is Tampa different from Charleston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Charleston and Tampa. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Tampa or Charleston Better for Food?

Tampa
Charleston

For a nice culinary experience, head to Charleston, which is well known for it's local dishes and restaurants.

For foodies, Charleston is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. Food lovers will enjoy the city's low country classics. Local favorites include she crab soup, shrimp and grits, cornbread, and fried green tomatoes.

Tampa offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Some favorite dishes include fresh caught seafood, Grouper sandwiches, and Cuban sandwiches.


Is Tampa or Charleston Better for Nightlife?

Tampa
Charleston

Both Tampa and Charleston have similar vibes after the sun sets.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Tampa. The city has some good nightclubs, sports bars, and other spots where locals enjoy spending the evening.

Charleston has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. As a college town, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs around town. There's also a lively music scene.

Is Tampa or Charleston Better for Beaches?

Tampa
Charleston

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Tampa and Charleston are good choices.

Tampa is considered a top beach destination. Popular beaches near Tampa include Ben T. Davis Beach, Fred Howard Park, and Indian Rocks Beach.

Charleston is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. The area has a number of beautiful and fun nearby beaches including Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island.

Is Tampa or Charleston Better for Families?

Tampa
Charleston

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Tampa or Charleston.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Tampa. The city has a number of kid-oriented attractions including Busch Gardens Amusement Park, several kid-friendly museums, and a number of animal centers, aquariums, and wildlife rescue facilities.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Charleston. The area has a number of family friendly activities like carriage rides and boat rides. The nearby beaches also make it a wonderful place to visit with kids.

Is Tampa or Charleston Better for Couples?

Tampa
Charleston

There's generally more to do as a couple in Charleston than Tampa.

Charleston makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. This beautiful city is one of the most popular wedding destinations in America. It's a very romantic setting with beautiful hotels and bed and breakfasts that are perfect for couples on their honeymoon or looking for a romantic setting.

Tampa is not the best destination for a couple to visit. The area does have great restaurants and some fun places to explore.


Is Tampa or Charleston a more walkable city?

Tampa
Charleston

Charleston is more walkable than Tampa.

Charleston is a very walkable destination. The downtown area is very walkable, but once you leave the historic heart, it's best to have a car.

Tampa is generally not very walkable. While there are some neighborhoods that are considered walkable, you really need a car if you hope to explore Tampa in depth.

Should I spend more time in Charleston or Tampa?

How long in Tampa or Charleston?

Both Tampa and Charleston have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Charleston than Tampa.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Tampa is 2-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Charleston is 2-7 days.


  • How many days in Tampa or Charleston? Ideal Length of Stay
    Tampa 2-3 
    Charleston 2-7

One day in Tampa or Charleston?

With around the easy-going city of Tampa, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

In Charleston, many people enjoy the live music and food that this southern destination offers. It's also a great beach destination, too. This coastal town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Tampa or Charleston?

With around the destination of Tampa, there's plenty to do. It's also a great beach destination, too. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Charleston. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Tampa or Charleston?

Tampa, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Charleston is a fun place to experience. In Charleston, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this quaint destination offers. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A week in Tampa or Charleston?

Tampa is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Charleston, many people enjoy the museums and nightlife that this historic destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Which city is cheaper, Charleston or Tampa?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Tampa is $136, while the average daily cost in Charleston is $136. 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 Tampa and Charleston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tampa $68
    Charleston $72
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tampa $136
    Charleston $144
Compare Hotels in Tampa and Charleston

Looking for a hotel in Tampa or Charleston? 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 Tampa


Hotels in Charleston


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: Tampa Hotel Prices and Charleston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tampa $58
    Charleston $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa

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

  • Private Departure Transfer - to Tampa Airport (TPA): $28
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Tampa Airport (TPA): $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Tampa to Tampa International Airport (TPA): $44
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Land O' Lakes Florida: $60
  • Private Airport Transfer: Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Tampa: $61
  • Transfer from Tampa International Airport to Tampa: $75
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $82
  • Tampa hotel or address to Tampa Airport (TPA) - Departure Private Transfer: $82
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $83
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $83
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Bradenton: $110
  • Private Tampa Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $113

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charleston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Charleston:

  • Private transfer: Charleston to Charleston Airport (CHS): $622
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charleston Airport (CHS): $52
  • Charleston city to Charleston Airport (CHS) - Departure Private Transfer: $124

Is it cheaper to fly into Tampa or Charleston?

Prices for flights to both Charleston and Tampa 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
    Tampa $34
    Charleston $46

Typical Food prices in Charleston

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


  • Lunch in downtown Charleston for two
    $21
  • Breakfast
    $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Charleston

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

  • Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour: $73
  • Savor the Flavors of Charleston Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston's Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Chef's Kitchen Guided Walking Food Tour: $75
  • Charleston Harbor: Luxury Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Savor the Flavors Upper King Street Food Tour: $95
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Charleston: $129
  • Undiscovered 1/2 Day Food, Wine & History Tour with Cooking Class: $154
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Charleston w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tampa $15
    Charleston $17

Tours and Activities in Tampa

For Tampa, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 1 Hour Haunted History Walking Tour: $23
  • Skip the Line: The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay Ticket: $26
  • Tampa Celebrity Homes Boat Tour: $30
  • 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa: $31
  • Tampa History Cruise: $31
  • VIP Ghost Hunters Tour Semi Private: $35
  • Skip the Line: ZooTampa at Lowry Park Admission Ticket: $45
  • Historic Ybor City Food and Drink Walking Tour: $59
  • 2-hour Tiki Boat BYOB Cruise in Tampa: $60
  • Adventure Island Water Park Ticket: $63
  • Tampa Indoor Skydiving Experience with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate: $70
  • ZooQuarium 1-Day Ticket: $79

Typical Entertainment prices in Charleston

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Charleston are as follows:


  • Patriots Point (for 2)
    $60

Tours and Activities in Charleston

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

  • 2-Hour Guided Kayaking Eco Tour in Charleston: $48
  • 2-Hour Paddle Board Eco Tour of Charleston Lowcountry: $48
  • 90-Minute Historic Walking Tour of Charleston: $25
  • Amazing Ladies of Charleston Walking Tour: $35
  • Best of Historic Charleston Walking Tour: $35
  • Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston: $61
  • Bruce Knows Insider Walking Tour of Downtown: $26
  • Car Service: Airport to / from Cruise Port: $130
  • Charleston Attraction & Tour Pass for 1, 2, or 3 Days: $73
  • Charleston Boo Hag & Brews Walking Ghost and Bar Tour: $29
  • Charleston Chicora Walking Tour: $26
  • Charleston City Bus Tour with Charleston Museum Admission: $32

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tampa $20
    Charleston $28

Sample the Local Flavors in Tampa

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

  • Tampa Bar Hunt: Tampa Takeover Bar Crawl: $12
  • Haunted Tampa Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - Ybor City: $26
  • Private Tampa Brewery Tour - Party Bus: $600

Sample the Local Flavors in Charleston

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

  • Charleston Bar Hunt: Charleston Chase Bar Crawl: $12
  • Ghost Walking Tour and Pub Crawl in Haunted Charleston: $27
  • Haunted Pub Crawl of the Market: $37


When comparing the travel costs between Tampa and Charleston, we can see that Tampa 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.


When is the best time to visit Tampa or Charleston?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Tampa or Charleston in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Tampa as well as Charleston. Many travelers come to Tampa for the beaches, snorkeling, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, many visitors come to Charleston in the summer for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

Tampa is around the same temperature as Charleston in the summer. The temperature in Tampa is usually 82°F (28°C) in July, and Charleston stays around 82°F (28°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Charleston. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Tampa this time of the year. In the summer, Tampa often gets less sunshine than Charleston. Tampa gets 265 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Charleston receives 293 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Charleston. Tampa receives a lot of rain in the summer. Tampa usually gets more rain in July than Charleston. Tampa gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 6.9 inches (176 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Tampa 82°F (28°C) 
    Charleston 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Charleston in the Autumn?

Both Charleston and Tampa are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Tampa in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions. Also, most visitors come to Charleston for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In the autumn, Tampa is a little warmer than Charleston. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Tampa in October are around 75°F (24°C), and Charleston is about 67°F (19°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Tampa. Tampa usually receives more sunshine than Charleston during autumn. Tampa gets 234 hours of sunny skies, while Charleston receives 197 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Tampa usually receives less rain than Charleston. Tampa gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Tampa 75°F (24°C) 
    Charleston 67°F (19°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Charleston in the Winter?

Both Charleston and Tampa during the winter are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Tampa for the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Charleston because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In January, Tampa is generally much warmer than Charleston. Temperatures in Tampa average around 60°F (15°C), and Charleston stays around 47°F (9°C).

It's quite sunny in Tampa. In the winter, Tampa often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Charleston. Tampa gets 200 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Charleston receives 188 hours of full sun.

Tampa usually gets less rain in January than Charleston. Tampa gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Tampa 60°F (15°C) 
    Charleston 47°F (9°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Charleston in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Tampa and Charleston. The spring months attract visitors to Tampa because of the beaches and the activities around the city. Also, the beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Charleston this time of year.

Tampa is a little warmer than Charleston in the spring. The temperature in Tampa is usually 71°F (22°C) in April, and Charleston stays around 64°F (18°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Charleston this time of the year. In Tampa, it's very sunny this time of the year. Tampa usually receives more sunshine than Charleston during spring. Tampa gets 299 hours of sunny skies, while Charleston receives 275 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Tampa usually receives less rain than Charleston. Tampa gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Charleston receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Tampa 71°F (22°C) 
    Charleston 64°F (18°C)

Typical Weather for Charleston and Tampa

Tampa Charleston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 58°F (14°C) 4.3 inches (110 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 64°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 82°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 76°F (25°C) 4.8 inches (121 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 67°F (19°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 58°F (15°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 51°F (10°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)


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Tampa vs. Charleston Travel Comparison

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