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.

How is Tampa different from Charleston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Tampa or Charleston better for Food?

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

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 may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Some favorite dishes include fresh caught seafood, Grouper sandwiches, and Cuban sandwiches.


Is Tampa or Charleston better for Nightlife?

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.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Charleston. 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?

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.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Charleston. 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?

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.

Charleston is a family-friendly place to visit. 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?

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 always the best place to visit for a couple. The area does have great restaurants and some fun places to explore.


Is Tampa or Charleston a more walkable city?

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.

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


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 low-key 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 charming 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. 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 charming destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week here when traveling. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One week is often enough time to spend here.

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 $119, 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 $60
    Charleston $72
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tampa $120
    Charleston $144

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tampa $38
    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 $35
    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 Charleston 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.

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Tampa vs. Charleston Travel Comparison

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