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

Should you visit Tampa or Nags Head?

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

Should I visit Tampa or Nags Head? 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 low-key, laid-back, and easy-going city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. Other reasons to visit include food and beaches.

Nags Head

It's also popular because of the food.

Tampa and Nags Head: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Tampa or Nags Head?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Tampa than Nags Head, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Tampa is more touristy than Nags Head and is known for its amusement parks, wildlife parks, and popularity as a cruise ship port. Also, Tampa is famous for Busch Gardens. Nags Head is well known for

How is Tampa different from Nags Head?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is the Food Better in Tampa or Nags Head? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Tampa
Nags Head

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Tampa and Nags Head can be difficult as they are each notable in their own way.

Tampa is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There are a surprising number of great local restaurants around town as well as a good food truck scene. Some favorite dishes include fresh caught seafood, Grouper sandwiches, and Cuban sandwiches.

Nags Head offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are a wide variety of seafood restaurants that serve locally caught fish, shrimp, and crabs. Cajon flavors are popular and you'll also find cheese grits at many places.


Is Tampa or Nags Head Better for Nightlife?

Tampa
Nags Head

Tampa is adequate for nightlife. However, Nags Head is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Tampa doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. The city has some good nightclubs, sports bars, and other spots where locals enjoy spending the evening.

Nags Head is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Tampa or Nags Head Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Tampa
Nags Head

Tampa is adequate for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Nags Head is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

There are few places where you can go snorkeling in Tampa. While the water isn't always the clearest, there are some nice snorkeling and diving spots in the area. Options include Shell Key and Egmont Key, Crystal River, and Fort De Soto.

Nags Head is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Tampa or Nags Head Better for Beaches?

Tampa
Nags Head

Tampa is great for its beaches. However, Nags Head is not a beach destination.

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

Nags Head is not a beach destination.


Is Tampa or Nags Head Better for Families?

Tampa
Nags Head

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Tampa or Nags Head.

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.

Nags Head is a very family-friendly place to visit. It makes a wonderful base for the many family-friendly activities in the area. Jockey's Ridge is a fun place to visit with kids. There are also wonderful beaches and many kids enjoying flying kites.

Is Tampa or Nags Head Better for Couples?

Tampa
Nags Head

Nags Head is a popular place for couples. However, Tampa is lacking in options for romance.

Nags Head is a good for couples to visit. There are great seafood restaurants and a number of activities in the area that are fun for couples.

Tampa is not the best destination for a couple to visit. The area does have great restaurants and some fun places to explore, but the downtown area has room for improvement and much of the city is suburban.

Is Tampa or Nags Head Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Tampa
Nags Head

Nags Head is a popular place for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Tampa is not a backpacker-friendly destination.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Nags Head. This is one of the more affordable places to stay in the Outer Banks, so it appeals to more budget-oriented travelers.

Tampa is not a backpacker-friendly destination.


Is Tampa or Nags Head Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Tampa
Nags Head

Tampa is mediocre for times when you don't have a car. However, Nags Head does not have public transit.

Public transit is quite limited in Tampa. There is the street car that runs from downtown Tampa to Ybor City and stops at 11 stations.

Nags Head does not have public transit.

Is Tampa or Nags Head a more walkable city?

Tampa
Nags Head

Tampa is adequate for its walkability. However, Nags Head is not a walkable destination.

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

Nags Head is not a walkable destination.

Should I spend more time in Nags Head or Tampa?

How long in Tampa or Nags Head?

Both Tampa and Nags Head have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Nags Head than in Tampa. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Tampa, and 4-7 days is enough time in Nags Head.

Families should spend more time in Tampa than Nags Head. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Tampa, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Tampa than Nags Head. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Tampa that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Tampa than Nags Head if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Tampa.


  • How many days in Tampa or Nags Head? Ideal Length of Stay
    Tampa 2-3 
    Nags Head 4-7

One day in Tampa or Nags Head?

You'll find food around the city of Tampa. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Nags Head, many people enjoy the food that this destination offers. This 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 Nags Head?

You'll find food around the laid-back destination of Tampa. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Nags Head. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Tampa or Nags Head?

Travelers enjoy the food when visiting the low-key city of Tampa. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. It's also a great beach destination, too. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Nags Head is a fun place to experience. In Nags Head, many people enjoy the food that this destination offers. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A week in Tampa or Nags Head?

Tampa is a popular choice for travelers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Nags Head, many people enjoy the food that this destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America, The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Nags Head or Tampa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tampa is $179, while the average daily cost in Nags Head is $149. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Tampa and Nags Head in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tampa $85
    Nags Head $80
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tampa $170
    Nags Head $160
Compare Hotels in Tampa and Nags Head

Looking for a hotel in Tampa or Nags Head? 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 Nags Head


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 Nags Head Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tampa $69
    Nags Head $40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa

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

  • Tampa Bay Cruise Port: Private Transfer to Tampa hotels: $302
  • Tampa Airport (TPA): Transfer tо Tampa Bay Cruise Port: $302
  • Tampa Airport (TPA): Private Transfer to Tampa hotel/address: $203
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport TPA to Lakeland/Winter Haven: $187
  • Private Transfer from TPA to Tampa / St Petersburg / Clearwater Beach : $187
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to Tampa hotel or address : $187
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg Accommodation: $187
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach: $187
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) to St Petersburg - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $174
  • Private Transfer from TPA to Lakeland and Winter Haven: $157
  • Private transfer Tampa airport To Ruskin, FL: $135
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport to Clearwater: $120

Is it cheaper to fly into Tampa or Nags Head?

Prices for flights to both Nags Head 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 $53
    Nags Head $41

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tampa

For Tampa, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Ybor City Food Tour On Sundays: $89

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tampa $20
    Nags Head $14

Tours and Activities in Tampa

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

  • Tampa Terrors Ghost Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $24
  • 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise from Tampa: $31
  • 2 Hour Guided Segway Tour: $69
  • 2 Hour Private Floating Tiki Boat Tour in Tampa: $59
  • Adventure Island Water Park Ticket: $58
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Admission Ticket: $78
  • Christmas Lights Wonderland Deluxe Golf Cart Guided Tour in Tampa: $49
  • Discover Tampa with Local Stories from a Virtual Tour: $30
  • Escape to Paradise: Private Island Boat Adventure in Tampa: $630
  • Ghost Hunters Paranormal Ghost Tour: $39
  • Ghost Investigation Tour Interactive Paranormal Experience 18Plus: $35
  • Ghost Investigation Tours with Interactive Paranormal Experience: $35

Tours and Activities in Nags Head

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

  • 2-hour Outer Banks Wild Horse Tour by 4WD Truck: $65
  • Alligator River Kayak Adventure: $59
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour: $15
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $12
  • Corolla Kayak Adventure: $59
  • Kitty Hawk Maritime Forest Kayak Tour: $49
  • Manteo Historic Walking Tour: $28
  • OBX Ghost Tours: $25
  • Outer Banks Audio Driving Tour: $13
  • Outer Banks Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $25
  • Wright Brothers Carolina Dunes Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Wright Brothers Carolina Dunes: Self-Guided Driving Tour: $12

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tampa $26
    Nags Head $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Tampa

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

  • Tampa Terrors: Boos & Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Tampa Bar Crawl on a 2023 Street Legal Golf Cart: $40
  • Haunted Pub Crawl: $40
  • Ybor City Private Brewery Tour by Custom Golf Cart: $180
  • Tampa's Top Dive Bar Tour Experience by Golf Cart: $234


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tampa and Nags Head, we can see that Tampa is more expensive. And not only is Nags Head much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Nags Head would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Nags Head 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 Tampa would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Tampa than you might in Nags Head.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Tampa Expensive? and Is Nags Head Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Tampa or Nags Head?

Tampa has a larger population, and is about 100 times larger than the population of Nags Head. When comparing the sizes of Tampa and Nags Head, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Tampa or Nags Head?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Tampa or Nags Head in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Tampa and Nags Head. The summer months attract visitors to Tampa because of the beaches, snorkeling, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Nags Head this time of year.

In the summer, Tampa is around the same temperature as Nags Head. Typically, the summer temperatures in Tampa in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Nags Head averages at about 78°F (26°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Nags Head this time of the year. In Tampa, it's very sunny this time of the year. Tampa usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Nags Head during summer. Tampa gets 265 hours of sunny skies, while Nags Head receives 274 hours of full sun in the summer.

Nags Head receives a lot of rain in the summer. Tampa gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Tampa usually receives more rain than Nags Head. Tampa gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Nags Head receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Tampa 82°F (28°C) 
    Nags Head 78°F (26°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Nags Head in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Tampa as well as Nags Head. The city's sights and attractions are the main draw to Tampa this time of year.

In October, Tampa is generally a little warmer than Nags Head. Daily temperatures in Tampa average around 75°F (24°C), and Nags Head fluctuates around 62°F (16°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Nags Head. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Tampa this time of the year. In the autumn, Tampa often gets more sunshine than Nags Head. Tampa gets 234 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nags Head receives 205 hours of full sun.

Tampa usually gets less rain in October than Nags Head. Tampa gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Nags Head receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Tampa 75°F (24°C) 
    Nags Head 62°F (16°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Nags Head in the Winter?

Both Nags Head and Tampa are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Tampa for the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Nags Head in the winter for the cuisine.

Nags Head can get quite cold in the winter. Tampa is much warmer than Nags Head in the winter. The daily temperature in Tampa averages around 60°F (15°C) in January, and Nags Head fluctuates around 41°F (5°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Tampa. Tampa usually receives more sunshine than Nags Head during winter. Tampa gets 200 hours of sunny skies, while Nags Head receives 147 hours of full sun in the winter.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Nags Head. In January, Tampa usually receives less rain than Nags Head. Tampa gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Nags Head receives 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Tampa 60°F (15°C) 
    Nags Head 41°F (5°C)

Should I visit Tampa or Nags Head in the Spring?

Both Nags Head and Tampa during the spring are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Tampa in the spring for the beaches and the activities around the city.

In the spring, Tampa is a little warmer than Nags Head. Typically, the spring temperatures in Tampa in April average around 71°F (22°C), and Nags Head averages at about 59°F (15°C).

In Nags Head, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Tampa. In the spring, Tampa often gets more sunshine than Nags Head. Tampa gets 299 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nags Head receives 262 hours of full sun.

Tampa usually gets less rain in April than Nags Head. Tampa gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Nags Head receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Tampa 71°F (22°C) 
    Nags Head 59°F (15°C)

Typical Weather for Nags Head and Tampa

Tampa Nags Head
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 41°F (5°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 67°F (19°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 74°F (23°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5 inches (127 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)