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

Should you visit Washington or Nags Head?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Washington and Nags Head can help you decide which place is right for you.

Washington

Washington is a monument-filled, international, and diverse city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and theater.

Nags Head

Other reasons to visit include food.

Washington and Nags Head: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Washington Monument and the White House
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food


Is there more to do in Washington or Nags Head?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Washington. Although Washington and Nags Head are both popular with visitors, Washington has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Washington is more touristy than Nags Head and is known for its reputation as the capital of the United States, but it's also known for its many monuments, memorials, and museums. It is also home to The Washington Monument and the White House. Nags Head is popular for

How is Washington different from Nags Head?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Washington or Nags Head?

Washington
Nags Head

Washington is an amazing city to visit for its historical sights. However, Nags Head does not have museums and landmarks.

Travelers visit Washington from around the world to see its many world-famous attractions. The city has world class museums that are often free. The Smithsonian Museums are arguably some of the most impressive museums in the United States. The city also has a large collection of monuments that are dedicated to past presidents or historical events. Many are best experienced at night when the sun sets and the lights come on.

Nags Head does not have museums and landmarks.


Is Washington or Nags Head Better for Theater?

Washington
Nags Head

Washington is great for theatre. However, Nags Head is not a theatre destination.

While in town, many visitors enjoy seeing a show in Washington. Theater is popular in the city. From major theaters like the Kennedy Center and Ford's Theater, to lesser known smaller venues, there are options for everyone.

Nags Head is not a theatre destination.

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

Washington
Nags Head

Washington is an amazing city to visit for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Nags Head is not as popular, but is still a nice for its local cuisine and restaurants.

For foodies, Washington is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. This city is among the most diverse in the country, so you can find restaurants from almost any cuisine here. It's worth exploring and stepping out of your comfort zone. There are popular neighborhoods for Ethiopian, Korean, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese food, among many others.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Nags Head. 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 Washington or Nags Head Better for Nightlife?

Washington
Nags Head

Washington is great for nightlife. However, Nags Head is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Many people head to Washington for the nightlife scene. Many visitors head straight to the museums and the National Mall, and don't realize what a livable and fun city this is. Some of the best nightlife is found in Dupont Circle, U Street, and even Arlington, VA. The city's young population ensures that there's never a dull moment.

Nags Head is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.


Is Washington or Nags Head Better for Music?

Washington
Nags Head

Washington is a popular place for live music. However, Nags Head is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Washington is active and vibrant. Notable live music venues include the 9:30 Club, the Anthem, and Union Stage.

Nags Head is not a live music destination.

Is Washington or Nags Head Better for Hiking?

Washington
Nags Head

Washington is adequate for hiking. However, Nags Head is not a hiking destination.

Washington has hiking trails if you want to get outside. Just outside of Washington DC you'll find plenty of places to go hiking. There's also an elaborate bike and walking trail system in the city. To enjoy a bit of nature, head to Teddy Roosevelt Island.

Nags Head is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Washington or Nags Head?

Washington
Nags Head

Washington is great for shopping. However, Nags Head is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Washington. Head to Georgetown and Dupont Circle for some of the city's best local shopping. There are name brand chains mixed in with local boutiques. You'll also find plenty of souvenir shops in the more touristy areas if you're looking to pick up some trinkets.

Nags Head is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Washington or Nags Head Better for Christmas?

Washington
Nags Head

Washington is an amazing city to visit for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Nags Head does not offer Christmas activities.

With so many activities, Washington is a top place to visit during Christmas. With it's beautiful lights and holiday shows, Christmas is beautiful in the capital of the United States.

Nags Head does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Washington or Nags Head Better for Families?

Washington
Nags Head

You'll find great kid-friendly activities in either Washington or Nags Head.

Washington is a very family-friendly destination. It is a fun and educational destination where kids can explore world class museums and try unique foods from all around the world. The city has nationally recognized landmarks, monuments, and memorials and it's also home to some of the best (free) museums in the United States including the world class Smithsonian Institutions. Many schools visit Washington DC as a field trip, particularly during the Spring months, so you'll kids groups in colorful t-shirts running around the National Mall.

Nags Head is a very kid-friendly city. 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 Washington or Nags Head Better for Couples?

Washington
Nags Head

Washington is great for romance. Also, Nags Head is not as popular, but is still a nice for its romantic activities.

Washington is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. The city lights up at night, so couples will enjoy wandering by the monuments in the evening or taking in a dinner and show. During the Spring months you'll find couples wandering through the Cherry Blossoms or along the waterfront.

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


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

Washington
Nags Head

Nags Head is very good for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Washington is not a good destination for backpackers.

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

Washington is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. While it is an international travel destination, the city often isn't at the top of most backpacker's lists. There are some affordable accommodation options available though if you know where to look.

Is Washington or Nags Head Better for Students?

Washington
Nags Head

Washington is an amazing city to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Nags Head is not popular with students.

Many students frequent Washington. International students come from around the world to study, learn, intern, and work in the capital of the United States. There are many internships available through the federal government as well as NGOs and nonprofits.

Nags Head is not popular with students.

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

Washington
Nags Head

Washington is an amazing city to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Nags Head does not have public transit.

Public transit in Washington is top-notch. The metro system and the bus system are reliable and efficient ways to explore the city.

Nags Head does not have public transit.


Is Washington or Nags Head a more walkable city?

Washington
Nags Head

Washington is an amazing city to visit for its walkability. However, Nags Head is not a walkable destination.

Washington is a very easy city to get around on foot. Many neighborhoods around the city are easy to explore on foot. Most tourists spend a lot of time in the Mall area, which is very pedestrian friendly.

Nags Head is not a walkable destination.

Should I spend more time in Nags Head or Washington?

How long in Washington or Nags Head?

Both Washington and Nags Head have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Washington has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Washington than Nags Head. In general, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Washington, and 4-7 days is enough time in Nags Head.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Washington 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 Washington.


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

One day in Washington or Nags Head?

People visit Washington because there is so much to do. 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.

With food around the of Nags Head, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Washington or Nags Head?

People visit Washington because there is so much to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

With food around the destination of Nags Head, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.


Five days in Washington or Nags Head?

People visit Washington because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

Nags Head, a popular , is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this . Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Washington or Nags Head?

Washington is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Washington, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Nags Head is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this makes for a great vacation. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, The Best Historical Tours in United States of America, and The Best 10-Day Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Nags Head or Washington?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Washington is $198, 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 Washington and Nags Head in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $113
    Nags Head $80
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $226
    Nags Head $160
Compare Hotels in Washington and Nags Head

Looking for a hotel in Washington 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 Washington


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: Washington Hotel Prices and Nags Head Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $47
    Nags Head $40
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Washington

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Washington are as follows:


  • Metro Day Pass
    $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Washington

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

  • Washington, DC Airport Transfer Service DCA: $350
  • Private Transfer from Washington DC to DCA Airport or vice versa : $280
  • Private Transfer To or Form Lorton and Dulles International Airport: $228
  • Departure Private Transfer: Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Luxury Car: $214
  • Washington City to LaGuardia Airport Departure Private Transfer: $202
  • Departure Private Transfer: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury Van: $191
  • Departure Private Transfer: Washington to Baltimore Airport BWI in Luxury SUV: $191
  • Washington to Newark Airport Departure Private Transfer: $190
  • Departure Private Transfer: Washington to National Airport DCA in Luxury Car: $188
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer in Washington HTL-APT (IAD),(DCA): $180
  • Private Transfer To or From Lorton and Ronald Reagan National Airport: $180
  • Private transfer to or from Herndon and Dulles International Airport: $180

Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or Nags Head?

Prices for flights to both Nags Head and Washington 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
    Washington $38
    Nags Head $41
Typical Food Prices in Washington

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Washington:


  • Water
    $2.00
  • Snacks on Monuments Tour
    $6.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Washington

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

  • Little Ethiopia Food Tour: $67
  • DC: Buffet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit: $69
  • DC: Gourmet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey: $85
  • Washington D.C.: Georgetown Guided Secret Food Tour: $89
  • Washington, DC: African American History Tour with Dinner: $108
  • Washington,DC: Union Market Private Food Tour: $125
  • Washington D.C.: Taste of Georgetown Walking Food Tour: $129
  • Washington DC: Christmas Eve Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise: $140
  • Private Traditional Filipino Cooking Class Near Washington DC : $154
  • Washington DC Christmas Eve Plated Dinner Cruise: $206
  • Washington DC: Thanksgiving Gourmet Dinner River Cruise: $206

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Washington $24
    Nags Head $14

Tours and Activities in Washington

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

  • Boat Tour in Washington Harbor with Brunch Buffet: $89
  • See DC In A Day: Guided Small Group Ultimate Day Tour : $99
  • 2 For 1! DC Highlights & Arlington Cemetery Tour Bundle: $84
  • 2 Hour Guided Bike Tour of Capitol Hill: $55
  • 2 Hours Book Store Tour in Capitol Hill: $80
  • 2-Hour African American Heritage Tour in Washington DC: $25
  • 2-Hour Arlington Cemetery Guided Walking Tour : $75
  • 2-Hour Boomerang Pirate Ship Cruise : $65
  • 2-Hour National Mall Walking Tour from Washington DC: $25
  • 3 Hour Washington DC Guided Sightseeing Tour : $120
  • 3-Hour Small Group Memorial Tour in Washington, D.C.: $59
  • 4 Hours Washington Tour with Boat Cruise: $169

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: $15
  • 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: $15

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Washington $19
    Nags Head $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Washington

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Washington:

  • Epic Washington DC Bar Crawl: By Let’s Roam: $12
  • DC Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl By US Ghost Adventures: $28
  • Washington DC: Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $30
  • Small-Group History Tour Pub Crawl of Washington, D.C.: $59
  • Washington, D.C.: History Tour Pub Crawl: $59
  • DC: Guided Craft Brewery Tours with a Snack: $105
  • From Washington DC: Seneca Creek Region Wine Tour with Lunch: $175
  • Private Washington DC Virginia Winery Wine Tasting Tour -Spirited: $255


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Washington and Nags Head, we can see that Washington 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 Washington would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Washington 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 Washington Expensive? and Is Nags Head Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Washington or Nags Head?

Washington has a larger population, and is about 170 times larger than the population of Nags Head. When comparing the sizes of Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington or Nags Head in the Summer?

Both Nags Head and Washington are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Washington for the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Nags Head because of the family-friendly experiences.

Washington is around the same temperature as Nags Head in the summer. The daily temperature in Washington averages around 79°F (26°C) in July, and Nags Head fluctuates around 78°F (26°C).

It's quite sunny in Nags Head. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Washington. Washington usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Nags Head during summer. Washington gets 278 hours of sunny skies, while Nags Head receives 274 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Nags Head. In July, Washington usually receives less rain than Nags Head. Washington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while Nags Head receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Washington 79°F (26°C) 
    Nags Head 78°F (26°C)

Should I visit Washington or Nags Head in the Autumn?

Both Nags Head and Washington during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Washington because of the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Washington is around the same temperature as Nags Head. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Washington in October average around 60°F (15°C), and Nags Head averages at about 62°F (16°C).

In Nags Head, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the autumn, Washington often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Nags Head. Washington gets 197 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nags Head receives 205 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets less rain in October than Nags Head. Washington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while Nags Head receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Washington 60°F (15°C) 
    Nags Head 62°F (16°C)

Should I visit Washington or Nags Head in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Washington and Nags Head. The museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Washington this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Nags Head for the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Nags Head. It's quite cold in Washington in the winter. In January, Washington is generally much colder than Nags Head. Daily temperatures in Washington average around 35°F (1°C), and Nags Head fluctuates around 41°F (5°C).

Washington usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Nags Head during winter. Washington gets 139 hours of sunny skies, while Nags Head receives 147 hours of full sun in the winter.

Nags Head receives a lot of rain in the winter. In January, Washington usually receives less rain than Nags Head. Washington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Nags Head receives 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Washington 35°F (1°C) 
    Nags Head 41°F (5°C)

Should I visit Washington or Nags Head in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Washington as well as Nags Head. Many travelers come to Washington for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

Washington is around the same temperature as Nags Head in the spring. The daily temperature in Washington averages around 56°F (14°C) in April, and Nags Head fluctuates around 59°F (15°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Nags Head. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Washington this time of the year. In the spring, Washington often gets less sunshine than Nags Head. Washington gets 228 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Nags Head receives 262 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Nags Head. Washington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Nags Head receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Washington 56°F (14°C) 
    Nags Head 59°F (15°C)

Typical Weather for Nags Head and Washington

Washington Nags Head
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 41°F (5°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 67°F (19°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 74°F (23°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5 inches (127 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)