A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Washington vs. Rapid City for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Washington or Rapid City?

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 Rapid City can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Washington or Rapid City?

Washington

Washington, DC is the capital city of the United States of America. It is also a city rich in history and culture. The city dates back to 1791 when the states of Maryland and Virginia donated the land to create the capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land that was ceded by Virginia and in 1871 it created a single municipal government with the remaining area. Today, Washington, DC has a population of over 600,000 people. The metropolitan area includes suburbs in Maryland and Virginia and has a population of about 5.8 million.

Rapid City

Rapid City is a large city in western South Dakota that is considered the gateway to the Black Hills National Forest. Rapid City is often used as a base for all types of outdoor activities, including tours to the infamous Mount Rushmore and surrounding parks. The city has a budding art scene and offers the perfect combination of a metropolitan city surrounded by stunning natural scenery. Rapid City experiences the best weather from June-September with temperatures in the 70's and 80's Fahrenheit. Temperatures drop to the low 20's F in the winter and the area receives the most rain pour in April and May.

Which place is cheaper, Rapid City 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 Rapid City is $116. 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 Rapid City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $113
    Rapid City $60
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $226
    Rapid City $120
Compare Hotels in Washington and Rapid City

Looking for a hotel in Washington or Rapid City? 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 Rapid City


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 Rapid City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $47
    Rapid City $53
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:

  • private Ronald Reagan, Washington National Airport transfer: $150
  • Washington to Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) - Departure Private Transfer: $58
  • Washington to Washington Airport (IAD) Departure Private Transfer: $65
  • Washington to Washington Airport (DCA) Departure Private Transfer: $58
  • Washington to Newark Airport Departure Private Transfer: $189
  • Washington to NY Kennedy Airport(JFK)- Departure Private Transfer: $201
  • Washington to Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI) - Departure Private Transfer: $68
  • Washington to Baltimore Airport (BWI) Departure Private Transfer: $76
  • Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA): Transfer to Washington: $175
  • Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA) to Washington - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $106
  • Washington R. Reagan Airport (DCA) to Washington - Arrival Private Transfer: $53
  • Washington DC: Private Transfer to Airports or Baltimore: $160

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rapid City

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

  • Private Airport Transfer and Orientation: $89

Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or Rapid City?

Prices for flights to both Rapid City 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
    Rapid City $23
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
  • Adams Morgan Food Tour: $74
  • Capitol Hill Food Tour: $75
  • Gastronomic Georgetown Food Tour: $80
  • Dupont Circle Food Tour: $80
  • Washington D.C.: Georgetown Guided Secret Food Tour: $83
  • Acquired Taste Food Tour in Georgetown: $85
  • Washington DC: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on the Spirit: $86
  • Washington DC Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $95
  • Washington, DC: African American History Tour with Dinner: $108
  • Washington DC:Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey: $112
  • Washington DC Signature Dinner Cruise: $121

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rapid City

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

  • Roller Coaster Tickets with Dinner and Show in Rapid City: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Washington $24
    Rapid City $26

Tours and Activities in Washington

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

  • 1.5 Hour Arlington Cemetery Guided Walking Tour with Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: $40
  • 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 National Mall Walking Tour from Washington DC: $25
  • 3 Hour Group Walking Tour of Arlington National Cemetery: $100
  • 3-Hour Private Customizable Washington DC City Tour by Luxury Van: $124
  • 3-Hour Small Group Memorial Tour in Washington, D.C.: $59
  • 4-Hour Small Group Guided National Mall Tour with 10 Top Attractions: $99
  • 90-Minute Walking Tour of the Ghosts of Washington DC: $25

Tours and Activities in Rapid City

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

  • Badlands National Park Private Tour: $650
  • Badlands Sunset and Wildlife Adventure : $239
  • Badlands Winter Wonderland Adventure: $239
  • Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours: $20
  • Buffalo Jeep Safari & Mammoth Site Tour: $700
  • Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills: $133
  • Crime Solving Detective Experience Rapid City, SD: $15
  • From Private Devils Tower Tour and Hike: $650
  • From Private Spearfish Canyon Tour: $650
  • Full-Day Private Sightseeing Tour in South Dakota: $275
  • Mount Rushmore Self-Guided Walking Audio Tour: $15
  • Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Bus Tour with Live Commentary: $89

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Washington $19
    Rapid City $6.93

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: $35
  • Washington DC: Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • DC Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl By US Ghost Adventures: $42
  • Small-Group History Tour Pub Crawl of Washington, D.C.: $59
  • Washington, D.C.: History Tour Pub Crawl: $59
  • DC Signature Guided Brewery Tour: $105
  • DC: Guided Craft Brewery Tours with a Snack: $105
  • Full-Day Private Virginia Wine Tour Experience from Washington : $245
  • Private Washington DC Virginia Winery Wine Tasting Tour -Spirited: $255


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Washington and Rapid City, we can see that Washington is more expensive. And not only is Rapid City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Rapid City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Rapid City 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 Rapid City.

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


Which is Bigger, Washington or Rapid City?

Washington has a larger population, and is about 9 times larger than the population of Rapid City. When comparing the sizes of Washington and Rapid City, 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.