A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Washington vs. San Diego for Attractions, Food, Families, and Nightlife

Should you visit Washington or San Diego?

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 San Diego can help you decide which place is right for you.

Washington

Washington is a monument-filled, international, and diverse city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. Visitors also love the live music, food, and shopping.

San Diego

San Diego is a hip, dynamic, and energetic coastal city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. Other reasons to visit include scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and hiking.

Washington and San Diego: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less hiking options
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


How is Washington different from San Diego?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Washington or San Diego better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Spend time exploring the sights and museums in either Washington or San Diego.

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.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to San Diego can be an interesting and educational experience. While the city is famous for it's beaches, zoos, and aquariums, don't overlook the museums and other landmarks. Popular options include the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, the Old Town State Historic Park, and Point Loma and Cabrillo Monument.

Washington
San Diego


Is Washington or San Diego better for Food?

Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Washington a bit more than San Diego.

Washington has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. You can find restaurants from almost any cuisine here, so it's worth exploring and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in San Diego. The city has great seafood and a diversity of cuisines. Popular local dishes include fish tacos and California burritos.

Washington
San Diego

Is Washington or San Diego better for Nightlife?

The vibe at night is comparable in Washington and San Diego.

Many people head to Washington for the nightlife scene. Head into Dupont Circle, U Street, and even Arlington to enjoy some of the area's best nightlife.

San Diego has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The heart of the city's nightlife scene is in the Gaslamp District, which is filled with bars, clubs, and music venues.

Washington
San Diego

Is Washington or San Diego better for Music?

Washington and San Diego are both destinations where visitors can find live music.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Washington. Notable live music venues include the 9:30 Club, the Anthem, and Union Stage.

If you love music, you'll find something to enjoy in San Diego. Popular venues include the House of Blues, The Belly Up, and The Shout House.

Washington
San Diego

Is Washington or San Diego better for Hiking?

Most people pick San Diego for the hiking over Washington.

Many visitors go to San Diego for the hiking trails. The city is field with parks and has tons of natural beauty. Head to Torrey Pines State Park or Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail for some nice hikes.

Many visitors include a hike while visiting Washington. 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.

Washington
San Diego


Is Washington or San Diego better for Shopping?

If you're looking to go shopping, Washington and San Diego both offer plenty of spots.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Washington. Head to Georgetown and Dupont Circle for some of the city's best local shopping.

San Diego offers some nice shopping areas. Head to Fashion Valley or Westfield UTC for some fun shopping.

Washington
San Diego

Is Washington or San Diego better for Families?

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Washington or San Diego.

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.

San Diego is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. It has a number of kid-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy. There's the world class zoo, several amusement parks, the beaches, aquariums, and more.

Washington
San Diego

Is Washington or San Diego better for Couples?

Both Washington and San Diego are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Washington is a nice destination for couples. The city lights up at night, so couples will enjoy wandering by the monuments in the evening or taking in a dinner and show.

San Diego makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. For adventurous couples, there are many outdoor activities that you can enjoy together. There are also restaurants and a great nightlife in San Diego.

Washington
San Diego

Is Washington or San Diego better for Students?

For students, both Washington and San Diego are fairly comparable places to visit.

Students come from all over the world to visit Washington. International students come from around the world to study, learn, intern, and work in the capital of the United States.

San Diego is a great destination for students. With its young population and many universities, international students will feel right at home in San Diego.

Washington
San Diego


Is Washington or San Diego better for Public Transit?

Washington has better public transit to get you around.

With a huge network, the transit system in Washington can get you around easily. The metro system and the bus system are reliable and efficient ways to explore the city.

Public transit is generally limited in San Diego. The city has a trolley (light rail system) as well as a bus system. Most people depend on cars to get around.

Washington
San Diego

Is Washington or San Diego a more walkable city?

Washington is generally more walkable than San Diego.

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.

San Diego is a somewhat walkable place. The downtown area is walkable, but if you want to travel further, you'll need to find a different form of transportation.

Washington
San Diego

Should I spend more time in San Diego or Washington?

How long in Washington or San Diego?

In either Washington or San Diego, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Washington than San Diego because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Washington is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to San Diego is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Washington or San Diego? Ideal Length of Stay
    Washington 3-7 
    San Diego 3-5

One day in Washington or San Diego?

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 museums and nightlife around the dynamic coastal city of San Diego, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Washington or San Diego?

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 nightlife and live music around the destination of San Diego, there's plenty to do. It's also a great beach destination, too. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.


Five days in Washington or San Diego?

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.

San Diego, a popular coastal city, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this coastal city. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Washington or San Diego?

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.

San Diego is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. 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.

Which city is cheaper, San Diego or Washington?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Washington is $155, while the average daily cost in San Diego is $161. 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 Washington and San Diego in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Washington $91
    San Diego $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Washington $182
    San Diego $182

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Washington $37
    San Diego $19
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 to New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) - Departure Private Transfer: $535
  • Washington to New York J.F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) - Departure Private Transfer: $535
  • Washington City to New York City - Private Car Transfer: $516
  • Washington to Newark International Airport (EWR) - Departure Private Transfer: $491
  • Washington City to Philadelphia City - Private Car Transfer: $392
  • Washington, DC: Potomac Mills Outlet Private Transfer: $357
  • Private transfer from or to IAD , DCA , PHL , MDT airports , VA and Philadelphia: $320
  • Washington Airport Transfers: Washington to Dulles Airport IAD in Luxury Car: $218
  • BWI Airport: Transfer to Baltimore or Washington DC: $200
  • Washington, DC: Private Airport Transfer(SUV): To or From: (DCA) Reagan National: $180
  • Washington City to Baltimore City - Private Car Transfer: $168
  • Airport Transfer to and from Dulles International IAD Airport: $160

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Diego

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

  • Private transfer: San Diego to San Diego Airport (SAN): $622
  • Private transfer: San Diego Airport (SAN) to San Diego: $622
  • San Diego Private Transfer To N. Hollywood/Burbank area.: $398
  • Tijuana Border Crossing Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $398
  • San Diego Private Transfer To Palm Springs.: $398
  • Private Transfer from San Diego to Hollywood Burbank: $397
  • San Diego Private Transfer To Los Angeles.: $389
  • San Diego to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Departure Private Transfer: $357
  • San Diego to Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) - Departure Private Transfer: $342
  • Private Transfer From San Diego To Orange County.: $298
  • Private San Diego Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $192
  • Private San Diego Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Cruise Port: $128

Is it cheaper to fly into Washington or San Diego?

Prices for flights to both San Diego 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 $30
    San Diego $36
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:

  • Seattle: Pike Place Market Plant-Based Food Tour: $64
  • Washington D.C.: 3.5-Hour Georgetown Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC: 3-Hour Italian Food Tour: $65
  • Washington DC Food Tour: Italian Cuisine in Dupont Circle: $65
  • Washington, DC: The Original Brew Tour with Tasting & Dinner: $70
  • Adams Morgan Food Tour: $76
  • Washington DC: Private Food Tour Experience: $79
  • Capitol Hill Walking Food Tour: $79
  • U Street Neighborhood Food Tour: $99
  • Washington DC Odyssey Dinner Cruise: $100
  • Private French Cooking Class with an Expert in the Heart of Washington DC: $108
  • Washington, DC 3-Hour Dinner Buffet Cruise: $122

Typical Food prices in San Diego

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


  • Mexican Lunch for Two
    $27
  • Breakfast at Starbucks
    $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Diego

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

  • San Diego North Park Food Tour: $49
  • Liberty Station Food Tour: $49
  • Market and Guacamole Cooking Class in Tijuana Mexico: $89
  • Private Cooking Demonstration of Indian Fusion Cuisine in San Diego: $96
  • Farmers Market Tour & Social Cooking With A Chef: $100
  • San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise: $111
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours San Diego: $129
  • Secret Food Tours San Diego w/ Private Tour Option: $277

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Washington $19
    San Diego $38

Tours and Activities in Washington

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

  • "HEROES OF FREEDOM" PRIVATE TOUR (4 Hour Military Tribute): $658
  • "SHINING CITY" PRIVATE TOUR (3 Hour Evening Tour): $658
  • 2 Day Grand Tour with George Washington's Mount Vernon: $95
  • 2-Day Colonial Williamsburg Guided Tour from Washington DC: $330
  • 24/48-Hour Washington, D.C. Hop-on Hop-off Tour: $49
  • 3-Hour "DC After Dark" Night-Time Guided Bus Tour with Stops at Top Attractions: $35
  • 3-Hour Private Jeep Tour of Washington D.C.: $495
  • 3-Hour Washington DC "Monuments By Night" Guided Night-Time Sightseeing Bus Tour: $49
  • 3-Hour Washington DC "Morning Monuments" Guided Sightseeing Walking & Bus Tour: $64
  • 3-Hour Washington, D.C Urban Adventure Scavenger Hunt: $44
  • 30-Minutes Supercar Driving Pilot Experience in Washington DC: $275
  • Advance Tickets to Washington, D.C.'s Newseum: $24

Typical Entertainment prices in San Diego

For San Diego, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • San Diego Zoo
    $15
  • Sea World Parking
    $12

Tours and Activities in San Diego

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

  • 1-Hour Voodoo Escape Room Experience in San Diego: $35
  • 1Hr GPS Guided Scooter Tour: Harbor/Gaslamp Quarter: $63
  • 2 Hour Whale Watching Kayak Tour for Two: $77
  • 4 Hour Whale Watching/Eco Adventure: $163
  • Affordable, Luxury Sailing Tour of San Diego's Bay and Coastal Waterways: $112
  • All Day San Diego City and Shopping Tour: $95
  • All Inclusive Beer Tour-Party bus: $169
  • Behind-the-Scenes at Petco Park Tour: $23
  • Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past: $69
  • Catamaran Sailing Cruise on San Diego Bay for up to 12 Guests: $1,200
  • Catamaran Sailing Cruise on San Diego Bay for up to 6 Guests: $600
  • Coastal Beauty - Private Sunset & Night Photography Tour: $455

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Washington $15
    San Diego $17

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
  • Haunted Washington D.C. Ghost and Pub Walking Tour: $27
  • Washington DC: Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $34
  • DC: 'New York Times Journeys' Walking Tour with Beer, Cheese and Wine Tasting: $120
  • Seattle All-Inclusive: Hike Mt. Rainier and Wine Tasting: $278
  • NOVA Private Custom Wine Tours & Tasting from DMV: $645
  • 6 Hours Northern VA Wine Tour: $920

Sample the Local Flavors in San Diego

Also in San Diego, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • San Diego Bar Hunt: Slammin' San Diego Bar Crawl: $12
  • Wine Tasting Or Beer Tasting: $15
  • San Diego Brewery Tour: $85
  • San Diego Micro Brewery Tour: $91
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $95
  • The San Diego Downtown Craft Brewery Tour: $101
  • Private San Diego Brewery Tour: $107
  • All inclusive brewery tour-Fire Truck: $189
  • Luxury Private Wine Tasting Tour to Guadalupe Valley from San Diego.: $249
  • Private Wine Tour of Temecula from San Diego: $475


When comparing the travel costs between Washington and San Diego, we can see that San Diego 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 Washington or San Diego?

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 San Diego in the Summer?

Both San Diego and Washington are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Washington in the summer for the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to San Diego for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Washington is a little warmer than San Diego. Typically, the summer temperatures in Washington in July are around 79°F (26°C), and San Diego is about 71°F (22°C).

It's quite sunny in San Diego. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Washington. Washington usually receives less sunshine than San Diego during summer. At this time of the year, Washington gets 278 hours of sunny skies, while San Diego receives 306 hours of full sun.

In July, Washington usually receives more rain than San Diego. At this time of the year, Washington gets 3.5 inches (88 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Washington 79°F (26°C) 
    San Diego 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Washington or San Diego in the Autumn?

Both San Diego and Washington during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Washington for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to San Diego 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 October, Washington is generally cooler than San Diego. Temperatures in Washington average around 60°F (15°C), and San Diego stays around 68°F (20°C).

In San Diego, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the autumn, Washington often gets less sunshine than San Diego. Washington gets 197 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Diego receives 244 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets more rain in October than San Diego. Washington gets 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0.4 inches (9 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Washington 60°F (15°C) 
    San Diego 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Washington or San Diego in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Washington and San Diego. The winter months attract visitors to Washington because of the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to San Diego this time of year.

The weather in Washington can be very cold. Washington is much colder than San Diego in the winter. The temperature in Washington is usually 35°F (1°C) in January, and San Diego stays around 57°F (14°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in San Diego this time of the year. Washington usually receives less sunshine than San Diego during winter. At this time of the year, Washington gets 139 hours of sunny skies, while San Diego receives 239 hours of full sun.

In January, Washington usually receives more rain than San Diego. At this time of the year, Washington gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 1.8 inches (46 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Washington 35°F (1°C) 
    San Diego 57°F (14°C)

Should I visit Washington or San Diego in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Washington as well as San Diego. The activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Washington this time of year. Also, many travelers come to San Diego for the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Washington is cooler than San Diego. Typically, the spring temperatures in Washington in April are around 56°F (14°C), and San Diego is about 62°F (17°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in San Diego. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Washington this time of the year. In the spring, Washington often gets less sunshine than San Diego. Washington gets 228 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while San Diego receives 277 hours of full sun.

Washington usually gets more rain in April than San Diego. Washington gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while San Diego receives 0.8 inches (20 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Washington 56°F (14°C) 
    San Diego 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for San Diego and Washington

Washington San Diego
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 35°F (1°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.8 inches (46 mm)
Feb 37°F (3°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Mar 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 59°F (15°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm)
Apr 56°F (14°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.8 inches (20 mm)
May 66°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 67°F (19°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 71°F (22°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Aug 78°F (26°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Sep 71°F (22°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 71°F (22°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm)
Oct 60°F (15°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.4 inches (9 mm)
Nov 50°F (10°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.5 inches (37 mm)
Dec 39°F (4°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm)


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Washington vs. San Diego Travel Comparison

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