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The 10 Most Expensive U.S. Cities to Book a Hotel

Hint: New York is not #1.

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Downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

10. New Orleans

Visiting the Big Easy won’t be too easy on your wallet. Nightly hotel costs run around $193, according to 2017 data provided by hotels.com. In comparison, the average room cost nationwide was $133. Luckily, lodging isn’t the end of the story. Despite its higher-than-average room costs, New Orleans is actually one of the best cities on a budget, according to Money Crashers, thanks to cheap transportation, walkable (read: free) architecture sightseeing, and plenty of entertaining street performers.

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Skyline of downtown Seattle at Washington State
Jose L. Stephens/Shutterstock

9. Seattle, Washington

Home to tech giants Microsoft and Amazon, plus premium coffee (hello, Starbucks) and hipsters, is it any wonder that Seattle is among the most expensive visits for hotels? A one-night stay costs $197 on average. And you might need to cut some other costs if you want to cut loose with the craft beer scene—the Emerald City has the most expensive beer and wine in the country, according to WalletHub.

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Downtown Cityscape Los Angeles, California, USA

8. Los Angeles, California

With the big-time allure of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles is unsurprisingly among the priciest cities to visit. The average room will set you back $198 a night. And in the city where the cost of public transportation is sky-high and driving is pretty much a necessity, you’ll have to factor in plenty of Uber trips too. Budget-conscious travelers might want to consider these 41 mini family vacations that won’t break the bank instead.

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Nashville, Tennessee downtown skyline with Cumberland River in USA

7. Nashville, Tennessee

In 2017, Nashville had a bigger spike in the cost of living than anywhere else in the country, and it seems its travel costs weren’t immune. A stay in Music City costs about $199 a night, marking it as the most expensive city in the South for a hotel stay.

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Cityscape of buildings around the Chicago River, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jose L. Stephens/Shutterstock

6. Chicago, Illinois

We’re officially into the 200s: A one-night stay in Chicago is priced around $201, according to hotels.com data. Thankfully, you can take in the city’s stunning architecture by foot along the Chicago Riverwalk to save on transportation while getting your steps in.

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waikiki beach with diamond head resorts hawaii

5. Honolulu, Hawaii

When you’re escaping mainland America for its little slice of paradise, it’s not going to come cheap. Even from the West Coast, it’s a long-haul flight—Los Angeles is actually closer to New York than Honolulu—and the cheapest tickets usually start around $450. And with rooms costing around $216 a night, this tourist destination won’t give your wallet a break when you touch down either. For cheaper options, check out these 11 affordable bucket list travel destinations.

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Washington DC, USA skyline on the Potomac River with Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and Arlington Memorial Bridge.
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

4. Washington, D.C.

Congress isn’t the only one setting a budget—you might have to pinch your pennies ahead of time to afford a D.C. trip. Visiting our nation’s capital will set you back around $218 a night. As a silver lining, its biggest tourist attractions like National Mall monuments and Smithsonian museums have free entry, balancing out the pricy lodging.

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Golden Gate Bridge Dusk At Sunset. View from Fort Point. San Francisco, California San Francisco, USA.
Lynn Yeh/Shutterstock

3. San Francisco, California

If you want to visit the Golden Gate Bridge, you’d better have your own stash of gold because lodging is not cheap. The city is known for having the most expensive home rental market in America, so it’s not surprising that it’d make the top three in hotel costs too. To accommodate the nearly three million visitors that stop by every year, hotel rooms cost $231 on average, according to hotels.com data.

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New York City skyline with urban skyscrapers at sunset.

2. New York, New York

In the city that never sleeps, laying your head down for the night will cost a pretty penny. New York attracts a whopping 13 million-plus tourists every year, making it the most-visited city in the country. And the hotel prices certainly reflect that high demand: A single night in the Big Apple will set visitors back around $258. New York also happens to be home to the most expensive hotel in America, the Mark Hotel, which charges a jaw-dropping $75,000 a night for its swankiest suite.

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ESB Professional

1. Boston, Massachusetts

Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Boston might not be the biggest city in the country—and that’s exactly what drives prices up, according to the Boston Globe. In a modest-sized city with water limiting its expansion, real estate can get mighty expensive. Plus, as a college town, it’s a year-round draw for parents, alumni, and academics, not to mention anyone who just wants to see some fascinating landmarks from America’s baby years. The average is just over twice what the average hotel room costs nationwide: $267 for a night.

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.