A Travel Price Comparison for California Big Sur vs. Sacramento for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Big Sur or Sacramento?

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 Big Sur and Sacramento can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Big Sur or Sacramento?

Big Sur

Big Sur is the 90-mile stretch of the California Central Coast which runs from the Carmel River in Monterey County south to San Carpoforo Creek in San Luis Obispo County and 20 miles east into the Santa Lucius Foothills.

However you look at it, California's Central Coast is beautiful and undoubtedly a huge tourist trap. If you're not willing to fork over big bucks for overnight stays on coastal hotels, be prepared ahead of time with your camping gear and get ready to go off the beaten track to avoid crowds as best you can and save your wallet.

While the weather in Central Coast is overall, mild and temperate, between 50 and 70 degrees year-round. The highs and lows during the year are in August and January, respectively, with dry summers and wet winters, making April through October the best times to visit but be warned: there will be crowds.


Sacramento is the capital city and one of the oldest cities in the state of California. It was founded in 1849 in the midst of the Gold Rush, and has since grown to a population of over 500,000 people. The atmosphere is more laid back than most major cities, and its heritage is rooted in the Gold Rush and Transcontinental Railroad era.

Which place is cheaper, Sacramento or Big Sur?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Big Sur is $0.00, while the average daily cost in Sacramento is $281. 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 Big Sur and Sacramento in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Big Sur $165
    Sacramento $111
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Big Sur $330
    Sacramento $222
Compare Hotels in Big Sur and Sacramento

Looking for a hotel in Big Sur or Sacramento? 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 Big Sur

Hotels in Sacramento

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: Sacramento Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Big Sur -
    Sacramento $51

Is it cheaper to fly into Big Sur or Sacramento?

Prices for flights to both Sacramento and Big Sur 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 Meals for one day
    Big Sur -
    Sacramento $53

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sacramento

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

  • Midtown Sacramento Arts and Food Tour: $98
  • Downtown Sacramento Historical Food Tour: $98
  • Midtown Sacramento Walking Food Tour: $125
  • Midtown Walking Food Tour: $145

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Big Sur -
    Sacramento $19

Tours and Activities in Big Sur

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

  • Big Sur California: Pacific Coast Highway Self-Drive Tour: $15
  • Big Sur Hwy 1 | Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour: $15

Tours and Activities in Sacramento

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

  • 90 minutes Bicycle tours through Folsom CA: $25
  • A Highway 49 Drive: A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Auburn to Placerville: $12
  • Delta's History and Wine: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $12
  • Downtown Sacramento Mural and Art Walking Tour : $45
  • Driving in Delta’s Wine Country: Private Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Historic Folsom: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Old Sacramento Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour: $44
  • Old A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Old A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Rock the Yacht Cocktail Cruise Sacramento 21+: $47
  • Sacramento Ghosts Tour: $33
  • Sacramento Ghosts: Gunslingers and Ghouls Tour: $32

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Big Sur -
    Sacramento $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Sacramento

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

  • Cider and Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch - near Sacramento: $125

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

When is the best time to visit Big Sur or Sacramento?

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 Big Sur or Sacramento in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Big Sur and Sacramento.

In July, Big Sur is generally cooler than Sacramento. Daily temperatures in Big Sur average around 63°F (17°C), and Sacramento fluctuates around 76°F (24°C).

In July, Big Sur usually receives more rain than Sacramento. Big Sur gets 0 inches (1 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain each month for the summer.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Big Sur 63°F (17°C) 
    Sacramento 76°F (24°C)

Should I visit Big Sur or Sacramento in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Big Sur as well as Sacramento.

Big Sur is around the same temperature as Sacramento in the autumn. The daily temperature in Big Sur averages around 62°F (17°C) in October, and Sacramento fluctuates around 64°F (18°C).

Big Sur usually gets less rain in October than Sacramento. Big Sur gets 0.6 inches (14 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 1.1 inches (27 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Big Sur 62°F (17°C) 
    Sacramento 64°F (18°C)

Should I visit Big Sur or Sacramento in the Winter?

Both Sacramento and Big Sur are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities.

In the winter, Big Sur is a little warmer than Sacramento. Typically, the winter temperatures in Big Sur in January average around 51°F (11°C), and Sacramento averages at about 45°F (7°C).

In January, Big Sur usually receives less rain than Sacramento. Big Sur gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 3.8 inches (97 mm) of rain each month for the winter.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Big Sur 51°F (11°C) 
    Sacramento 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit Big Sur or Sacramento in the Spring?

Both Sacramento and Big Sur during the spring are popular places to visit.

In April, Big Sur is generally around the same temperature as Sacramento. Daily temperatures in Big Sur average around 56°F (13°C), and Sacramento fluctuates around 58°F (15°C).

Big Sur usually gets less rain in April than Sacramento. Big Sur gets 1.1 inches (29 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 1.3 inches (32 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Big Sur 56°F (13°C) 
    Sacramento 58°F (15°C)

Typical Weather for Sacramento and Big Sur

Big Sur Sacramento
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 51°F (11°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm)
Feb 53°F (12°C) 1.8 inches (47 mm) 51°F (10°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 2.1 inches (55 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Apr 56°F (13°C) 1.1 inches (29 mm) 58°F (15°C) 1.3 inches (32 mm)
May 59°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (4 mm) 65°F (18°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Jun 62°F (16°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 63°F (17°C) 0 inches (1 mm) 76°F (24°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Aug 64°F (18°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 75°F (24°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Sep 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm)
Oct 62°F (17°C) 0.6 inches (14 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
Nov 56°F (13°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Dec 51°F (10°C) 2 inches (51 mm) 45°F (7°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Big Sur vs. Sacramento Travel Comparison

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