Should you visit Big Sur or Sacramento?
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.
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 city 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 $225. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Big Sur and Sacramento in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $264 in Big Sur For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
The prices for places to stay in Sacramento can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $88, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $176.
While meal prices in Sacramento can vary, the average travelers spends about $42 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Sacramento should cost around $17 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Sacramento is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sacramento
For Sacramento, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Downtown Sacramento Historical Food Tour:
Midtown Sacramento Arts and Food Tour:
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Sacramento than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $41 on transportation in Sacramento on average per day.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sacramento
Also for Sacramento, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Private transfer from Sacramento to SFO:
Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Arrival Private Transfer:
Private Sacramento Transfer Airport to Hotel:
Private Sacramento Transfer Hotel to Airport:
Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Sacramento hotel/address- RoundTrip Private Transfer:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Sacramento Executive Airport to Roseville City - One Way:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Sacramento Executive Airport to Sacramento City - One Way:
Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Sacramento hotel/address - Arrival Private Transfer:
Sacramento City to Sacramento Airport (SMF) - Departure Private Transfer:
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.
Sightseeing expenses in Sacramento, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $15 per day, per person.
Tours and Activities in Sacramento
For Sacramento, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
California Gold Rush: The Sacramento Grid on a Self-Guided Bicycle Audio Tour:
Sacramento Historic River Cruise:
Sacramento Scavenger Hunt Adventure:
Sacramento Sutter District History and Food Walking Tour:
Sacramento Urban Murals: Cycle the streets of Sacramento with an audio tour:
Typically, people visiting Sacramento spend on average $9.31 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Sample the Local Flavors in Sacramento
Also in Sacramento, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Sacramento Bar Hunt: Sacramento Sprint Bar Crawl:
Bk Best Wine Tasting Tours Amador County 4 Hour Chevrolet Suburban Passengers 7:
4 Hour Private Amador County Wine Tasting Tours Mercedes Sprinter Passengers Van:
Amador Wine Tour from Sacramento:
6 Hour Wine Tasting Tours Napa Valley Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passengers Van:
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.
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