A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Columbus vs. Sacramento for Attractions, Families, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Columbus or Sacramento?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Columbus or Sacramento? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Columbus

Columbus is a friendly, welcoming, and down-to-earth city. Visitors also love the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Sacramento

Sacramento is a laid back, relaxed, and undiscovered city. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.

Columbus and Sacramento: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Columbus or Sacramento?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Sacramento than Columbus. While Columbus is larger than Sacramento, Sacramento has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Columbus is famous for its youthful energy and its growing arts scene. Sacramento is famous for its history and state capital. It is also well known for the California State Railroad Museum.

How is Columbus different from Sacramento?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Columbus or Sacramento?

Columbus
Sacramento

Sacramento is a very popular place for its museums and history. Also, Columbus is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

Sacramento offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. As the state capital, you'll find a number of historical and informational museums around town. You should check out the State Capital, as well as the California State Railroad Museum, the Crocker Museum of Art, Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, and the California Automobile Museum.

Columbus offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. Popular museums around town include the Center of Science and Technology, the Franklin Park Conservatory, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Ohio History Center.


Is the Food Better in Columbus or Sacramento? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Columbus
Sacramento

Sacramento is a popular place for its restaurants. However, Columbus is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Sacramento. Casual restaurants with laid back atmospheres are what's most common around town. You'll also find a variety of international cuisines that include Korean and Vietnamese.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Columbus. Hearty and heavy comfort food is the mainstay in this town. There's pizza, casseroles, sausage, and milkshakes around town.

Is Columbus or Sacramento Better for Nightlife?

Columbus
Sacramento

The nice nightlife scene is relatively similar in Columbus and Sacramento.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Columbus. The live music scene is growing. There are also a growing number of breweries around town.

Sacramento has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. There highest concentration of activities are found in Downtown Sacramento. You'll find bars, clubs and live music in the area. You can also head to midtown, which has performing arts and comedy shows.

Is the Shopping Better in Columbus or Sacramento?

Columbus
Sacramento

Shoppers can find a variety of nice stores in both Columbus and Sacramento.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Columbus. In addition to the standard shopping malls and retail outlets, there are some interesting shops in the Short North Arts District, German Village, and Easton Town Center.

Sacramento offers some nice shopping areas. You'll find down-to-earth vendors who have reasonable prices and a great selection. Some of the most interesting shopping is found at the Old Sacramento Waterfront or along Folsom Boulevard.


Is Columbus or Sacramento Better for Families?

Columbus
Sacramento

Columbus is a very popular place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Sacramento is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Columbus is very family-friendly. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a highlight for many families. Right by it is the Zoombezi Bay Waterpark. For hands-on science-based activities check out the Center of Science and Industry. Kids will also love the Legoland Discovery Center or the Anthony-Thomas Candy Factory. There are also many outdoor parks, greenways, and playgrounds to visit.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Sacramento. With the large number of families that live in the area, you'll a variety of kid-friendly activities. Options include smaller amusement parks like Funderland Amusement Park, museums like the Sacramento Children's Museum, and indoor trampoline parks. There's also Fairytale Town, which is an imagination filled playground.

Is Columbus or Sacramento Better for Couples?

Columbus
Sacramento

Neither Columbus or Sacramento is generally regarded as a top spot for a couple to visit.

Columbus is not the best destination for a couple to visit. You'll find restaurants and music venues that make for a nice date night. There are also wine tours and other entertainment options.

Most people don't think of Sacramento as a couple's destination. Picnics, nice restaurants, and shows make for enjoyable date activities while you're in town.

Is Columbus or Sacramento Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Columbus
Sacramento

Visitors will find reasonable public transit in both Columbus and Sacramento.

Public transit is mostly limited in Columbus. While there's a bus system, you'll really want to have a vehicle to get around town efficiently.

Public transit is generally limited in Sacramento. There's both light rail and buses around town.


Is Columbus or Sacramento a more walkable city?

Columbus
Sacramento

Columbus is a nice place to visit for its high level of walkability. However, Sacramento is lacking in good options for its ease of walking around.

Columbus is a somewhat walkable place. The older neighborhoods are the most walkable, but if you want to get around town, you'll need to have a car.

Sacramento is generally not very walkable. You'll really want a car to get around town, but Midtown is one of the more walkable areas.

For even more information, also check out Is Columbus Worth Visiting? and Is Sacramento Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Sacramento or Columbus?

How long in Columbus or Sacramento?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Columbus or Sacramento to fill your time. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either. However, 1-2 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Columbus than Sacramento. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Columbus, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Sacramento than Columbus. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Sacramento that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Sacramento than Columbus if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Sacramento.


  • How many days in Columbus or Sacramento? Ideal Length of Stay
    Columbus 1-2 
    Sacramento 1-2

One day in Columbus or Sacramento?

With museums and nightlife around the friendly city of Columbus, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Columbus, one day is sufficent for most.

The city of Sacramento offers food and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Columbus or Sacramento?

With nightlife and shopping around the destination of Columbus, there's plenty to do. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Sacramento is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Sacramento, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.


Five days in Columbus or Sacramento?

Columbus, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Sacramento is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Columbus or Sacramento?

Columbus is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. 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.

Sacramento is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Anchorage, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, and The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City.


Which place is cheaper, Sacramento or Columbus?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Columbus is $158, 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 Columbus and Sacramento in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbus $72
    Sacramento $111
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbus $144
    Sacramento $222
Compare Hotels in Columbus and Sacramento

Looking for a hotel in Columbus 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 Columbus


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: Columbus Hotel Prices and Sacramento Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbus $50
    Sacramento $51

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Columbus

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

  • Columbus to Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) - Departure Private Transfer: $66
  • Columbus Ohio (CMH) Airport Arrival or Departure Private Transfer: $180
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $133
  • Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Arrival Private Transfer: $66

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sacramento

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

  • Sacramento City to Sacramento Airport (SMF) - Departure Private Transfer: $62
  • Sacramento Airport to Northstar/Squaw Valley - Arrival Transfer: $221
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Sacramento hotel/address- RoundTrip Private Transfer: $124
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $223
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Arrival Private Transfer: $112
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Mammoth Mountain - Arrival Transfer: $298
  • Round Trip Private Transfer in Sacramento Airport to Calistoga: $298

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbus or Sacramento?

Prices for flights to both Sacramento and Columbus 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
    Columbus $49
    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
  • Historic Old Sacramento Walking Food Tour: $115
  • Midtown Sacramento Walking Food Tour: $140

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbus $46
    Sacramento $19

Tours and Activities in Columbus

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

  • Columbus Scavenger Hunt Adventure : $21
  • Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $44
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Columbus with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus Ticket: $28
  • Self Guided Adventure Hunt: Discovering Columbus: $12
  • Self Guided Adventure Hunt: Frights Of Columbus Ghost hunt: $12
  • Shared Yoga and Coffee Experience On The Trolley Pub: $33
  • Trolley Pub Holiday Lights Tour in Columbus: $45
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Columbus by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Yoga & Coffee Tour On The Trolley Pub: $45

Tours and Activities in Sacramento

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

  • A Highway 49 Drive: A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Auburn to Placerville: $12
  • A Highway 49 Drive: A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Jackson to Angels Camp: $12
  • A Highway 49 Drive: A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Placerville to Jackson: $12
  • Davis Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Downtown Sacramento Mural and Art Walking Tour : $45
  • Driving in Delta’s Wine Country: Private Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Folsom Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Gold Rush and Ghosts of Sacramento Smart Phone guided (App/GPS) Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Historic Folsom: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Mini Golf Experience 9 Hole Course in Sacramento: $18
  • Nevada City Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Old Sacramento Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbus $20
    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:

  • Sacramento Bar Hunt: Sacramento Sprint Bar Crawl: $12
  • Placer County Wine Tasting Pass: $19
  • Wine Tasting Audio Tour - Amador County CA: $30
  • Wine Tasting Audio Tour - Lodi California: $35
  • Clarksburg Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch near Sacramento: $135
  • Apple Hill Wine Tasting Tours And Placerville wine tasting tours: $169


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

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


Which is Bigger, Columbus or Sacramento?

Columbus has a larger population, and is about 57% larger than the population of Sacramento. When comparing the sizes of Columbus and Sacramento, 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.


When is the best time to visit Columbus 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 Columbus or Sacramento in the Summer?

Both Sacramento and Columbus are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Columbus for the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Sacramento in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Columbus is around the same temperature as Sacramento. Typically, the summer temperatures in Columbus in July average around 77°F (25°C), and Sacramento averages at about 76°F (24°C).

It's quite sunny in Sacramento. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbus. Columbus usually receives less sunshine than Sacramento during summer. Columbus gets 254 hours of sunny skies, while Sacramento receives 439 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Columbus. In July, Columbus usually receives more rain than Sacramento. Columbus gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Columbus 77°F (25°C) 
    Sacramento 76°F (24°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Sacramento in the Autumn?

Both Sacramento and Columbus during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Columbus in the autumn for the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Sacramento for the shopping scene during these months.

In October, Columbus is generally cooler than Sacramento. Daily temperatures in Columbus average around 57°F (14°C), and Sacramento fluctuates around 64°F (18°C).

In Sacramento, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the autumn, Columbus often gets less sunshine than Sacramento. Columbus gets 179 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Sacramento receives 300 hours of full sun.

Columbus usually gets more rain in October than Sacramento. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 1.1 inches (27 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Columbus 57°F (14°C) 
    Sacramento 64°F (18°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Sacramento in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Columbus and Sacramento. Most visitors come to Columbus for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Sacramento because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Columbus can be very cold during winter. Columbus is much colder than Sacramento in the winter. The daily temperature in Columbus averages around 30°F (-1°C) in January, and Sacramento fluctuates around 45°F (7°C).

Columbus usually receives less sunshine than Sacramento during winter. Columbus gets 105 hours of sunny skies, while Sacramento receives 149 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Columbus usually receives less rain than Sacramento. Columbus gets 2.2 inches (56 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 3.8 inches (97 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Columbus 30°F (-1°C) 
    Sacramento 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit Columbus or Sacramento in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Columbus as well as Sacramento.

In the spring, Columbus is cooler than Sacramento. Typically, the spring temperatures in Columbus in April average around 54°F (12°C), and Sacramento averages at about 58°F (15°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Sacramento. In the spring, Columbus often gets less sunshine than Sacramento. Columbus gets 200 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Sacramento receives 328 hours of full sun.

Columbus usually gets more rain in April than Sacramento. Columbus gets 3.2 inches (81 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 1.3 inches (32 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Columbus 54°F (12°C) 
    Sacramento 58°F (15°C)

Typical Weather for Sacramento and Columbus

Columbus Sacramento
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 30°F (-1°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm)
Feb 33°F (1°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 51°F (10°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 45°F (7°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Apr 54°F (12°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 58°F (15°C) 1.3 inches (32 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 65°F (18°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Jun 73°F (23°C) 4 inches (102 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 77°F (25°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 76°F (24°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (95 mm) 75°F (24°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Sep 69°F (20°C) 3 inches (76 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm)
Oct 57°F (14°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Dec 35°F (2°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 45°F (7°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)