A Travel Price Comparison for California Death Valley National Park vs. Sacramento for Backpackers, Attractions, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Death Valley National Park 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 Death Valley National Park and Sacramento can help you decide which place is right for you.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is a dramatic, striking, and vast national park. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Visitors also love the hiking.

Sacramento

Sacramento is a undiscovered, laid back, and relaxed city. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Death Valley National Park and Sacramento: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Nice resorts
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular for shopping
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Death Valley National Park or Sacramento?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Sacramento. Although Death Valley National Park and Sacramento are both popular with visitors, Sacramento has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Sacramento is more popular for its museums, food, nightlife, and shopping, while Death Valley National Park is known for its resorts, hiking, and impressive beauty. Death Valley National Park is more touristy than Sacramento and is popular for being the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in the U.S. Sacramento is popular for its history and state capital. It is also home to the California State Railroad Museum.

How is Death Valley National Park different from Sacramento?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Death Valley National Park or Sacramento?

Death Valley National Park
Sacramento

Sacramento is a well-known place for its sights and museums. However, Death Valley National Park is not a good national park for its museums and history.

Many visitors head to Sacramento specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. 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.

While most people don't head to Death Valley National Park specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. There are ghost towns and visitor centers with informational exhibits, but visitors spend most of their time exploring the outdoor environment.


Is the Food Better in Death Valley National Park or Sacramento? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Death Valley National Park
Sacramento

Sacramento is very good for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Death Valley National Park is not a good national park for its restaurants.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Sacramento area. 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.

Death Valley National Park offers some easy restaurants to choose from. There are restaurants at Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells, and Panamint Springs, but most visitors prefer to bring their own food so that they can enjoy picnicking in a beautiful setting.

Is Death Valley National Park or Sacramento Better for Nightlife?

Death Valley National Park
Sacramento

Sacramento is very good for its evening party scene. However, Death Valley National Park is not a good national park for nightlife.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Sacramento. 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.

Death Valley National Park doesn't offer many options. Beyond stargazing and relaxing around a campfire, there is no real nightlife in the area.

Is Death Valley National Park or Sacramento Better for Resorts?

Death Valley National Park
Sacramento

Death Valley National Park is a decent place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Sacramento is not a resort destination.

Not known for its high-end resorts, Death Valley National Park offers a few options. There are historical inns and lodges in and around the park. The privately owned Inn at Death Valley is a popular option in Furnace Creek. If you stay outside the park, you can expect long drives to get most places.

Sacramento is not a resort destination.


Is Death Valley National Park or Sacramento Better for Hiking?

Death Valley National Park
Sacramento

Death Valley National Park is a very popular place for its hiking trails. However, Sacramento is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Death Valley National Park. Hikes will take you past desert landscapes, through canyons, and along sand dunes. The views are spectacular and the setting is other-worldly. Hiking is best between the months of November and March, as temperatures can be high other times of the year, particularly during the summer months.

Sacramento is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Death Valley National Park or Sacramento?

Death Valley National Park
Sacramento

Sacramento is very good for its shopping areas. However, Death Valley National Park is not a good national park for shopping.

Many visitors go to Sacramento to go shopping. 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.

Shopping in Death Valley National Park can be found for those interested. There are a couple of general stores where you can pick up items that you may need.

Is Death Valley National Park or Sacramento Better for Families?

Death Valley National Park
Sacramento

Death Valley National Park 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, Death Valley National Park is very family-friendly. Kids will love hiking and exploring the vast desert. There are also ghost towns and abandoned mines that will fascinate kids and adults alike. Junior programs, operated by the National Park Service, also offer interesting and educational programming for kids.

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 Death Valley National Park or Sacramento Better for Couples?

Death Valley National Park
Sacramento

Death Valley National Park is a very popular place for its romantic activities. However, Sacramento is lacking in good options for couples.

Death Valley National Park makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The stunning desert landscape will take your breathe away, particularly during sunrise and sunset, when the colors are dramatic and striking. In the evening, the sky fills with stars and couples can enjoy a bit of stargazing.

Sacramento is not always the best place to visit for a couple. Picnics, nice restaurants, and shows make for enjoyable date activities while you're in town.

Is Death Valley National Park or Sacramento Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Death Valley National Park
Sacramento

Death Valley National Park is very popular for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Sacramento is lacking in good options for backpackers.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Death Valley National Park is extremely popular for backpackers. Backpackers will enjoy hiking and camping in a unique desert environment. There are several campgrounds in the area that range from primitive to developed.

Sacramento is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Although most backpackers skip this town for more popular destinations, there are a couple of hostels in town.

Is Death Valley National Park or Sacramento Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Death Valley National Park
Sacramento

Sacramento is a moderate city for its public transit. However, Death Valley National Park is not a good national park for times when you don't have a car.

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

Public transit is quite limited in Death Valley National Park. There is no public transportation within the park.


Is Death Valley National Park or Sacramento a more walkable city?

Death Valley National Park
Sacramento

Sacramento is a moderate city for its ease of walking around. However, Death Valley National Park is not a good national park for its walkability.

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.

Death Valley National Park is not a very walkable national park. This is a huge national park that requires a car to get around.

For even more information, also check out Is Death Valley National Park Worth Visiting? and Is Sacramento Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Sacramento or Death Valley National Park?

How long in Death Valley National Park or Sacramento?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Death Valley National Park or Sacramento to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Death Valley National Park than Sacramento because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Death Valley National Park, and 1-2 days is enough time in Sacramento.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Sacramento than Death Valley National Park 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 Death Valley National Park or Sacramento? Ideal Length of Stay
    Death Valley National Park 2-4 
    Sacramento 1-2

One day in Death Valley National Park or Sacramento?

With around the striking national park of Death Valley National Park, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. 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.

In Sacramento, many people enjoy the museums and nightlife that this relaxed destination offers. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A weekend in Death Valley National Park or Sacramento?

With around the destination of Death Valley National Park, there's plenty to do. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this national park.

In Sacramento, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this destination offers. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Many people spend a weekend here. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.


Five days in Death Valley National Park or Sacramento?

Death Valley National Park, a popular national park, is full of activities for travelers. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Many people enjoy the food and shopping when visiting Sacramento. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. This city offers something for everyone.

A week in Death Valley National Park or Sacramento?

Death Valley National Park 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.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the city of Sacramento. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America, The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America, and The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Sacramento or Death Valley National Park?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Death Valley National Park is $87, 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 Death Valley National Park and Sacramento in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Death Valley National Park $37
    Sacramento $111
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Death Valley National Park $74
    Sacramento $222
Compare Hotels in Death Valley National Park and Sacramento

Looking for a hotel in Death Valley National Park 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 Death Valley National Park


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.
    Death Valley National Park $41
    Sacramento $51

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sacramento

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

  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Arrival Private Transfer: $110
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $219

Is it cheaper to fly into Death Valley National Park or Sacramento?

Prices for flights to both Sacramento and Death Valley National Park 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
    Death Valley National Park $20
    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:

  • Historic Old Sacramento Walking Food Tour: $95
  • Midtown Sacramento Arts and Food Tour: $98
  • Downtown Sacramento Historical Food Tour: $98
  • Midtown Sacramento Walking Food Tour: $125
  • Midtown Walking Food Tour: $145
  • Italian Cooking and Dance Class Experience: $160

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Death Valley National Park $36
    Sacramento $19

Tours and Activities in Death Valley National Park

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Death Valley National Park are as follows:

  • Death Valley 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:

  • Gold Rush & Ghosts SmartPhone App Walking Tour: $6.50
  • Gold Rush and Ghosts of Sacramento Smart Phone guided (App/GPS) Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Old A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Old A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Historic Folsom: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • A Highway 49 Drive: A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Placerville to Jackson: $12
  • Driving in Delta’s Wine Country: Private Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Delta's History and Wine: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $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 Auburn to Placerville: $12
  • Sacramento Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Death Valley National Park $8.57
    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
  • Cider and Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch - near Sacramento: $125


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

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