A Travel Price Comparison for California Fairfield vs. Santa Barbara for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Fairfield or Santa Barbara?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Fairfield and Santa Barbara can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Fairfield or Santa Barbara?

Fairfield

The city of Fairfield is in Solano County, California, in the Sacramento Valley area. It's a medium sized city that is home to the Travis Air Force Base. It's also halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento along Interstate 80. There are a handful of interesting activities in the area. Consider visiting either the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area or the Hill Slough Wildlife Area both of which have hiking, fishing, birdwatching, and boating opportunities. You can also take a tour of the Jelly Belly Factory which is in town, or tour the Anheuser-Busch Brewery which includes two complimentary beers and a limitless supply of pretzels. On Thursdays you can take a guided tour of the Travis Air Force Base. If you're interested in visited a working ranch, Rush Ranch is open to the public and can be a fun experience with an opportunity to visit with the animals.

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is located in California, less than 100 miles from Los Angeles. It sits between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, giving it a stunning backdrop. The town has a population of just 90,000 but it still offers visitors many cultural, culinary, and shopping experiences that surpass many large cities. There are wide beaches along a beautiful coastline, impressive wineries, and many top rated restaurants. Many people see Santa Barbara as a hangout for the rich and famous, but with a university and diverse population, the city is much more relatable than you might expect, although travel prices here are still somewhat high.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cultural Tours in United States of America, The Best Photography Tours in United States of America, The Best Camping Tours in United States of America, and The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Santa Barbara or Fairfield?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Fairfield is $131, while the average daily cost in Santa Barbara is $162. 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 Fairfield and Santa Barbara in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Fairfield $97
    Santa Barbara $88
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Fairfield $194
    Santa Barbara $176
Compare Hotels in Fairfield and Santa Barbara

Looking for a hotel in Fairfield or Santa Barbara? 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 Fairfield


Hotels in Santa Barbara


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: Fairfield Hotel Prices and Santa Barbara Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Fairfield -
    Santa Barbara $42

Is it cheaper to fly into Fairfield or Santa Barbara?

Prices for flights to both Santa Barbara and Fairfield 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
    Fairfield $30
    Santa Barbara $46
Typical Food Prices in Fairfield

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Fairfield:


  • El Pollo Loco Lunch (for 3)
    $17
  • Hometown Buffet Dinner (for 3)
    $44

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Fairfield $13
    Santa Barbara $27

Tours and Activities in Santa Barbara

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Santa Barbara are as follows:

  • 2- Hour Pottery Workshop and Studio Tour in Ojai: $65
  • 5 STARS: "Where The Locals Go!" Nature-History Tour: $95
  • City & Sand Electric Bike Tour: $105
  • Coastline Kayak Tour near Santa Barbara with Knowledgeable Guide: $122
  • Downtown SB Walking Food & Drink Tour: $175
  • Epic Zipline Tour Over The Santa Ynez Valley: $139
  • Guided Kayak Wildlife Tour in the Santa Barbara Harbor: $55
  • Kayak Tour of Santa Barbara with Experienced Guide: $55
  • Montecito Electric Bike Tour Along Santa Barbara Scenic Coastline: $105
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Santa Barbara, CA: $15
  • Private Helicopter Tour in Santa Barbara: $149
  • Private Santa Barbara History and Architecture Walking Tour: $99

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Fairfield -
    Santa Barbara $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Fairfield

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Fairfield:

  • Olive Oil, Cheese, and Wine Tasting with Local Expert: $133

Typical Alcohol Prices in Santa Barbara

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Santa Barbara:


  • Camping
    $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Santa Barbara

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Santa Barbara:

  • Paranormal Pairing: Wine Tasting Walk with Ghost Storytelling: $105
  • Solvang Valley Small Group All-Inclusive Wine Tour : $185
  • Santa Ynez Valley Biking and Wine Tasting Tour: $194
  • All-Inclusive Full-Day Wine Tasting Tour from Santa Ynez Valley: $199
  • 6 hour Private Wine Tour of Santa Barbara County : $199
  • Santa Ynez Valley Wine Tour: $215
  • ‚ÄčAll-Inclusive Full-Day Wine Tasting Tour from Santa Barbara: $219
  • Small-Group Wine Tasting Tour of Santa Barbara Wine Country: $235
  • Santa Barbara Small-Group Wine Tour to Private Estates & Wineries: $235
  • Small-Group Wine Tour to Private Locations in Santa Barbara : $235
  • Taco Tour & Wine Tasting Funk Zone Santa Barbara: $245
  • Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez Wine Tour (We Drive Your Vehicle): $300


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

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


Which is Bigger, Fairfield or Santa Barbara?

Fairfield has a larger population, and is about 22% larger than the population of Santa Barbara. When comparing the sizes of Fairfield and Santa Barbara, 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 Fairfield or Santa Barbara?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Fairfield or Santa Barbara in the Summer?

Both Santa Barbara and Fairfield during the summer are popular places to visit. Also, many visitors come to Santa Barbara in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Fairfield is generally a little warmer than Santa Barbara. Daily temperatures in Fairfield average around 73°F (23°C), and Santa Barbara fluctuates around 65°F (19°C).

Fairfield usually gets more rain in July than Santa Barbara. Fairfield gets 0 inches (1 mm) of rain, while Santa Barbara receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Fairfield 73°F (23°C) 
    Santa Barbara 65°F (19°C)

Should I visit Fairfield or Santa Barbara in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Fairfield and Santa Barbara. Also, most visitors come to Santa Barbara for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Fairfield is around the same temperature as Santa Barbara in the autumn. The daily temperature in Fairfield averages around 62°F (17°C) in October, and Santa Barbara fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

In October, Fairfield usually receives more rain than Santa Barbara. Fairfield gets 1.1 inches (27 mm) of rain, while Santa Barbara receives 0.5 inches (13 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Fairfield 62°F (17°C) 
    Santa Barbara 62°F (17°C)

Should I visit Fairfield or Santa Barbara in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Fairfield as well as Santa Barbara. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Santa Barbara because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Fairfield is cooler than Santa Barbara. Typically, the winter temperatures in Fairfield in January average around 46°F (8°C), and Santa Barbara averages at about 52°F (11°C).

Fairfield usually gets more rain in January than Santa Barbara. Fairfield gets 3.8 inches (97 mm) of rain, while Santa Barbara receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Fairfield 46°F (8°C) 
    Santa Barbara 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Fairfield or Santa Barbara in the Spring?

Both Santa Barbara and Fairfield are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Also, the beaches, the activities around the city, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Santa Barbara this time of year.

In April, Fairfield is generally around the same temperature as Santa Barbara. Daily temperatures in Fairfield average around 56°F (13°C), and Santa Barbara fluctuates around 57°F (14°C).

In April, Fairfield usually receives more rain than Santa Barbara. Fairfield gets 1.3 inches (32 mm) of rain, while Santa Barbara receives 1.1 inches (27 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Fairfield 56°F (13°C) 
    Santa Barbara 57°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Santa Barbara and Fairfield

Fairfield Santa Barbara
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Feb 51°F (11°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 54°F (12°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Apr 56°F (13°C) 1.3 inches (32 mm) 57°F (14°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
May 64°F (18°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm) 59°F (15°C) 0.2 inches (4 mm)
Jun 69°F (21°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Jul 73°F (23°C) 0 inches (1 mm) 65°F (19°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Aug 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 67°F (19°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Sep 70°F (21°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm) 66°F (19°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm)
Oct 62°F (17°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm) 62°F (17°C) 0.5 inches (13 mm)
Nov 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
Dec 46°F (8°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 52°F (11°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)