Should you visit Monterey or Sacramento?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Monterey and Sacramento. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.
When it comes to California, Monterey may not be mentioned half as much as you hear about Los Angeles or San Francisco, but it is a beautiful city to visit, with a diverse expanse of exciting and relaxing things to do, whether you're looking for adventure, a quiet getaway, or romance.
Located on California's central coast, the city of Monterey was the first State Capital of California. It was also home to many artists, athletes, and musicians, such as John Steinbeck, Clint Eastwood, and Ron Johnson.
Monterey has mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm, dry summers. Cold season runs from December to April and warm season, from July until October. The peak travel seasons are during summer, from July to September. If you want to avoid crowds, the months of April and October are ideal times to visit for fewer crowds and comfortable weather.
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 Monterey?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Monterey is $136, 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 Monterey and Sacramento in more detail.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Monterey, $144 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Monterey, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $72, such as in a hostel.
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.
On average, meal and food prices in Monterey cost around $45 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $18.
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:
Monterey's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $26 per person, per day on transportation in Monterey.
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 Monterey
Also for Monterey, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private transfer from Monterey to SFO:
Monterey Peninsula Airport One Way Transfer:
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:
Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Sacramento hotel/address- RoundTrip Private Transfer:
Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Sacramento hotel/address - Arrival Private Transfer:
Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Arrival Private Transfer:
Private transfer from Sacramento to SFO:
Private Sacramento Transfer Hotel to Airport:
Private Sacramento Transfer Airport to Hotel:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Sacramento Executive Airport to Sacramento City - One Way:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Sacramento Executive Airport to Roseville City - One Way:
Is it cheaper to fly into Monterey or Sacramento?
Prices for flights to both Sacramento and Monterey 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, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Monterey can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
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 Monterey
For Monterey, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
1-Hour Monterey and Cannery Row Sea Car Tour:
2-Hour Monterey and Pacific Grove Sea Car Tour:
3-Hour Monterey Bay Winter Whale-Watching Tour in California:
3-Hour Monterey, Cannery Row and Pacific Grove Sea Car Tour:
Big Sur Self-Driving Audio Tour in California (Highway 1, Pacific Coast Highway):
Half-Day Whale Watching Tour From Monterey:
Historic Cannery Row: Explore John Steinbeck's Monterey on an audio walking tour:
Monterey State Historic Park and Fisherman’s Wharf: A seaside audio walking tour:
Monterey and Carmel Day Tour & Golden Gate Bay Cruise:
Monterey and Carmel: Overnight Tour from San Francisco:
17-Mile Drive Bike Tour:
17-Mile Drive Self-Guided Audio Tour:
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 Monterey spend on average $17 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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 Monterey and Sacramento, we can see that Sacramento is more expensive. And not only is Monterey much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Monterey would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Monterey 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 Monterey.
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