A Travel Price Comparison for California Napa Valley vs. Sacramento for Food, Couples, Attractions, and Nightlife

Should you visit Napa Valley or Sacramento?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Napa Valley and Sacramento 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.

Napa Valley

Napa Valley is a picturesque, idyllic, and scenic area. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Visitors also love the food, hiking, and shopping.

Sacramento

Sacramento is a undiscovered, laid back, and relaxed city. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Napa Valley and Sacramento: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Napa Valley or Sacramento?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Napa Valley than Sacramento. While Sacramento is larger than Napa Valley, Napa Valley has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Napa Valley is more popular for its food, nightlife, hiking, shopping, and impressive beauty, while Sacramento is known for its museums. Napa Valley is more touristy than Sacramento and is known for its world class wineries and beautiful countryside. It is also home to Louis M. Martini Winery. Sacramento is popular for its history and state capital.

How is Napa Valley different from Sacramento?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Napa Valley or Sacramento?

Napa Valley
Sacramento

Sacramento is a great city for its historical sights. However, Napa Valley is not known for its sights and museums.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Sacramento. 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.

Napa Valley offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Most visitors spend their time visiting vineyards, but there are a couple of local museums and galleries in the area that are worth checking out.


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

Napa Valley
Sacramento

Napa Valley is very popular for its restaurants. Also, Sacramento is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Napa Valley is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. It's most known for its world-class wine, but Napa Valley is also filled with Michelin starred restaurants and charming local eateries. Whether you're looking for a casual meal or something more upscale, there is no shortage of options. Most places take advantage of local ingredients that are very fresh. Menus change regularly and seasonal ingredients are common. And, of course, you'll find a wide selection of local wines.

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.

Is Napa Valley or Sacramento Better for Nightlife?

Napa Valley
Sacramento

Napa Valley is a very popular place for nightlife and partying. Also, Sacramento is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its evening party scene.

Napa Valley has a large number of nightlife venues. In the evening, visitors will enjoy the area's live music scene, theaters, and bars. There are also plenty of wine bars where you can continue to enjoy local wines.

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 Napa Valley or Sacramento Better for Hiking?

Napa Valley
Sacramento

Napa Valley 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 Napa Valley. There are a number of state parks in the area, and there are also trails that pass by vineyards. Some of the best hiking trails are found in Alston Park, Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, or Las Posadas State Forest.

Sacramento is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Napa Valley or Sacramento?

Napa Valley
Sacramento

Napa Valley is a very popular place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Sacramento is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Napa Valley is well-known for its shopping. There are many interesting local boutiques in the different towns. You'll find shops selling clothing, jewelry, local items, and gifts. Some of the best shopping is found along First Street in downtown Napa.

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.

Is Napa Valley or Sacramento Better for Families?

Napa Valley
Sacramento

Both Napa Valley and Sacramento are good to visit with kids.

Napa Valley offers lots of family activities. Vineyards and wine tasting may be what comes to mind for most travelers in Napa Valley, but those visiting with kids will appreciate the hiking trails, markets, and outdoor activities.

Sacramento is a family-friendly place to visit. 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 Napa Valley or Sacramento Better for Couples?

Napa Valley
Sacramento

Napa Valley is very popular for its romantic activities. However, Sacramento is lacking in good options for couples.

Napa Valley has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. It's long been considered a favorite honeymoon destination for newly-weds. The scenic vineyards and charming hotels make this the perfect couple's destination, whether you're celebrating an anniversary or simply want some time away together.

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

Napa Valley
Sacramento

Sacramento is adequate for times when you don't have a car. However, Napa Valley is not known for its public transit.

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

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Napa Valley. Public transit in the area is limited but within the city of Napa there are buses operated by the Vine Transit.

Is Napa Valley or Sacramento a more walkable city?

Napa Valley
Sacramento

Sacramento is adequate for its ease of walking around. However, Napa Valley is not known for its walkability.

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

Napa Valley is not a walkable area. The vineyards are spread out and require a car or bike to access.

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

Should I spend more time in Sacramento or Napa Valley?

How long in Napa Valley or Sacramento?

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

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Napa Valley than Sacramento 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 Napa Valley.


  • How many days in Napa Valley or Sacramento? Ideal Length of Stay
    Napa Valley 1-4 
    Sacramento 1-2

One day in Napa Valley or Sacramento?

With shopping and nightlife around the idyllic area of Napa Valley, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the food. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Napa Valley, one day is sufficent for most.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the relaxed city of Sacramento. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A weekend in Napa Valley or Sacramento?

With nightlife and food around the destination of Napa Valley, 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. One of the main draws to the area is the food. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this area.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the relaxed destination of Sacramento. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Napa Valley or Sacramento?

Napa Valley, a popular area, 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.

The undiscovered city of Sacramento offers shopping and museums. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Napa Valley or Sacramento?

Napa Valley is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the food. 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.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Sacramento. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


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, Sacramento or Napa Valley?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Napa Valley is $288, 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 Napa Valley and Sacramento in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Napa Valley $126
    Sacramento $111
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Napa Valley $252
    Sacramento $222
Compare Hotels in Napa Valley and Sacramento

Looking for a hotel in Napa Valley 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 Napa Valley


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: Napa Valley Hotel Prices and Sacramento Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Napa Valley $183
    Sacramento $51

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sacramento

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

  • Round Trip Private Transfer in Sacramento Airport to Calistoga: $293
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $219
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Arrival Private Transfer: $110

Is it cheaper to fly into Napa Valley or Sacramento?

Prices for flights to both Sacramento and Napa Valley 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
    Napa Valley $62
    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.
    Napa Valley $28
    Sacramento $19

Tours and Activities in Napa Valley

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Napa Valley.

  • #1 Sonoma Walking Food, Wine & History Tour (Small Groups): $179
  • 3-Hour Guided Wine Country Tour in Sonoma on Electric Trike: $175
  • Behind-the-Scenes Food and Wine E-Bike Tour: $179
  • Full-Day Napa Valley E-Bike Tour: $225
  • Half Day Bike Tour: $139
  • Half Day Tour: $139
  • Half-Day Napa Valley E-Bike Tour: $184
  • Napa Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Napa Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Napa Valley River History Kayak Tour: Single Kayaks: $79
  • Napa Valley Wineries Tour Including Picnic Lunch: $125
  • Napa Valley Winery Open Air Tour: $125

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
  • Delta's History and Wine: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $12
  • 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
  • Full-Day Boarding Experience Wakeboard,Wakesurf,orKneeboard: $850
  • Gold Rush and Ghosts of Sacramento Smart Phone guided (App/GPS) Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Half Day Boarding Experience Wakeboard,Wakesurf,or Kneeboard: $425
  • Historic Folsom: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Napa Valley $66
    Sacramento $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Napa Valley

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Napa Valley:

  • 6 Hour Wine Tour in Napa & Sonoma with Pick-Up from Napa: $109
  • Napa Cable Car Wine Tasting Tour: $129
  • Intro to Wine Tasting with Napa Sommelière : $195
  • Healdsburg Cycling Wine Tour : $199
  • Affordable Wine Tour in Napa and Sonoma: $200
  • Yountville Food and Wine Tour in Napa: $275
  • Private, Customized Sonoma Valley Wine Tour: $300

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 comparing the travel costs between Napa Valley and Sacramento, we can see that Napa Valley is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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


Which is Bigger, Napa Valley or Sacramento?

Sacramento has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of Napa Valley. When comparing the sizes of Napa Valley 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 Napa Valley 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 Napa Valley or Sacramento in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Napa Valley and Sacramento. Most visitors come to Napa Valley for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Sacramento because of the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Napa Valley is generally around the same temperature as Sacramento. Daily temperatures in Napa Valley average around 73°F (23°C), and Sacramento fluctuates around 76°F (24°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Sacramento this time of the year. In Napa Valley, it's very sunny this time of the year. Napa Valley usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Sacramento during summer. Napa Valley gets 439 hours of sunny skies, while Sacramento receives 439 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Napa Valley usually receives more rain than Sacramento. Napa Valley gets 0.1 inches (2 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 0 inches (1 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Napa Valley 73°F (23°C) 
    Sacramento 76°F (24°C)

Should I visit Napa Valley or Sacramento in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Napa Valley as well as Sacramento. The autumn months attract visitors to Napa Valley because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, the shopping scene are the main draw to Sacramento this time of year.

Napa Valley is around the same temperature as Sacramento in the autumn. The daily temperature in Napa Valley averages around 62°F (17°C) in October, and Sacramento fluctuates around 64°F (18°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Sacramento. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Napa Valley this time of the year. In the autumn, Napa Valley often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Sacramento. Napa Valley gets 300 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Sacramento receives 300 hours of full sun.

Napa Valley usually gets more rain in October than Sacramento. Napa Valley gets 1.3 inches (33 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 1.1 inches (27 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Napa Valley 62°F (17°C) 
    Sacramento 64°F (18°C)

Should I visit Napa Valley or Sacramento in the Winter?

Both Sacramento and Napa Valley are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Napa Valley this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Sacramento for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Napa Valley is around the same temperature as Sacramento. Typically, the winter temperatures in Napa Valley in January average around 46°F (8°C), and Sacramento averages at about 45°F (7°C).

Napa Valley usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Sacramento during winter. Napa Valley gets 149 hours of sunny skies, while Sacramento receives 149 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Napa Valley usually receives around the same amount of rain as Sacramento. Napa Valley gets 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 3.8 inches (97 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Napa Valley 46°F (8°C) 
    Sacramento 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit Napa Valley or Sacramento in the Spring?

Both Sacramento and Napa Valley during the spring are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Napa Valley for the natural beauty.

In April, Napa Valley is generally around the same temperature as Sacramento. Daily temperatures in Napa Valley average around 56°F (13°C), and Sacramento fluctuates around 58°F (15°C).

In Sacramento, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Napa Valley. In the spring, Napa Valley often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Sacramento. Napa Valley gets 328 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Sacramento receives 328 hours of full sun.

Napa Valley usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Sacramento. Napa Valley gets 1.2 inches (31 mm) of rain, while Sacramento receives 1.3 inches (32 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Napa Valley 56°F (13°C) 
    Sacramento 58°F (15°C)

Typical Weather for Sacramento and Napa Valley

Napa Valley Sacramento
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm)
Feb 51°F (11°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 51°F (10°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Apr 56°F (13°C) 1.2 inches (31 mm) 58°F (15°C) 1.3 inches (32 mm)
May 64°F (18°C) 0.2 inches (5 mm) 65°F (18°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm)
Jun 69°F (21°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm)
Jul 73°F (23°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 76°F (24°C) 0 inches (1 mm)
Aug 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (1 mm) 75°F (24°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm)
Sep 70°F (21°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm) 72°F (22°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm)
Oct 62°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (33 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm)
Nov 54°F (12°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Dec 46°F (8°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 45°F (7°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm)