A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Sacramento vs. Columbia River Gorge for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Sacramento or Columbia River Gorge?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Sacramento or Columbia River Gorge, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Sacramento or Columbia River Gorge?

Sacramento

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.

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge is a popular destination in the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. The region's close proximity to Portland, which is just 30 minutes away, makes it a popular weekend destination.

The gorge is formed by the Columbia River, with an 80 mile stretch designated as a National Scenic Area. The area has many beautiful cliffs with a number of tall waterfalls and its protected status means that most new development must occur within one of the already established towns.

Which city is cheaper, Columbia River Gorge or Sacramento?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Sacramento is $225, while the average daily cost in Columbia River Gorge is $143. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Sacramento and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sacramento $88
    Columbia River Gorge $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sacramento $176
    Columbia River Gorge $142
Compare Hotels in Sacramento and Columbia River Gorge

Looking for a hotel in Sacramento or Columbia River Gorge? 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 Sacramento


Hotels in Columbia River Gorge


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Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Sacramento Hotel Prices and Columbia River Gorge Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sacramento $41
    Columbia River Gorge $62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sacramento

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

  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Sacramento hotel/address - Arrival Private Transfer: $72
  • Sacramento City to Sacramento Airport (SMF) - Departure Private Transfer: $72
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Sacramento Executive Airport to Sacramento City - One Way: $73
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Sacramento hotel/address- RoundTrip Private Transfer: $144
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Sacramento Executive Airport to Roseville City - One Way: $144
  • Private Sacramento Transfer Hotel to Airport: $150
  • Private Sacramento Transfer Airport to Hotel: $150
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Arrival Private Transfer: $228
  • Private transfer from Sacramento to SFO: $340
  • Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $455

Is it cheaper to fly into Sacramento or Columbia River Gorge?

Prices for flights to both Columbia River Gorge and Sacramento 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
    Sacramento $42
    Columbia River Gorge $37

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: $82
  • Midtown Sacramento Arts and Food Tour: $85

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sacramento $15
    Columbia River Gorge $16

Tours and Activities in Sacramento

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

  • Sacramento Urban Murals: Cycle the streets of Sacramento with an audio tour: $5.00
  • California Gold Rush: The Sacramento Grid on a Self-Guided Bicycle Audio Tour: $8.30
  • Sacramento Historic River Cruise: $20
  • Sacramento Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Sacramento Historic River Cruise: $30
  • Rock The Yacht River Cruise: $33
  • Sacramento Sutter District History and Food Walking Tour: $78

Tours and Activities in Columbia River Gorge

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Columbia River Gorge are as follows:

  • Cascade Locks: 1-Hour Columbia River Sightseeing Cruise: $50
  • Cascade Locks: Columbia Gorge Sunday Brunch Cruise: $94
  • Portland: Columbia Gorge Flight Tour: $99
  • Portland: Multnomah Falls Scenic Air Tour: $199

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sacramento $9.31
    Columbia River Gorge $9.49

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
  • Bk Best Wine Tasting Tours Amador County 4 Hour Chevrolet Suburban Passengers 7: $385
  • 4 Hour Private Amador County Wine Tasting Tours Mercedes Sprinter Passengers Van: $409
  • Amador Wine Tour from Sacramento: $436
  • 6 Hour Wine Tasting Tours Napa Valley Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passengers Van: $625


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


When is the best time to visit Sacramento or Columbia River Gorge?

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 Sacramento or Columbia River Gorge in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Sacramento as well as Columbia River Gorge.

In July, Sacramento is generally a little warmer than Columbia River Gorge. Temperatures in Sacramento average around 76°F (24°C), and Columbia River Gorge stays around 68°F (20°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Columbia River Gorge. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Sacramento this time of the year. In the summer, Sacramento often gets more sunshine than Columbia River Gorge. Sacramento gets 439 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbia River Gorge receives 338 hours of full sun.

Sacramento usually gets less rain in July than Columbia River Gorge. Sacramento gets 0 inches (1 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Sacramento 76°F (24°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Sacramento or Columbia River Gorge in the Autumn?

Both Columbia River Gorge and Sacramento are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.

Sacramento is a little warmer than Columbia River Gorge in the autumn. The temperature in Sacramento is usually 64°F (18°C) in October, and Columbia River Gorge stays around 55°F (13°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Sacramento. Sacramento usually receives more sunshine than Columbia River Gorge during autumn. Sacramento gets 300 hours of sunny skies, while Columbia River Gorge receives 155 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Sacramento usually receives less rain than Columbia River Gorge. Sacramento gets 1.1 inches (27 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Sacramento 64°F (18°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Sacramento or Columbia River Gorge in the Winter?

Both Columbia River Gorge and Sacramento during the winter are popular places to visit.

Columbia River Gorge can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Sacramento is much warmer than Columbia River Gorge. Typically, the winter temperatures in Sacramento in January are around 45°F (7°C), and Columbia River Gorge is about 40°F (4°C).

In the winter, Sacramento often gets more sunshine than Columbia River Gorge. Sacramento gets 149 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbia River Gorge receives 86 hours of full sun.

Columbia River Gorge gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Sacramento usually gets less rain in January than Columbia River Gorge. Sacramento gets 3.8 inches (97 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Sacramento 45°F (7°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 40°F (4°C)

Should I visit Sacramento or Columbia River Gorge in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Sacramento and Columbia River Gorge.

In April, Sacramento is generally a little warmer than Columbia River Gorge. Temperatures in Sacramento average around 58°F (15°C), and Columbia River Gorge stays around 51°F (11°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Columbia River Gorge this time of the year. In Sacramento, it's very sunny this time of the year. Sacramento usually receives more sunshine than Columbia River Gorge during spring. Sacramento gets 328 hours of sunny skies, while Columbia River Gorge receives 231 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Sacramento usually receives less rain than Columbia River Gorge. Sacramento gets 1.3 inches (32 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Sacramento 58°F (15°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Columbia River Gorge and Sacramento

Sacramento Columbia River Gorge
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 45°F (7°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Feb 51°F (10°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 58°F (15°C) 1.3 inches (32 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
May 65°F (18°C) 0.3 inches (7 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Jun 72°F (22°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Jul 76°F (24°C) 0 inches (1 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Aug 75°F (24°C) 0.1 inches (2 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Sep 72°F (22°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Oct 64°F (18°C) 1.1 inches (27 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Dec 45°F (7°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm)


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Sacramento vs. Columbia River Gorge Travel Comparison

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