Should you visit Sacramento or Columbia River Gorge?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Sacramento or Columbia River Gorge, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.
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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Sacramento and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.
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.
A hotel room in Columbia River Gorge is about $142 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Columbia River Gorge $71
Typical double-occupancy room
Columbia River Gorge
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.
The average traveler spends about $37 per day in Columbia River Gorge for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Meals for one day
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:
Midtown Sacramento Arts and Food Tour:
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.
The cost of a taxi ride in Columbia River Gorge is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $62 per person, per day, on local transportation in Columbia River Gorge.
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:
Sacramento City to Sacramento Airport (SMF) - Departure Private Transfer:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Sacramento Executive Airport to Sacramento City - One Way:
Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Sacramento hotel/address- RoundTrip Private Transfer:
Low Cost Private Transfer From Sacramento Executive Airport to Roseville City - One Way:
Private Sacramento Transfer Hotel to Airport:
Private Sacramento Transfer Airport to Hotel:
Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Arrival Private Transfer:
Private transfer from Sacramento to SFO:
Sacramento Airport (SMF) to Napa, CA - Round-Trip Private Transfer:
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.
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.
Entertainment and activities in Columbia River Gorge typically cost an average of $16 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
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:
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:
Typically, people visiting Sacramento spend on average $9.31 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
The average person spends about $9.49 on alcoholic beverages in Columbia River Gorge per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
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 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.
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