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Parking at Sacramento
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Sacramento Airport offers a wide variety of parking options, allowing you to choose a package that you feel best suits your travel plans and budget. The airport has a web-based map tool that allows you to view the amount of free spaces in each of its four parking lots, which is very handy for travelers approaching the airport.
All four lots at SMF allow both long-stay and short-stay parking. If you are planning to leave your car for longer than three weeks, however, you'll need to contact the airport on +1 916 874 0825 beforehand.
Although it’s the furthest away from the terminals, the Economy Parking Lot at Sacramento Airport is your most cost-effective option. A shuttle service operates between the Economy Lot and the terminals every 15-20 minutes, 24 hours a day.
Should you be running late or happy to spend a little extra for the convenience, SMF’s Daily Lot, situated a little closer to the terminals than the Economy Lot, may be an option. A shuttle service operates between the Economy Lot and the terminals every 8-10 minutes, 24 hours a day.
The Parking Garage offers covered parking, which is of particular interest to long-stay passengers. It contains pedestrian bridges to Terminal A on the third floor and Terminal B on the fifth floor.
The most expensive parking option at Sacramento Airport is the Hourly B Parking Lot, which, as its name suggests, is intended for shorter stays, but long-term parking is also available. It is situated right in front of Terminal B, making it an excellent option if time is of the essence.
Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is a two-terminal, two-runway complex encompassing approximately 8.5 square miles (22 square kilometers) of land. While primarily facilitating flights to other parts of the continental United States, particularly focused on west coast destinations, the airport also offers journeys to Hawaii and Mexico. Southwest Airlines is by far the largest operator at SMF, servicing over half of its flights.
Sacramento Airport is located 10 miles (16 kilometers) north west of central Sacramento. It is easily accessible by road, located just off the I-5 highway to the north west and south and the I-80 to the north east and south west.
A bus service runs hourly between the airport and the city and taxis are readily available. SuperShuttle (informally known as 'The Blue Van') provides on-demand transportation for larger parties and there is a dedicated pick-up point for app-based services such as Uber, Lyft and Wingz.
Sacramento's original single-runway airport replaced Sacramento Municipal Airport (now Sacramento Executive Airport) when it first opened on October 21 1967 and became the primary travel hub for the city. The airport was originally a relatively small facility from which only five airlines operated, but the opening of a second runway in 1987 attracted several more, including America West and Continental Airlines.
It was originally referred to as Sacramento Metropolitan Airport and, despite being renamed Sacramento International Airport at the opening of the new Terminal A building in 1999, it didn't receive its first international flight until 2002. The opening of the new Terminal A coincided with the construction of a consolidated rental car facility - the first of its kind in the United States.
A new Terminal B building opened in 2011 and is three times the size of the aging terminal it replaced, containing many new restaurants, shops and leisure facilities. Services to the airport continue to gradually expand, with new routes quickly replacing those that fold.
Although Terminal B - the most recently constructed of the two terminals - offers slightly more choice in terms of things to do, both terminals at SMF present a wide variety of shopping and dining options, as well as some spectacular art.
Restaurants range from the Gateway Bar, serving casual sandwiches and snacks, to fine dining at Terminal B’s flagship Esquire Grill. Other options include pizza, salads, burritos and burgers, so you’ll be sure to find something to suit your taste. Shopaholics will find plenty to tempt them, since SMF is blessed with fashion boutiques, jewelers, electronics stores and even the official PGA Tour Shop.
If you have any special requirements for your time at Sacramento Airport, please visit the airport’s accessibility page or contact a member of staff on +1 916 929 5411 before your arrival.
Although there are no hotels on the Sacramento Airport site, there are plenty of options just a short drive away. Many of these offer free parking for the duration of your trip.
The Four Points by Sheraton is the closest hotel to the airport, located just 5.9 miles (7.9 kilometers) away. As well as being a comfortable and modern hotel with all the amenities you’d expect, with the bonus of an outdoor swimming pool, it offers a free shuttle to and from the airport on the day of your flight.
One of the benefits of Sacramento Airport being located so close to the center of Sacramento itself is the wealth of hotel options it brings. Venture a little further towards downtown and you’ll find both luxury suites, such as the Staybridge Suites Sacramento Airport, and cheap and cheerful motels, most of which provide parking at no extra charge for the duration of your stay.
Are you a burger fiend? Terminal A’s Squeeze Inn offers a particularly Sacramentan take on the classic American dish, introducing a ‘cheese skirt’: a wild square of fried cheese that bursts from the sides of the bun, almost doubling the footprint of the burger. Calorific? Possibly. Delicious? Undoubtedly. It’s ‘The Best Burger in Town Since 1975’, claims their slogan - and who are we to argue?
Maybe burgers aren’t really your scene. Well, if you’re lucky enough to be flying from Sacramento Airport’s Terminal B, there’s always the Esquire Grill, brainchild of award-winning chef, Kurt Sapuro. Their menu promises a modern twist on American classics: dishes include grilled skirt steak and pan-roasted chicken breast. All of this is served alongside local craft beers and wines and is sure to get your mouth watering.
Sacramento Airport has a great range of fashion, jewelry, electronics and produce stores, including many of the top brands. If you’re after something more unique, treat your loved ones to locally produced craft items or Californian wines, considered by experts to be among the best in the world. Still not satisfied? Pick up some clubs, apparel or official merchandise for the golf-lover in your life at one of PGA’s fully licensed outlets. One thing’s for sure: there’s something to please every shopper at SMF.
Sacramento Airport is home to countless pieces of breathtaking art, whether it’s the giant scarlet rabbit leaping over the heads of travelers in Terminal B’s ticket hall or Terminal A’s Samson, which features two giant pillars comprised of baggage and travel paraphernalia from the time the airplane was invented all the way to the present day.
Perhaps you’d prefer Po Shu Wang/Louise Bertelsen’s Your Words are Music to My Ears: a huge, curving horn that transforms any text entered into its keypad into a unique musical composition - and doubles up as a WiFi terminal.
Maybe you’re a budding ornithologist, in which case Dennis Oppenheim’s Flying Gardens might be more your thing, where 12 swooping, stained-glass birds cast their beady eyes over the Parking Garage and Terminal A. You can be sure your car is safe with these glazed wonders on duty.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and, whether it’s the verdant, woolen carpet depicting 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) of Sacramento’s winding river or a touching tribute to Sacramento’s native oak trees and indigenous population, SMF’s $8 million, 14-piece art collection is sure to have something to satisfy even the most discerning critic.
With a horizon that seems to stretch for miles, Sacramento Airport is well placed to offer great views of the surrounding landscape. Gaze upon the flat plains, the spiked and yellowing vegetation, the sheer rolling vastness of California. Watch the sun gently make its way through the azure sky. Above all, take a load off, take your mind off your troubles and relax for an hour or two. With floor-to-ceiling windows providing an incomparable vista, surely that important email can wait when the living’s this good, right?
Located just 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Sacramento Airport, Old Sacramento State Historic Park is a town frozen in history. With an entire district preserved in true 1800s style, it contains such attractions as the B.F. Hastings Building (the original location of the California Supreme Court and one-time terminal of the famous Pony Express), the Lay Adams Building (Sacramento’s oldest non-residential structure) and the city’s oldest remaining firehouse.
You’ll love the romantic, Spanish-influenced architecture and genuine sense of the old Wild West. Whether seen from the deck of a riverboat or through first-class carriage glass, dining in style in wood-paneled carriages as the first engineer pulls the engine’s whistle, Old Sacramento is a real treasure.
Sacramento has a wealth of great museums, including the California State Railroad Museum and the California State Capitol Museum, but chief among them must be the Crocker Art Museum, the oldest continuously-running art museum in America’s west.
Exhibits include a major collection of Californian art, dating all the way back to the time the state was formed, a collection of over 1,500 17th- and 18th-century European drawings and a treasure trove of eastern artworks ranging from Japanese armor to Korean ceramics and from Pakistani Buddhist art to the treasures of Chinese tombs.
First opened in 1927, Sacramento Zoo is a must-see for all animal lovers. With over 500 animals on-site, you’re sure to see something amazing amongst the attractions that include lions, giraffes, tigers, zebra, chimps, emu, wallabies, jaguars and bats.
There’s an adventure playground for kids and a ‘Zoo Train’ for the really little ones, all adding up to an unforgettable day out for all.
Whether you're religious or not, cathedrals can be amongst the most awe-inspiring sights on earth and Sacramento has a beautiful example. A Roman Catholic cathedral dating back to the late 19th century, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament underwent a $34 million restoration after the turn of the millennium - and it shows.
A 13-foot (four-meter) crucifix hangs over the altar, backed by intricate ceiling carvings of delicate gold and blue. From the outside, an ivory spire towers over the surrounding trees, painstakingly restored to original Italian renaissance style. This cathedral is a must-see for lovers of architecture.
If you’re wilting from the Californian heat and need somewhere to cool off, look no further than Raging Waters Sacramento, a water park with nine twisting, twirling slides and two humongous pools (including northern California’s first-ever wave pool).
Particular highlights include the near-vertical Cliffhanger and the pitch-dark, five-story-high Dragon’s Den. Worried it sounds too scary for the little ones? Don’t fear, the Treehouse Reef and Shark Pool provide water-based antics for all ages.
Car lovers will be in awe of the California Automobile Museum, which contains over 150 vehicles. Stretching back 120 years, the exhibits include a 1900 Locomobile Steam Car, Ford’s famous Model T, classic muscle cars like the Ford Mustang and newer technological marvels such as the eco-friendly Nissan LEAF.
Sacramento International Airport has two terminals and it’s important to know which one your flight will utilize. Southwest Airlines is by far the largest provider to SMF, but American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta and Alaska Airlines also serve a significant number of flights there.
|Alaska Airlines||Terminal B|
|American Airlines||Terminal A|
|Hawaiian Airlines||Terminal B|
|United Airlines||Terminal A|
Sacramento Airport (SMF) is located just off the I-5 (West Side Freeway), down a specialist road called Airport Boulevard. The ZIP code for sat nav directions is CA 95837.
If you’re driving from Sacramento, join the I-5 (Golden State Highway) just past the railway station, heading north. From there, continue over the American River Bridge and keep following the I-5 whilst looking out for signs for the airport.
If you’re coming from Woodland or further east, join the I-5 just past the large Costco at the eastern edge of town, junction 536, again continuing until you see airport signage.
If traveling from Yuba City or further north, take Highway 99 heading south and join the I-5 at junction 306, following signs to the airport.
Yolobus operates an hourly service to and from Sacramento Airport, taking in downtown Sacramento, West Sacramento, Davis and Woodland. Services 42A and 42B operate clockwise and counterclockwise respectively and the route tapers off towards the evening, so make sure you check the timetable to ensure you board the correct service. The earliest service arrives at SMF’s Terminal A at 5:25am and Terminal B at 5:27am. The last bus in the evening departs Terminal A at 10:23pm and Terminal B at 10:25pm.
SMF doesn't have its own dedicated train station, but train travelers can reach the airport by catching the Yolobus when they arrive at Sacramento Station. The Intercity Yolobus service number 42B, which follows the counterclockwise route, runs from 8th and J Street to Sacramento Airport. The walk from the station to the bus takes less than 10 minutes and the bus journey itself takes around 40 minutes, traveling through West Sacramento, Davis and Woodland before reaching SMF.
Sacramento is a busy airport, with approximately five million passengers passing through it each year. Needless to say, it can get a little hectic at times, so it pays to arrive with time to spare. Sacramento Airport's official guidance recommends that you arrive at least two hours in advance of your flight, whether domestic or international. Also, pay attention to the time of your departure; the hours between 5am and 7am, 12pm and 2pm and 6pm and 8pm are especially busy, so if your flight leaves during one of these peak windows, it might be prudent to err on the side of caution.
Every parking lot at Sacramento Airport accepts cars, motorcycles and shorter vans and trucks. Please be aware, however, that the Parking Garage only has a vertical clearance of eight feet two inches (2.5 meters), so if you’re driving a tall vehicle, one of the other parking lots might be a better option. If you’re driving a particularly long vehicle, such as a Winnebago or a truck, bear in mind that all vehicles over 21 feet (6.4 meters) will be charged double the listed rates.
If you are dropping off a relative or picking up a friend and you don't need to leave your car, Sacramento International Airport’s designated Free Waiting Area, also known as the Cell Phone Lot, could be the ideal option. Located right near the I-5 entrance/exit, with easy access to both terminals, the only restriction is a three-hour time limit. Save yourself both the cost of parking and the hassle of circling the airport, wasting fuel and often time. In addition, those drivers with electric vehicles can charge up with DC fast-charging stations and L2 chargers are available for anyone who wants to boost their hybrid or electric vehicle’s range.
Sacramento Airport has two fairly closely connected terminals and is most easily accessible by car. There is also an hourly bus service that runs from Sacramento and some of the neighboring regions. Check out the 'How to get to Sacramento Airport' section in this guide for more details.
Ordinarily this information would be provided in any confirmation emails or texts you receive from the airline. If that’s not the case or if you have lost your confirmation documents or never received them, you can find information on which airlines fly from which terminals in the 'Which Terminal?' section of this guide or on the the airport’s own site.
Telephones for the deaf, braille signs and visual paging are located throughout both of Sacramento Airport’s terminals.
If you need any wheelchair assistance, it will be provided by a steward at no extra cost - all you need to do is visit your airline’s ticket counter. If you wish to bring a battery-powered wheelchair onboard the plane, you will need to contact your airline in advance.
For items lost inside one of the terminals or on the airport shuttle bus, you can contact the Lost and Found Department any time between 7am and 3pm, Monday to Friday, on +1 916 874 0701. You can also email at Air-SMFLostAndFound@saccounty.net or fill in a Lost Item Inquiry form online. Unfortunately, any calls will only be returned if your item is found.
If you think you might have left an item at a security checkpoint, please call the TSA on +1 916 830 0277 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Office hours are 8am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.
If you think you might have left an item in a specific restaurant, shop or business within one of the terminals, email email@example.com and they will pass it on to the correct authority.
If you left your item on a plane, SMF asks that you contact the airline directly.
Yes, SMF offers rooms for breastfeeding or lactating mothers in both terminals. Each room has a chair, sink and electrical outlet in case you need to connect a breast pump. You’ll find the rooms after security next to the women’s toilets.
Yes, free WiFi is available throughout Sacramento Airport. The network name is FlySacramento.
Although Sacramento Airport’s two terminals are in separate buildings, it’s not too difficult to travel between them. You can walk between Terminals A and B in about 10 minutes and this is the quickest option, assuming you’re not carrying heavy luggage.
Alternatively, you can catch a shuttle bus by following signs to the TSA checkpoint, where you will reach the pick-up point. Shuttles pick up every 10 minutes and drop you on the ground floor of your desired terminal.
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