Sacramento International Airport bills itself as the Gateway to Northern California. This smaller, less congested airport may be a more logical option than San Francisco, Oakland or San Jose, for travelers heading to Lake Tahoe, Napa, Yosemite, and the north coast of California.
The airport has two terminals—terminal A is the older of the two, with a brand-new terminal B which opened in October 2011. Effective May 2015, expect a construction zone in terminal A’s food court as it receives an extreme makeover, with room being made for the addition of three local restaurants to the lineup. The post-security interior is simultaneously receiving its biggest remodel since the terminal’s opening in 1998.
Getting Around: Located 10 miles from the city center, the airport has a reputation of being easy to maneuver and for being less crowded than other nearby airports.
While terminal A is home to the national carriers of Delta, United, American, and US Air, terminal B is the busier of the two, playing host to Southwest, the carrier of note in this area. The 2011 renovation of terminal B included the addition of a people-mover tram which shuttles people from the terminal to the concourse for final boarding.
To travel between terminals, hop on the 24-hour-a-day parking lot shuttle which departs every 10 minutes from the ground transportation curbs outside each of the terminals. Plan on 20 minutes for travel between terminals.
Relaxing: Once the renovations in terminal A are complete there will be plenty of seating areas in which to relax. Terminal B is light and open, with high glass ceilings, interesting artwork and plenty of seating with convenient plug-ins for electronics.
Dining: Following the trend of airports around the country, the Sacramento airport is looking to add a sense of place by introducing local dining options to its restaurant selection.
Cafeteria 15L, an offshoot of a downtown eatery, is a popular choice with locals. Here you’ll find American comfort cuisine such as mac and cheese, meatloaf, and fish and chips. Located in Terminal B, after security, it can get very busy.
Burgers and Brew is an outlet of another popular, local restaurant chain. Although there is a seating area nearby, this is a counter service spot. The great news is that the burgers are 100% natural beef and are cooked to order. If you’re not in the mood for a burger there are plenty of other options, with the Turkey Avocado Melt receiving high praise. As the name indicates, you’ll also find a good selection of craft beers. This eatery is also located in Terminal B, post-security.
Wi-Fi: FlySacramento is the airport’s free Wi-Fi network, available throughout the indoor public areas of the terminal.
Official website: http://www.sacramento.aero/smf/
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Learn more about California & the Sacramento International Airport in our Destination Guides.