Sacramento is full of historical wonders, beautiful state parks, and glistening lakes – it’s a nature lover’s paradise! With McKinley Park and the stunning Folsom Lake, it’s the perfect stop off on a California Road trip to spend some time in the great outdoors.

While Sacramento doesn’t get the attention that other big cities in California do, it’s still worthy of a trip. Not only is it the state capital, but it’s brimming with Gold Rush history and is also known as America’s Most Diverse City because of its friendly community.

If you’re visiting Sacramento on a budget, or perhaps you’re passing through on a road trip, then you’ll need a place to stay that’s affordable and near excellent transport links.

Motels in Sacramento offer just that! They are located just outside the city center which means they can offer cheaper prices, and they are nearly always nestled next to major road links – perfect for road trippers.

Despite what you see in horror movies, motels are plush and comfortable these days, offering clean and well-maintained rooms. They can also be hard to find online, so to help you out, I’ve created this list of the best motels in Sacramento so you can make travel planning easy!

In a Hurry? Here’s Where to Stay in Sacramento for One Night

FIRST TIME IN SACRAMENTO

Quality Inn Sacramento

Offering one of the most sought-after locations in the heart of the city along with top-class facilities, Quality Inn Sacramento is my top pick for the best motel to stay in Sacramento for first-time visitors. On-site you’ll find a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, deluxe bedrooms and a fast Wi-Fi speed.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS:
  • Old Sacramento Waterfront
  • California State Capitol Museum
  • Fairytale Town

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    Staying in a Motel in Sacramento

    Bridge in Sacramento California

    Okay, while motels often get a bad rep for being not as fancy as hotels and B&Bs, they do have some amazing perks that can make your vacation.

    Often motels are well-located in between major transport links and top attractions, making it easy to get to all the best things to do in Sacramento.

    They are also one of the most affordable accommodation options, so if you’re backpacking California on a budget, then they make for a great affordable home base – not to mention you get to live out the authentic American motel experience.

    Despite what you see in movies, motels are often well-designed and feature modern interiors with well-maintained facilities. Some even include outdoor swimming pools, air conditioning, fully equipped kitchens, and of course, free parking.

    Due to Sacramento being a popular spot for road trippers in California, the city has a great selection of motels. This means you can be choosey when picking your motel in Sacramento, but you should make sure to look out for a few things to get the best experience… 

    What to Look for in a Motel in Sacramento 

    Sacramento California

    When choosing a motel in Sacramento you need to consider its location first. As most motels are located outside the city center, if you’re not driving, this could be problematic. If this is the case, choose a motel in a central neighborhood in Sacramento or near bus links to the attractions.

    After you’ve worked out where to be located you’ll need to check what facilities are available. Despite the whole Sacramento having pretty good Wi-Fi, you’ll want to check the motel offers this for free, especially if you need fast WiFi.

    It’s also a good idea to check out if the motel has a restaurant or dining facilities. It’s not always standard for motels to offer free breakfast, some will have only vending machines, and others may offer kitchenettes in the rooms. You’ll need to think about what you want to do about food and plan accordingly.

    Sacramento’s California location means that weather patterns can be pretty extreme with baking hot days in the summer months along with plummeting temperatures during the winter. When booking a motel, you should check if it has air conditioning and heating facilities, depending on which time of year you visit.

    You should also make sure that the parking is free and secured at night. I have mentioned before that motels are usually near to main roads, but you might want to pick one a few blocks away to avoid traffic noises at night.

    Overall Best Motel in Sacramento
    Quality Inn Sacramento
    Overall Best Motel in Sacramento

    Quality Inn Sacramento

    • > $$
    • > 2-4 Guests
    • > Free hot breakfast
    • > Outdoor swimming pool
    Motel in Sacramento with the Best Location
    Echo Lodge
    Motel in Sacramento with the Best Location

    Echo Lodge

    • > $$
    • > 2 Guests
    • > Deluxe Queen Beds
    • > Awesome Central Location
    Best Motel in Sacramento with a Pool
    Oasis Inn Sacramento
    Best Motel in Sacramento with a Pool

    Oasis Inn Sacramento

    • > $$
    • > 2 Guests
    • > Outdoor swimming pool
    • > 24-hour reception
    Best Motel in Sacramento for Families
    Hotel Med Park, Ascend Hotel Collection
    Best Motel in Sacramento for Families

    Hotel Med Park, Ascend Hotel Collection

    • > $$
    • > 2-4 Guests
    • > On-site gym and fitness centre
    • > Daily continental breakfast
    Best Budget Motel in Sacramento
    Truckstop Motel room w/private bathroom
    Best Budget Motel in Sacramento

    Truckstop Motel room w/private bathroom

    • > $
    • > 2 Guests
    • > On-site restaraunt
    • > Deluxe double bed
    Best Luxury Motel in Sacramento
    Lake Natoma Inn
    Best Luxury Motel in Sacramento

    Lake Natoma Inn

    • > $$
    • > 2 Guests
    • > Beautiful outdoor terrace
    • > Swimming pool and hot tub
    Best Motel in Sacramento for Couples
    University Park Inn & Suites
    Best Motel in Sacramento for Couples

    University Park Inn & Suites

    • > $$$
    • > 2-4 Guests
    • > Outdoor swimming pool
    • > Grand lobby with fireplace seating

    The 10 Best Motels in Sacramento

    Now you know what to expect from motels in Sacramento, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best! Whether you’re traveling as a couple or as a family, these are the best motels for any traveler…

    Overall Best Motel in Sacramento – Quality Inn Sacramento

    Quality Inn Sacramento
    • $$
    • 2-4 Guests
    • Free hot breakfast
    • Outdoor swimming pool

    The first option on my list of the best motels in Sacramento is the Quality Inn and I can assure you it has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Quality Inn Sacramento offers diverse room options from large family rooms to cozy deluxe doubles for couples.

    Guests staying at the Quality Inn have access to a refreshing outdoor swimming pool which is surrounded by deck chairs. Along with this, there is a free hot breakfast served every morning at the motel, and who doesn’t like free stuff especially when you’re traveling on a budget?

    It’s also located in downtown Sacramento so it’s perfect for those backpacking the USA and who want to stay in the city center.

    Motel in Sacramento with the Best Location – Echo Lodge

    Echo Lodge
    • $$
    • 2 Guests
    • Deluxe Queen Beds
    • Awesome Central Location

    If location is the top priority on your list of places to stay in Sacramento then I think I’ve found the ideal motel for you!

    Echo Lodge is located in West Sacramento with plenty of outdoor activities to explore on its doorstep along with this it is just a mile away from the Old Town where you can find plenty of restaurants, cafes, and historical attractions.

    The motel offers a range of double and twin rooms all of which are equipped with cable TV, high-speed Wi-Fi air conditioning along with an en-suite.

    Best Motel in Sacramento with a Pool – Oasis Inn Sacramento

    Oasis Inn Sacramento
    • $$
    • 2 Guests
    • Outdoor swimming pool
    • 24-hour reception

    While many motels have pool access in Sacramento, if you’re one that loves the water and wants an epic place to cool down after a day of exploring the city then this might be the ultimate motel for you.

    Oasis Inn Sacramento has a large and refreshing outdoor swimming pool with plenty of comfortable seating areas around it along with a luscious green garden.

    This Oasis Inn Motel also has another added bonus that is its 24-hour reception which can come in super handy when traveling to Sacramento, especially if you’re on a road trip.

    Best Motel in Sacramento for Families – Hotel Med Park, Ascend Hotel Collection

    Hotel Med Park, Ascend Hotel Collection
    • $$
    • 2-4 Guests
    • On-site gym and fitness centre
    • Daily continental breakfast

    The Hotel Med Park has one of the most desired locations in Sacramento with it being perfectly slotted between the UC Davis Medical Center and Cal State University Sacramento. It is also just a short distance away from the bustling downtown area for those looking to explore the city’s best restaurants and bars. This makes it one of the best motels to stay in Sacramento for families due to the large number of activities to do nearby to keep the kids entertained.

    On-site you will find fantastic facilities including a classic, elegant lobby, an on-site gym, along with a restaurant area that serves up a FREE daily continental breakfast. The motel also comes with a varied selection of room options from cozy double rooms to spacious family rooms fitting up to 4 guests.

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    Best Budget Motel in Sacramento – Truckstop Motel room w/private bathroom

    Truckstop Motel room w/private bathroom
    • $
    • 2 Guests
    • On-site restaraunt
    • Deluxe double bed

    This is the ultimate motel to stay in Sacramento if you’re traveling to the city on a shoestring budget. The Truckstop Motel offers one of the cheapest but deluxe bed options in the city and boasts a private en-suite, a dedicated workspace along with laundry facilities.

    The motel is just minutes away from the bubbly downtown area of Sacramento where you can explore historical and cultural attractions along with awesome live music events. There is also an on-site restaurant at the motel so if you don’t fancy venturing into the downtown area you can pick up a quick but tasty bite to eat there.

    Budget Tip: Dorms in Sacramento start from $10USD per bed. They’re the cheapest accommodation in the city. Search for hostels in the area!

    Best Luxury Motel in Sacramento – Lake Natoma Inn

    Lake Natoma Inn
    • $$
    • 2 Guests
    • Beautiful outdoor terrace
    • Swimming pool and hot tub

    Situated on the outskirts of Sacramento in the historic district of Folsom, Lake Natoma Inn is for those who like the finer things in life when traveling but don’t fancy splashing the cash on a luxury hotel.

    This California hotel offers incredible on-site facilities including a beautiful terrace area that boasts incredible views of the surrounding scenery along with a refreshing outdoor swimming pool and hot tub!

    The motel also offers on-site dining with traditional American-style cuisine being offered at a well-designed bar and restaurant area.

    Best Motel in Sacramento for Couples – University Park Inn & Suites

    University Park Inn & Suites
    • $$$
    • 2-4 Guests
    • Outdoor swimming pool
    • Grand lobby with fireplace seating

    The facilities at the University Park Inn & Suites are some of the best you will find in the entire city with the property offering a beautiful outdoor swimming pool and warming fireplace seating area in the lobby. The motel also offers stunningly designed rooms that have contemporary decor with stylish furnishings. They also have a range of room options from comfortable standard rooms to larger rooms equipped with two queen-size beds.

    If you’re looking for things to do nearby the motel then you’ll be happy to know that University Park inn & Suites is in a prime location to explore Sacramento. The property is just three blocks from the E Street Plaza and a stroll away from the bustling Davis Farmers Market and the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

    Best Motel in Sacramento for a Group of Friends – Best Western University Lodge

    Best Western University Lodge
    • $$
    • 2-4 Guests
    • Free waffle breakfast
    • Outdoor hot tub

    The Best Western University Lodge is my top pick for motels in Sacramento for a group of friends due to its prime location just half a mile from the bustling University of California. This has meant the surrounding areas of the hotel have a buzzing nightlife with plenty of bars and restaurants nearby.

    Before a day of exploring Sacramento and its surrounding sites make sure you fill up on the hotel’s free deluxe continental breakfast which serves up a storm of tasty treats including fresh waffles and a selection of juices and pastries.

    You will also find a bubbling hot tub area along with a fitness center which is the perfect place to unwind.

    Best Motel in Sacramento near the Airport – Valley Oaks Inn Woodland

    Valley Oaks Inn Woodland
    • $$
    • 2-4 Guests
    • Spacious outdoor pool area
    • 24-hour reception

    If you’re looking for a quieter neighborhood just outside of the bustling center of Sacramento then the Valley Oaks Inn may be a great option for you.

    Located just off the I-5 and less than two miles from downtown Woodland and just a 12-minute drive from the airport, this motel provides guests with a laid-back atmosphere in an area with a strong historic heritage and close to major attractions.

    The motel is also equipped with excellent facilities in every room including spacious en-suites, microwaves, and fridges along with a coffee maker and air conditioning.

    Best Motel in Sacramento for Nature Lovers – Miner’s Camp

    Miner’s Camp
    • $$$
    • Up to 6 Guests
    • BBQ facilities
    • Outdoor sun terrace

    This stunning four-star motel is the ultimate place to stay for those nature lovers visiting Sacramento. Featuring awesome barbecue facilities, and a beautiful outdoor sun terrace along with a cute outdoor fire pit area, the motel’s outdoor areas provide guests with the perfect place to relax and watch the sun go down.

    The motel is also beautifully and uniquely designed, and the owners are passionate about selecting quality materials to create an authentic atmosphere for their guests. All the interior work was completed by the hands of local craftsmen and has incorporated a traditional lodge feel with modern and luxurious facilities.

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    Final Thoughts on the Best Motels in Sacramento

    Sacramento is certainly an underrated destination and one that you should definitely add to a Californian road trip. It’s also an epic place to visit if you want to save some cash. Staying at a motel in Sacramento means you can enjoy your vacation in comfort but without having to burst the bank.

    I hope this guide has helped you decide on where to stay and made your travel planning that little bit easier.

    Whether you’re a couple looking for a cozy, budget place to stay, or you’re looking for somewhere child-friendly, motels in Sacramento that offer something for everyone!

    And while you’re planning your visit, remember to consider travel insurance. You never know what might happen on the road, so it’s always best to be prepared for all possibilities.


    And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!