Traveling via plane is fun — jetsetting over beautiful blue waters or rolling hills, taking in cloud formations, and landing in a completely different location in a matter of hours is unlike anything else.
The whole navigating the airport part? Less exciting, and sometimes pretty stressful. To help make your time at Sacramento International Airport — or SMF — as smooth as possible, we’ve created a guide that covers everything from gates and parking to details on the airport’s 41 nonstop flights.
What to know
- Map it out | If you’re like us and need to completely visualize a place before you step foot inside, these maps of the entire airport will be your saving grace.
- Food and drink | We’ve curated a list of the 20+ dining options available at SMF for hungry travelers from coffee kiosks to burgers — with some changes on the horizon.
- Reminder | Starting May 7, 2025, you need a REAL ID to board commercial flights in the US.
- Flight status | While we recommend staying updated via your respective airline, you can also check the airport’s dashboard for your flight status in a pinch.
Current airport updates
Sacramento International Airport is set to undergo a massive renovation known as SMForward. Beginning Summer 2024, the $1.3 billion project will add new walkways, terminal expansions, additional parking, and more.
Parking, shuttles, and rideshare
Not everyone has a bestie who will drop everything to pick them up from their 3 a.m. arrival. Each lot offers 30 minutes of parking for $2. Beyond that, the price per day is as listed:
- Hourly lot | $29/day
- Daily lot | $12/day
- Economy lot | $10/day
- Parking garage | $18/day
If you don’t mind parking farther away from the terminals, there’s also the Free Waiting Area. Located near the I-5 entrance, it offers up to three hours of parking and EV charging stations.
Hate the thought of driving yourself? Try out a shuttle, rideshare, or taxi service that will take you to and from the terminal. These services are suggested by the airport:
- SacRT | Bus service | SMF to Downtown every 30 minutes, 7 days/week
- Sacramento Independent Taxi Owners Association | Taxi service | Round trip from SMF to Downtown for $60
- Yolobus | Bus service | Service to Davis, Woodland, and more
- Uber | Rideshare service
- Lyft | Rideshare service
The rideshare pick-up and drop-off location for Terminal A is located at the West Curb of Airport Blvd. East, and the pick-up and drop-off location for Terminal B is at Lindbergh Dr.
SMF offers 41 nonstop flights — 36 domestic that go to five US regions, plus five international flights to two countries. Here are five nearby nonstop flights for a quick vacay.
Pro tip: Remember that flight times and schedules will often change — you should rely on your respective airline for exact timing and to stay updated on any changes.
- Los Angeles | American, Delta, Southwest, United
- San Diego | Alaska, Southwest
- Palm Springs | Southwest
- Portland, OR | Alaska, Southwest
- Seattle, WA | Alaska, Southwest, Delta
Food and drink
Sacramento International Airport is a hub of eateries with 20+ restaurants, bars, and coffee shops for fliers to dine before or between flights, like:
- Iron Horse Tavern | Terminal A | Casual American eats with a wide range of drink options.
- Squeeze Burger | Terminal A | Indulge in a cheese-skirted burger before taking off for your destination.
- Burgers & Brew | Terminal B | The name itself should tell you everything to know — beer + beef are king here.
- Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters | Terminal B | One of Zagat’s top 11 restaurants in Sacramento, the coffee shop brings its award-winning roasts to SMF.
While we may not be able to offer solutions for crying babies or mysterious in-flight meals, we do have some tricks up our sleeves for upping your comfort while flying. Browse some of our favorite travel essentials:
- Lights Out Sleep Mask | This eye mask provides optimal comfort and aids restful sleep amidst changing environments and varying light conditions.
- The AirFly Pro | Make sure you can always access in-flight entertainment (while avoiding the wired headphones airlines pass out) by using an AirFly. It plugs into your seat’s headphone jack and connects to your earbuds or headphones via Bluetooth.
- Trtl travel pillow | The Trtl pillow is scientifically designed to provide a better head position when sleeping upright, thanks to an internal support system comfortably cushioned in cozy fleece.
- Leather Dopp Kit | Keep your essentials organized and easily accessible, ensuring hassle-free journeys wherever you go.
- Bose Noise Canceling Headphones | These headphones are tried-and-true traveling companions, beloved for their crisp sound and ability to block exterior noise.
- Cozy Earth joggers | These Oprah-approved joggers are polished enough to navigate the airport in, but comfy and stretchy enough for long flights.
- Snacks | Bringing your own snacks ensures dietary preferences are met — plus, you’ll save time and money while traveling.
- Anti-nausea wristbands | Some simple anti-nausea wristbands might relieve a nervous stomach or sensitivity to turbulence while flying.