California State Capitol Museum, Sacramento

California State Capitol Museum, Sacramento (must see)

The capitol building houses the working bicameral state legislature and governor's offices. It was built in 1874, designed to be reminiscent of the US Capitol in Washington DC. The Senate chamber's red decorations refer to the British House of Lords, while the green tones in the Assembly chamber come from their House of Commons.

The basement and first floor of the state capitol building are dedicated as a museum. The tour office is located on the basement level, along with a small theater and gift shop. The first floor consists of several historic offices that have been restored, including those of the Secretary of State, Governor, and Treasurer. There are also rotating exhibits that highlight the history of the state. Forty acres of gardens surround the building, with over 200 types of trees and 155 memorials. The park takes up the space of ten city blocks.

Why You Should Visit

Besides seeing state governance's operating seat, the capitol also houses an extensive art collection that features hundreds of paintings, statues, murals, and antiques. Items displayed in the West Wing are from 1870 to 1910, known as the interpretive period. The East Annex features art from 1920 to 1950. There are also two noteworthy murals depicting historical events, one in the lower rotunda and one in the East Annex. Throughout the West Wing, you will see portraits of California's 38 governors.

The grounds of the building are worth strolling around. You'll see numerous monuments throughout Capitol Park, dedicated to important events and people from the state's history. Notable are the Camellia Grove, dedicated to the pioneers who settled the state and a gathering place in honor of California Indians.

Tips

During weekends, you must enter the museum through the N Street entrance. Free public tours depart hourly from 9 am to 4 pm from the tour office located on the basement level seven days a week.

If you're in town during the early spring, check out Camellia Day. More than 800 varieties of the plant grow in Capitol Park, with showy and colorful white, red, pink, and striped flowers.

Opening hours: Weekdays 8 am - 5 pm; Weekends 9 am - 5 pm;

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Sacramento. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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California State Capitol Museum on Map

Sight Name: California State Capitol Museum
Sight Location: Sacramento, USA (See walking tours in Sacramento)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Sacramento, California

Create Your Own Walk in Sacramento

Create Your Own Walk in Sacramento

Creating your own self-guided walk in Sacramento is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Sacramento Museums Tour

Sacramento Museums Tour

Sacramento boasts a wealth of museums commemorating lots of subjects, from art and railroad to the Gold Rush to California and the city of Sacramento itself. Those keen on all things railway will surely appreciate The California State Railroad Museum – the best of its kind in North America, while the art enthusiasts will take interest in the Crocker Art Museum. Equally fascinating is The...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Historical Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Buildings Walking Tour

The Gold Rush of the mid-1800s brought a large number of gold miners and prospects into the Sacramento area. The city expanded further when California State Legislature moved to Sacramento in 1854. Some of the city’s most historic structures seen today were built during that period to serve the flood of gold seekers and the growing government business. This self-guided tour takes you to see the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Sacramento Introduction Walking Tour

Sacramento Introduction Walking Tour

Though little evidence is left now, the Sacramento Valley was home to the Modoc, Plains Miwok, and Nisenan Native American tribes for thousands of years before the arrival of the pioneers and the Spanish. John Sutter Sr. settled at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers, land bequeathed to him by the Mexican government in 1839. He had his eyes on creating an agriculture empire. You...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles