California State Capitol and Museum Tours and Activities
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Completed in 1874, the neoclassical California State Capitol building houses both a museum and the seat of California’s government. It is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and features artwork and monuments and artifacts from California’s history, both inside and on the surrounding grounds.
The California State Capitol in Sacramento attracts visitors who are interested in government, art, and California heritage. There is no admission fee, and public tours are held on the hour every day. A scavenger hunt tour also passes by the capitol building.
The building itself is notable for a number of artistic details, such as the stained-glass state seal in the ceiling of the hallway leading from the rotunda, mosaics of the golden poppy, and tiles that depict California’s motto, “Eureka.” The museum is home to permanent and on-loan collections of art, as well as temporary exhibits like “The Road Ahead: The Automobile’s Impact on California.” Outside in Capitol Park, visitors can see monuments and memorials dedicated to California firefighters and veterans of the Vietnam War, Spanish-American War, and other historical events.
Things to Know Before You Go
- To enter, you must pass through security control, including a metal detector, X-ray of belongings, and presentation of identification.
- Entrances from L Street and N Street have wheelchair ramps.
- There is a tour office in the basement of the building, where wheelchairs can be checked out for use.
- A gift shop is located in the basement.
- Food and drinks can be purchased on weekdays only at a cafeteria-style restaurant or coffee cart in the basement.
How to Get There
The Capitol is located in downtown Sacramento at the intersection of 10th Street and L Street. A paid parking garage and metered parking are available around the building and grounds, or take the light rail to the 8th and Capitol station.
When to Get There
The building is open daily, though refreshments are only available during weekdays Holiday events such as Carols at the Capitol take place during the month of December.
Just 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) northwest of the California State Capitol is Old Sacramento, a US National Historic Landmark District on the Sacramento River. After your tour of the Capitol, head here to learn more about California’s history, including the Gold Rush and early days of the railroad.
Address: 1315 10th St, Sacramento, California 95814, USA
Hours: Open daily 9am-5pm
3 Tours and Activities to Experience California State Capitol and Museum
How did Sacramento come to be California's capital city? What was the city's founder, a Swiss named Johann Sutter, doing here in what once was Spanish territory? How did his efforts to expand a fort here at the confluence of two rivers lead to the discovery of gold and the rush to come get it? Learn the answers and more by taking this 2-hour self-guided GPS tour by bicycle. Bikes can be rented in Old Sacramento at Practical Cycle. Also, at bike racks throughout the city from a bike share program lock them if you leave them. The tour departs and finishes at the Capitol, stopping along the way at markers and structures that tell us about the founding of this city and the Gold Rush of 1849. The tour is ready whenever you are and the audio plays automatically at exactly the right time and place using your smartphone's GPS and the VoiceMap mobile app, which also works offline.
Puzzle your way through the heart of Sacramento on a 3-hour scavenger hunt adventure for groups of 2–5 people. Follow a series of clues on your smart phone, then take on fun challenges that weave local history into the sights along your 2-mile course. Enjoy scenic views from the riverfront and explore the historic storefronts of Old Town while racking up points, see how you compare with teams that have already completed the scavenger hunt, and experience Sacramento as part of a unique, self-guided adventure.
Price varies by group size
Price varies by group size
Let’s Roam is the #1 app-led scavenger hunt company. Walk to all the best landmarks and hidden gems, answering trivia questions and solving challenges. Work with your team or compete against them, as you learn new facts and create memorable experiences. Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunts are great as an everyday activity, or for bachelorette parties, birthday parties, corporate team building events and more! Each player chooses an interactive role, with challenges varying by person.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are California State Capitol and Museum hours of operation?
California State Capitol and Museum hours of operation: Open daily 9am-5pm. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
What's the best way to experience California State Capitol and Museum?
The best ways to experience California State Capitol and Museum are:
- California Gold Rush: The Sacramento Grid on a Self-Guided Bicycle Audio Tour
- Sacramento Scavenger Hunt Adventure
- Sacramento Scavenger Hunt: California Capital