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Visit Sacramento — California begins here!

Sacramento area museums reflect the diversity of our residents, our geography and our history. Here, you can do much more than simply read about the California Gold Rush – you can actually experience it! While you are here, don’t miss the rest of what the Sacramento region has to offer. We have beautiful natural resources, exemplified by our trees and rivers. We offer abundant employment, shopping and recreational opportunities, special events and award-winning restaurants.

Category: History

California Agriculture Museum

Though Sacramento has grown into a bustling cosmopolitan city, the region's roots are firmly planted on the farm. Just a short drive from downtown Sacramento, the California Agriculture Museum is the home of the Heidrick Tractor Collection & Event Center and showcases the marvels of agriculture and commercial trucking with 130,000 square feet of interactive one-of-a-kind exhibits and the world's largest collection of antique agricultural equipment.

1962 Hays Lane, Woodland, California

530.666.9700 | Hours: Wed-Sun 10 AM–5 PM; (Winter Hours 10 AM–4 PM)

California Automobile Museum

Experience automotive evolution at the California Automobile Museum. From the invention of the car and into the future, our exhibits include modern and classic vehicles from all over the world. Enjoy a tour by a knowledgeable docent, take a picture in a Model T, or pick up a customized license plate in the gift shop. Vroom! Vroom! Vroom!

2200 Front Street, Sacramento

916.442.6802 | Hours: Daily 10 AM–5 PM (CLOSED Tuesday)

California Museum

Home of the official California Hall of Fame, the California Museum educates, enlightens and inspires visitors on California’s rich history and legacy of influence on the world through ideas, innovation, the arts and culture. Through interactive and innovative exhibits and programming, the Museum inspires men, women and children to dream the California dream and to make their own mark on history.

1020 O Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

916.653.7524Hours:  Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 am- 12:00 pm; Sunday 12:00 – 5:00 pm; closed Monday

California State Capitol Museum

Want to rub elbows with California’s most influential decision makers? The general public has been able to do just that since the State Capitol building opened its doors in Sacramento in 1869. Museum exhibits and historical items offer a glimpse into California’s political past while the rest of the building acts as a “living museum.” Of course, California’s elected officials just refer to the Capitol as “the office.”

Capitol Building, 10th & L Streets, Downtown Sacramento, CA

916.324.0333 | Hours: Daily 9 AM-5 PM | Free Admission

California State Library

Located across the street from the historic State Capitol in the heart of downtown Sacramento, the neo-classical Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building at 914 Capitol Mall was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

914 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814

916.654.0261 | Hours: Weekdays 9:30 AM-4 PM | Free Admission


California State Railroad Museum

A Smithsonian Affiliate located in Old Sacramento State Historic Park, the impressive museum complex offers a first-hand glimpse of rail history and offers the area's only historic and authentic excursion train rides (April thru September). The California State Railroad Museum Library is located adjacent to the Museum on the second floor of the Big Four Building.  Library materials are available for review in the reading room, open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 pm to 5 pm. The Museum Store is open daily 10 am to 5 pm. Help keep the trains rolling by joining the California State Railroad Museum; several membership levels are available for individuals, families and children. 

125 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA. 95814

916.323.9280 | Hours:  Daily 10 AM-5 PM (Except major holidays.)

California Statewide Museum Collections Center

California State Parks is the steward of historical collections that have developed over the past 130 years. The new Statewide Museum Collections Center serves the Department’s goals of preservation and access to the cultural resources held in trust for the people of California. “California, Uniquely Diverse: Preserving our Heritage” - the Center’s inaugural exhibit- explores the origins and breadth of State Parks Collections and the work performed by the cultural specialists who care for them.

4940 Lang Avenue McClellan, CA 95652

916.263.0805 | Hours: Tuesdays 1-4 PM (except major holidays) |  Free Admission

Center for Sacramento History

The Center for Sacramento History (CHS) is the repository and research center for City and County historical artifact, archival, photographic and audiovisual collections. The archives hold official City and County government documents as well as material and photographs from area families, organizations and community groups. Our three-dimensional artifact collections – the tools employed, the clothing worn, the furnishings used – document the daily lives of the diverse people that call the region home. CHS collects and maintains these materials and makes them available to a wide range of users.


916.808.7072 | Hours by appointment: Wednesdays 4:00 PM – 7:45 PM, Thursdays 8:15 AM – 12:00 PM and Fridays 8:15 AM – 12:00 PM.   (except major holidays)

Don & June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum

Inspired by California's unique and rich history of pharmacy, the Don & June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum is just what the doctor ordered. Come celebrate the role of the pharmacist in promoting the health and well-being of Californians since the state's inception in 1850.

4030 Lennane Drive, Natomas, CA

916.779.1410 ext. 326 | Hours: Mon–Fri by appointment | Free Admission

Folsom History Museum

The Folsom Historical Society showcases exhibits about Folsom's native people, the discovery of gold in California and the formation of mining camps, ethnic groups who contributed to this area, the formation of the town, and later efforts at gold mining. Guests are encouraged to try their luck at a gold panning demonstration, examine artifacts from the old dredging days and observe early Pioneer tools, all showcasing the different eras of Folsom's development.

823 Sutter St., Folsom, CA 95630

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday | 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park

Built in 1877, the Governor's Mansion is a regal Victorian mansion that was the home of California's governors from George Pardee in 1903 until Ronald Reagan took office in the late 1960s. While the Capitol acted as the office, this mansion acted as the family home. Enjoy the opulently decorated rooms while learning all the tales, secrets and mischief of the families that lived there.

16th and H Street, Sacramento, CA

916.323.3047 | Effective January 1, 2015, the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park is closed to the public until further notice

Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park

Leland Stanford, former California governor, railroad tycoon and founder of Stanford University, purchased what would become this elegant mansion for $ 8,000 in 1861. A recent restoration has recaptured the mansion's Victorian grandeur. Serving as the governor's office prior to the opening of the State Capitol, today it is the State's official location for diplomatic and protocol receptions, but non-diplomats can enjoy its grandeur on daily tours.

800 N Street, Downtown Sacramento, CA

916.324.0575 | Hours: Call for hours.

Locke Boarding House Museum

The Boarding House was built in 1909 to board workers of the Southern Pacific Railroad and the shipping warehouse in the Sacramento River Delta. In 2008 it became the Locke Boarding House, an unit of the State Park system. The exhibit and research facility are operated by California State Park and Locke Foundation. On top of the exhibit, it also serves as the information center of Locke, a charming historic Chinese Town built since 1915. It is the only Chinese Town built for the Chinese by the Chinese in the country. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service.

13916 Main St. Locke, CA 95690

916.776.1661 or 916.776.1828   |  Hours: Tuesdays & Fridays 12 to 4 PM ; Saturdays & Sundays 11 AM to 3 PM  |  Free Admission


Maidu Museum & Historic Site

The Maidu Museum & Historic Site offers a unique cultural haven for families and individuals who want to experience the life ways and culture of the Nisenan Maidu who called this location home for thousands of years . While the Museum presents interactive exhibits and displays, the outside trail wanders through the Historic Site and offers visitors a chance to see the lasting cultural landmarks via hundreds of bedrock mortar holes and deeply carved petroglyphs.

1970 Johnson Ranch Drive, Roseville, CA

916.774.5934 | Hours: Saturdays from 9am-4pm. Note: the Museum has cancelled the Campfire programs and the Night Out at the Museum programs, effective immediately. 

Museum of Medical History

Experience the evolution of medicine from the Gold Rush to today in this unique museum presented by the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society. Exhibits include an iron lung, patent medicines and pharmacology, antibiotics and infectious diseases, Asian medicine, nursing, radiology, quackery and plenty of other tools that will make you grateful for today's modern medicine.

5380 Elvas Ave, Sacramento, CA 95819


916.456.3152 | Hours:  Mon–Fri 9 AM–4 PM; Closed Holidays | Free Admission  •   Four free programs each year – see website

Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum

The Old Sacramento Schoolhouse allows you to experience California's early days of education in a living replica of an 1800s one-room schoolhouse. Enjoy the photographs, books, pot-bellied stove, desks and other antique items from the Gold Rush era, but be on your best behavior, or the schoolmarm might make you stay late and clap the dust off the erasers.

1200 Front Street, Old Sacramento, CA

916.483.8818 | Hours: Mon–Sat 10 AM–4 PM; Sun 1–4 PM| Free Admission

Old Sacramento State Historic Park

Old Sacramento packs a lot of history into just a couple blocks. Check out the cluster of noteworthy early Gold Rush sites including the Eagle Theatre, the BF Hastings Building (home of the California Supreme Court), the western terminus of the Pony Express, and the 1855 Big Four Building (home to the Huntington & Hopkins Hardware Store and the California State Railroad Museum Library).

Front and I Streets, Old Sacramento, CA

916.445.6645 | Hours: Daily 10 AM–5 PM| Free Admission

Sacramento Historic City Cemetery

There's much more to see at Sacramento's Historic City Cemetery than you might first think. A true outdoor museum, the cemetery is adorned with ornate statues, dramatic markers and lush gardens, providing a great record of California's history from the Gold Rush Era through today. Keep an eye out for the popular "Lantern Tours" held in October.

Enter on Broadway at 10th Street

916.448.0811 | Hours: Call for hours | Free Admission

Sacramento History Museum

Formerly the Discovery Museum History Center, the Sacramento History Museum is a true celebration of all aspects of life in Sacramento over the past 200 years. The Museum tells the stories of our city founders, rivers, the Gold Rush, agriculture, the media, industry, culture and more. If it happened in Sacramento, it's happening at the Sacramento History Museum.

101 I Street, Old Sacramento, CA

916.808.7059 | Hours: Daily 10 AM—5 PM

State Indian Museum

Long before the Gold Rush, Native Americans made their home in California. The State Indian Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into California’s history and illustrates California Indian culture, arts and the lifestyle of our state’s earliest inhabitants. Included are hands-on exhibits, which offer you the chance to try traditional Native American tools for yourself.

2618 K Street, Midtown Sacramento, CA

916.324.0971 | Hours:  Daily 10 AM -5 PM

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

All aspiring pioneers will want to mosey on over to Sutter's Fort. Sacramento's road to cityhood can be traced back to this structure, built beginning in 1839, where John Sutter offered supplies and rest to pioneers. As the region's original commerce center, the fort offered a blacksmith shop, bakery, living quarters and more. Be on the look out for a colorful bunch of costumed "living history" docents who call the park home.

2701 L Street, Midtown Sacramento, CA

916.445.4422 | Hours:  Daily 10 AM-5 PM
(Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day)

Wells Fargo History Museum – Downtown

Gold Rush history comes alive inside the magnificent five story atrium of Wells Fargo Center on Capitol Mall. Discover an authentic 1866 Abbot-Downing stagecoach, a working telegraph line, an impressive collection of gold specimens from the nearby foothills where gold was first discovered in California, interactive exhibits about the history of stagecoaches and the men who guarded the treasure they carried. Along with artifacts, documents, furnishings, images, a video presentation describing Wells Fargo’s colorful frontier past and a priceless collection of postal covers, dating back to the beginning of the Gold Rush in 1849. The museum store features a variety of Wells Fargo branded gifts, collectibles and apparel and Admission is always free.

400 Capitol Mall, Downtown Sacramento, CA

916.440.4161 | Hours:  Tuesday thru Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Free Admission

Wells Fargo History Museum – Old Sacramento

The first half century of Wells Fargo’s history coincided with the most explosive growth in transportation and communication technology the world has ever known. Journeys that once took months could be completed in days and messages that took weeks could be sent in minutes. Wells Fargo employed every technological advance to bring new and better services to its banking and express customers. Explore this shrinking world with authentic artifacts, documents, photographs and interactive exhibits including a telegraph connected to other Wells Fargo museums around the country.

1000 2nd Street, Old Sacramento, CA

916.440.4263 | Hours: Daily 10 AM–5 PM | Free Admission