10 Popular and Top-Rated Museums In Sacramento (2021)
Sacramento is the capital city of California and thus is known for being the political center, the cultural and economic hub, and a prominent part of the state. The city teams up with art, culture, and history, and thus one can find some notable Museums of California here. The city of Sacramento is home to 28 well-known and top-rated museums that covers a wide range of exhibits from history to art and even the Gold Rush. Every second museum here in the city contains a rich legacy and would entertain you with something unique than before.
Regardless of whichever season you are here in Sacramento, these prominent indoor museums are ever ready to grab your hours for education, learning, and a lifelong memory. So, for the next time when you are in the city, make sure you explore these 10 Popular and top-rated museums in Sacramento. Have a look:
10 Popular and Top-Rated Museums In Sacramento
1. Crocker Art Museum
If you are interested in viewing the prominent art collection of more than 15,000 artworks, then the Crocker Art Museum is where you must head towards. The Crocker Art Museum is home to several unique artworks ranging from the Gold Rush to the present time, constituting a collection of Oceanic art, African art, and Asian art. This present-day museum was once a personal collection of Edwin B. Crocker and his wife Margaret Crocker, and after Edwin’s death, Margaret presented the collection for public interest and turned their antique collectibles into exhibits. Today, the museum is spread over 2 huge buildings, which will require a couple of hours to explore nicely.
Address: 216 O St, Sacramento
2. California State Railroad Museum
Also known as the Railroad Museum of North America, the California State Railroad Museum is one of the famous museums in Sacramento. The museum is spread over 20,000 sq. ft exhibiting 21 steam locomotives and railway coaches from the years between 1862 to 1944. It is also one of the largest railway museums in the world, and the size and craftsmanship of exhibits here at the display are enough to blow one mind. Apart from viewing the extensive and notable railroad collection, one can also dine at some of the restored and refurbished coaches here. Also, if you are visiting the museum during summers, you can experience the mesmerizing historic train ride that operates from the museum and goes along the Sacramento River.
Address: 125 I St, Sacramento
3. California State Capitol Museum
The California State Capitol Museum is one of the top-rated tourist spots in Sacramento that hosts a prominent number of tourists every year. The museum is located on the grounds of Capitol park and is quite famous for the beautiful Neoclassical architecture and its grand interiors. The display here includes paintings, artworks, portraits, and 150 years of magnificent Californian legacy. There are historic rooms, an extensive portrait display of former governors, statues from Greek architecture, and two stunning murals. Also, being a part of a working government facility, the security here is extremely tight, and one has to follow several protocols and prohibitions before and while entering the site.
Address: 1315 10th St room b-27, Sacramento
4. California Automobile Museum
The California Automobile Museum is one prominent sight for car lovers and automobile enthusiasts. The museum is spread over 72,000 square feet and houses about 150 vintage automobiles dating from 1885 to 2011 and an extensive collection of Ford from 1904 to 1969. All the automobiles here are either meticulously reproduced or in their original best condition to lure the visitors in all possible ways. With every automobile is an informative panel that educates the visitors with important information, and thus one can take a self-guided tour and still expect a surreal experience. Every year the exhibition focuses on several themes, and the museum organizes several lively events, drive-in music nights, car rallies, etc.
Address: 2200 Front St, Sacramento
5. Sacramento History Museum
The Sacramento History Museum is the biggest draw for history lovers and enthusiasts who are keen to know about Sacramento’s and California’s past. The museum is devoted to the gold rush period exhibiting artifacts, records, pictures, photographs, clothing, stagecoach, gold sluice, printing presses, saddle, tractor, and several other objects. The museum building in itself is an exact replica of the City Hall and Waterworks building (which dates back to 1854 Sacramento) and is undoubtedly a wonder to watch. However, apart from the regular museum tour, what attracts visitors the most here is the well-guided underground tours that take you back to the past of Sacramento and will fill your heart with a surreal and once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience.
Address: 101 I St, Sacramento
6. California Museum
Another history museum in the city, the California Museum, is spread over 20,000 square feet and is one prominent spot where you can learn about California’s history and stories. The museum is home to exhibits, museological archives, event facilities, and the California Hall of fame. Here one can learn how California’s rich history has influenced different countries throughout the world by its art, culture, and innovation. The Gold mountain exhibit here is undoubtedly not worth a miss, along with the presentations that talk about Japanese American’s personal stories, who were imprisoned during WWII. Even though the collection here isn’t extensive as various other Sacramento museums but spending an hour or two will surely make you learn and earn some great experience and information. There’s also a gift shop from where you can take souvenirs back home.
Address: 1020 O St, Sacramento
7. Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum
The Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum is a small space located in the Old Sacramento area and is quite popular amongst students of the city. It is a kind of learning center and a replica of America’s traditional one-room schoolhouses that used to flourish in the 1800s. The Schoolhouse Museum is a great learning place for both kids and adults, and one would get amazed to know about how schools operated in the old times, how discipline was maintained and how education was outsourced, unlike what we see and know in present time. Admission to the museum is free of cost, and the visitors are welcomed with costumed guides who make one’s experience as if history has come alive.
Address: 1200 Front St, Sacramento
8. State Indian Museum
The State Indian Museum is a place dedicated to Native America, exhibiting about history, art, and culture. Even though the museum is small but is loaded with artifacts, exhibitions, and a fascinating glimpse of California’s indigenous tribes. The exhibitions here are classified into themes like Nature, Spirit, and Family, and within these themed spaces, you can find tools and other objects that date back about 2500 years ago. The State Indian Museum is also home to one of the most extensive baskets weaving collections, and here you can view the most miniature weaved baskets in the world. The baskets are so tiny (1 millimeter) and can be viewed only with the help of a microscope. You can also be a part of several festivals and events going here throughout the year.
Address: 2618 K St, Sacramento
9. SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity
The SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity is a hub for science lovers, information seekers, and kids who are ready to grab knowledge and experience. It is the newest science center in Sacramento, with a planetarium and a wide range of exhibits. The collection of shows here teaches various scientific concepts about earthquakes, engineering, space, human senses, dinosaurs, gemstones, geology, and animal habitat. Inside this mini-museum complex also lies a particular animal room with bunnies, turtles, fishes, and several other living exhibits that are enjoyed by kids. There’s also an extensive garden with a pond nearby where you can watch turtles moving here and there on the grounds.
Address: 400 Jibboom St, Sacramento
10. Wells Fargo Museum
The Wells Fargo Museum is one of the famous museums in Sacramento that brings alive the gold rush history and a lot of Californian past. It is a tiny museum inside a beautiful glass hall along with geometric flower beds with palm trees at the front. The museum also holds great importance as the Wells Fargo bank stood here over 150 years ago, and an ATM here is still in service. Some of the prominent belongings of the age-old collection here include an authentic 19th-century copy machine, one large safe for storing gold, a scale model of a Wells Fargo Concord Stagecoach, and an original Howard & Davis gold scale. You can also view the horse-drawn carriage, historical guns, rifles, and several other bank-appropriate belongings.
Address: 1000 Second Street, Sacramento
Visiting the Sacramento museums is ideal throughout the year, and most of them are operational all throughout the week and only closed during the National and Festive holidays. However, considering the excessive transportation rush and shortage of parking in the city, it is advisable to avoid taking down your personal vehicles to keep away from the parking lines and high charges.