Things To See and Do When Visiting the State Capital

Sacramento, a short drive or flight away, isn’t just for politicians. Dubbed “America’s most diverse city,” Sacramento is host to hundreds of years’ worth of history, a vibrant arts community, and more. Below is a hand-picked list of recommendations for things to do and places to see:

California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front Street –
Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm; general admission $8, students $4, 5 and under free, 65+ and AAA members $1 off. Dads free on Father’s Day, veterans free on Memorial/Veteran’s Days.
Originally holding one of the largest collection of Fords in the world, the California Automobile Museum now constantly rotates its exhibits, featuring some cars from its own collection and many more from private collectors and all makes and models.
On Memorial Day, the museum will host a “Vettes for Vets/American Muscle Car Show” event, including a color guard presentation, hot dogs, and a raffle. The museum encourages you to dress in theme and will be featuring a ’43 Army Jeep and the opportunity to get in the cockpit of a Bell UH-1 helicopter. Retired & active military admitted in the museum free; the car show is outdoors and free for all.
Through June 7, the museum will be presenting “Flash and Flair: The Atomic 50s and 60s,” showing visitors “some of the extreme styling and colorful excess of post-war America through automobiles.”

Crocker Art Museum, 216 O Street –
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm, Thursday 10am-9pm; adults $10, 65+/college students $8, 7-17 $5, 6 and under free.
The oldest public art museum west of the Mississippi River  – and a California Historic Landmark – the Crocker Art Museum has six permanent collections: “African and Oceanic Art,” “Asian Art,” “European Art,” “Works on Paper,” “International Ceramics,” and “Californian and American Art.”
On May 30, the museum will hold a Highlight Tour, billed as an “introductory tour” of the museum and its works, at 11, 12, 1 and 2 PM.

California State Railroad Museum, 111 I Street –
Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm; adults $10, children ages 6-17 $5, 5 and under free.
The California State Railroad Museum holds over 225,000 square feet of railroad history and 21 restored locomotives/cars available for viewing — and visitors are able to step inside and explore most of them.
In addition, every Saturday/Sunday through September 27, the museum will be offering hourly train rides pulled by a restored locomotive on the Sacramento Southern Railroad. First class and coach tickets are available.

California State Fair, 1600 Exposition Blvd –
July 10-16; prices and packages available online
This year’s fair will include concerts featuring Morris Day and the Time, Air Supply, Martina McBride, Ashanti, War, and .38 Special.
Entries have already closed for most competitions, but are still open for Junior Livestock (June 5), Open Livestock (June 12), California Canning and Baking (June 19), and California Youth Canning and Baking (June 19). For rules on how to enter, visit the fair’s website for more information.

California State Capitol Museum, 10th/L Streets –
Weekdays 8am-5pm, Weekends 9am-5pm; admission free.
The state capitol offers great photography opportunities and a look at California’s vast history. Visitors can tour historical offices, while a theater in the basement shows various films. Works of art – paintings, statues, and murals – and governors’ portraits are on display throughout the capitol’s west wing and East Annex. Tours are available hourly from 9am-4pm – for more information, call (916) 324-0333.

Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, 15th/Capitol Avenue
Located at the north-east corner of Capitol Park, the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial is engraved with the names of 5,657 Californian soldiers who died or were declared missing in action during the Vietnam War and veterans who later died due to physical/mental injuries incurred during time in the war. The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 500, will be holding a 16th Annual Reading of the Names ceremony on Sunday, May 24, beginning at 12pm.

There are many more things to do while you’re visiting the state capital, and while you’re out, you’ll certainly find more.

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