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.