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Best Sacramento Museums

November 15, 2010 6:20 PM

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Are you an art lover? Looking to learn a little about California history?

Are you an art lover? Looking to learn a little about California history? Or a place to take the kids that is both fun and educational? You can learn about Sacramento’s Gold Rush past. Get an up close look at trains, planes and automobiles through the years. Sacramento’s role as the state capitol gives visitors an exciting chance to see the political past and politics in action. So take your pick, you won’t be disappointed in the best museums the Capital City has to offer.

Aerospace Museum of California

museums Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: aerospacemuseumofcalifornia.org)

3200 Freedom Park Drive
McClellan Park, CA 95652
916-643-3192
aerospacemuseumofcalifornia.org

Imagination takes flight at this museum on the grounds of the former McClellan Air Force Base. Visitors can get a close up look at both restored military and civilian aircraft as well as touring exhibits (like Star Trek: The Exhibition). With the museum’s motion ride simulator, you can strap in and feel what it’s like to fly a World War II-era fighter jet.

California Automobile Museum

californiaautomobilemuseum Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: calautomuseum.org)

2200 Front Street
Sacramento, CA 95818
916.442.6802
www.calautomuseum.org

From an 1885 bicycle to a 2003 Mercedes Benz CHP motorcycle, take a look at the evolution of automobiles. The museum features more than 200 vehicles on permanent display. There are also touring exhibits like Lowriders: The Art of Low and Slow and Automobilia! featuring Italian cars.

The California Museum

californiamuseum Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: californiamuseum.org)

1020 O Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-653-7524
www.californiamuseum.org

The museum is described as “the one stop shop for all things Californian”. This museum houses the California Hall of Fame showcasing Californians who have made on impact on the world through their leadership, talent, ideas and works. Where else can you learn about such a wide variety of people as Walt Disney, Billie Jean King, Earl Warren, John Steinbeck, and Willie Mays in one place? The museum also houses exhibits like the Constitutional Wall.

California State Railroad Museum

trainmuseum Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: csrmf.org)

125 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
916.445.6645
www.californiastaterailroadmuseum.org

All aboard!! Visitors are sure to have fun here checking out trains from big and small to old and new. You can step on board a  moving train car to see what it feels like to travel the rails. From old steam engines to luxury personal train cars of the rich, you can see how the railroad helped shape California. There is also a collection of more than 1,000 vintage toy trains.

Crocker Art Museum

crockerartmuseum1 Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: crockerartmuseum.org)

216 O Street
Downtown Sacramento
916-808-7000
www.crockerartmuseum.org

The Crocker was the first art museum in the western United States. It was established by railroad baron Edwin Crocker’s wife Margaret Crocker in 1885. The museum houses a collection of California art as well as works from Europe, Asia and more. It recently tripled in size when it reopened following an extensive renovation in October of 2010.  

discoverymuseum Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: thediscovery.org)

Discovery Museum Science & Space Center

3615 Auburn Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95821
916.575.3942
www.thediscovery.org

Kids can rocket into space or dig into fossils at this hands-on museum. The Challenger Learning Center lets kids launch a shuttle while the Bone Zone brings them up close and personal with skeletons, skulls and fossils. The center also has live animals, nature trails, a wildlife pond and a public planetarium.

Old Sacramento State Historic Park

oldsacramento Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: oldsacramento.com)

1002 Second Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-442-8575
www.oldsacramento.com

Walk the cobblestone streets of Old Sacramento for a journey to the city’s Gold Rush beginnings. Check out some of the sites including the BF Hastings Building, old hardware stores and more. Old Sacramento is also the western end of the Pony Express. Visitors will also find The Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum, a replica of an 1800′s one-room school house. For more information, go to http://www.scoe.net/oldsacschoolhouse.

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

suttersfort Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: parks.ca.gov)

2701 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
916-445-4422
www.parks.ca.gov/suttersfort

Sutter’s Fort is part of Sacramento’s earliest settlement. Visitors can see what it was like to live in 1839 with the fort’s blacksmith shop, bakery, and more.

Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum

sojournertruthmuseum Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: sojoarts.net)

2251 Florin Road
Sacramento, CA 95822
916-320-9573
www.sojoarts.net

The museum, named for abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth, is dedicated to bringing African, Asian, Hispanic and Native American art to the general public.

California State Capitol Museum

statecapitol Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: statecapitolmuseum.com)

10th & L Streets
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-324-0333
www.capitolmuseum.ca.gov

The State Capitol is both a museum and a working building. Visitors can take a look at California’s political history as well as see history in the making. The Capitol has its own art collection including portraits of the governors.

California State Indian Museum

indianmuseum Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: parks.ca.gov)

2618 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
916-324-0971
www.parks.ca.gov/indianmuseum

The rich history, culture and arts of California’s first inhabitants can be viewed at the museum. There are even hands-on exhibits that let you try out some traditional Native American tools.

 Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park

governorsmansion Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: parks.ca.gov)

16th and H Streets
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-323-3047
www.parks.ca.gov/governorsmansion

Home to 13 California governors including Ronald Reagan, the mansion was built in 1877 and was used as a home to the state’s first families until 1967.

California State Military Museum

californiamilitarymuseum Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: militarymuseum.org)

1119 2nd Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-854-1900
www.militarymuseum.org

The museum features three floors of weapons, uniforms and over 30,000 artifacts from California and U.S. military history from Colonial times to today. 

California Foundry History Museum

californiafoundryhistorymus Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: foundryhistory.org)

5301 Price Avenue
North Highlands, CA 95652
916-929-8001
www.foundryhistory.org

Foundries are where metal is cast into bells, pipes, fire hydrants and more. Take a look at how techniques have changed from the Gold Rush era to new using modern technology.

wellsfargohistorymuseum Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: wellsfargohistory.com)

Wells Fargo History Museums

400 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-440-4161

and

1000 2nd Street
Old Sacramento, CA 95814
916-440-4263

www.wellsfargohistory.com

Wells Fargo played a big part in California’s Gold Rush not only through buying and selling gold, but through stage coaches, and the Pony Express.

explorit Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: explorit.org)

Explorit Science Center

2801 2nd Street
Davis, CA 95618
530.756.0191

www.explorit.org

folsomhistory Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: folsomhistorymuseum.org)

Folsom History Museum

823 Sutter Street
Folsom, CA 95630
916.985.2707

www.folsomhistorymuseum.org

hedrickaghistory Best Sacramento Museums

(credit: aghistory.org)

Heidrick AG History Center

1962 Hays Lane
Woodland, CA 95776
530.666.9700

www.aghistory.org

Farm machinery from the late 1800′s through the 1900′s is displayed in 130,000 square feet in a “one-of-a-kind” museum of antique angricultural equipment and trucks.

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