James W. Marshall’s gold discovery at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 made Sacramento a boomtown. Today, as a city rich in Gold Rush history, Sacramento continues to draw visitors from all over the world. All tours are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. – Arlene Poma

California State Railroad Museum

(credit: csrmf.org)

125 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-6645

As the most popular train museum in the United States, the California State Railroad Museum is located in Old Sacramento. The State Railroad Museum includes storytelling docents dressed in period costumes; restored locomotives and cars; toy trains; and the fabled, golden “Lost Spike” from the Transcontinental Railroad. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

California State Capitol Museum

(credit: statecapitolmuseum.com)

10th and L Streets
State Capitol, Room B-27
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 324-0333

The California State Capitol Museum houses the Governor’s Office and the California State Legislature. The Rotunda contains “Columbus’ Last Appeal to Queen Isabella,” a Carrara marble statue from 1883. The 40-acre Capitol Park includes the award-winning World Peace Rose Garden and the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Its landscaping includes trees, flowers and plants native to California. The California State Capitol Museum is open for guided tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Crocker Art Museum

(credit: crockerartmuseum.org)

216 O Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 808-7000

The oldest art museum in the West is the “new” Crocker Art Museum. The 165,000 square feet transformation may rival any museum on the West Coast. The Crocker Art Museum is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Monday, except for specified holiday Mondays. Every third Sunday of the month is “Pay What You Wish Sunday.”

Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park

(credit: parks.ca.gov)

1526 H Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 323-3047

Purchased in 1903 for $32,500, the Governor’s Mansion and its furnishings reflect the mansard-styled Victorian architecture. The landscaping dates back to the Governor’s Mansion’s beginnings in 1877. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

(credit: parks.ca.gov)

2701 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 445-4422

Sutter’s Fort served as a destination and gateway to California’s Gold Country. The oldest restored fort in the United States, Sutter’s Fort is what remains of John Sutter’s New Helvetia, Sacramento’s earliest settlement founded in 1839. Sutter’s Fort is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

California State Indian Museum

(credit: parks.ca.gov)

2618 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 324-0971

Don’t miss the California State Indian Museum, which is within walking distance of Sutter’s Fort. The California State Indian Museum is a collection of basketry, beadwork, clothing and other exhibits depicting the culture of California’s Native Americans. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.