Downtown Sacramento has a rich and vibrant history that dates back to the 1800s. In its early days, the city was the center of California’s gold rush before becoming a railroad hub, an agricultural community, and now, a multicultural and eclectic metropolis.
Nowadays, the city hosts countless museums and educational spots to exhibit its rich history and culture.
The list below shows the top historical hubs and museums in Downtown Sacramento:
The Crocker Art Museum
Being the oldest public art museum in the West, it carries more than 15,000 pieces of art that include permanent collections of artwork from around the globe. The facility also houses thousands of ceramics and Asian and African art.
Aside from housing an expansive library and thousands of paintings and ceramics, the museum also serves as a venue for exhibitions, programs, lectures, concerts, and movie screenings. It also offers painting workshops for children and young adults ($135 for members and $175 for non-members).
As of this writing, the Crocker Art Museum is the only museum in the Sacramento area accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, which certifies that it operates and manages the collections in accordance with the professional museum standards.
Schedule: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (on Thursday the operating hours are extended till 9 pm)
Location: Near the Sacramento River (just south of the Old Sacramento)
Adults – $10
Seniors and students – $8
Kids between 7-17 years old – $5
Children six years and younger – free
(Note: The museum has free admission every third Sunday of the month.)
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
The cathedral’s construction began in 1887 when Patrick Manogue was appointed as Sacramento’s first bishop. Inspired by his travels in Europe, he secured a property near the State Capitol and ordered the construction of a church modeled after L’Eglise de la Sainte-Trinite in Paris.
Currently, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is one of the biggest cathedrals west of the Mississippi River and has become not just an important religious landmark but also a symbol of the civic movements in the city.
Due to numerous renovations, the cathedral lost its original neo-gothic style. Now, the architectural style of its exterior is modeled after the Italian Renaissance even though the interior is based on Victorian style.
Between 2003 and 2005, the church underwent extensive remodeling to include a large crucifix, a Eucharistic chapel, and two smaller side chapels. With this recent renovation, the 200 feet long and 100 feet wide basilica can now seat 1,400 people.
Location: 1019 11th St. Sacramento, California
Contact #: 916-444-3071 / fax 916-443-2749
Hours: Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 3 pm
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Being the state history museum, the California Museum is dedicated to the histories of Californians dating back to the Gold Rush. In fact, one of its permanent exhibits shows the life of immigrants and the town’s people in the early days. (Note: While this is a permanent exhibit, the management changes the people and places so the visitors get to hear and see other interesting stories.)
Aside from housing historically valuable documents, the 20,000 square feet museum also serves as an event facility and provides an interactive experience to the visitors.
Note: As of this writing, the California Museum has temporarily stopped their onsite tours due to the coronavirus pandemic; however, online tours remain available for distance learning during the 2020-2021 school year.
California State Capitol Museum
Located in Sacramento, the Capitol is the seat of the California government and also serves as a museum that exhibits historic rooms complete with artwork, artifacts, and antique furniture to recreate the early twentieth century Capitol.
To accommodate visitors with mobility issues, all the sidewalks leading to the Capitol and the North and South Annex entrances are wheelchair accessible. The museum also features assistive listening devices for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Other things you can find in the museum include Cafeteria-style restaurants, a coffee shop, a gift shop, ATMs and vending machines, and a basement theater.
Note: Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the museum is temporarily closed to the public; however, the Capitol Park remains open daily.
The museum is managed and operated by the California Department of Parks and Recreations.