The best way to know more about the history of your living place, its typical features, its population, and other aspect is to visit the museum. There are various museums and exhibitions devoted to the history of the development of different spheres in almost every city. Besides, you may think that visiting museums is a tedious activity, but you may be wrong. Nowadays, more and more historical, technological art museums integrate interactive elements into exhibitions to make them more attractive for both children and adults.
This article will provide you with information on Sacramento’s best museums that you should visit to go deeper into its history. Sacramento’s history can be a long and rich story because of some events that happened here in the past. As you may know, Sacramento was one of the centers of the Golden Rush period, and that is why its architecture and design are full of art. As regards the development of the railway system, Sacramento was a part of this process. Sacramento was a final station in the western part of the US of the First Transcontinental Railroad. So, there is a museum with the first examples of trains, videos, and photos from that crucial time for the whole railway industry.
There are a lot of secret places in Sacramento that you cannot visit on your own. For instance, there are blocks of building under the ground that was built in the 1870s. You can visit this place only using a historical museum in Sacramento.
Let’s introduce the 11 best museums in Sacramento that will give you new emotions and refresh your impression of Sacramento.
1. Crocker Art Museum
It is a place for art lovers because the works here are unique and have deep meaning. Firstly it was a collection of pieces of art in the Italian building of Judge Edwin B. Crocker. This person was the brother of Charles Crocker, who was famous as a co-founder of the railroad company in California. Nowadays, you can see more than 15,000 works of art in this museum that are made by masters from all over the world.
You may be surprised by the place where all these artworks are located. It consists of two buildings, and this extension was possible only because of the attachment of the Teel Family Pavilion in 2010.
As regards the content, the museum presents ceramics, drawings, other types of arts from both Europe and America. Moreover, the museum is popular for its rotating expositions that represent the retro perspective of the life of the popular artist from Sacramento, Wayne Thiebaud.
2. Aerospace Museum of California
This place is a dream of those who wished to become a pilot or preferred playing with aircraft but not cars in childhood. This museum incorporates real items connected to aviation and its history, along with a simulator of the flight. The thing is that this place was a part of the air force base McClellan and this is the reason for the huge variety of military equipment presented here.
So, you can explore more than 40 types of aircraft here, including 49-ton FedEx Express Boeing 727, WWII Douglas C-53D Skytrooper, F-4C Phantom II, and F-14 Tomcat. Some of the exhibits participated in popular movies, for example, F-14 Tomcat from Top Gun, which was driven by Maverick and Goose. The most attractive entertainment in the Aerospace Museum of California is training equipment with the illusion of the real flight. You can try yourself as a pilot here and improve your skills with coaches.
3. California State Railroad Museum
This museum will impress you even if you are not interested in the railway industry and do not know anything about its history. Decorations inside this museum allow you to feel like a real worker or user of the railroad at that time. All the trains and other elements are made in real size, which provides an atmosphere of traveling by trains. Moreover, some essential for the development of the railroad in California people are also created in the museum as characters of a huge scenario.
Besides, if you are a fan of traveling by train, you may be interested in the design of the first railcars. The museum allows you to walk through the bedrooms, restaurant inside the railcars and feel the atmosphere of a calm and long trip.
I guess children will find it more interesting to look at the mini versions of trains in the toy landscape. They will be able to watch a performance of toy people and trains that lasts indefinitely.
4. California State Capitol Museum
Capitol will surprise you with its sizes and majesty. Once you see a 40-acre of lawn, you will understand these words about the sizes of the Capitol. The more time you will spend here, the more historical exhibits you will find. The first thing you should visit here is a rotunda in the center of the building covered with a gilded dome. The height of this dome equals about 128-foot and is designed with Roman goddesses and other masterpieces.
This museum includes pictures, furniture, artworks related to different times in the past but protected as evidence of the rich history of America. You can see here paintings of 38 governors, stories and materials from spies, and even more content available only in the Capitol.
Park near the Capitol requires additional attention from you because its size is more than 12 blocks, and it consists of memorable artifacts from history. For instance, in 1897, people plant a grove here devoted to participants of the Civil War.
5. California Museum
You should visit this place be you a tourist or citizen of America because there are many crucial exhibitions for the History of the US. You will investigate the importance of some people in the improvements of America and find interactive exhibits attractive for children.
There is a Hall Of Fame in this museum where you can find RuPaul, Walt Disney, and other people famous in California. This place will explain to you the history of injustice in America, from sexism to racism and discrimination during the war. Artifacts will make you think more about the importance of tolerance for fairness in the world. Also, you will learn the history of the 31st Star exhibit and America becoming a statehood in 1850.
6. California Automobile Museum
The automobile museum is a great place to visit for families because there are appealing exhibits for both parents and children. Museum presents more than 120 cars of different brands, models, and years so you will find the one you wish to have. For example, some fans of retro cars may adore cars starting from 1886, while lovers of new technologies can get more information about modern cars such as Nisan Leaf and others.
Even if you do not understand anything about cars, you can look for fancy vehicles here. For instance, Delorian 1981 or Star Streak 1971 are shown in this museum, and they can attract you by strange design. 1970s AMC Pacer, 1967 Charger Fastback, and Mustang Boss 302 1969 also are included in the list of available vehicles.
Another exciting feature in this museum is rotating vehicles such as Batmobile and other popular and fun models. Besides, you can learn here how to tune-up the car, and you can apply this knowledge to your own.
7. Leland Standford Mansion State Historic Park
It is a historical building — house of Leland Standford, who was one of the famous guys during the Gilded Ages. As you may know, he was an influencer in this area because of his ownership. He also is known as a founder of Standford University — one of the top universities in the world. This museum is the building of Standford itself. Here you can get inside the home of such a prominent family and explore the delights of a rich life.
Leland Standford purchased this house in 1861 when he became a governor of the state. Nevertheless, he was a great businessman who kept an opportunity to develop for Central Pacific Railway through his power and money.
The house’s size is equal to 14,000 square feet, and it means that you have something to see here. The more you peer to details of decor here, the more expansive this house seems to you. It happens because of the huge scale decoration that is unique and unusual for our time. Have you ever seen a 17-foot ceiling or gilded furniture in every room? I think that this house is the only place where you can feel wealth because of the design of the 1800s and high-quality reconstruction for 22 million dollars.
8. Sacramento History Museum
If you want to know more about the Sacramento role during the Gold Rush, you should visit this museum. Its building is an imitation of City Hall in 1854 and Waterworks. There are real gold bars that cost more than $500,000 and more other symbols of this epoch. By the way, if you will try to steal these gold bars, you will get a personal banner with the phrase “Wanted” with a design similar to posters of that time.
The most favorable part of the museum is the underground city that was abandoned in the 19th century. People did it because of the increase in water levels in the city. They had to build a new layer of streets and buildings to avoid flooding of their houses. Museum provides guided tours to this place with exciting stories about this step in the life of Sacramento. If you visit this place with people older than 21, you can choose an option with additional scary tales and alcoholic drinks at the end of the tour.
9. Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
This museum was a citadel of the researcher, John Sutter, whose service member was the first foreign person who found gold in this area. This building originated in 1840, is now the only presenter of houses in Sacramento that were owned by migrants from Switzerland. This region was called New Helvetia at that time, but after a while, it was covered by water because of the miners who worked here.
The Spanish-styled residence will demonstrate to you the culture of Mexican ranchos popular in California in 1840. There are a lot of interactive activities, and one of them is watching movies on the walls of the fort. While you will watching it, you can order cold drinks and relax on the lawn near the fort.
10. State Indian Museum State Historic Park
This museum is the only opportunity for you to learn the culture and architecture of native residents of this area — Indians. Sacramento became popular for foreigners because of the gold deposits, but before, it was the area of California Indians for more than 14,000 years.
Here you can feel involved in the culture of native people through the exhibits of their items and works of art made in their style. For instance, redwood canoe, woven buckets, and other products of Indians are available for viewing here. Also, there are plenty of opinions on California’s history, and here you can hear one of them — the theory of the lost West from the Yahi tribe.
11. Museum of Medical History
This place may be interesting for medicians who want to know better the history of pharmacy and medical treatment as well as for other motivated people. The museum shows examples of pills, medical kits, and some bodies of people who lived in the time of the Civil War. Do you know that there was a huge variety of quack practices in medicine in the 1880s? All this information you will learn in detail from the guides of this museum. You will also see medical equipment such as fluoroscopes, Nerv-O-Meter, and the iron cage of Jules Verne. You will be able to touch and try all these items that were used during the previous century by doctors in Sacramento. Besides, this equipment destroyed many lives, and that is why it is important to investigate it to prevent such consequences in the future.
As you may notice, there are a lot of places to visit in Sacramento for both tourists and residents of this area. Choose the museum that is more attractive for you based on its orientation and location. Do not miss an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history of this place.