Your 2023 Guide to Sacramento's Museums

Two trains at the California Railroad Museum.

Your 2023 Guide to Sacramento's Museums

December 21, 2022 | By The Railyards

Are you looking for family-friendly Sacramento activities or an exploration of our home and history? Sacramento is home to a tapestry of different museums on any topic that strikes your fancy. Discover the wonders of California's art at The Crocker, take flight at the Aerospace Museum, or explore Sacramento's past at the Railroad Museum. Here are 15 local Sacramento museums to visit in 2023.

15 Sacramento Museums to Explore in 2023

Aerospace Museum

Sacramento's aerospace museum explores the wonders of flight and technology. The museum is home to over forty aircraft and a dedicated aerospace exhibit. See the world's largest rigid wing kite, the earliest piston engines to engines that power rockets, and dozens of phenomenal historic aircraft.

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California Automobile Museum

The California Automobile Museum displays over 130 vintage cars as well as an extensive research library on automotive topics with publications dating back to the early 1900s. Their collection of vehicles includes an 1880s Penny Farthing Bicycle, an 1886 Motorwagen, and a 1900s Ford Model T.

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California Museum

The California Museum, home to the California Hall of Fame, is located in Downtown Sacramento on O Street. Visitors can view the California Constitution Wall towering six stories tall, view the sesquicentennial quilt, and learn about inspiring women who have helped transform California. These exhibits are accompanied by short-term exhibits so there's always something new to discover.

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The California Railroad Museum

The Railroad Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is one of Sacramento's largest and most popular tourist destinations. This world-class museum is home to over 225,000 square feet of exhibit space and 21 carefully restored locomotives and train cars. Virtually explore a luxurious private rail car from the 1940s or learn about the experience of Chinese Railroad Workers.

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Crocker Art Museum

The Crocker is the world's foremost display of California art and is also renowned for its holdings of European master drawings and international ceramics. Visitors will be stunned by the beautiful combination of historical and modern architecture, as well as rotating exhibits featuring spectacular artwork. The Crocker is the only Sacramento museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

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Don & June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum

This three-room museum contains pharmacy artifacts from two centuries of practice. The exhibits include an 1890s room with a pressed tin ceiling and period artifacts, a 1940s pharmacy with a collection of over-the-counter products and prescription books from that era, and a modern pharmacy modeled after the Good Neighbor Pharmacy. 

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Leland Stanford Mansion

This mansion was once home to Leland Stanford, the 8th governor of California, and is now open to the public as a museum. This beautiful home represents the elegance of Victorian-era architecture in California, featuring 17-foot ceilings, gilded mirrors, beautifully restored woodwork, historic paintings, original period furnishings, and 19th-century style gardens.

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MOSAC, or the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity, is the perfect way to spend a day exploring the wonders of our natural world. Take a journey through space at the planetarium, or view exhibits on health, nature, energy, water, and engineering. Discover MOSAC's many interactive exhibits.

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Museum of Medical History

The Museum of Medical History showcases developments in medicine from the 1800s to the present day. The museum features exhibits on patent medicines, pharmacology, science and laboratory medicine, antibiotics, infectious diseases, medical diagnosis, therapy, nursing, and more. Visitors can view intriguing artifacts such as a 1950s-era iron lung, Civil War amputation kits, and more.

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Sacramento History Museum

The Sacramento History Museum offers a window into the history of California's capital. The museum is a recreation of the 1854 City Hall and Waterworks building, the city's first municipal structure. This memorable museum offers tours of Sacramento's storied underground and exhibits on the city's past. Plus, visitors can view the work of Sacramento's local TikTok star, the man behind the museum's printing press, Howard Hatch.

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Sacramento Regional Fire Museum

The Sacramento Regional Fire Museum preserves the history of fire service in the Sacramento area. Visitors can view historic fire engines and firefighting equipment. The museum also partners with fire safety organizations to put on fire safety programs for youth.

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Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum

The Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum is dedicated to a mission to explore and celebrate African American history, experiences, and culture. The museum's exhibits include Black Cowboys, Black Inventors, the Harlem Renaissance, and other subjects.

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State Capitol Museum

Discover the history of California's Capitol at the State Capitol Museum. Visitors can explore meticulously preserved historic rooms in the Capitol, walk the grounds of the Capitol Park, and view artwork such as statues, murals, and portraits of former governors.

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State Indian Museum

The State Indian Museum and Historic Park first opened in 1940. The museum offers exhibits that include traditional baskets, a redwood dugout canoe, beadwork, and hunting and fishing tools dating back more than twenty-four hundred years.

This museum is currently in the process of transitioning to the California Indian Heritage Center.

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Sutter's Fort

Sutter's Fort is the oldest existing building in Sacramento, and this historic building offers insight into California's Gold Rush, the Bear Flag Revolt, and California's journey to becoming a state. The museum's artifacts include Dolly, a small wooden doll carried by Donner Party survivor Martha "Patty" Reed.

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Interested in learning more about Sacramento's past? The Railyards and its shops were once the largest industrial site west of the Mississippi until the end of WWII. Learn more about Sacramento's history with The Railyards.

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