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11 Must-See Historical Landmarks in Sacramento
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11 Must-See Historical Landmarks in Sacramento

Discover historical Sacramento landmarks that you should not miss. This must-see destination has a lot to reveal.

Natasha Kouyoumjian

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5 min read

September 20, 2022

Disclaimer: California.com does not receive any kind of compensation for reviewing any of the products or services mentioned in this article.

Sacramento – the city of trees, and the capital of California. Famed for its historic landmarks, and farm-to-fork culture, the city is a major attraction drawing in tourists and history buffs.  With plenty of interesting museums, charming theaters, countless parks, attractive architecture, and much more, this city is a definite must-visit destination. But if you’re here for a short time and can’t see it all, there's a certain list of Sacramento landmarks that you should not miss!

1. Cathedral of The Blessed Sacrament

The Cathedral is still active, and holds masses in English, Spanish, and Mandarin.

Location: 1019 11th St, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Regarded as one of the most treasured historic sights in Sacramento, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is one of the major Sacramento landmarks. Located just a few blocks away from the Capitol building, the Cathedral is an active Roman Catholic church that holds masses in English, Spanish, and even Chinese. Being an important part of their community, the Cathedral is praised for its Victorian-style interior and Renaissance-Revival architecture. This spot should definitely be included in your itinerary for an ideal day trip to Sacramento. We recommend visiting the Cathedral in the early hours of the morning before the masses start, to avoid the large crowds.

2. Old Sacramento Waterfront

The Old Sacramento Waterfront is an adventure waiting to unfold.

Location: 1014 2nd St #200, Sacramento, CA 95814.

If there’s one place you have to keep on your radar when you’re touring Sacramento it’s the Old Waterfront. Officially registered as a Sacramento landmark, the waterfront is an adventure waiting to unfold. Fun and education combine in this Sacramento attraction brimming with exciting museums, riverboat rides, historic railroad excursions, horse carriage rides, and cobblestone streets. History buffs should be sure to check out the exciting Gold Rush tours available. 

3. The Eagle Theatre

Location:  California Historical Landmark #595, 921 Front St, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Built during the gold rush, this Sacramento landmark was California's first permanent theatre. To mention its background briefly, the area was destroyed by a flood in 1849 and rebuilt in 1850. The Eagle Theater is one of the city’s oldest structures and represents one of the most favored tourist attractions in Sacramento. Enjoy a nice and easy cover of Sacramento’s history projections, as well as the summer theatrical and musical performances.

4. Old Sacramento State Historic Park

The Old Sacramento State Historic Park is a neighborhood in and of itself.

Location: 111 I St, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Entrance fee: Free of charge.

Of all the historical things to do, history buffs will absolutely not want to miss this one. Despite its name suggesting it's a park, the Old Sacramento State Historic Park is actually a small neighborhood. With endless historic structures to be spotted– including the Lady Adam Building, Eagle Theater, Sacramento’s oldest remaining firehouse, Booth’s Residence, and many more– the park is a Sacramento attraction attracting visitors year-round.

5. Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park

The Leland Stanford Mansion is a true reflection of the Victorian era’s elegance and richness.

Location: 800 N St, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am to 5pm.
Entrance fee: $5 for adults, $3 for ages between 17 and 6, free of charge under 5.

Mainly referred to as the Stanford Mansion, this Second Empire style0 architectural beauty is located in Sacramento’s California State Park. Now open to the public as a museum, the mansion serves as the state's official reception center for world leaders visiting California. Replete with Victorian finery, the museum is a perfect reflection of the grace and grandeur of the state’s history and definitely a Sacramento must-see. Gilded mirrors, a 17-foot ceiling, and striking historic paintings are just a few of the glorious reasons why you should visit Sacramento.

6. California State Capitol

The California State Capitol is also home to a national museum and the most prestigious parks in the state.

Location: 1315 10th St, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Hours: Weekdays 9am to 5pm.

Witness history as it happens at this central Sacramento landmark. Aside from housing the California State Legislature’s chambers, the State Capitol functions as a museum and holds a wealth of historic archives as well as the historic offices of the governor and legislature. Surrounding the area is Capitol park. Envisioned by Leland Stanford, the park holds prestigious gardens as well as monuments such as the El Soldado Monument and California Firefighters Memorial.

7. Golden 1 Center

Make sure to catch a show at the Sacramento Kings' homeland.

Location: 500 David J Stern Walk, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Though there are plenty of places to go in Sacramento, this arena is a local treasure that should not be skipped. Home to its national basketball team –the Kings, this indoor arena has made appearances in numerous movies and is a part of the Downtown Commons – DoCo– business and entertainment district. Check out the stadium’s special website to catch a good show, and get ready to be taken aback by the enormous structure and the ambiance it never fails to create.  

8. Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park

There are plenty of things to see at this park’s living history museum.

Location: 2701 L St, Sacramento, CA 95816.
Fees: Adults: $5 (18 years and older), Youth: $3 (ages 6 to 17), Children: free (5 and under).

Dip your toes in a lake of history when you fall upon this piece of land situated in Midtown Sacramento. Homeland of the Nisenan people, Sutter's Fort State Historic Park was the economic center of the first permanent European colonial settlement in California's Central Valley. Within a walking tour from Sacramento’s Sutter District, explore this famous Sacramento landmark with a living history museum and several famous historic structures.

9. The Ziggurat Building

Bask in the Old Mesopotamian vibes of this Sacramento landmark, as it peacocks its way through the sunset.

Location: 707 3rd St, West Sacramento, CA 95605.

Designed by Sacramento architect, Edwin Kado, the Ziggurat is a pyramid-shaped 10-story building located in west Sacramento. With its eccentricity and foreign posture, the establishment is inspired by ancient Mesopotamian Ziggurats, making it a famous Sacramento landmark. Be sure to pass by with your cameras fully charged at night, when the building is fully and spectacularly illuminated. 

10. Old City Cemetery

Location: 1000 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818.
Hours: Everyday - 7am to 5pm.

This historic city Cemetery is the resting place of history’s most famous Californians and a place to visit and pay respects. Notable burials include Mayors, Generals, the founder/planner of the City of Sacramento, and even victims of historic cholera epidemics. The cemetery resembles that of a Victorian garden and offers various guided tours such as the rose tour, history tour, Halloween tour, and haunted tour.

11. Governer’s Mansion

Tour the Governer’s Mansion from outside you can spot and admire the beauty of the architecture and the garden.

Location: 1526 H St, Sacramento, CA 95814.

This Victorian mansion was the official residence of the governor of California. Built, in 1877, the Governer’s Mansion is a three-story thirty-room structure with Second Empire and Italianate styling. One of the top Sacramento landmarks, the mansion is now a famous tourist destination with an impeccable interior design. It is lavishly decorated with French glass mirrors and Italian marble floors, making it a definite must-see. Though it is now officially closed to the public, you can still view the majestic exterior as you tour the building.

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