The Museum reopened with new hours, admission and visitor protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic on November 5, 2020. Learn more.
A self-supporting 501(c)3 non-profit, The California Museum — home of the California Hall of Fame — engages, educates and enlightens people about California’s rich history and unique contributions to the world through ideas, innovation, the arts and culture. Through interactive and innovative experiences, the Museum inspires men, women and children to pursue the California dream and make a mark on history.
The California Museum will temporarily close to the public effective Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, due to Sacramento County’s move back to purple tier status by the California Department of Public Health.
The Museum will remain closed until further notice and continue to offer online exhibits, online events and tours, as well as free resources for K-12 students learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlights include:
Prepare for your visit with our printable Visitor Guide highlighting current exhibits, gallery maps, visitor etiquette and more.
Due to the Museum’s temporary closure during the COVID-19 pandemic, a current visitor guide is not available but will be published when it is safe to reopen and welcome visitors back.
For more information on the closure and updates as they are available, please visit our COVID-19 page.
Due to the Museum’s temporary closure during the COVID-19 pandemic, our visitor guide is currently not available.
Does the Museum have parking?
The following options are available for visitors:
- On Street: Metered on-street spaces are available. For rates, hours & more information, please visit City of Sacramento’s Parking Services page.
- Lots & Garages: Surface street lots & hourly garages are located throughout downtown Sacramento, including the Capitol Garage at 10th & L Streets, the State of California garage at 13th and P Streets and the Legado de Ravel lot at 16th & O Streets. For rates & details, please visit the City of Sacramento’s Garage & Surface Street page.
- 10th Street Garage: The garage located at 1500 10th Street directly across the street from the Museum is open on weekdays and Saturdays, however it is not recommended for weekday visitors because it is often full. For rates and more information, please visit the Department of General Services’ website.
- Buses: Tour & school buses may use the white bus loading zone located on 10th Street next to the Museum.
- Bike Parking: Racks for a limited number of bikes are available on the corner of 10th & O Streets in front of the Museum, and to the left of the Secretary of State building entrance on 11th Street between O & P Streets.
- Public Transportation: To avoid weekday traffic and parking difficulties, visitors are encouraged to use public transportation. The Museum is easily accessible using Regional Transit’s Light Rail and located at the Archives Plaza stop. For details, please visit SacRT.com.
Do I need to make reservations to visit the Museum?
Reservations are only suggested for groups of 10 or more and must be made one week in advance. Please visit the Group Tours page for more information.
How long does it take to tour the Museum?
A minimum of 60 minutes are recommended for visitors on a self-guided tour, however the amount of time spent by individual visitors can vary greatly. A minimum of 90 minutes is recommended for group and field trip tours including a docent or special program.
Can I bring food and drinks inside the Museum?
No, food or beverages are not allowed inside exhibits. Please finish your food and drinks in the lobby before entering galleries.
Do you discount admission or tour fees for non-profit organizations?
Sorry, additional discounts on admission or tour rates are not offered to non-profit organizations.
Reduced admission is provided for all group tours booked a minimum of 7 days in advance. For more information, please visit Tours page.
In addition, a number of reduced or free general admission programs are also available. Please visit Special Offers & Promotions page for a list of current programs & offers.
Can I take photographs or videos of the Museum?
The Museum’s policies on visitor photographs and videos detailed below.
- Visitor are permitted to take photos or videos using a handheld camera & existing light for personal use only.
- Flash photography & additional lighting are not permitted due to the potential for damage to artifacts.
- On occasion, some exhibits do not permit any photographs or video taken by visitors. Restricted areas are indicated with signage and a security guard.
- Media must coordinate all on-site coverage with a staff member in advance to conduct interviews and capture video or photographs. Press tours and on-site coverage may be scheduled Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm by appointment only. For details or to submit a request, visit the media inquiries page.
- Because the Museum is a non-collecting institution and does not own most of the items on display, authorization to film or photograph exhibits is limited to media outlets for the purpose of news coverage.
- Any commercial or other unauthorized use of any transmission, picture, film/type, writing, drawing, or other depiction or description of any of the Museum or the exhibits on display including name, graphics or logo are strictly prohibited.
Can I use the Museum as a location for a film or photography shoot?
The Museum may be rented for use as a shoot location on an hourly basis, however on-location shoots are subject to approval of spaces to be shot and all usage of footage in advance. Please note some spaces may not be used for any commercial shoots, and pricing varies by total number of hours on site.
To submit a request, please download an on-location shoot form and submit with proof of commercial liability insurance and an indemnification agreement to email@example.com a minimum of 5 business days in advance.
What activities are available for kids?
Hands-on, interactive activities are available online and at the Museum, covering a variety of California history and culture subjects. Visit our Family Learning and Kids pages for more ideas on how to bring history alive for your children and enhance their learning experience.
Is the Museum accessible for visitors with disabilities?
- For sight-impaired visitors, complimentary iPod-based audio described tours for the Unity Center are available by request in the Museum Store. Braille guides for Health Happens Here are available in the exhibit.
- All new exhibit videos include captioning. A few older videos are not captioned; transcripts are available in the Museum Store.
- The Museum is wheelchair friendly, and all three levels are accessible using the lobby elevator. A complimentary wheelchair is available by request in the Museum Store.
- Service animals welcome.
- Comments and suggestions on how we can enhance accessibility for visitors with disabilities are encouraged. Please contact us at (916) 654-1729 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does the Museum provide donations for fundraising and silent auctions?
Yes, the Museum provides membership donations to fundraising events by non-profit organizations supporting K-12 education within a 15-mile radius of our location only. Please review policies and submit your request online at http://www.californiamuseum.org/post/donation-request and allow 7 to 10 days for processing.
Does the Museum buy or accept donations of artifacts?
No, the Museum is a non-collecting institution and does not purchase or accept donations of artifacts. For artifact donations, please contact the California State Archives.
Does the Museum provide values on historic items?
No, the Museum cannot provide estimates on the values of historic items. For assistance with valuations, please see the Smithsonian’s appraisals page.
Does the Museum provide history research or assistance with history projects?
No, the Museum cannot provide historic research or assistance with history projects since it does not employ research staff. Please visit the Online Archives of California for a list of institutions maintaining California-themed collections. For help with History Day projects, please see National History Day page.
Does the Museum provide internships?
Although the Museum does not offer a formalized internship program, college students 18 years & older are welcome to apply for Gallery Guide positions. Please visit Volunteer page for details & application.
Located one block from the California State Capitol on the corner of 10th and O Streets, The California Museum is a short distance from many of the Sacramento region’s points of interest highlighting California’s past and present. Enhance your visit to the Museum by exploring more of the area’s historical and cultural attractions listed on the sites below.