15 Sacramento Landmarks That Can't Be Missed

6 min read

Destguides may receive commissions from purchases made through affiliate links in this article.

Rich Lonardo/Shutterstock.com
An aerial shot of a city with buildings next to a road under a blue sky with clouds
Sacramento, the California state capital, has many famous landmarks to see

As the state capital of California, it's no surprise that there are many interesting Sacramento landmarks to visit. Sacramento is known for its Gold Rush-era architecture, art scene, and farm-to-table eateries. This Northern California city also offers historical landmarks, unique cultural attractions, and beautiful outdoor spaces.

From the fascinating Old Sacramento State Historic Park to the pretty World Peace Rose Garden, this list covers the top 15 landmarks in the city. So, keep reading to learn more about Sacramento's most famous points of interest!

Heading to Sacramento and planning last-minute?

To make the most of your visit to Sacramento, we recommend you book entrance tickets and tours soon. See the short list of top suggestions below.

☂️ Top tours and experiences in Sacramento

15 Landmarks in Sacramento, California

Sacramento Landmarks Video

Check out our highlights video of Sacramento landmarks.

Sacramento Landmarks Map

A map of Sacramento landmarks. Use the map to explore all of the points of interest.

Sacramento Landmarks Map

Show Interactive Map
A Neo-Classical-style building with a dome top near trees
The California State Capitol Museum has exhibits about the state's history

California State Capitol Museum

The California State Capitol is one of the most famous California landmarks and the primary seat of government for the state. It opened in 1874 and is designed in a Neoclassical and Renaissance architectural style.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, almost one hundred years after opening. Today, you can tour the landmark and learn more about its history via guided tours and museum exhibits.

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

Constructed in the 1880s, this beautiful Renaissance Revival cathedral remains a famous landmark in the city to this day. At the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, you can admire the stunning exterior before going inside to marvel at the high ceilings, frescoes, and stained glass windows.

James Kirkikis/Shutterstock.com
A riverboat with a sign saying "Delta King Hotel"
The Delta King Hotel is a historic vessel from the 1920s

Delta King Hotel

One of the most unique Sacramento, California, landmarks is the Delta King Hotel. Located on the Old Sacramento Waterfront, the hotel is found on a restored 1920s sternwheel steamboat. Guests can stay in cozy rooms that offer waterfront views. There's also a fine dining restaurant and a bar and grill, both of which are open to guests and non-residents.

Lady Adams Building

Found in the Old Sacramento Historic District, the Lady Adams Building is the oldest building in the city. It dates to 1852 and has survived multiple floods and fires, including being the only building to survive the fire of 1852.

The property became a California Historic Landmark in 1957 and features a historical marker, making it easy to spot the building when you pass it.

☂️ Visit Lady Adams Building California Historical Landmark No 603 with an experience

Sundry Photography/Shutterstock.com
A mansion building next to trees and a blue sky
The Leland Stanford Mansion is known for its architectural design

Leland Stanford Mansion

The Leland Stanford Mansion is another of the fascinating historical places in Sacramento. Constructed in 1856, the property was initially owned by a wealthy merchant. The Renaissance Revival mansion was then owned by Leland Stanford, a businessman and politician.

Today, it's owned by the government of California and is used to host political events. It's also open to the public for tours, during which you can learn about the site's history and admire the interior design.

New Helvetia Cemetery

One of the more unusual landmarks in Sacramento is New Helvetia Cemetery. The cemetery was in operation from 1845 to 1912 and also went by the name Sutter Fort Burying Ground.

At its closure, most of the gravesites were relocated, and new development took place on the grounds. Despite this, New Helvetia Cemetery was named a California Historical Landmark in 1957, and you can view a historical plaque at the former site of the cemetery.

Sandra Foyt/Shutterstock.com
Old-fashioned buildings under a clear blue sky
Old Sacramento State Historic Park is one of the must-see Sacramento landmarks

Old Sacramento State Historic Park

A well-known California fact is that many people headed to the state in the 19th century during the Gold Rush. However, what many people don't know is that over 300,000 of those migrants settled in Sacramento.

Today, you can learn about these individuals and view mid-1800s Gold Rush-era buildings in Old Sacramento State Historic Park. During a visit, you can also go to attractions like the California State Railroad Museum and Sacramento History Museum. This fascinating landmark has to be on your Sacramento trip itinerary!

Pony Express Terminal

The Pony Express Terminal is one of many historical sites in Sacramento worth learning about. Also known as the B. F. Hastings Bank Building, this landmark dates to 1852 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.

Notably, it was the western endpoint of the Pony Express mail service between 1960 and 1961. Today, it features a museum that covers the building's long history. You can also see exhibits on Wells Fargo and the company's history in the area and connection to the Gold Rush.

Boats docked by a riverside under an overcast sky
Old Sacramento Waterfront was developed in the 1960s

Old Sacramento Waterfront

Developed in the 1960s, the Old Sacramento Waterfront is a bustling area with shops and restaurants. Of course, you can also enjoy views of the Sacramento River from here, and there's a walkway right next to the water.

Events are frequently held at the waterfront as well, adding to the exciting atmosphere. While there's no wrong time to go to this area, the most optimal time to visit Sacramento to enjoy the Old Sacramento Waterfront is during the spring. At this time, the weather is perfect, but the vast summer tourist crowds haven't arrived yet.

Sacramento Historic City Cemetery

Interestingly, there's another famous cemetery site in Sacramento. It opened in 1849 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, having been added in 2014.

Unlike New Helvetia Cemetery, Sacramento Historic City Cemetery remains a cemetery to this day and is open to wander around. The approximately 30-acre cemetery has some unique gravestones and statues to see. All graves sit surrounded by lush greenery and flowering bushes, including beautiful rose bushes.

A landscaped garden of blooming flowers and palm trees
The State Capitol Park World Peace Rose Garden has around 140 types of roses

State Capitol Park World Peace Rose Garden

If you're looking for the most beautiful landmarks in the city, you'll want to go to the State Capitol Park World Peace Rose Garden. The Victorian-style rose garden features around 650 roses in 140 varieties.

Walkways will take you past all the floral displays, with courtyards, pavilions, and water features also dotted around the garden. This scenic and romantic location is notably an excellent place to go on a date in Sacramento.

The Eagle Theatre

Another significant landmark in Old Sacramento State Historic Park is the Eagle Theatre. Constructed during the Gold Rush era in 1849, this performance venue was the first permanent theater built in California.

The original theater was damaged quite significantly, so the venue you see today is a reconstruction. However, it perfectly resembles the 19th-century theater and has to be seen when in the city.

A fountain in the middle of a water garden surrounded by trees
The State Indian Museum's collection celebrates the indigenous people in California

State Indian Museum

Located in Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, the State Indian Museum is a Sacramento landmark that has to be on your must-visit list. The museum is dedicated to interpreting and preserving the history and culture of the indigenous peoples of Sacramento County and California as a whole.

When visiting, you can see various exhibits and artifacts that will teach you more about indigenous communities from centuries past to today. There are also some hands-on exhibits, making this an enjoyable and educational attraction for all ages.

Sacramento River

Everyone visiting Sacramento will get a chance to see the Sacramento River, with the Old Sacramento Waterfront being one of the most popular places to view it from. Interestingly, Sacramento goes by the name The River City due to this famous river, which is also one of Northern California's primary rivers.

The Sacramento River flows for 447 miles, starting in the Klamath Mountains and ending at the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta before emptying into the San Francisco Bay. Along with seeing the river from the shore, you can hop on the water to enjoy water sports like kayaking or canoeing.

Tower Bridge is one of the iconic Sacramento landmarks
Tower Bridge, across the Sacramento River, connects Downtown to Old Sacramento

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge has been connecting residents from Downtown and Old Sacramento to West Sacramento for almost 100 years. The iconic yellow bridge was built over the Sacramento River in 1934, opening in 1935.

Today, you can drive or walk across the 737-foot-long bridge. When walking, stop along the way to take in the beautiful views down the river.

In Conclusion

You'll be amazed by the number of cultural, natural, and historical landmarks in Sacramento. This list covers the top 15 points of interest, but after visiting these sites, there's no shortage of other things to see and do in the California state capital!

Give us feedback about this article

Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell FORMER WRITER Currently based in Canada, Alli has also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and traveled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She loves finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever she goes.

Want to keep exploring?

Subscribe for discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Thank you for subscribing

We will be in touch soon with discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Want to keep exploring?

Subscribe for discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Thank you for subscribing

We will be in touch soon with discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Want to keep exploring?

Subscribe for discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

By entering your email address you agree to our terms and conditions, Privacy policy, and consent to receive emails.