The capital of California, Sacramento has cultural sights rivaling any major metropolitan area. From the Crocker Art Museum to the California Railroad Museum, options abound for individuals and families, and activies on either the Sacramento or American River will excite those with a love of water.

I stopped in Sacramento on the way home from a week spent in Southern Oregon and, with only a few hours at my disposal, decided to forego all of the aforementioned wonders in favor of a stroll through the Capitol itself.

Built in 1862, the California State Capitol is a stunning building. Marbled interiors gleam in shades of pink and green, and portraits of the past governors line the walls. (Jerry Brown, both past and current governor, had his done as a bit of an abstract.)

The Senate and Assembly chambers are open to the public, and have recently been renovated, again in pink and green.

Free tours leave every hour and guide you through the building, but it is just as easy to navigate on your own. The grounds of the building are also beautiful, featuring local trees and monuments to all sorts of groups.

If you visit the Capitol, it is also worth walking a couple blocks north on 11th to visit the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, a pretty beautiful building in its own right. Just be careful to avoid Mass, as it is an active church.

Sacramento might not be the most exciting destination for many tourists, but if you are driving through, it is worth a stop!

(As an aside, I stayed at the Holiday Inn Rancho Cordova, about 10 miles east of downtown. It was on IHG’s Point Breaks list for this quarter, making the $110 room cost only 5,000 points – about $35. Another reason I LOVE IHG!)

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