The state capital, Sacramento, is a sophisticated city with vestiges of a pioneer past. Explore Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, a representation of the settlement founded by Swiss homesteader John Sutter. Tour the 1874 capitol building, then stroll the surrounding Capitol Park, filled with thousands of varieties of plants. Visit the 1878 Governor's Mansion, a museum with furnishings donated by 13 former governors.

The Crocker Art Museum, houses 19th-century California and European art. The nearby Towe Ford Museum displays every model made during Ford's first 50 years.

On the riverfront, Old Sacramento encompasses many shops and restaurants in 1849-to-1870-vintage buildings. Walk through the California State Railroad Museum, the world's largest, to see 21 restored locomotives and a large collection of railroad memorabilia.