California State Capitol Museum

California is the most populous state in the United States, and you can wander the halls of government, seeing the Legislature in action, and visit the historic rooms of the Capitol, which showcase a moment in time from the early days of California's statehood.

Must-sees include the historic rooms, the impressive Capitol rotunda, the golden bear outside the governor's office installed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the Senate and Assembly chambers along with the portrait gallery of California's governors.

Fun fact: The original entrance to the Capitol was meant to be on the second floor on the west side of the building where there are large doors, to be approached via a grand staircase, but budget constraints didn't allow for the staircase to be built, so those large doors now open only onto a balcony, and visitors and workers alike enter through the ground-level doors on the north side.

Guided tours are free and start every hour on the hour. Visit the museum website for the most up-to-date information for your trip.

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