Sacramento architecture spans styles from the Gold Rush era to Victorian structures, classic
Craftsman bungalows and more.  To learn more about Sacramento’s historic architecture,
Sacramento Heritage invites you to take advantage of some of the fascinating walking tours of
Sacramento's landmark, historic places.

Sacramento Heritage developed a series of its own on-line historic tours of Sacramento  while also
featuring other organizations’ walking tours available in Sacramento, both self-guided and guided.  
Please note that Sacramento Heritage cannot vouch for the accuracy of tour information in tours other than its own
and those produced by the Sacramento County Historical Society.
Walking Tours of Sacramento's Historic Treasures


Sacramento Heritage created self-guided walking tours with maps that allow locals
and visitors to Sacramento to enjoy the city's historical wonders at their own pace.  

Sac Heritage Tour 1: Downtown - City Hall Area
The City Hall Area Walking Tour begins from Sacramento’s City Hall fronting the one
block square Cesar Chavez Plaza. The California State Capitol was to be located on
the plaza site, until plans were halted and the property returned to the City. The
square, known as City Plaza, was made the central feature of John Noland’s 1915
vision of a Civic Center, a formal park framed by City Hall, a post office, an
auditorium, art gallery, library, hotel, and offices. The City of Sacramento completed
two buildings in the master plan, City Hall and the Sacramento Library.

Sac Heritage Tour 2:  J and K Street Commercial Corridor
The Commercial Corridor tour highlights some of the most important historic
buildings in Sacramento on J and K Streets, the central core of the city's formative
years.  J Street was a major thoroughfare leading from the Sacramento River to 12th
Street, where routes continued east to the gold mine settlements of Hangtown
(Placerville) and Coloma, or turned north toward Auburn and Marysville.  Because J
and K Streets were the most heavily-travelled, businesses were first constructed on
the city blocks lining these streets.

Sac Heritage Tour 3: State Capitol Area
The tour of the State Capitol Area highlights impressive State government buildings
and surrounding office buildings, hotels and apartment buildings which support the
active political and social sector of Sacramento. Originally, when the state
government moved into the Capitol building in 1874, Capitol Park was edged by
Victorian era homes. Over the 20th century buildings by Sacramento’s most beloved
architects were located here as the City and State government grew in size. These
structures of various architectural styles depict the layered development and aesthetic
of the City’s historic core.

State Capitol Area Brochure, including map

Note:  The brochure is designed to be printed in 11" by 17" format, but can be printed in 8.5" by
11" format.  If you wish to print the brochure in 11" by 17" format,
The City Hall Area
printing, assembly and folding instructions. If you wish to print in 8.5" by 11" format,
select the 8.5" by 11" paper size in your browser's print menu.


Historical Society Tour 1:
Self Guided Walking Tour of Historic Buildings on K Street



Sacramento Modern - Midtown Commercial Tour


In 1998, the Sacramento Bungalow Heritage Association published a walking tour of
several Midtown/East Sac neighborhoods. While this organization no longer exists,
this tour is a reminder of the important work the Association did.


Sac State Professor Robin Datel prepared this tour featuring historical points of
interest in Sacramento's Oak Park neighborhood, one of Sacramento's first streetcar


Produced in 1994 by the Historic Boulevard Park Committee, this tour features
homes and other features in one of Sacramento's most historic neighborhoods,
Boulevard Park.  Once the location of the California State Fairgrounds, Boulevard
Park features an interesting and eclectic collection of Midtown Sacramento homes.


1. Curtis Oaks Tour

2. South Curtis Oaks Tour

3. Saint Francis Oaks Tour


The Downtown Sacramento Partnership offers a series of unique guided tours through
downtown Sacramento that introduce the people, places and events that shaped
California history. From John Sutter to Cesar Chavez, these tours cover more than
150 years of state and local history. Topics range from art and architecture to cultural,
religious and urban history. Call 442-8575, email for prices
and scheduling and to make a reservation. All tours are guided and last approximately
one hour.

DSP Tour 1: Kids Meet the City - A tour of California history especially for kids

Designed as a fun and interactive way to introduce local history to students of all
ages. This unique walk through downtown will explore the Gold Rush, the history and
route of the famed Pony Express, John Sutter’s place in California history, and the Big
Four of the railroad industry as well as offer an introduction to city government with a
visit into City Council Chambers.

DSP Tour 2: Tales of the Central City - An overview of early Sacramento history

Walk with down memory lane on a guided tour of one of the oldest cities in
California. Learn how Sacramento wrangled the distinction of California’s State
Capitol, walk the original route of the famed Pony Express, see the influence of
railroad’s ‘Big Four’ on early urban planning and learn why downtown sidewalks are
hollow. Our Gold Rush era specialist, Mike Munson leads this tour.

DSP Tour 3: Structural Stories - Local examples of historical architecture styles

Stroll through the ages of architectural history right here in downtown Sacramento.
From our Renaissance-style Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament and the graceful Art
Deco shapes of Crest Theatre to Chicago style architecture here in California, we will
show you local examples of the world’s finest styles. Shawn Peter leads this tour.

DSP Tour 4: Art is All Around Us - A tour of Sacramento’s Art in Public Places

Tour Sacramento’s impressive collection of permanently sited works of art
integrated into Sacramento’s built and natural environments.  See local works by
notable local and regional artists. This tour was developed in partnership with
Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission’s Art in Public Places program.

DSP Tour 5: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow | K Street commerce, growth and

Beginning in Old Sacramento at Front and K streets, this tour will trace Sacramento’s
commercial growth by traveling on foot toward 13th & K. On this walk, see
Sacramento’s first commercial district, learn about K Street’s early history as a
vaudeville and entertainment hotspot and be the first to hear future plans for
Sacramento’s most talked-about pedestrian mall. Shawn Peter or Mike Munson will
lead this tour.

DSP Tour 6: The Art of Terra Cotta | An architecture tour featuring local clay
artisans Gladding McBean

This tour discusses the history of terra cotta as an architectural art form and will
highlight downtown's best examples of this turn-of-the-century technique. This tour
emphasizes the contribution of the Gladding McBean studio, one of the
region’s best cultural and artistic assets, which has provided terra cotta tiles, pipes and
sculpture for customers worldwide. Based in Lincoln, California, this studio has been
in continual operation since 1874, with many downtown buildings showcasing the
studio’s early works. This tour will highlight these structures as well as discuss the
evolution of this notable clay studio, the process of working with this unique type of
clay and the studio’s legacy on the art of terra cotta. Mike Munson leads this tour.

DSP Tour 7: Sacred Spaces - The story of Downtown’s religious structures

This tour offers a glimpse into Sacramento’s first faith-based organizations and
discusses the history of these churches in the context of early California history. This
tour also touches on the unique architectural features of each structure. A portion of
the proceeds benefit housing efforts for downtown homeless.  

Kids Meet the City | A tour of California history especially for kids

This tour is specially designed to serve as a fun and interactive way to introduce local
history to students of all ages. This unique walk through downtown will explore the
Gold Rush, the history and route of the famed Pony Express, John Sutter’s place in
California history, and the Big Four of the railroad industry as well as offer an
introduction to city government with a visit into City Council Chambers.
Unless otherwise noted,
all photos on this
Website are by Lisa