State Indian Museum

Vacation Travel Guide
State Indian Museum showing interior views

Learn about the tools, the traditions and the ways of life of the tribes that inhabited California before Europeans arrived.

As many as 500,000 Native Americans populated California before the Spanish mission of San Diego arrived in 1769. More than 150 tribal groups speaking over 60 different languages harbored a wealth of knowledge, art and tradition. You can find examples of this history on display at this comprehensive museum.

The exhibits in the museum are divided into three themes: Nature, Spirit and Family. Within these you will encounter a hand-carved redwood canoe that would have been used to explore California’s waterways, hunting and fishing tools that date back over 2,400 years, and a good collection of ceremonial regalia. There is also a large collection of basket weaving, which includes some of the smallest baskets in the world. Peer through the eye of a magnifying glass and you just might see it; the basket measures only one millimeter.

An exhibit dedicated to the life of Ishi, the last survivor of the Yahi tribe, highlights the ways in which the lives of Native Americans were changed forever after the Europeans arrived.

See examples of Native American culture as it exists today in the contemporary art section of the museum, which features works by several well-known artists and craftsmen.

Try making Native American crafts yourself in the hands-on area. Use a pump drill to make a hole in the beads used for traditional jewelry or see how quickly you can turn an acorn to dust with an Indian-style mortar and pestle.

The museum hosts several Native American events and festivals throughout the year. The Indian Arts and Crafts Fair in April is well worth attending if you happen to be visiting at this time, and Native American Day takes place here in September. Weekends also see regular markets and musical performances.

The State Indian Museum is located in downtown Sacramento and there is metered parking on the street. The museum is open daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. There is a small charge for entry and no photographs are permitted.

Top things to do in State Indian Museum

Top Hotels Close to State Indian Museum

Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
4 out of 5
1230 J St, Sacramento, CA
The price is $151 per night from Dec 19 to Dec 19
Located in Downtown Sacramento, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of K Street Mall, Sacramento Convention Center, and Memorial Auditorium. Cesar Chavez Park ...
4/5 Very Good! (946 reviews)
"We stay at this once or twice a year and usually is really great. The hotel is overall nice but this trip our room had garbage next to the desk and my toddler found someone’s medication (actual pill) on the side of the bed. We did have shampoo or conditioner in our room either. Other than that it ..."

Reviewed on Nov 27, 2021

Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
Hyatt Regency Sacramento
Hyatt Regency Sacramento
4 out of 5
1209 L St, Sacramento, CA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $179 per night from Dec 10 to Dec 10
Located in Downtown Sacramento, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from K Street Mall and California State Capitol. Sacramento Convention Center and Memorial Auditorium ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,045 reviews)
"Very friendly staff. Clean rooms. Great service"

Reviewed on Dec 5, 2021

Hyatt Regency Sacramento
The Citizen Hotel, Autograph Collection
The Citizen Hotel, Autograph Collection
4 out of 5
926 J Street, Sacramento, CA
The price is $170 per night from Dec 19 to Dec 19
Located in Downtown Sacramento, this hotel is steps from K Street Mall and Cesar Chavez Park. Golden 1 Center and Sacramento Convention Center are also within ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (968 reviews)
"Front desk provided exceptional service as well as the valet staff. Our room was perfectly clean and decorated beautifully. We can’t wait to come back!"

Reviewed on Dec 4, 2021

The Citizen Hotel, Autograph Collection
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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TownePlace Suites by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo
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Best Lodging Options Near State Indian Museum

Motel 6 Sacramento, CA - Downtown
Motel 6 Sacramento, CA - Downtown
2 out of 5
1415 30th St, Sacramento, CA
The price is $60 per night from Jan 2 to Jan 2
Motel 6 Sacramento, CA - Downtown
Hyatt Regency Sacramento
Hyatt Regency Sacramento
4 out of 5
1209 L St, Sacramento, CA
The price is $179 per night from Dec 10 to Dec 10
Hyatt Regency Sacramento
Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
4 out of 5
1230 J St, Sacramento, CA
The price is $151 per night from Dec 19 to Dec 19
Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
The Citizen Hotel, Autograph Collection
The Citizen Hotel, Autograph Collection
4 out of 5
926 J Street, Sacramento, CA
The price is $170 per night from Dec 19 to Dec 19
The Citizen Hotel, Autograph Collection
The Fort Sutter Sacramento, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
The Fort Sutter Sacramento, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
3 out of 5
1308 28th St, Sacramento, CA
The price is $170 per night from Jan 2 to Jan 2
The Fort Sutter Sacramento, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Sacramento Cal Expo
SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Sacramento Cal Expo
2.5 out of 5
1900 Canterbury Road, Sacramento, CA
The price is $71 per night from Dec 12 to Dec 12
SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Sacramento Cal Expo
Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, an IHG Hotel
Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, an IHG Hotel
4 out of 5
500 J Street, Sacramento, CA
The price is $169 per night from Jan 2 to Jan 2
Kimpton Sawyer Hotel, an IHG Hotel
Roy Inn & Suites – Sacramento Midtown
Roy Inn & Suites – Sacramento Midtown
2.5 out of 5
1319 30th St, Sacramento, CA
The price is $61 per night from Dec 19 to Dec 19
Roy Inn & Suites – Sacramento Midtown
Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo
Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo
3 out of 5
1782 Tribute Road, Sacramento, CA
The price is $95 per night from Dec 19 to Dec 19
Courtyard by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.