SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — California has more state and national parks than any other state in America, with 270 and 9 respectively. 

While state governments operate state parks, the federal government manages national parks, although both enjoy protection for their natural beauty, historic importance and recreational functions.

Northern California boasts dozens of state parks and living in the capital city metropolitan area means you have likely visited at least one of them without knowing. 

California State Capitol 

Built in 1874, the California State Capitol sits as the central location of California’s government. Tours are open for visitors to see the historic offices of the Secretary of State, Treasurer and Governor of the State of California. Part of the building is a museum and the rest is functioning offices for legislators and the governor. 

Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park 

The Governor’s Mansion is the historic official residence of the California governor. Constructed in 1877 and bought by the California government in 1903, 14 governors called the historic estate home. The last governor to live there was Jerry Brown.

Old Sacramento State Historic Park 

Old Sacramento State Historic Park is one of the most historic landmarks in California. With over 50 historic buildings representing the Gold Rush and the Pony Express postal system era, Old Sacramento leads the West with the most buildings of historic significance compared to other areas similar to its size of 296 acres. 

State Indian Museum State Historic Park 

Opened in 1940, the State Indian Museum reflects the three themes of California native life: nature, spirit, and family. Visitors can learn the history of the California indigenous population through historic exhibits and photographs. 

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park 

Sutter’s Fort sits in Midtown Sacramento and is considered the economic hub for the first European settlement in California’s central valley. Sutter’s Fort catalyzed California’s gold rush after James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848. Self-guided tours are open to the public daily. 

Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park

The Leland Stanford Mansion reflects the height of the Victorian era in California. On a tour of this 19,000-square-foot mansion, you’ll see 17-foot ceilings, 19th-century crystal light fixtures, historic paintings, and much more. Today, the historic estate is open to the public and serves as California’s official welcoming center for global leaders.

California State Railroad Museum 

Located in Old Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum is a prominent tribute to the “iron horse” that’s credited for connecting California to the rest of the world. Visitors can tour the museum and see its 21 restored locomotives and cars, some of which date back to the 1860s.