Each of these essential California adventures has been tried and tested by a Travel section staffer or contributor. To search the state by region, use the filter below.
Tell us what's on your California bucket list. Email email@example.com and put California Bucket List in the subject line.
Why: You're already paying for it.
What: Because most Californians live far from Sacramento, our public servants typically work without their direct supervision. If you like the idea of checking up on your ongoing investment or just strolling under a big dome, Sacramento's Capitol is the place.
The rotunda is 128 feet tall. The inside is full of murals and frescoes and marble statuary — and sometimes protesters (like the guy pictured here). Grizzly bears turn up frequently, too — most notably on the flag and the state seal. The building is surrounded by the 40-acre Capitol Park, which is full of shade trees (much prized in summer in Sacramento).
Where: Capitol building, 1315 10th St., Sacramento city and county, 385 miles northwest of downtown L.A.
How much: Free