We have both worked at the state capitol in Michigan at various times throughout our careers, so we spent a lot of time in one of the state’s most beautiful and historic buildings. As we travel, we often will take detours from our planned routes if we are reasonably close to a capitol in other states.
It’s interesting to see the history and the architecture of different buildings that serve as the seat of power within each state. The capitols are generally one of the more historic buildings in a city (and even a state). They often house some sort of historical displays about the state you’re visiting, as well. People drive by these places and note the large domes and maybe think about their elected leaders working there. But take time to stop in and look around. As the title of this post suggests, capitols often are gems hidden in the open.
As a bonus, visiting capitols is usually free other than possibly paying for parking. Sometimes states close them or restrict access to guided tours only on weekends. You can wander a little more freely during the week, particularly in public areas of the building. While some offices may not mind you stopping in, keep in mind that these are working office buildings. Folks may be a little put off by you just poking around their workplace. A request to take a look or snap a photo of one of the fancier offices often is expected, just keep it respectful and friendly.
We have traveled to numerous capitols around the nation and plan on doing many more. As we travel now, we are plotting out time to tour these buildings and shoot some video for our YouTube channel. It’s too bad we didn’t think of shooting more video earlier just to have. At least we managed to capture our stops with some photos.
Keep an eye out on our YouTube channel for more entries on the Capitol Treks playlist. For now, you can start by learning about our visit to the capitol of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. You can also read more about our various trips in our other blog posts.