First Street, Benicia: From across the Carquinez Strait, a train whistle blows, adding to the setting of this waterfront city, where shipyards, tanneries and a ferry terminal once linked its shores. Founded on May 19, 1847, the city retains its historic character, thanks to 19th century structures in a very walkable downtown, which includes the former state Capitol building, antique stores, art studios and galleries, boutiques, cafes, restaurants and bars. - Stephanie Wright Hession,

Families and daytrip fans looking for something new and different to do should head to the cozy waterfront city of Benicia. Benicia is the ideal East Bay excursion - close to most Bay Area cities, yet so far away from big-city congestion. Recently featured in Sunset magazine as a great Northern California getaway, and the Los Angeles Times as a weekend escape, this eclectic city has plenty to offer. Benicia"s rich history and hip, small-town feel, combined with an acclaimed arts district and picturesque location, make for a relaxing, fun escape.

Benicia is a family-friendly "strolling" town. On First Street, you can browse for hours the charming boutiques that are set against a scenic backdrop. Hungry visitors have several dining choices that range from casual comfort food to fine dining, including classic American seafood, California cuisine, hearty diner cooking, multi-course feasts, incredible burgers and hotdogs, and food from around the world such as Italian, Mexican, Chinese and Japanese. The shopping and dining variety combined with more than 40 spas in town, make for an ideal girls' day out. You'll also find many interesting shops scattered throughout the city, including the intriguing collection of studios in the Arsenal. Stroll downtown after sunset and enjoy the recently installed lights in the trees on First Street, creating nearly a mile of twinkling lights. Arriving at the foot of First Street, the Waterfront Promenade provides expansive views of the Carquinez Strait; connecting Suisun Bay with San Pablo Bay, a northern extension of the San Francisco Bay.

History buffs will find ample sites to explore Benicia's colorful past, including the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park, the Benicia Fire Museum, the Clock Tower Fortress, and the Benicia Historical Museum at the Camel Barns.

The vibrant art community in Benicia adds character and depth to the city. With an estimated 500 artists in residence, there are many public and private galleries, studios and public art displays showcasing the work of talented local artists and representing a full range of media and styles - including poetry.

Arts Benicia, with its art center and gallery, acts as a central hub for many community artists with regular, rotating exhibits. Benicia is also recognized for its internationally acclaimed art glass studios that produce stunning hand-blown glass creations. The vast art resources in the city ensure there's something for every individual taste and preferred style.

Make the historical city of Benicia your next excursion. Enjoy all Benicia has to offer - fabulous restaurants and shops, history, art, a scenic waterfront and more. Come for the day...stay for the weekend!

For general information:
(877) 345-1921

Benicia Main Street

90 First St., Benicia, CA 94510
(707) 745-9791

Benicia Chamber of Commerce

601 First St., Benicia, CA 94510
(707) 745-2120

Benicia Historical Museum

2060 Camel Rd., Benicia, CA 94510
(707) 745-5435

Arts Benicia

991 Tyler St. #114, Benicia, CA 94510
Lindsay Art Glass Nourot SMyersGlass BookshopBenicia Threads Trading Company Image Map