You must go see the Camel...
You must go see the Camel Barns - they are open odd hours but they hold all of the town's historical items. I would also recommend seeing the State Capital Building - it was the last capital before they moved to Sacramento. A hiden treasure is the Benicia Fire Museum which most locals don't even know much about. Benicia is beautiful! This is the last small town in the SF Bay Area. I miss the small town atmosphere every moment I'm gone.
Residential Views of the Carquinez Straits
Perched on the hill as they are, many homeowners in Benicia have spended views of the Carquinez Straits, which connect the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta with San Pablo and San Francisco Bays. Note the substantial and steep hills that rise above both sides of the strait.
The Mothball Fleet
After World War II, the Navy needed a place to park all the Liberty Ships that weren't being used, and there were a lot of them. Many found a spot in Suisun Bay, where the Navy mothballed scores of these ships for many years. Some of the ships were reactivated for the Korean and Vietnam wars. Most have since been scrapped, and replaced with a whole variety of other ships. They seem to change all the time. Some of the ships parked here now include the USS Iowa and a small aircraft carrier. The office running this operation is at the east end of Lake Herman Road off I-680.
On the Carquinez Straight
"Home of the Mothball Fleet"
Benicia is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is on the shore of the Carquinez Straight. From Benicia, the National Defense Reserve Fleet, or Mothball Fleet, can be observed.
If you are interested in a tour of the Mothball Feet, check out the tip found on my Martinez page for a public
tour cruise of the fleet.
My Home Town
"California's First State Capital"
Benicia is one of California's oldest cities, being incorporated in 1847. When the white men took California from the Mexicans, they selected Benicia as the State Capitol. It only lasted for one year. Sacramento businessmen sent a boat down the river with free booze and convinced the Legislature to move the capital. You can get more details on the history of the town by going to a local website: www.benicianews.com
Benicia grew up along the banks of the Sacramento River as it empties into San Francisco Bay. This part of river moves through a relatively narrow section as is flows from Suisun Bay to San Pablo Bay, and is called the Carquinez Strait. The old center of town, and the location of most of the places of interest in First Street. The picture is looking south down onto First Street, toward the river. City Park is on the right. Stop by the Chamber of Commerce on First Street at F Steet to get information on places of interest.
The U.S. Army established the Benicia Arsenal just before the start of the Civil War. They closed it in the early 1960's. The Army gave it to the City, who then leased most of it to a company called Benicia Industries. There the company built a large industrial park which includes a major oil refinery (Valero) and a port. It saved the town by bringing jobs and tax revenue to the City. Many of the old buildings were sold and turned into businesses. The City kept a couple of the old buildings like the Clocktower, which is a big assembly hall used for community events. The Army used the Clocktower to store munitions. The munitions exploded in the late 1800's and blew off the top floor. It used to have 3 stories.