Benicia Travel Guide

  • U.S.S. Iowa
    U.S.S. Iowa
    by SteveOSF
  • California's Old State Capitol, Benicia
    California's Old State Capitol, Benicia
    by WulfstanTraveller
  • 1st St, Downtown Benicia
    1st St, Downtown Benicia
    by WulfstanTraveller

Benicia Things to Do

  • St. Paul's Episcopal Church--Exterior

    There are actually a number of historic churches in Benicia, but the unique architecture and craftsmanship of St. Paul's Episcopal is very unique both inside and out. See link below for more historical details.

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  • Benicia Seal

    The people at the visitor's center in the old depot said this seal has taken to lounging on a rock near the depot. She has become sort of an unofficial mascot for the town.

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  • Jack London

    Another famous person associated with Benicia and the beautiful locations nearby was author Jack London who was well known for his books in wilderness settings.

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  • Waterfront Park

    There are a couple of nice parks along the waterfront in Benicia. They offer a nice walking trail and they all have nice views. From the one on F Street you can catch a slight glimpse of the "mothball fleet".

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  • Pony Express Relay Station

    After stopping at the Solano Hotel, the Pony Express Rider would ride down to the waterfront to this point where he would board the ferry for Martinez before continuing his ride to Oakland then San Francisco.

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  • Washington House

    The Washington House was built in 1850 and housed several of the members of the state legislature while Benicia was the state capitol. It also served as a bordello, a Chinese lottery, and was a speakeasy during prohibition.

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  • The Solano Hotel

    The Solano Hotel was built in 1851. It was one of the social centers of the town and served as the residence for many of the politicians while Benicia was the state capitol. It was also a stop for the Pony Expressin 1860 and 1861.

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  • Fischer-Hanlon House

    The Fischer-Hanlon House is located right next to the Benicia Capitol Building. It was built sometime prior to 1849 using the Eastern Federalist Style of Architecture. It was reputedly a hotel for miners and was located on First Street until Joseph Fischer, a Swiss immigrant purchased the lot at the current location and had the building moved. The...

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  • The Guard House

    Another building of historic and architecural interest in the area of the Benicia Arsenal is The Guardhouse, which was built in 1872. This is actually the third guard house with the first being built in 1852. The first guard house was the setting for a trial of a young lieutenant charged with a minor violation of army regulations. He was convicted....

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  • Command Post Building

    The Command Post Building was built in 1870 and housed the offices for the day to day running of the Benicia Arsenal. Today the building houses offices from various area businesses.

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  • Old Railroad Depot

    The first passenger and freight depot was built here near the ferry docks in 1879 upon the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. They used to transfer the passengers and freight to the ferries for transport to San Francisco. Later entire trains were ferried by large ferries like the "Solano". This building was built in 1887 in the railroad...

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  • Clock Tower

    This stone building overlooks the Carquinez Strait and was built to defend this strategic area. It was built in 1859 and is the only 19th Century Gothic Fortress in the US. The building has long thin slots to allow rifle fire from inside and larger openings in the front and back for canon fire. The walls are two feet thick. There was originally a...

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  • Commandant's Quarters

    This large 20 room mansion built in the New Classical Style was the home of the commandant of the base containing the Benicia Arsenal. It was built in 1860, and has 14 foot ceilings and 2 foot thick walls. This was the social center of the town and guests frequently came by steamboat from San Francisco to attend the parties. Poet Stephen Vincent...

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  • Benicia Capitol State Historic Park

    This classically designed building was originally built as the Benicia City Hall. It was later offered as the state capitol building for the new state of California. It served as the capitol from February 1853 to February 1854. It was the third state capitol and the fourth capitol of California. (Monterey was the first capitol; but that was before...

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  • California's First Masonic Lodge

    Benicia is home to the first Masonic lodge in California that was intentionally built as such. Built in 1850, it is also one of the oldest surviving buildings in Benicia.

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Benicia Hotels

See all 4 Hotels in Benicia
  • Best Western Heritage Inn

    1955 E Second St, Benicia, California, 94510, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

    Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Holiday Inn Express Benicia

    1375 East 5th Street, Benicia, California, 94510, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

  • Union Hotel

    401 1st St, Benicia, CA 94510

    Satisfaction: Poor

    Good for: Business

Benicia Restaurants

  • Great Place

    This is a wonderful little restaurant in downtown Benicia. It serves a range of dishes with a lot of sandwiches, pasta, and seafood as choices and the food is great. It also has a good wine and beer selection, with some pretty unusual choices. The building is an interesting old building and even the inside has seen relatively little updating, with...

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  • RESTAURANT CLOSED IN 2008

    The restaurant is on a slight hill looking out on the Carquinez Strait. The television is usually turned to sports. Most people sit at the bar and eat. They serve beer and wine. There are two small pool tables that cost 50 cents a game. A jukebox provides music. There are two booths if you don't want to sit at the bar. We try to go here once a...

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  • Old Hotel, Satisfying Chef's Work

    The Union Hotel building is a historic monument. The inside of the building is all wood craft, and the outside authentic from the period. Yet, the hotel has changed hands several times, and in the past the restaurant was only so-so. The menu and quality of food has improved in recent years. The menu is varied, which is typical in a California...

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  • Have a Picnic on the Green

    This is not a restaurant, but a park, located at on First Street at East B Street. There aren't any tables, it is just an expanse of grass with great views of the water. Stop by the Deli at Safeway, buy some sandwiches to go at First Street Cafe, or some hotdogs at the Tannery across from the Green. The picture shows the old Southern Pacific train...

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  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Food made from fresh ingredients. The bake their own pasteries. Lunch/Dinner entrees feature pasta, fish, chicken and salads. Wine and beer served. Great coffee. There are several tables outside. I like their French Toast for breakfast.

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  • Randy's

    The food here is great and the price is good too! You almost always get more food than you can eat in one sitting and the restaurant is beautiful - sit back for a while and enjoy good Mexican food and Elviaritas. Anything that Randy makes is amazing!

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Benicia Transportation

  • Benicia-Martinez Bridge

    Highway 680 uses the Benicia-Martinez Bridge to cross the Carquinez Straight. It actually consists of two separate bridges, one for northbound traffic and one for southbound traffic. A railroad bridge is wedged between the highway bridges. There is a $4 toll that is charged only in the northbound direction. Costing the same as the seven mile long...

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  • Arrive by Boat

    Since we are on the water, we have a marina. The picture shows the guest dock. The Marina is off East Second Street, so you can walk to downtown. It takes a sail boat about 90 minutes to make the trip from San Francisco.

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  • Benicia Hotels

    4 Hotels in Benicia

Benicia Local Customs

  • Residential Views of the Carquinez...

    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.

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  • Navy Mothball Fleet in Suisun Bay

    In the waters of the Suisun Bay, just east of Benicia, is largest naval fleet in the Pacific Ocean--the US National Defense Reserve Fleet. Many of these ships will never see service again, and likely are difficult to salvage due to an abundance of toxic materials in their construction. The engines of all are maintained though, and none are at risk...

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Benicia Off The Beaten Path

  • 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...

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  • Fish at the Port of Benicia

    Benicia Industries operates a port to serve the refinery and autocarriers. The port is just downriver from the Benicia Bridge. Beneath the north anchorage of the bridge is a popular spot for locals to fish in the Sacramento River. The closest bait shop is on Claverie Way, between West J and West k Streets, and east of West 7th.

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  • The Camel Barn

    After the Civil War, the U.S. Army decided to experiment with camels as a way to patroling the vast arid spaces of the West. These camels were stationed at the Benicia Arsenal. A barn complex was built to house the camels. The experiment obviously didn't work out. After the Arsenal closed, the City let various non-profits used the barn complex,...

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Benicia Sports & Outdoors

  • Basaic's Profile Photo

    by Basaic Written Dec 20, 2009

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This fishing pier is located at the end of First Street and also offers very nice views of Carquinez Strait.

    Fishing Pier
    Related to:
    • Fishing

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Benicia Favorites

  • Hughes Mining Barge HMB-1

    Hughes Mining Barge HMB-1 is among the collection of ships in the Mothball Fleet. It was constructed for Project Jennifer that was intended to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from the ocean depths during the Cold War. Howard Hughes in affiliation with the CIA built the Glomar Explorer and its associated Hughes Mining Barge HMB-1 for this task....

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  • Mothball Fleet

    The National Defense Reserve Fleet is anchored off the shore of Benicia in Suisun Bay. It consists of ships that are no longer used but are retained in the event they are needed to deal with a national emergency, war, or humanitarian aid. They are in various states of readiness. Some could be ready to serve in a few days, others would require...

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  • 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...

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