Downtown Vallejo has suffered over the last few decades and the closure of Mare Island Naval Shipyard in the 1990s didn't help. Automobile-based spread to the outskirts and shopping centees in addition to problems of crime, poverty, and most of all image, the downtown lost a lot of energy and business.
However, since the city is old, the downtown is large and has many attractive old buildings, some quite large, and, combined with the hilly location at the mouth of the Napa River, it has plenty of character. It has also seen some partially successful revitalisation efforts so it is attractive and has some stores and places to eat even if it is rather quiet for the size of the city and downtown.
The main street downtown is Georgia St. It has most of the biggest old buildings, business, and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere.
Starting in 2007, the Vallejo waterfront near downtown has been the home of the Northern California Pirate Festival. It has taken place only twice, but it seems to be likely to continue and is intended as an annual event. It takes place around June.
I remember the first time I went to Marine World (Africa, USA). Then it was located in a totally different area of the Bay Area (I think Marine County: San Mateo). It was better, much better than a zoo. Marine World had animal shows and interaction between both animal trainers and the animals themselves. It also had speed boat and skiing shows. And best of all a killer whale show.
Well, it still has all these things today and but even more. Since 5 Flags took over Marine World they put up roller coasters, and animal petting farm, and pretty much so much stuff you just won't get board. It probably is the Best Amusement Park in the Bay Area.
In addition, today 6 Flags Marine World offers shows, concerts, and festivals. I love the animal shows most.
Marine World does an excellent job taking care of the animals, educating their quests about the pitfalls of all the harm we are doing to the animal kingdom and habitat destruction, and it is obvious that the animals are happy in this new environment where they are well taken care of (of course some of the animals have been born here).
Marine World is an amusement park, zoo, and aquarium all rolled into one and an absolutely great place to take kids.