Welcome to Benicia, a charming waterside city located in Solano County, California, in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. With a rich history, stunning natural beauty, and a thriving arts and culture scene, Benicia is a hidden gem that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Let’s explore what this enchanting destination has to offer.

Benicia was founded on May 19, 1847, by Dr. Robert Semple, Thomas O. Larkin, and Comandante General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, on land sold to them by General Vallejo in December 1846. It served as the capital of California for nearly thirteen months from 1853 to 1854. In February 1848, first word of gold found at Sutters Mill was leaked at a Benicia Tavern, thus starting the California Gold Rush. Benicia became a way station on the way to the Sierras. The restored capitol is part of the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park, and is the only building remaining of the States pre-Sacramento capitols.

Arts and Culture:
Arts Benicia is a community-based non-profit organization whose mission is to stimulate, educate, and nurture cultural life in Benicia primarily through the visual arts. They provide exhibitions, educational programs, and classes that support artists and engage the broader community. The organization offers dynamic year-round art exhibitions and public art openings, the Benicia Artists Open Studios event in the spring, the Annual Benefit Art Auction in the fall, various special projects, and quarterly art classes for adults and kids. It is located in the Benicia Arsenal at the Commanding Officer’s Quarters at 1 Commandants Lane. Gallery hours are Thursday-Sunday, 12:00-5:00 PM during exhibitions; gallery admission is free to the public.

Benicia Peddlers Fair is one of the largest street fairs in Northern California, this outdoor event began in 1963 with a few collectable and antique stores displaying their items on tables outside St. Pauls Church. Traditionally held on the July 3, Benicias Fourth of July parade stretches all the way down First Street and typically includes music, dancing, floats, horses, clowns, and live entertainment. On the fourth Sunday in July, the Portuguese community in Benicia celebrates the feast of the Holy Ghost, continuing a devotion established by the Queen St. Isabel of Portugal, who was noted for her care for the poor. The festival starts with a parade to St. Dominics Church followed by Mass, followed by an auction and a dance. The Holy Ghost Parade celebrated its centennial in Benicia in 2007.

Benicia is located on the north side of the Carquinez Strait. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.7 square miles (41 km2), of which 12.9 square miles (33 km2) are land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2), comprising 17.75%, are water.

The 2010 United States Census reported that Benicia had a population of 26,997. The population density was 1,717.4 inhabitants per square mile (663.1/km2). The racial makeup of Benicia was 72.5% White, 5.6% African American, 0.5% Native American, 11.1% Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander, 3.3% from other races, and

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