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Walnut Creek Magazine

Discover Benicia: “A Great Escape by the Bay”

Jun 25, 2020 12:17PM ● By Fran Miller

Less than an hour’s drive from most Bay Area locations, Benicia is uniquely situated to offer an easy day escape. With cooling bay breezes, a walkable downtown waterfront, 450 acres of outdoor adventure at the State Recreation Area, and charming local options for takeout dining and shopping, Benecia is a quiet and undiscovered Bay Area jewel.

Plan Your Escape

Visit, courtesy of Visit Benicia, all summer long to check out updates and new recommended itineraries to plan their perfect day trip. Here is a taste of what people can expect from a day in Benicia:

Escape 2020: Step Back in Time

Visitors can escape from the troubles of the day with a relaxing day-trip that takes them “back in time.” As one of the oldest cities in California, Benicia is home to a wealth of vintage architecture and historic landmarks, dating back to the gold rush, the Wild West, and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. This leisurely drive takes visitors past historic sites while still leaving time for an afternoon picnic.

Health & Wellness

Located on both the San Francisco Bay Trail and the Bay Area Ridge Trail, Benicia is the nature lover’s dream location. Visitors can rent a bike (or bring their own), or take their scooter or walking shoes and explore the trails, waterfront, and expansive outdoor areas. 

Art & Inspiration

It's the end of an era for one of Benicia's defining cultural landmarks. This will be the last summer visitors will be able to enjoy the incredible hand-blown glasswork at Linsay Art Glass. Art-lovers will be thrilled to discover Benicia’s thriving creative community, walkable downtown galleries, and scenic waterfront vistas.

Carquinez Bridge, by Geri Arata

Romance by the Bay

No doubt about it, the COVID-19 crisis has been rough on romance. With couples struggling to balance work with parenting, never changing out of their pajamas, or looking to reunite with a loved one many miles away, Benicia is the ideal location for a safe, romantic day trip that features fun, sun, and scenic views of the Carquinez Strait.

Dog-Friendly Fun

After being trapped indoors for months, we all need some fresh air and exercise -- including the family dog! Good news: Benicia is one of the most dog-friendly destinations around, offering an off-leash beach and boutique shopping specifically for your pet.

Farmers Market

Among Benicia’s best-kept secrets are the beautiful sunsets by the waterfront, and what better way to end a day trip than with a picnic of fresh local cuisine from the newly-reopened Benicia Farmers Market? The Benicia Farmers Market returns every Thursday, from now through October. Location: First Street, between B Street and D Street. Hours: 4pm-8pm (September-October, from 4pm-7pm). Special social-distancing measures have been put in place to make the experience as safe as possible for everyone.

A Day for Dad

Whether they’ve been cooped-up with a demanding toddler or struggling to get work done from home, Bay Area dads deserve a day of relaxation. Here’s a guide to a dad’s day trip complete with a rejuvenating hike, bike ride, and a souvenir comic book.

Photos courtesy of Visit Benicia


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