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Discover the 6 Waterfront Towns of Solano County

Discover the 6 Waterfront Towns of Solano County

Located between SF and Sacramento, Solano County is a distinctive place, featuring a unique mix of rural lifestyles and urban amenities.

Margaret Flores


4 min read

July 28, 2022

Located between San Francisco and Sacramento, Solano County is a distinctive place, featuring a unique mix of rural lifestyles and urban amenities. With rolling hillsides, waterfronts, and fertile farmland, Solano, California offers a plethora of open space, and thanks to its proximity to lakes, rivers, and mountains, locals and visitors alike can enjoy year-round outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, boating, and skiing. The Solano County cities list is a pretty big one, filled with hidden gems and underrated destinations.

1. Benicia

Relax in the city of Benicia, full of fun things to discover.

Visitors seeking a quaint waterfront escape should head to Benicia, one of the oldest cities in Solano county C.A. Situated along the shores of the Carquinez Strait, this historic hamlet served as California’s capital from 1853 to 1854 and is home to the Benicia Arsenal—a former U.S. Army armory whose grounds contain several landmark buildings, including the Jefferson Street Mansion, Camel Barns, and Clock Tower. The arsenal also features converted workspaces and artist studios, making Benicia a hotbed for the arts. The town’s First Street, meanwhile, has long attracted out-of-town antique and boutique shoppers due to the sheer number of stores lining its sidewalks. And the Benicia State Recreation Area and the Benicia Marina are both popular among outdoor aficionados.

2. Vallejo 

The beautiful sun sets over Vallejo City, where fun is effortlessly found.

Another waterfront destination, Vallejo is the largest city in Solano County and is best known for being the location of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, an award-winning theme park with thrilling rides, live entertainment, games, and animal encounters. But visitors can enjoy the many fun things to do in Vallejo including San Pablo Bay views at Mare Island Brewing Company, grab a bite at a local hole-in-the-wall, play a round at Hiddenbrooke Golf Club, learn about the region’s history at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, and spend time in nature at Blue Rocks Spring Park. Vallejo is also one of the best beach towns for retirement.

3. Fairfield

And in Fairfield, the Solano County seat, visitors with a sweet tooth can’t miss the world-famous Jelly Belly Factory, where they can go on a tour and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the iconic jelly beans are made. Outdoor activities abound, too, especially at Rockville Hills Regional Park—the largest regional park in the county—which offers various hiking and biking trails as well as scenic views. In addition, there are plenty of shopping destinations (Solano Town Center), family-friendly attractions (Scandia Family Fun Center), golf courses (Paradise Valley and Rancho Solano), and gourmet restaurants. Fairfield is also home to the olive oil company Sonoma Harvest, which has been crafting delectable liquid gold for more than 20 years.

4. Rio Vista

Enjoy the city of Rio Vista and the many outdoor activities found here, like camping, hiking and so much more.

Located in the Eastern end of Solano County, the small city of Rio Vista. This city’s welcoming air will reel you in immediately, the mix of rural and suburban lifestyles is what makes Rio Vista so special. The Sacramento River that runs across Rio Vista city is one of the great things about it, as it gives it a unique touch. The city was given the name the “Heart of Delta”, after two humpback whales, Delta and Dawn, a mother and her calf, wandered into the Sacramento River on two different occasions.

This small city in Solano County, California, is home to a multitude of attractions, all ranging from outdoor exploration in parks to arts, music, water sports, and farmers' markets. Rio Vista is also within close proximity of other fun destinations like the Coastal beaches, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Sierra Ski resorts. 

Learn more about the past of the city by visiting the Rio Vista Museum, filled with exhibits and photographs depicting its history. Though Rio Vista is generally overlooked, left in the shadow of bigger and richer cities, it is an absolute hidden gem that is just waiting to be discovered. 

5. Vacaville

Vacaville is where you should head for an amazing time exploring the city.

With a population of 94,000, Vacaville is one of the bigger Solano County waterfront cities. It is an easily accessible town, bursting with some of the best attractions in the state. Vacaville is best known for its Nut Tree Airport, where there are showcases of 20th-century aircraft and the Vacaville Premium Outlets retail center. 

Vacaville is abundant in agriculture and alpaca farming and local-grown produce. The Mediterranean climate is perfect for both indoor and outdoor activities year round! Hiking in the Lagoon Valley is one of the most popular attractions, along with biking or even taking a walk through Andrews Park, where you will find even more fun things to do. Fans of climbing can also get their adrenaline pumping at the Nut Tree Boulders, a well-known spot for adventurous activity. You can even visit the many farms with your family to get a closer look at the local agriculture, including educational and entertaining pass times for your kids.

This Solano County city’s past also has a rich history behind it, to discover more about it you will need to head to the historic downtown of Vacaville. Victorian, Colonial, and Mission-style houses will greet you all along this part of a town stuck in time.

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6. Suisun City

A small city established during the Gold Rush in 1850, Suisun city served as a shipping town back in the day. Entirely different from the lovely Solano County city of the present, now a quiet waterfront district with boats and yachts floating on the blue waters. 

Suisun city was where the county’s first railroad station was built, a relic of the past you can still ride in, as interurban train rides are available through the Western Railway Museum

Among other places to see in Suisun City is Grizzly Waters Kayaking. Located on the Suisun Marsh, there are endless water sports activities to be enjoyed here. Visitors to Suisun City can also kayak on Suisun Bay, hike or birdwatch in Suisun Marsh, 

meander through the downtown district, and enjoy ethnic cuisine or fresh seafood along the waterfront.

Though the cities of Solano County are usually overlooked or dismissed, they often surprise and delight visitors who take the time to explore them.

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