Benicia State Capitol Historic Park

If  you like California history, Benicia is the place to head for.  As a member of the Native Daughters of the Golden West and 4th generation Native Californian, I am particularly interested in anything relating my home state California. But when I get away for a few days, I also want to have a little fun, visit some interesting restaurants, and hit a few boutiques.

My friends, Nancy (also a member of NDGW), Carol, MaryLou and I drove to Benicia for a short visit with friend Elsie who is fortunate enough to live in this charming little community.  She acted as our personal guide to all the scenic back roads as well as the upscale shops. Does anyone stop for red lights in Benicia??

Our first stop was the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park where we bought tickets for a tour of the building known as “City Hall” before the California Legislature convened in 1853. A steam tug and two scows had moved the state archives and furniture from the old Vallejo Capitol.  It continued as California’s third Capitol (Monterey and San Jose being the first two) for a year until Governor Bigler signed legislation to meet in Sacramento.

The docent guiding us on our short tour was well acquainted with the history and histrionics of the building.  He reminded us of our long ago grade school California history lessons. It was well worth the hour spent there, and the $3.00 entry ticket.

We had a hard time deciding among several highly recommended restaurants, but thought Mexican food was apropos after our introduction to the Mexican influence in California.  It was a very BUENO lunch!  Next – shopping.  We were thinking maybe we should have eaten after trying on jeans, instead of before, but it didn’t take us long to leave Benicia “green”.

Keep Benicia in mind when you need a short weekend away.  It’s just a very few hours drive; lots of things to see:  Farmers Market on Thursday evenings, “First Friday on First”, a shopping festival in the summer months, Torchlight Parade & Dance July 3, Benicia Peddler’s Fair and The Holy Ghost Parade the fourth Sunday in July.