"Benicia - Former State Capital" Benicia by WulfstanTraveller

Benicia Travel Guide: 41 reviews and 118 photos

Benicia is a small city in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is in southern Solano County right next to larger Vallejo and across the Carquinez Strait from Contra Costa County.

One of California's oldest cities, it was founded in 1847 and named after the wife of Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Francisca Maria Felipe Benicia, who was the daughter of Dona Maria Carrillo of Santa Rosa. It was one of only 8 cities incorporated in 1850, the year California became a state (the others being San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Stockton).

Benicia was briefly the California State Capital from 1853 until 1854, replacing Vallejo. However, Sacramento became the capital in 1854 and has remained so ever since.

Because of its early importance, Benicia to this day has an attractive old downtown and surrounding area with a number of old buildings. These include the old California capitol, built in 1853, and the first Masonic Lodge in California, still used and built in 1850.

  • Last visit to Benicia: Dec 2007
  • Intro Updated Aug 14, 2008
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