Along the Sacramento River, the quiet town of Rio Vista — known as the “Gateway to the Delta” — conjures up images of whales and fishing.
After some television publicity, however, the town is better known for a different animal: Sheep.
A 2012 AT&T commercial highlighted some of Rio Vista’s quirky attributes.
The commercial showed a runner listened to music on his phone, running throughout the Bay Area. He gets lost in his music and ends up, as his phone tells him, in none other than Rio Vista.
The town, spanning about 7.5 square miles with a population of 7,876, wound up on “the map” a couple of times for stories of some wayward humpback whales. This time, it was for its beloved sheep and wind turbines.
Aside from recent publicity, Rio Vista is better known for Humphrey the whale, whose famous journey from the San Francisco Bay to Rio Vista in 1985 earned the city national recognition. He was memorialized in a plaque at the foot of Main Street by City Hall.
Main Street features a unique array of small businesses and restaurants leading up to the Humphrey plaque. Barbecue, Chinese and a “Bighorn” bistro and bar are among cuisines offered, and locally owned mom and pop shops welcome visitors with a friendly face and shopping experience.
Number of rooms: 80
Chamber of Commerce: Karen James Smith, executive director, 707-374-2700, firstname.lastname@example.org; Bill Wells, executive director, 916-777-4041, email@example.com