FAIRFIELD — Solano County offers a range of attractions for both visitors and residents interested in a “staycation” – staying at home and making day trips to fun destinations.
The county has a few draws that command attention far beyond its borders, places that help put it on the tourist map. There are Jelly Belly and the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Fairfield, both of which offer tours. There is Vallejo’s Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, with its roller coasters and animal shows.
The county is home to much natural beauty. People can take a boat on the sloughs of Suisun Marsh, travel through part of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, see hilltop views of much of the Bay Area and relax on creeks that run through areas covered with oaks. Parks and open space areas offer chances to enjoy these places.
Museums offer looks at Solano County’s history. Train enthusiasts can enjoy the Western Railway Museum and plane enthusiasts the Travis Air Force Base Museum.
Solano County even has its own version of Wine Country, with Suisun Valley offering views and grape-growing conditions similar to those in the world-famous Napa Valley. The wineries are mom-and-pop rather than corporate.
Here are some of the area’s leading attractions:
- Western Railway Museum: 5848 Highway 12, east of Suisun City. Rides on electric trains and electric train displays. Call 374-2978 or go to www.wrm.org for more information.
- Vacaville Museum: 213 Buck Ave., Vacaville. Call 447-4513 or go to www.vacavillemuseum.org for more information.
- Travis Air Force Base Museum: Travis Air Force Base. Call 424-5605 or go to www.travis.af.mil/units/travisairmuseum.asp for more information.
- Rio Vista Museum: 16 N. Front St., Rio Vista. Call 374-5169 or go to www.riovistamuseum.com/# for more information.
- Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum: 734 Marin St., Vallejo. Call 643-0077 or go to www.vallejomuseum.org for more information.
- Mare Island Historic Park Foundation: 1100 Railroad Ave., Vallejo. Call 557-1538 or visit www.mareislandhpf.org for more information.
- Benicia Capitol State Historic Park: 115 W. G St., Benicia. Tours of 1853-54 state capitol. Call 745-3385 or go to www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=475 for more information.
- Benicia Historical Museum at the historic Benicia Arsenal: 2060 Camel Road, Benicia. Call 745-5435 or go to www.beniciahistoricalmuseum.org/Default.htm for more information.
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom: 1001 Fairgrounds Drive, Vallejo. A 135-acre amusement park with rides, shows and animals. Call 634-6722 or go to www.sixflags.com/discoveryKingdom/index.aspx for more information.
- County-run parks: Solano County parks range from Lynch Canyon in the hills between Fairfield and Vallejo to Lake Solano along Putah Creek near Winters to Sandy Beach along the Sacramento River near Rio Vista. Call 784-6765 or go to www.solanocounty.com/depts/rm/countypark/homepage.asp for more information.
- Grizzly Island Wildlife Area: 2548 Grizzly Island Road, Suisun Marsh. Offers fishing, hunting and hiking opportunities. Call 425-3828 or go to www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/wa/region3/grizzlyisland for more information.
- Rush Ranch Open Space: Two miles south of Suisun City on Grizzly Island Road. About 2,070 acres of open space in hills and wetlands with hiking trails. Call Solano Land Trust at 432-0152 or go to www.rushranch.net for more information.
- Rockville Hills Park: 2149 Rockville Road. Fairfield owns this 633-acre park with hiking trails. Call 428-7614 or go to www.fairfield.ca.gov/gov/depts/pw/open_space/rockville_hills_regional_park/default.asp for more information.
- Lagoon Valley/Pena Adobe Park: On Pena Adobe Road near Interstate 80 in Vacaville. Offers trails, picnic areas and Lagoon Valley lake for fishing. Call 449-5654 or go to www.ci.vacaville.ca.us/index.aspx?page=128 for more information.
- Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve: 1595 Railroad Ave., Mare Island, Vallejo. This 215-acre area along the southern shore of Mare Island offer hiking and includes Mare Island Hill with views of San Pablo Bay, the Carquinez Strait, Mare Island Strait and Vallejo. Also includes the oldest naval cemetery in the Pacific and a former naval ammunition depot. Call 249-9633 or go to www.mareislandpreserve.org/MareIslandPreserve/Homepage.html for more information.
- Suisun Valley offers a variety of wineries and produce stands. Go to www.suisunvalley.com for information.
- Jelly Belly: 1 Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield. Tours available of the famous candy factory. Call 399-2390 or go to www.jellybelly.com for more information.
- Anheuser-Busch: 3101 Busch Drive, Fairfield. Tours available of brewery. Call 429-2000 or go to www.budweisertours.com/z01/index.php/fairfield/overview for more information.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.
Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.