Downtown Vacaville. (Daily Republic file)

Downtown Vacaville. (Daily Republic file)

Solano Life 2014

Vacaville offers a family friendly, vibrant community

By From page SOL4 | August 24, 2014

VACAVILLE — Vacaville is now the home to Icon Aircraft.

It was a hard-fought battle that brought the sport aircraft company to town in 2014. It’s also slated to bring hundreds of jobs with it.

Always trying to attract business to the city, Vacaville has succeeded in transforming itself into a hub of biotechnology and now the city is courting all manner of business, including manufacturing.

Known as a progressive family town even in financially challenging times, Vacaville retains its reputation as a friendly, safe place to live.

A thriving downtown and large, popular shopping areas – including Vacaville Premium Outlets and the Nut Tree shopping center – make Vacaville a popular shopping destination.

The Theatre DeVille opened in downtown this year and has already hosted numerous popular acts, including the Greg Kihn Band and Tower of Power. It also opened its doors so residents could view the 2014 soccer World Cup on its giant high-definition screen for free. The event attracted a full house.

The city was founded in 1851 by pioneer William McDaniel, who bought part of an 1843 Mexican land grant that was held by Manuel Cabeza Vaca, with the promise that McDaniel would name the town Vacaville. The city was incorporated in 1892.

Assisted by geography – the hills west of town that separate Vacaville from Fairfield – the Mediterranean climate with its hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters spurred the creation of large farms and orchards. That turned the town into a major agricultural center by the 1880s with a national reputation for fine fresh fruits, nuts and other produce.

Vacaville’s most famous restaurant, the Nut Tree, was started in the 1920s as a produce stand located under a large oak next to the main road that linked Sacramento with the San Francisco Bay Area. While the Nut Tree closed in 1996, its legacy is continued in the Nut Tree shopping center.

Vacaville has a reputation for taking pride in its community events such as the Christmas Festival of Trees, which raises money for the town’s homeless shelter; Merriment on Main, which packs the downtown every year; and Fiesta Days. Musical events, such as the blues festival and the Creekwalk Concert Series, keep downtown hopping with tunes during the warmer months. The city also hosts an annual singer-songwriter contest.

With a population of 93,899 in 2012, according to City-data.com, the city’s median income in that same year was $70,848.

The median selling price of a home or condominium in Vacaville in 2012, according to City-data.com, was $251,700.

Also on the forefront of environmental friendliness, Vacaville earned the nickname “Voltageville” for having one of the nation’s largest concentrations of electric vehicles, including numerous publicly accessible charging stations as well as a number of privately and publicly held solar arrays.

For the sizable population of commuters, Vacaville is equidistant from the Sacramento area and the San Francisco Bay Area, connected to both by Interstate 80, which cuts the town in half.

The hills west of town shelter Vacaville, giving it warm summers with average highs in the upper 90s and mild winters with lows that can drop into the mid-30s.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.

Vacaville at a glance

City Hall: 650 Merchant St.

Website: www.cityofvacaville.com

City Manager: Laura Kuhn. Reach at 449-5100, [email protected]

Mayor: Steve Hardy. Elected in 2010, term expires in 2014. Reach at [email protected]

Councilman: Mitch Mashburn. Elected in 2010, term expires in 2014. Reach at [email protected]

Councilman: Curtis Hunt. Appointed in 2007, elected in 2010, term expires in 2014. Reach at [email protected]

Councilman: Ron Rowlett. Elected in 2012, term expires in 2016. Reach at [email protected]

Councilwoman: Dilenna Harris. Elected in 2012, term expires in 2016. Reach at [email protected]


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