There’s a world out there to discover, but sometimes the best place to start is home.
A little town in San Francisco’s North Bay, population of about 32,000, was founded in 1847, and served as California’s capital from 1853-1854, and also as a part of the Pony Express journey from 1860-1861. The Pony Express would ride in to Benicia from Sacramento when they missed a steamer, and jump on the ferry in Benicia over the Carquinez Strait to then continue on in to San Francisco. Central Pacific Railroad established the Transcontinental Railroad carrying entire trains on a ferry over the Strait in 1879, until the Carquinez-Benicia bridge was built. The history of Benicia has had its ups and downs over the years, until it has firmly established itself as a suburb of San Francisco, keeping the small town charm. A bridge separating the town from the “mainland” is said to be a factor keeping the population on the small side given tolls to pay on the way in. Works for me. I’ve had a couple of weeks to start exploration of my new home town, and even though it’s small, there is quite a lot to see including the quaint First Street lined with little restaurants and side-walk cafes, and quite a few art galleries and antique stores; there’s a wonderful artsy feel to the town.
At the end of First Street is the water, a large area of walkway and pier along the Strait
The Carquinez Strait is quiet, but does have its share of barges that come through on their way to an oil refinery coming in and then going out to destinations west. Day, and night
Barge and bird watching have become a favorite pastime.