Travel, Teach, Live in the USA and Canada

Benicia, California
By:Carmen L. Diaz

Benicia is a very charming historic town near San Francisco, California. It is very well worth a trip to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy some natural beauty.

Get to Benicia driving on the 680 freeway (or 780 if coming from the west). If you want to travel from San Francisco without a car, you can take the Vallejo ferry and connect there with Benicia Breeze, which is the name of the public transportation system in Benicia.

Once there, you can start by grasping some of its history by paying a visit to the Benicia Historical Museum at the Camel Barns. During the 1850s and 1860s, the U.S. Military experimented with the use of camels as pack animals. Due to outbreak of the Civil War, the project was suspended and 35 of the camels were sent to the Benicia Arsenal to be sold. Today this barn is a museum with exhibits and displays that recount the history of Benicia and the U.S. Army Arsenal

After some local history, head downtown and visit the art galleries and glass-blowing studios Benicia is famous for. The public is invited to look at the glass blowers working their craft. Each studio has its own individual style, so it would be ideal to visit all four: Smyers Glass, Nourot Glass Studio, Lindsay Art Glass and Studio 41, An American Craft Gallery.

A day of history, arts and scenery wouldn't be complete without stopping to get something to eat before heading back. Try a very charming tea house set in an 1897 restored historic building called The Camellia Tea Room. It has a great selection for the whole family and a fantastic atmosphere. They even have a kids' menu.






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