Benicia's attractive location can be attributed to many different things beyond our Benicia Waterfront. Convenient driving distance to San Francisco to the west and Sacramento to the east is one point of attraction. Great weather is another attractive feature.
Yet, it is Benicia itself that provides a great deal of what both visitors and residents of Benicia love. Benicia is a small town nestled against the Carquinez Strait right before it opens up into San Pablo Bay, which in turn feeds San Francisco Bay.
This means that, though located some 40 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, Benicia is a waterfront town. Benicia's history is steeped in stories of docks and wooden ships. In fact, I read once that Benicia's location with easy access to seagoing ships and NOT stuck on the end of a peninsula like San Francisco is made for long ago heated competition between what we now view as sleepy little Benicia and big city San Francisco to be the "big" port serving northern California. If you think about it, the land route from Benicia to the Central Valley is much more convenient that the "pre-bridges" land route from San Francisco to the Central Valley. I'm told that politics determined the outcome of San Francisco winning that competition. I suspect that time and ships getting bigger would have resulted in the same conclusion since San Francisco has much deeper water than Benicia.
What does this all mean for us today? Well, the large wooden ships and their docks are long gone. What we have now are waterfront homes and smaller docks for private boats. We also have waterfront parks, walking trails and a predictable afternoon breeze in the summer. We also get to enjoy "sleepy" little Benicia while the big cities have their massive ports and cranes.
In the end, Benicians get to enjoy our Benicia waterfront. I'd say that we're doing pretty good for ourselves.
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