For those not familiar with the Bay Area, Vallejo and Benicia are located on the Northshore of the Bay in Solono County. Here they are on google maps:
These images really only show the cities in the best of light. Benicia has a lot of industry (which gives the city a certain chemical smell when you pass it on the freeway) and Vallejo is struggling with crime and bankruptcy. But, as with everything, there is always good amongst the bad.
Vallejo (pop 116,760)
Downtown Vallejo was probably the most surprising to me. There are a lot of old, historic buildings which are now empty, but, many are currently under renovation and, once filled, may help to create a more vibrant downtown.
For something a little different, all streets downtown are named after states in one direction, California counties in the other.
Vallejo could use some inspiration...
The city's more famous "skyscrapers"
Benicia (pop 26,865)
Pronounced Be-nee-sha...not Be-na-ki-ya as some out of towners hilariously once said it to me...the city was the capital of California from February 1853 to February 1854. Now it's just a typical small Bay Area city with a nice waterfront and many local restaurants. A fun place to spend a weekend afternoon.
Bay Area residents love to spoil their pets...
The old Capital Building undergoing some sort of renovation
New, meant to look old...and not too bad done...
Tour of California
1: Los Angeles
, 2: Hollywood, Glendale, Pasadena, Beverly Hills
, 3: Riverside, Santa Ana, Long Beach
, 4: San Jose
, 5: San Diego
, 6: Fresno
, 7: Stockton, Modesto
, 8: Gold Country
, 9: Eureka, Arcata
, 10: Monterey, Carmel
, 11: Santa Cruz
, 12: Sacramento Pt One, 13: Sacramento Pt Two
, 14: Roseville & Folsom
, 15: Concord & Walnut Creek
, 16: Tri-Valley
, 17: Berkeley, Emeryville
, 18: Fremont
, 19: Santa Clara, Mountain View, Palo Alto
, 20: Redwood City, Foster City, San Mateo
, 20: Oakland