Located along the north bank of the Carquinex Strait in the San Francisco Bay area, Benicia is across the strait from Martinez and just east of Vallejo. It’s a city stepped in history: the former state capitol back in 1853-1854, home to the first west coast Army ordnance supply depot from 1851 to 1964, and the inspiration for several of author Jack London’s novels.
Benicia has a great location for easy access to both Highway 680 and 780, making it ideal to head southwest to the San Francisco Bay Area or a bit more south to Silicon Valley. In fact, many of the homeowners in Benicia commute to neighboring cities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area due to its convenient proximity. With home prices still affordable, buyers are flocking to Benicia to enjoy both that small, waterfront town feel while easily commuting throughout the Bay Area.
A waterfront city of approximately 28,000, Benicia brims with small-town charm and a high quality of life. Residents here enjoy an abundance of leisure and recreational activities. There’s a full-service marina, the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park, and on the far western edge of the city, the 500-acre open space Benicia State Recreation Area. The Main Street Organization hosts a variety of year-round events, including the popular April-to-October Farmers Market. First Street is the main retail area and is a magnet for antique and boutique shoppers. For 30 years, the city has participated in California’s Main Street Program.
Affordable homes, friendly people, and old-fashioned charm are what residents say draw them here. Plus, because Benicia is situated in the north bank of the Carquinex Strait, many homes have spectacular, priceless waterfront views. The oldest homes, including Victorians that date to the late 19th century, are in the southern end of the city. Moving north, you find newer homes, including those built in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. The average home price in Benicia is $599,500 and the average home size is 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.
Benicia can be divided into four areas, with most of the older homes located in the East and West Sides. Southampton contains many condos and single-family homes built between 1970 and 2000. The Arsenal area is also home to The Clock tower, the Jefferson Street Mansion, and the Camel Barn. To the north lies the city’s industrial park.
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