Benicia delights visitors with historical landmarks, artistic exhibits, and paranormal activity
Bursting with art, history, and charm, the small town of Benicia is a favorite San Francisco Bay Area getaway. Known for its slate of spring events, downtown offers picturesque views, exciting entertainment, and fun for the whole family. Here are a few tips for planning your “great day by the bay.”
First and third Fridays of the month through October, 8 p.m.
Rich in history and charm, Benicia reveals more than meets the eye on the first and third Fridays of the month. Enjoy a paranormal tour with investigator and historical research specialists as they lead guests on a captivating exploration of ghostly activity. Try the EMF meters, divining rods, and a pendulum to detect activity on the other side. Ghost Walks require a prepaid reservation, which can be made by calling (707) 745-9791, or in person at Benicia Main Street, 90 First Street. The tour is about two hours and tickets are $25 per person.
Benicia Mini Maker Faire
Benicia Middle School
April 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This family friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness is a celebration of the maker movement, where people show what they’re making, and share what they’ve learned. See first hand the incredible inventions of tech enthusiasts, scientists and garage tinkerers of all ages and backgrounds. For more information, please see beniciamakerfaire.com.
Opening Day on the Strait
Benicia Yacht Club, 400 East Second Street
April 23, 1-4 p.m.
In its 37th year, this free, popular event features a decorated boat parade, arts and crafts booths, children’s activities, live music and much more. Grab an ice cream or treat and view the parade from one of the many spots along the waterfront, including the marina. Call (707) 745-2979 for details.
Benicia Classic Car Show
First Street Green
April 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Classic car enthusiasts from all over the Bay Area will gather for Benicia’s popular Classic Car Show April 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to all pre-1976 cars and trucks, there will be show plaques awarded in numerous categories. The event at the First Street Green (foot of First Street), will include live music, crafts, and car-related merchandise for sale. All proceeds will go directly to benefit the Benicia High School Panther Marching Band program. For more information please visit BeniciaClassicCarShow.com
Peppino D’Agostino in concert
Benicia Historical Museum
April 30, 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Don’t miss acclaimed guitarist Peppino D’Agostino, who emerged on the musical scene in the late 1980s, at the Benicia Historical Museum April 30 at 8 p.m. Known for his innovative acoustic guitar technique, Peppino’s latest album, “Penumbra,” has received great reviews and airplay around the world. For details, please see beniciahistoricalmuseum.org/events.
Benicia Artists Open Studios
May 7 & 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Renowned for its vibrant arts community, every spring more than 70 local art studios open to the public for a rare opportunity to meet personally with the artists. During this two-day event, art lovers are invited to a behind-the-scenes peek at the artist’s latest work. Admission is free. For more information please visit artsbenicia.org.
Benicia Home and Garden Tour
May 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tour Benicia’s most exclusive historical homes and gardens during this annual event. Established in 1973, the Benicia Historical Society began preserving the antiquity and heritage of this treasured town for all to enjoy. This year, Benicia will open five beautiful homes and two incredible gardens for the public to peruse, of which three homes have never been on tour before. Travel back to the mid-1800s on May 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance ($30 the day of the tour), and are available online at beniciahistoricalsociety.org.
And a lot more…
Additional must-sees include Benicia’s Farmers Market, held the last Thursday in April through October, Earth Day at the Forrest Deaner Gardens (a native plant botanic garden with more than 250 species), the Soroptimist Spring Tea and Fashion Show March 20, the community theater production of “Keeping Down with the Joneses” April 15 through May 7, and the Memorial Day Ceremony on May 30.