The fall season is upon us and charming Benicia is the perfect day trip for refreshing your wardrobe, getting a jump on the holiday list, and spending quality time with friends and loved ones. Enjoy free parking, free gift wrapping, and cheery activities to brighten everyone’s spirits.

For the entire month of November, Benicia Main Street is hosting its annual Downtown Holiday Shopping Spree. For every $10 spent at participating stores, shoppers will receive a ticket that will be entered into a drawing to win $500 in Downtown Dollars. There is no limit to how many times a shopper can enter, so the more you spend, the better your chances to win. The shopping spree winner will be drawn during Benicia’s Holiday Open House and Tree Lighting on December 1.

Downtown Dollars spend just like money at participating businesses and are fully transferable, so they make great gifts and stocking stuffers. Participating stores include art galleries, boutiques, gift shops, and other unique shopping experiences. For a full list please visit beniciamainstreet.org.

A day trip to Benicia to shop, dine and explore requires very little advance planning. Conveniently located between San Francisco and Napa, the town is wonderfully eclectic and full of extraordinary things to see and do. Parking is simple, with free parking along the streets and in various public lots. Visitors will find that First Street is lined with many great shops and eateries, but if you have the time, be sure to venture out. There are tons of incredible shops and sites located around town.

Save the date for Benicia’s own Shop Small held November 25, 2017 during Small Business Saturday. Join us in celebrating community and the small businesses that define our downtown area.

For those looking to make the most of their trip, we recommend scheduling a hands-on activity with friends and family. Benicia offers some unique and interesting experiences such as glass ornament blowing, Teddy Bear Tea parties, and psychic readings. These activities do require advance reservations, which are easily made online or by phone. For more information on blowing a glass ornament, please call Lindsay Art Glass at (707) 748-1336 or email David Lindsay at wholesale@lindsayartglass.com.

Great for kids of all ages, Camelia Tea Room offers two seatings for the Teddy Bear Tea Party. Visit cameliatearoom.com for dates and details. And for more information on Benicia’s spiritual offerings, we recommend visiting angelheart4you.net and beniciaspiritualadvisor.com.

Benicia Insider Tip: With the holidays on the horizon, Benicia’s own “Christmas store” is Romancing the Home (RTH), located at 617 First Street. RTH is a not-to-be-missed holiday extraordinaire displaying a dozen full-size theme decorated Christmas trees, baskets filled with ornaments, great gift ideas, customized gift baskets and more. It’s also a great place for reasonably priced hostess gifts, so you don’t have to show up empty handed to the next holiday party. Watch for special holiday events and more, by following us on Facebook and Instagram.