After everything 2020 has thrown at us, we’re ready for the holidays to come as soon as possible this year! If you’re like us, you can’t wait to spread a little cheer and bring a smile to your friends’ and families’ faces.

Benicia’s First Street shopping area has no chain stores or franchises, making it the perfect place to find something truly special for the people you love. If you haven’t started your shopping list, here’s a perfect guide to help you get out of the house, enjoy a fun & relaxing day of shopping (with unique gift ideas), and support independent small businesses while you’re at it!

For Your Artsy Friend

Not only is Benicia filled with public art and culture, the people of Benicia are extremely talented artists! The Little Art Shop offers works of art created by 30+ local artists. As an added bonus, it’s located right on the waterfront, with a great view alongside one of Benicia’s loveliest public sculptures: Neptune’s Daughter, created by artist Lisa Reinertson.

Photo Credit: The Little Art Shop Facebook

Once Upon a Canvas and Happy Life Pottery also offer prints from local artists, and at-home delights such as tea towels, aprons, totes, postcards and more. Both also offer classes for your artistic friends: Once Upon a Canvas provides outdoor, socially distanced painting classes while Happy Life Pottery shares their expertise in at-home pottery and metal/clay jewelry classes.

Both offer gift cards, so your friends can choose the perfect gift or class for themselves!

Insider’s tip: make use of Happy Life Pottery’s discounted order pickup code PICKUP for 15% off if you buy online and pickup in-store.

Photo Credit: Happy Life Pottery Facebook

For Your Plant-Loving Friend

Benicia has some amazing florist shops, Daughter of Luna, Sweetness & Light, and Succulents & More, all on First Street. Each location offers different floral arrangements, potted plants and their own sets of personalized small gifts, making Benicia the perfect one-stop shop to find gifts for anyone who loves things that grow!

Photo Credit: Daughter of Luna Instagram

For Your spiritual Friend

If you know someone who is curious about the world of spirituality, Angel Heart 4 U is the perfect shop this holiday season. The store is stocked with crystals, ceremonial candles, books, lovely chakra building tokens, and more! Be sure to talk to the super-knowledgeable staff for helpful information on your next purchase.

For Your Furry Friend

Pets are part of the family, too! Pups and Purrz offers pet supplies, accessories, and organic treats to pamper your four-legged family members this holiday season.

For Your “Foodie” Friend

Looking for the perfect gift for that chef in your life? Sepay Groves olive oil has a wide variety of unique flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. With ingredients that range from sage and grapefruit to truffles and chocolate, you’re bound to find a combination that suits your taste!

Photo Credit: Sepay Groves Instagram

Another great gift idea for your adventurous foodie friend is a gift certificate from one of Benicia’s many local restaurants! First Street is lined with amazing eateries, all offering gift cards. If you know someone who loves comfort food, give them a taste of the best Hawaiian food around with a gift certificate from Got Plate Lunch. They’ve been voted Best Island Restaurant for four years in a row, so you can feel confident your gift receivers will enjoy it!

For people whose idea of relaxation is a fun & friendly happy hour, a gift certificate to Rellik Tavern or Bruehol Brewery will not go unnoticed!

For Your Home-Loving Friend

Romancing the Home will win your heart with its range of high-quality items, including everything from home decor, to garden accessories, to seasonal gifts.

Photo Credit: Romancing The Home Instagram

Can’t decide on the perfect gift but want to treat your friends or family to an experience in Benicia? Try Downtown Dollars from Benicia Main Street. They spend like cash at more than 60 downtown Benicia locations.