Bencia is located in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area of the city. The waterside city lies East of Vallejo and runs along the bank of the Carquinez Strait.
The town was founded in the year 1847 and the founders include Thomas O. Larkin, Dr. Robert Semple, and Comandante General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. It is named after the General’s wife, Francisca Benicia Carillo de Vallejo. The town was initially considered “the best natural site for a commercial city” in the region. There was a major fire in the year 1945 which destroyed a half-block of businesses in the town and decimated the historical sites like the Solano Hotel and a century-old brewery. The town quickly recovered and the construction of the Benicia Martinez Bridge in 1962 helped it become a suburb of the city. The population steadily grew in the town between the 70s and mid-90s. A major shift took place when the city jumped from being a blue-collar town of 7,000 people to becoming a white-collar suburb with more than 27,000 people.
The town has four divisions – the East Side, the West Side, Southampton, and the industrial park. The East Side boasts the Benicia Arsenal, which was formerly the country’s armory. It is home to historical buildings and currently features live-work spaces for artists. A majority of the town’s older houses are a part of the east and the west sides. The Industrial Park includes many residential areas of the town and includes the Benicia State Recreation Area. The First Street in Benicia is popular for attracting out-of-town antique and boutique shoppers. It is also a business district and includes a line of dining and shopping venues. The streets hold the typical small-town, historic charm.
Benicia teems with a variety of activities throughout its four divisions. The popular Farmer’s Market is open every Thursday throughout the summer. This tradition has been alive since 1992. Arts Benicia is a non-profit community-based organization that operates in the town. The organization stimulates and nurtures cultural life in Benicia through visual arts. The Benicia City Park hosts an annual summer art celebration called “Arts in the Park”. The event features popular street fairs, picnics, fireworks and parades. The live entertainments include music, dancing, floats, horses, and clowns among many other things. Benicia is an active sailing community and boasts the popular Yacht Club. The waterside city features Glass Beach, an unusual beach that has an abundance of sea glass. It also includes Pete Lemone's Historical House of Mystery. The 9th Street Pier of the town is a beach area with a boat landing and includes a playground for kids. Benicia is also a Tree City USA.
The major connections to the city of Benicia include the Interstate 680, Cordelia Junction, and Interstate 780. Benicia doesn’t have any transit by train. However, it offers bus line transport through SolTrans and SolanoExpress. The Benicia-Martinez Bridge is the main automobile and rail link over the Carquinez Strait.