The waterfront city of Benicia (28,000 pop.), often referred to as the “jewel” of the Bay Area, is known for its small-town charm, history, and family-friendly way of life. Located on the north bank of the Carquinez Strait, Benicia offers an abundance of leisure and recreational activities, as well as a lively downtown recognized for its many antique shops, an independent bookshop, a popular tea room, a city-owned marina, and a plentiful array of cafes and restaurants. The city hosts many family-oriented events (movie nights in the park, children’s art festival, street and craft fairs, parades, classic car show, farmers market, holiday tree lighting), and has an internationally recognized arts district. Benicia is rich in California’s history – it was the state capitol for 13 months in the mid-19th century — with over 30 historical points of interest in the downtown area, including the restored State Capitol.