Benicia is a town of many adjectives—historic, for example. Also artistic, upscale, water-oriented and charming. But one adjective is used more frequently than others: quaint., the online travel and review site, refers to Benicia as quaint in several instances. Quaint has alternative meanings, but those agreed upon by online dictionaries are:




-small, old fashioned or charming in a good way (

-pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned (

-having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm; oddly picturesque (

-charmingly odd, especially in an old-fashioned way. (

Not all of Benicia is quaint; much of it is quite modern and cosmopolitan. But like many historic towns we have a charming downtown filled with quaint neighborhoods that are dotted with quaint homes and gardens.

Fortunately for the rest of us, for many years the Benicia Historical Society has offered an annual Vintage Home and Garden tour, where local homeowners open their homes or gardens to the public. Walking through some of the homes is like walking straight into the past—the period architecture is carried through the interior décor to varying degrees. Others have more contemporary interiors, and that’s part of the fun of the tour—discovering the mysteries of what’s inside.

The Benicia Historical Society works diligently to preserve our history and heritage. The annual self-guided tour is the nonprofit organization’s only fundraiser. This year’s event is scheduled for the day before Mother’s Day, Saturday, May 11, 11am-4pm, making it a nice gift option for mom. All six homes, representing an array of architectural styles, are on the west side of downtown. The tour also features one garden.

Vintage Home and Garden Tour

Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 the day of the tour, available at Benicia Main Street, Bookshop Benicia, Camellia Tea Room and Steve’s Hallmark.

Proceeds benefit Benicia Historical Society programs, including restoration of the Von Pfister General Store. For more information, visit