Ratcheting Up Solano Pride
Fun & Interesting County Facts
There’s so much happening in Solano County that we're only able to scratch thesurface. Starting with geography, we are perfectly positioned. Solano County residents enjoy easy access to all of Northern California’s best playgrounds, and we have more than a few of our own. With San Francisco only a ferry ride away, little more than an hour to the ocean and, sorry Contra Costans—the fastest getaway to Tahoe on the Bay, does it get any better? Indeed it does. Although we haven’t completely shaken our “humble cousin” reputation to some of the Bay’s status counties, we have our own “wine country” that is more laid-back than our neighbors to the north, abundant art and culture, parks and open space, great boutique and outlet shopping, golf courses, history, lots of birds and inland waterways set around bucolic rolling hills. To ratchet up our Solano County pride, we offer a few other fascinating tidbits worth knowing.
Land & water: 909.4 square miles total, with 84.2 square miles of water area and 675.4 square miles of rural land area*
Population: 414,509 (January 2011)*
Cities & towns: Solano County has 7 cities and 69 unincorporated places [co.solano.ca.us]
Higher Education: Six colleges & universities, some with multiple campuses:
• Solano Community College, 4 campuses:
Suisun City, Vallejo, Vacaville, Travis
• California Maritime Academy, Vallejo
• Chapman University, 2 campuses: Fairfield, Travis
• St. Mary’s College Extended Education Fairfield,
• Touro University, Mare Island, Vallejo
• University of Phoenix, Suisun City
Counties we border: Yolo, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma & Napa
Major bodies of water: San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, the Carquinez Strait, Suisun Bay and the Sacramento River
The Great Pacific Flyway
From the Bering Strait to South America, millions of birds (over 350 species) migrate up and down California. Over 200 bird species fly through Solano County, many of which can be seen from Rush Ranch by the Suisun Marsh or Lake Solano Park near Winters. The southward migration begins as early as August, and northward as early as March. Check out the common birds of Solano County checklist at napasolanoaudubon.com. For resources and links, visit solano.co.ca.us and rushranch.net.
National Register Of Historic Places: The county boasts 21 NRHS designations
Benicia: The Benicia Arsenal, Benicia Capitol State Historic Park, Carr House, Crooks Mansion, Joseph Fischer House, Old Masonic Hall and Stamboul (Whaling Bark)
Bird’s Landing: The Bird and Dinkelspiel Store
Collinsville: The Hastings Adobe
Dixon: The Jackson Fay Brown House and the Dixon Carnegie Library
Suisun City: The Samuel Martin House and the Suisun Masonic Lodge No. 55
Vacaville: The Peña Adobe, Pleasants Ranch, Will H. Buck House and Vacaville Town Hall
Vallejo: The Saint Vincent’s Hill Historic District, Vallejo City Hall & County Building Branch, the Old City Historic District and the Mare Island Naval Shipyard
American Viticultural Area
Solano County has three AVA designations: Suisun Valley, Green Valley, and we share part of the world renowned North Coast AVA that includes Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake and Marin counties. Established in the mid-1800’s, Suisun Valley boasts California’s second oldest AVA (Napa was the first). The three AVAs encompass over 21,000 acres of vineyards. For a laid-back tasting experience, check out the wineries at svwinecoop.com.
Solano County has a public art committee to oversee public art at the County Administration Center and other county facilities. Several Solano County cities also have public art programs, including Vacaville, Vallejo, Fairfield and Benicia. Fairfield is big on murals, and the murals are huge. Through collaborations between the Rotary Club of Fairfield, the City of Fairfield, the Fairfield Visual Art Association and the Fairfield Downtown Association, these amazing works of art can be seen on the sides of downtown buildings. The lead artist for Faces of Fairfield, a whopping 42’ X 80’ on the southeast corner of Texas and Jackson Streets, was Benicia artist Lee Wilder Snider. Some Solano cities, including Benicia and Vacaville, are compiling lists of art in public places. Vallejo has a very interesting collection of rare and unique books, printing equipment and binding tools, called “The McCune Collection,” at the JFK Public Library, mccunecollection.org.