On our pages in the November 2011 issue, Adriene and Bruce Rockwell shared the wisdom of researcher Dan Buettner, who traveled the globe to find where the happiest people in the world are living, and what makes them happy. The story revealed that happy people are not necessarily wealthy and living in a tropical paradise. Joyful, thriving people are found in communities with qualities much like Benicia.

For our tenth anniversary, here again are those ten reasons, updated, to be grateful that we live in Benicia, or what Buettner might call a “happiness hot spot.”  

Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities
Benicians enjoy expansive views across the water of one of the last unspoiled coastlines in the Bay Area.  

Historic Downtown
Recognized as a California Main Street City, downtown Benicia’s walk-able appeal, mile-long shopping/dining district and historic architecture, beckons visitors and residents alike.

Arts and Culture
Happy people have access to art, and Benicia is one of the most vibrant art cities in California.  

Human Kindness/Small Town Feel
The warmth and kindness encountered in Benicia offers a sense of trust and connectedness in our community, potentially adding years to our lives.

Family Friendly
The city is ideal for families and children with multiple parks, playgrounds, gardens, sports, events, classes and parent networks.  

Historical significance
Benicia was the first incorporated California city, in 1850, and its proud history is alive today—in evidence at our iconic historic buildings, at the Benicia State Capitol and at the Benicia Historical Museum.

Top Schools
The first public school in California was in Benicia, so it shouldn’t be surprising that Benicia Unified boasts some of the top performing schools in the state.   

A Green City
With an active sustainability commission and climate action plan, Benicians are reducing the carbon footprint in innovative ways. Biking to work, school and for enjoyment is common.

Geographic Location
A hub between San Francisco, Sacramento and the Napa Valley, Benicia’s enviable location on the Carquinez Strait allows quick and easy access to the best the Bay Area has to offer.

A Promising Future
More than income, education or religion, the place where you live determines your level of happiness. Benicia provides many of the necessary ingredients for humans to thrive.