Benicia State Recreation Area

The Benicia State Recreation Area covers marsh, grassy hillsides and rocky beaches along the narrowest portion of the Carquinez Strait. Cyclists, runners, walkers, equestrians, and roller skaters enjoy the park’s 2 1/2 miles of road and bike paths. Picnicking, bird watching and fishing are also attractions.  Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Picnic areas and public restrooms are available.

The marshland area on Dillon’s Point is a particularly favorite place for fishing. A parking fee is required.  

Three ‘Enroute’ campsites are available for an overnight stay on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis with no reservations possible. This camping is limited to motorhomes or vehicles with trailers, which must be fully self-contained. Tents are not permitted.

Forrest-Deaner Native Plant Botanical Garden

Within the Benicia State Recreation Area is the Forest Deaner Botanic garden.  The garden represents over 250 species of native plants on 3.5 acres overlooking Southampton Bay. The Garden has been recognized as one of the thirteen leading native plant collections in the State.  Forrest E. Deaner inspired and helped organize a native plant botanic garden in California. It is near the town of historic Benicia and has views of the Carquinez Strait, the San Joaquin River and the Sacramento River. It has a Butterfly/Hummingbird Garden, a Riparian Garden, a Residential/Community Garden, a Native American Garden, a Wildflower Meadow and a collection of Oaks and other Native trees.

Benicia State Capitol

115 West G Street

The fledgling town of Benicia built this Greek Revival/Palladian structure to lure the State Legislature, which convened its 1853-54 session there before moving to Sacramento. The building served a number of uses for the next century until the State of California took steps to acquire its oldest capitol building as a State Historic Monument in 1951.After a few years of careful restoration, it was opened to the public in 1958 as Benicia Capitol State Historic Park. The building contains original furnishings, historic documents, the state seal embossing press, and an 1850s safe. The Senate and Assembly chambers appear as they were during Benicia’s Capitol days.A Capitol Gift Shop is operated by the Association. Wooden toys, books and California State Parks materials are available for sale in the shop.

Fischer-Hanlon House

135 West G Street

This pre-Civil War home was moved to its current site from a few blocks away and originally occupied by the Joseph Fischer family in 1858. Three generations of the family resided in the house until 1966, when Fischer’s granddaughters donated it to the State. The home and its original artifacts date to the 1840s.The Hanlon sisters were teachers, and many of the different plants in the garden were given to them by students.  Several are more than a century old, including the beautiful Japanese wisteria. The backyard also has several ancillary buildings including the servants’ quarters, carriage house and privy.The Fischer-Hanlon House is the only building in the State of California parks system that exhibits the life of the 19th century upper middle class family.  The house was dedicated to the State of California in 1968.