The City of Benicia is a relatively small town, but it is a suburb of one of the world's favorite tourist destinations, San Francisco. While visitors to the Port of Benicia may be attracted to the glamour and glitter of the big city, Benicia offers several points of interest.
The Port of Benicia's Benicia Capital State Historic Park was the location of California's state capital in 1853 and 1854. The park contains the only state capitol building that still stands in California outside of the current capitol building in Sacramento. The Benicia capitol building is a faithful restoration of the pre-Sacramento capitol. Its interior boasts a recreation of the original ponderosa pine floor and period desks complete with candlestick, quill pen, top hat, and a 19th Century newspaper. The Fischer-Hanlon house, a historic property next to the building, is on the National Register of Historic Places. This old Gold Rush hotel has also been restored with great care.
The Benicia Historical Museum, on the site of the old Benicia Arsenal in the Port of Benicia, tells the story of city's history. The Camel Barn, a reminder of the US Army's mid-1800s experiment with using camels as pack animals, is the centerpiece of the museum. The museum contains hundreds of artifacts, photographs, and displays collected in the area.
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