Midway between San Francisco and Sacramento, Vacaville is the perfect location to be in a smaller town, but still be close to several large cities and areas, including Napa Valley. Boasting rolling hillsides that turn golden in the summer, fruit orchards, and fertile farmland, you’re sure to find great food in this area. The weather is also quite nice, with the summer high averaging in the mid-nineties and the winter low averaging in the mid-thirties.
Lagoon Valley/Peña Adobe Regional Park
Containing over 470 acres of hiking and biking trails, the Lagoon Valley & Pena Adobe Park is the perfect place to escape into nature for a few hours. Some of the attractions at the park include fishing, non-motorized boating, archery, disc golf, and a large dog park. Or, you can just enjoy the sweeping views of the hills and the lake from several different vantage points.
Hidden amongst the trees is even a tree swing, great for letting the breeze blow through your hair. If you want a historic piece as well, in the Peña Adobe section you will discover several adobe houses that were built in the 1840s. The first Saturday of every month even has demonstrations of early pioneer and Native American life, bringing the past back into the present for a day.
The best kind of museum is one that specializes in the county you are visiting, which is exactly what the Vacaville Museum is. With its first exhibit presented to the public in May of 1984, the museum has been providing information about Solano County for decades.
The main aim of the museum is to preserve and collect artifacts that relate to Solano County, and promote the rich history of this area through detailed exhibits and programs. With over a dozen past exhibits, you could return to Vacaville and visit the museum for a completely new experience. Though most of the traffic in the museum are locals, there are several other visitors that come and see exhibits about places such as Berryessa Valley and the Nut Tree.
Morningsun Herb Farm
Let your inner botanist out at Morningsun Herb Farm, which opened in 1995. With over 500 species of herbs, vegetables, perennials, and pollinator plants grown in their gardens, this family-owned nursery will cater to your every need. They even specialize in lavenders, with forty-five varieties being grown around the property.
If you’re looking for planting inspiration, check out their several display gardens. These are perfect for photography, artists, and the prospective gardener for inspiration on how to plant their own beautiful garden. Either take a walk around the grounds, or bring a picnic lunch and eat next to the luscious plants.
Jack Hume Grove
Not as well-known as other groves in the area, the Jack Hume Grove is a great spot to dive into nature without the constant presence of other visitors. Filled with redwood trees, the location is close to the Peña Adobe Park, so you could travel between the two and still have time for other activities in the day. In the park itself, you can use the trails to bike, jog, walk, or bring your dog along for a stroll.
The park itself was named after a Vacaville native who co-founded Basic Vegetable Products Co. Make sure you bring a phone or GPS with you though if you want to see the redwoods, as they are tucked farther into the park. A short walk is well worth the wait to see the enormous trees, and just take a second to get out of the city.
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Indie bookstores are the best, because no matter how many you find, they will never be exactly the same. This is true for Bounty Books in Vacaville, an indie bookstore that sells both newer and older editions in a wide range of genres.
They also have themed displays, so if you’re really into BookTok recommendations or spooky season favorites, you are sure to find something that scratches your reading itch.
Rice Barn | Thai Eatery and Wine Bar
Serving fresh farm ingredients in Thai food with a California twist, the Rice Barn is a unique restaurant to stop at for some delicious food. Their elevated food combined with savory ingredients makes their restaurant memorable over several others.
- Hours: Mon-Fri 11-2:30/4:30-8:30, Sat-Sun 11:30-2:30/4-8:30
- Featured Food: Crispy Duck Fried Rice / Drunken Man Noodles
Black Bear Diner Vacaville
Start the day off right with the Black Bear Diner. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there are a ton of mouth-watering options at this restaurant. With other locations scattered around in the United States, if you don’t make it this time, you can probably find another Black Bear to dine at and try their unique food selections.
- Hours: Mon-Sun 6am-9pm
- Featured Food: The GRIZZ! / BIGFOOT Chicken Fried Steak
Vacaville may be a smaller town, but there is plenty to do for a day-trip and still have lots of fun. Spend your day lounging around in the sun at a park, or head into an indie bookstore and pick out your new favorite novel. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you take in the beauty of the rolling hills and expansive agriculture in Vacaville.