Suisun Valley, California Information
Suisun Valley is east of Napa Valley and is located mostly in Solana County, California. It is 3 miles x 8 miles, and lies between the Vaca and the Howell mountains. It has a Mediterranean climate with an average low of 39° in December and January and an average high of 89 in July and August. It is part of California’s wine country. The Suisun Valley American Viticultural Area was established as a wine appellation in December 1982. Vineyards occupy 3,000 of the 15,000 acres in the valley. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, French Colombard, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Valdig, and Zinfandel are among the grapes grown there.
Suisun Valley, California Details
The valley is named after the Suisun Indians, who lived in the area, and the county was named after their chief Francisco Solano. Spain had control of this area, along with all of California, from 1769 to 1821. Then after Mexico won independence in 1821, the whole territory became part of the Mexican empire. The California territory came under the control of the United States after the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848, and it became the 31st state on September 9th, 1850. The Gold Rush of 1849 brought thousands of men to the territory. When these men realized the agricultural opportunities in the area, they brought their families. Cattle and wheat were the first things grown in the valley. Then orchards of pears and apricots replaced the wheat. While fruit orchards, wheat, soy beans, corn, sorghum, sunflowers, and olives for olive oil are important agricultural commodities in the area, vineyards have become the major industry since 1982.
Population and Real Estate Facts and Figures
According to the U. S. Census Bureau, there are over 400,000 people comprising 143,612 households in Solana County. Among the population for Solana County, 87.5 percent have high school degrees or higher, and 25 percent have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Median household income is $66,828, and per capita income is $29,185. In 2014, there were 6,745 employers offering 105,212 jobs.
There were 155,625 housing units in July 2015, up from 152,698 in April 2010, and 60 percent of these are owner-occupied. There were 1,434 building permits issued in 2015. The median value of the owner-occupied housing from 2011 to 2015 is $279,100. The median monthly cost of that housing with a mortgage during that time period is $1,961. The median monthly cost of that housing without a mortgage during that time period is $453. The median gross monthly rent from 2011 to 2015 is $1,294.
Things to Do in the Suisun Valley
Here is a sampling of things to do in the Suisun Valley.
The Bencia Historical Museum
Bencia was the first state Capitol of California. The Bencia Museum focuses on the contribution of Bencia to California history. Buildings seven through 10 are called The Camel Barn Complex. The name comes from the United States Army’s experimental use of camels as pack animals during the 1850’s through the 1860’s. After the start of the Civil War, the camels were sent to the Bencia Arsenal and auctioned to the public. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Free admission is available with Military Identification and to everyone on the first Wednesday of each month. Tours are available for adults, seniors, and educational groups. Tour applications can be made online or by telephone. The Museum Office is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The on-site Gift Shop can also be accessed online. An online exhibit is available, and the Stone Hall and the Spenger Garden are available to rent for special events.
Jelly Belly Factory Tour in Fairfield
Take free self-guided tours above the factory, explore the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Art Gallery, enjoy free samples, shop the various gift shops, and dine at the cafe. The free self-guided tours are available from 9 AM to 4 PM, and the Visitor Center is open from 9 AM to 5 PM except for certain holidays. There are also 60 to 90 minute Jelly Belly University guided tours Monday through Friday at 9:30AM, 11:30 AM, and 1:30 PM for a fee. Reservations are required.
The Western Railway Museum in Suisun City
The Western Railway Museum focuses on the history of streetcars, interurbans, electric railways, and trolley cars. The museum started when a group chartered an Oakland streetcar only to learn that it was going to be scrapped in a week. They bought it on the spot, and that was the start of the Bay Area Electric Railroad Association. The museum was opened in 1960. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the museum is open from Wednesday through Sunday from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM. The rest of the year the museum is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
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