Visiting Vivacious Vallejo

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Saint Peter chapel, Mare Island

The New Year is a great time to make a fresh start. While many are resolving to start a diet plan or to quit smoking, others may be resolving to find a new career or even a new place to call home. If relocation is on your 2013 horizon, here’s a place to consider: Vallejo, California.

While Vallejo had its share of financial challenges in the past, this terrific city has rebounded nicely and is attracting many new residents. The gorgeous Vallejo Old City Historic District near downtown features a collection of Victorian homes lining steep hills. South Vallejo also contains several historic buildings, including the Starr Mansion, built in 1869, and the Winslow House, built in 1860.

Since it was first settled in 1844, this city on the bay was a natural shipping and naval center. Mare Island Naval Shipyard, the West Coast’s first shipyard, was in operation from 1854 until it closed in 1996. Today, Mare Island is a preserve and is being developed into a park. This historic island accepts visitors on the second Saturday of every month, and those fortunate enough to make it to the island can tour historic locations as well as enjoy the wildlife, native plants, and amazing views. Mare Island also hosts special events, such as Mare Faire, which features a lighted trail walk, a silent auction, tours, music, and food.

Vallejo is home to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, an animal theme park with eight roller coasters. The theme park occupies 135 acres and includes animal exhibits, shows, and other rides, such as the Seaport Carousel, Superman Ultimate Flight, SkyScreamer, Kong, and Wave Jumper. During the holiday season, the theme park sparkles with the Main Street Festival of Lights, the Reindeer Village, Toyland, Winter Wonderland, and even a life-size snow globe.

For those who enjoy a strong sense of community, Vallejo is ideal. With a variety of art galleries, festivals, and events, you’ll find it easy to get out and meet new people – making a move to a new Vallejo apartment an easy transition. Before you know it, you’ll be shopping at the year-round farmer’s market, catching a show at the impressive Empress Theater or the Mira Theatre Guild’s Bay Terrace Theater, or enjoying a night out to hear the Vallejo Symphony. Festivals include the San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival, the Solano County Fair, Pista Sa Nayon-Filipino Cultural Festival, the Native American Pow Wow, the Northern California Pirate Festival, Hometown Celebrations, and the Juneteenth Celebration.

From the gorgeous bay and marina to the vibrant downtown filled with boutiques, restaurants, antique stores, and more, Vallejo is more than a former Navy town – it is a picturesque city with a cultural flair and amazing weather (the average high is 70 degrees). Vallejo residents take advantage of the year-round mild climate to enjoy the natural beauty of the area – by visiting nearby state parks and natural areas to spending sunny afternoons at one of the four public golf courses.

Boaters enjoy the marinas and yacht clubs, and wine connoisseurs will appreciate the proximity to the famous Napa and Sonoma Valley wine regions. San Francisco’s world-famous landmarks, shops, restaurants, and nightlife are an enjoyable and scenic ferry cruise away from Vallejo. And if all of that isn’t enough, residents of Vallejo can visit Angel Island, enjoy several area casinos, take the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour, charter a yacht, visit the Jelly Belly Factory, and much more.

If you’re ready for that fresh start, be sure to check out apartments in Vallejo and make the San Francisco Bay area your new home.