Solano County is in the Bay Area of California. It is more rural than many other Bay Area counties with a population of approximately 400,000.
Solano County was one of the state's original counties at the time of statehood in 1850, and two of its cities have served as early state capitals: Vallejo was the capital in 1852 and again in 1853, while Benicia served as the capital from February 1853 until February 1854. The county is named after Chief Solano of the Suisun people, a Native American tribe of the region that was closely allied to General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo.
Interstate 80 is the main highway through the region, taking travelers from San Francisco northeast through the county towards Sacramento. Interstate 680 provides access from the East Bay, while Interstate 780 cross along the Carquinez Strait connecting Interstate 80 to Interstate 680. Interstate 505 enters the county from the north and provides access for travelers traveling south on Interstate 5, the main north-south route through California.
- 1 Napa County - Neighboring Solano County to the northwest, America's preeminent wine-producing region attracts more than five million annual visitors to over two hundred wineries, often overcrowding the roadways on summer weekends. Travelers will find world-famous restaurants to complement the wines, and lodging that includes luxury spas, B&Bs, and upscale hotels. Those uninterested in viticulture may choose to enjoy the hot springs of Calistoga or hike/bike the many parks and trails in the area's beautiful rolling hills.
- 2 Yolo County - With extensive farmlands, Solano County's northern neighbor offers numerous opportunities for visitors to engage in agritourism: farmer's markets are held regularly, organic farms offer tours and the opportunity to pick your own produce, and more than 35 wineries can be found in the county. The college town of Davis is home to California's third-largest state university and boasts the highest number of bikes per capita in the USA, a statistic that led the US Bicycling Hall of Fame to move to the town in 2010.
- 3 Sacramento County - Bordering Solano County to the east, Sacramento County stretches from the wetlands at the edge of the San Francisco Bay to the rolling hills of Gold Country. The Sacramento and American Rivers played prominent roles in the county's development, and today offer outdoor opportunities ranging from boating to fishing to birdwatching. The capital city of Sacramento is located at the rivers' confluence, and visitors will appreciate its historic districts and more than 25 museums.
- 4 Contra Costa County - Solano County's southern neighbor is a primarily residential county that offers a vast array of food, shopping, and lodging options for Bay Area visitors. The landscape is dominated by Mount Diablo, a peak that provides excellent hiking opportunities and, on clear days, summit views that stretch for well over 100 miles in all directions. Other attractions include the John Muir Historic Site in Martinez, the estate of Nobel winning playwright Eugene O'Neill in Danville, and a WWII shipyard, now a national historic site, in Richmond.
- 5 San Francisco - The heart of the Bay Area, famous for its scenic beauty and unique culture.
- 6 Marin County - Visitors to Solano County's neighbor to the west can see migrating gray whales while strolling the wind-swept beaches of Point Reyes National Seashore, take in the views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands, or soak in the majesty of the redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument. The county's tiny towns are full of character, and include the artistic enclave of Sausalito, as well as Bolinas, whose reclusive residents are notorious for removing any road sign that points the way into their town.
- 7 Sonoma County - Although its wineries may not be as famous as those in the Napa Valley, Solano County's northwestern neighbor is actually the largest wine producer in California Wine Country and home to over 250 wineries. More than seven million visitors each year explore the county's open spaces and beautiful coastline, including the big trees at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve and the seaside town of Bodega Bay where Alfred Hitchcock's thriller The Birds was filmed. For those interested in early California history, Fort Ross is a state historic site that preserves a fur trading outpost that was operated by Russia from 1812-1841.