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Fairfield

Stretching along Interstate 80, this small town is a welcoming place of surprising discoveries

  • Summary
  • Official Resources
  • Things to do
  • Gallery
  • Places to Eat & Drink

Almost exactly halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, Fairfield straddles the line between the Bay Area and the Central Valley. In the rolling hills of Solano County near Suisun Bay, it’s a small city with a bit of everything: open space for outdoor recreation, wineries, a California Welcome Center, and even a sculpture ranch.

Fairfield’s most famous attraction is the Jelly Belly Factory, where the iconic candies—more than 50 flavors in all—are made in a rainbow of colors. Self-guided tours let you peer down into the factory and interactive exhibits detail the manufacturing process. Afterward, you can satisfy those inevitable Jelly Belly cravings at the factory’s candy store.

Kids will love riding the rails and seeing the vintage rolling stock at the Western Railway Museum in neighboring Suisun City. Take your pick of journeys into the past on 11-mile roundtrips aboard a historic interurban electric railcar or quick 15-minute streetcar trips. You can also learn about the West Coast’s military aviation heritage, from World War II into the Space Age, and see such aircraft as a B-29 Superfortress at Travis Air Force Base’s Travis Heritage Center (be sure to check visiting instructions). If historic military vehicles built for solid ground are more your thing, a visit to the American Armory Museum is a must. You can see tanks from various eras, plus motorcycles, rocket-equipped jeeps, armored personnel carriers and more.

While you’re in Fairfield, you’ll want to get out and discover its gorgeous natural areas. The 633-acre Rockville Hills Regional Park has an extensive 30-mile trail network that lets hikers and mountain bikers explore shaded oak woodland and grasslands habitats. A section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail runs through the park, and you can watch for wildlife while picnicking alongside a lake and pond. The Solano Land Trust protects 22,000 acres in the county, including Lynch Canyon Open Space Park, 1,039 acres of onetime ranchlands with both a deep Native American history and what many people consider to be the best views in Solano County.

For a very different side of the local environment, explore Suisun Marsh just outside Fairfield; this enormous tidal marsh (the West Coast’s largest) draws birders, kayakers, and hikers to its labyrinth of trails and waterways. Get out on the water with Grizzly Waters Kayaking, which rents kayaks and stand-up paddleboards and also leads sunset and full-moon paddles.

Even as Fairfield has grown, agriculture remains a vital part of the community. Take a drive and stop at Fairfield’s many local farm stands (including Larry’s Produce, run by fourth-generation farmer Larry Balestra) for an assortment of the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables. Or visit Il Fiorello Olive Oil Company to taste its award-winning extra virgin varieties and tour the milling facility and olive tree groves. For more olive oil, as well as an assortment of artisanal food products and wines, stop at Sonoma Harvest Olive Oil and Winery.

While Napa Valley isn’t far away, Fairfield has its own wine country just outside town. The wine tradition in Suisun Valley dates to the 1800s and more than 20 grape varieties now grow in this diverse region that boasts a reputation for outstanding Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah.

Set in an old gas station, the Suisun Valley Filling Station and Visitor Center is a great place to sample wines from several boutique valley vineyards. Wooden Valley Winery opened in 1933 and its wines have garnered numerous awards at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Back in town, you’ll find an assortment of outstanding eats, from New American favorites at Two60 Kitchen and Bar to innovative Mexican cuisine at Favela’s Fusion.

Featured Fairfield

Best-Kept Secret: Solano County
An ocean shore

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