23 Best & Fun Things to Do in Vallejo (CA)

Vallejo is nestled 30 miles from northern San Francisco in Solano County, California, United States.

It is the second most populous city in the Northern region of the Bay Area, having a population of 126,090 during the 2020 census.

As a waterfront city, Vallejo represents how remarkable Mother Nature is due to its incredible natural resources.

Vallejo is home to numerous exciting attractions that offer visitors the kind of experience they can’t get anywhere else.

There are attractions like Empress Theatre, Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, Vallejo Farmers’ Market, San Francisco Bay Ferry Vallejo, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Mare Island Brewing Company, and more.

Planning an exploration of Vallejo? Let’s check out the best things to do in Vallejo, CA.

Things to Do in Vallejo

1. Mare Island

Mare Island
Credits: Photo_Time / Shutterstock
Mare Island

Make sure you visit Mare Island, one of the most popular attractions in the city, if you’re searching for what to do in Vallejo, CA.

Mare Island was previously the home of the largest and most expansive shipbuilding location in the Bay Area.

The old Naval Shipyard is open to everyone who would like to come in and explore the entire facility. Mare Island is great for explorers, bird watchers, and photographers.

Visitors can tour the grassy hills and wetlands packed with numerous species of birds, including the historic buildings.

Mare Island features other attractions, such as the United States Naval Chapel, the home of the grand officer, and the oldest Naval Cemetery on the West Coast.

A soothing and comforting aura is hovering around the area with a perfect mix of preserved historic landmarks.

Address: Vallejo, CA 94592 United States

2. Empress Theatre

Empress Theatre
Credits: Kiddo27 [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia Commons
Empress Theatre
Are you ready for terrific entertainment? Add a visit to Empress Theatre to your list of top things to do in Vallejo, CA.

Empress Theatre, founded in 1911, is now proclaimed a significant historical landmark in the city.

It is known as the happening place in the city, being an outstanding performing arts theatre that offers a diverse range of entertainment.

The theatre is a venue for a wide variety of shows, including live concerts, performances, private events, and other premium entertainment.

Empress Theatre was constructed by the independent order of odd fellows, although William A. Jones designed it.

Visitors, especially emerging architects, would absolutely acknowledge and admire the gorgeous architectural style of the buildings.

The theatre features a classic lounge-inspired bar, high-quality lights, and acoustics, serving as a venue for small or private events.

Address: 330 Virginia Street, Vallejo, CA 94590, United States

3. Mare Island Museum

Mare Island Museum
Credits: Liz Henry / Flickr
Mare Island Museum

For those interested in history and past discoveries, Mare Island Museum is a place they will love to visit.

Mare Island Museum is a component of the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation, which features numerous intriguing landmarks around the Mare Island of Vallejo.

You can embark on a 60-minute self-guided tour which allows you to scrutinize the Mare Island Museum, gardens, and the charming setups of the different mansions, including Building 46, which houses the major presentations of the Mare Island Museum.

Other structures to explore include the Captain’s Quarters, the Admiral’s Mansion, and St. Peter’s Chapel.

Address: 1100 Railroad Avenue, Vallejo, CA 94589, United States

4. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Credits: Iv-olga / Shutterstock
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Tourists seeking an amazing adventure should include a visit to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on their list of the fun things to do in Vallejo, CA.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom offers guests thrilling, high-octane rides, such as the Boomerang coast, Batman the Ride, the number one 4D free fly coaster in northern California, and a Coaster offering loop trips.

You will find the Dare Devil Chaos Coaster, a recent reversing roller coaster, and other collections of exciting rides.

The park also features family-friendly and slower rides for children who can’t keep up with the high-speed rides.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom offers rides for individuals of different ages with many activities for younger kids.

There are amenities available here for live entertainment and dining activities where visitors can relax and have a great time.

Address: 1001 Fairgrounds Drive SW, Vallejo, CA 94589, United States

5. San Francisco Bay Ferry Vallejo

San Francisco Bay Ferry Vallejo
Credits: Jack Snell / Flickr
San Francisco Bay Ferry Vallejo

San Francisco Bay Ferry Vallejo offers visitors an opportunity to explore this beautiful waterfront city through the paths from SF Ferry buildings to Vallejo.

This attraction allows visitors to engulf the scenic vistas of Vallejo from a certain distance. This is the perfect option if you want to make a fast trip to San Francisco.

The ferry offers a ride that lasts only 60 minutes; it is worth the money and effort. The ferry trips are made according to schedules throughout the day, on weekdays and weekends.

San Francisco Bay Ferry is one of the most popular activities amongst tourists as they enjoy gorgeous views of the two cities. Therefore it is one of the best places to visit in Vallejo, CA.

Address: 289 Mare Island Way, Vallejo, CA 94590, United States

6. Vino Godfather Winery

Vino Godfather Winery
Credits: OPOLJA / Shutterstock

Vino Godfather Winery, well known for producing delicious wines, offers the best wines at affordable costs.

Vino Godfather Winery is commonly called the gateway to the world-renowned Napa Valley Wine Country of California.

Their tradition of making wines dates back to the late 1800s, which is the major reason for the distinct tastes of all their products.

You can stop by the tasting room in the winery and sample some of their best products and take some of your favorite drinks home after purchasing them from the store.

Vino Godfather Winery offers wines such as 2021 Speakeasy Chardonnay, 2017 St. Peter’s Church Clone Zinfandel, 2018 Prohibition Red, 2016 Reserve Petite Sirah, 2015 Teroldego Amore, and more.

Address: 1005 Walnut Ave, Vallejo, CA 94592, United States

7. Napa Smith Brewery

Napa Smith Brewery
Credits: givaga / Shutterstock

Are you searching for a place that offers excellent beers? Visiting Napa Smith Brewery is one of the best things to do in Vallejo, CA.

Napa Smith Brewery, nestled in California’s Bay Area, is popular for its unique preserve of craft beers in the region.

The owners of this brewery maintain the classic American craft beer tradition and inculcate it into every product, which is the main reason for the unique tastes of the brews.

They also maintain a high level of integrity, ensuring that the brews are made with immense quality which meets the world standard.

Napa Smith Brewery uses the best ingredients with a unique recipe in producing their signature brews, such as Brewer’s Series IPA, American lager, Mt. Sutro Wheat, Harvest Saison, Bonfire Imperial Porter, Angel Island IPA, Redwood Amber Ale, and more.

The taproom is open to the public allowing visitors to walk in and try out a good number of their brews or purchase some take-home growlers.

Address; 101 Yolano Dr, Vallejo, CA 94589, United States

8. Buttercup

Buttercup
Credits: vkuslandia / Shutterstock
walnut pie

For an amazing dining experience, Buttercup is one of the best places to visit in Vallejo, CA, with your family and friends.

Buttercup is an east coast-style restaurant popular for offering freshly prepared food made with freshly sourced local ingredients.

The restaurant offers an upscale atmosphere with a family-friendly environment in its various branches within the state.

Every meal served is made on-site from scratch using special recipes and techniques of the restaurant’s owner, Debbie.

Buttercup offers an impressive menu featuring breakfast, lunch, and dinner with desserts that cater to sweet lovers’ needs.

They are popular for their special upside-down apple walnut pie, topped with delicious walnut glaze and brown sugar.

The staff is friendly and polite, highly welcoming, and receptive when dealing with customers making sure they are satisfied.

Address: 3288 Sonoma Boulevard, Vallejo, CA 94590, United States

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9. Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
Credits: Sanfranman59 [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
It is a place that educates the public about the captivating stories of the roles of Vallejo in the history of the US Navy.

Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum collects, preserves, and promotes the various sensational roles played by the city in the western operations of the navy.

This Museum, encompassing more than 25,000 square feet, features five galleries that focus on the town, the naval shipyard, and more.

It also features an active submarine periscope, showcasing an amazing view of the community and Mare Island.

Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum displays an extensive collection of maritime memorabilia, model ships, historic photographs, and original accounts of those who served during the early days on the base.

This facility has been used for various purposes over the years, such as a government building and police station with a gallery showcasing the artworks of local artists.

Address: 734 Marin Street, Vallejo, CA 94590, United States

10. Napa Valley Vic’s Wine Tours

Napa Valley Vic’s Wine Tours
Credits: Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock

Are you indecisive about what to do in Vallejo, CA? Go on a wine tour. Napa Valley Vic’s Wine Tours is famous for its grand getaways and awesome services.

Napa Valley Vic’s Wine Tours offers traditional tours of the world celebrated wine cultivating area of California.

The company ensures its visitors have a nice ride as they visit some of the wineries through professional and outstanding car services.

Visitors who join these wine tours learn the secrets of wine production and explore the charming vineyards where winemakers grow their grapes.

Napa Valley Vic’s Wine Tours is dedicated to offering patrons an incredible experience that would definitely exceed their expectations.

Address: 108 Coloma Way, Vallejo, CA 94589, United States

11. Mare Island Naval Shipyard

Mare Island Naval Shipyard
Credits: Matthew Emes / Shutterstock
Mare Island Naval Shipyard

One of the top things to do in Vallejo, CA, is visiting the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, a national historic site.

Mare Island Naval Shipyard is an excellent spot for individuals who want to learn about their naval history.

The naval base was built in 1854, making it the first of its kind on the West Coast and one of the most popular attractions in the town.

In this location, visitors learn fascinating facts about Mare Island’s naval history and browse through other attractions like Alden Park.

Mare Island Naval Shipyard is open for guided tours. Visitors can thoroughly explore the property, including gantry cranes, dry rocks, and slips.

Mare Island Naval Shipyard workers still hold an amazing record of constructing a USS destroyer in less than 18 days.

Address: Mare Island, Vallejo, CA 94592, United States

12. Carquinez Bridge

Carquinez Bridge
Credits: Jim Feliciano / Shutterstock
Carquinez Bridge

Carquinez Bridge is an important Vallejo landmark at the northeastern end of San Francisco Bay.

Carquinez Bridge is a great route to drive through as it offers views of Crockett, the neighboring town.

It is made up of two similar bridges, though when it was built in 1927, it was a single layout before the second bridge was included in 1958.

There the views offered by the bridges are incredibly magnificent.

 As long as you’re in Vallejo, visiting this iconic landmark is highly advised.

Address: Vallejo, CA, United States

13. Napoli Pizzeria and Italian Food

Napoli Pizzeria and Italian Food
Credits: Napoli Pizza / Facebook
Napoli Pizzeria and Italian Food

Whenever you want to hang out with your loved ones, dine at Napoli Pizzeria and Italian Food in Vallejo.

Napoli Pizzeria and Italian Food is the best point to grab delicious slices of pizza and authentic Italian cuisine.

The restaurant has seven award-winning pizzas made by hand and perfectly cooked in a sufficiently seasoned brick oven.

It has been in business since 1956 and has consistently served its signature homemade sauces and pasta prepared in its kitchen.

Napoli Pizzeria and Italian Food create a fun and vibrant atmosphere for all visitors to dine with a comfortable parlor seating style.

The restaurant offers a wide range of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Make sure you try out some of their unique pizza creations made with specific toppings, such as the Pizza Bianca, the Chicken Bravo, and the Tony’s Specia.

Address: 124 Tennessee Street, Vallejo, CA, United States

14. Children’s Wonderland Park

Children's Wonderland Park
Credits: Children’s Wonderland Park / Facebook
Children’s Wonderland Park

For families traveling with kids, one of the fun things to do in Vallejo, CA, is visiting Children’s Wonderland Park.

Many children consider Children’s Wonderland Park a paradise, as it’s a location that portrays their imagination of a magical world.

This amazing recreation center has many play equipment, including castles, trains, and tea cups.

As its name implies, Children’s Wonderland Park is a land of wonder for little children, hosting several fun events and inviting them to come and play with other kids.

Children’s Wonderland Park offers numerous amenities to keep the children’s minds engaged and healthy.

Address: 360 Glenn St, Vallejo, CA 94590, United States

15. Mare Island Brewing Company

Mare Island Brewing Company
Credits: UfaBizPhoto / Shutterstock

Mare Island Brewing Company is operated by two former wine producers who worked tirelessly to produce an Island’s worthy handcrafted beers.

The company features a taproom located on the northern part of the San Francisco Bay’s waterfront offering six beers.

Some of the beers offered to visitors include the Angles and Dangles American Blonde Ale, the Coal Shed Stout, Farragut’s Farmhouse Ale, the Saginaw Golden Ale, the Shipwright’s Porter, and the Hydraulic Sandwich IPA.

Mare Island Brewing Company staff is friendly and welcoming; they are always ready to attend to the customers and answer their questions.

What could be better than sipping from a glass of tasty beer as you enjoy the picturesque views of the bay?

Address: 289 Mare Island Way, Vallejo, CA 94590, United States

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16. Savage and Cooke

Savage and Cooke
Credits: vittlana / Shutterstock

An outstanding craft distillery, Savage and Cooke, is located on Mare Island. It was founded in 2018 by Dave Phinney, a Napa Valley winemaker.

Savage and Cooke is well known for producing small batches of high-quality brown spirits throughout the year.

They concentrate on complex flavors and good oak textures in their products, making them stand out from others.

Some of their products include Ayate Reposado, Ayate Anejo, Second Glance American Whiskey, and Burning Chair Bourbon.

Savage and Cooke is open for guided tours of the entire facility from Thursdays to Sundays, strictly by appointment. There is a public tasting room where visitors try out several delightful liquors.

Tasting expeditions are also offered based on reservations in a private room and are usually guided by experienced instructors.

Address: 1097 Nimitz Ave, Vallejo, CA 94592, United States

17. Michael Warring

Michael Warring
Credits: Alan LeClair / Flickr
Michael Warring

Have you ever had a meal that tickles your taste buds and makes you feel like you’re out of this world? Without delay, walk into Michael Warring‘s restaurant.

Michael Warring is an outstanding restaurant named after Michael Warring, one of the best chefs in the city.

Michael is known for creating perfect seasonal meals, which always gladdens the hearts of even the most hardened customers.

This small twenty-seating style restaurant offers six-course meals in a unique style with a regularly changed menu which depends on the season and products available.

 Michael Warring offers meals like Padron peppers and black truffle noodles, eggplant, guanciale, A5 Wagyu Beef, Satsuma Mandarin Ice Cream, foie Gras, Black Truffle Pasta, and more.

Michael Warring’s staff treats every visitor who comes in to dine as royalty, ensuring they are satisfied by the end of the day.

Address: 8300 Bennington Drive, Vallejo, CA 94591, United States

18. Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve

Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve
Credits: Pacific Southwest Forest Service, USDA / Flickr
Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve

Formerly the first Naval Ammunition Depot of the United States Navy, Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve offers spectacular vistas.

Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve draws the attention of numerous tourists from various parts of the country.

This two hundred and fifteen acres preserve was established in 2008 with fantastic walking trails.

The park also consists of the visitors’ center, showcasing exhibits about Mare Island’s history. Visitors will also sight wildlife roaming the area.

Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve is managed by Mare Island Heritage Trust, whose mission is to conserve, preserve, rebuild, manage and promote a location that offers visitors an interactive experience of the cultural, historical, and natural amenities of Mare Island and its surrounding.

Address: 167 O’Hara Ct, Vallejo, CA 94592, United States

19. McCune Rare Book and Art Collection

McCune Rare Book and Art Collection
Credits: connel / Shutterstock

If you have been searching for a rare book or limited edition, it’s almost certain you will find it at McCune Rare Book and Art Collection.

McCune Rare Book and Art Collection is open to the members of the public who have a keen interest in books, offering them a great experience.

Visit and experience the feeling of holding with your hands a rare book you may have been looking for, for a while.

The collection features an original page from the 15th century French Manuscript and for the 1551 & 1561 Chaucer books, including original leaves from the first printings of plays by Shakespeare.

McCune Rare Book and Art Collection is clean and well organized, with every book arranged according to its category.

Address: 505 Santa Clara Street, Vallejo, CA 94590, United States

20. The Landing Craft Support Museum

History enthusiasts should include the Landing Craft Support Museum on their checklist of attractions to explore.

The Landing Craft Support Museum houses the USS LCS-102, a ship constructed for the Navy of the United States during World War II.

This ship served the country for a short time during the Okinawa battle before it was moved to other nations, including Thailand, Japan, and China, when the war ended.

Later in 2007, it was returned to its country after it was retired and converted into a floating museum rich in massive war history.

The vessel was refurbished to its former glory, making it attractive to history fanatics from different parts of the world.

The Landing Craft Support Museum pays tribute to the LCS sailors, men, and officers who sacrificed their lives for the country.

Guided tours are offered, allowing visitors to learn more about the ship’s role and other vessels during the war.

Address: 289 Waterfront Ave, Vallejo, CA 94592, United States

21. Sunshine Smoothies and Coffee

Sunshine Smoothies and Coffee
Credits: 5 second Studio / Shutterstock

After a hectic day, relaxing at Sunshine Smoothies and Coffee is highly recommended. Sunshine Smoothies and Coffee boasts of offering the highest quality coffee, vegan smoothies, and freshly made juices.

The company owns two vegetable and fruit bins consisting of many items cultivated on the 30 acres of Ortega Tehama County farm.

They offer smoothies such as Purple Giant, which features fruits like spinach, mangoes, Apple juice, pineapple, peaches, ginger kale, and beets.

Try out the Pineapple Sunshine drinks, which include raspberries, strawberries, mangos, and pineapple juice. In addition, they serve some baked goods such as muffins and bagels.

Address: 811-823 Wilson Ave, Vallejo, CA 94590, United States

22. Vallejo Farmers’ Market

Vallejo Farmers’ Market
Credits: Alexandra Lande / Shutterstock

Vallejo Farmers’ Market, located in the middle of Vallejo, is open throughout the year, usually on Saturdays.

A non-profit organization operates Vallejo Farmers’ Market to offer the city’s agricultural personnel job opportunities and provide healthy dining options to many communities.

The market offers various vegetables, fruits, artisan cheeses, hams, beauty products, health products, and other local goods.

The farmers market has become a notable weekend tradition in the community irrespective of the weather or season.

Vallejo Farmers’ Market is an excellent place for food lovers searching for a nice setting to enjoy breakfast or lunch meals.

It provides a diverse collection of vendors offering high-quality and affordable produce, including art and craft items.

Address: 400 Georgia St, Vallejo, CA 94590, United States

23. Mare Island Naval Cemetery

Mare Island Naval Cemetery
Credits: Judy Hitzeman / Flickr
Mare Island Naval Cemetery

Mare Island Naval Cemetery served as the burial place for soldiers, crew members, naval officers, etc., dating back to the 1850s.

You can visit the cemetery and discover fascinating tales of those buried here, even though the capacity limit of the graveyard has been reached.

This site is the final resting place for exactly nine hundred individuals, including victims of the Mare Island explosion, six Russian mariners, and Murderess Lucy Lawson.

In 1975, Mare Island Naval Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a place for those interested in the history of the area.

You could spend an hour or more touring the entire facility and going through symbols and other details.

Address: Vallejo, CA 94590, United States

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Plan Your Trip to Vallejo

Vallejo is considered one of the most friendly tourist destinations in California and is a place every tourist should visit at least once.

Vallejo is incredibly beautiful, offering visitors countless opportunities to go outside and have a memorable experience.

You’re offered many options, ranging from nature to history to entertainment to dining to gaming. 

Start planning your trip to Vallejo!