Vallejo: Gateway for Your Northern California Group Vacation

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Just an hour away from San Francisco is the trendy city of Vallejo. If you’re coming from San Francisco, leave your car behind and let one of Vallejo’s four high-speed catamaran ferries whisk you across the bay in comfort. Go ashore at the San Francisco Ferry Building, where your group  can celebrate food and wine in all its forms at the Ferry Building Marketplace, or San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 where you can shop til-you-drop at over 100 shops, restaurants, and attractions and spectacular views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.

In Fisherman’s Wharf tour members will also be able to enjoy more than 250 wax replicas of the world’s famous and infamous at the Wax Museum,as well as make ferry connections to take the Alcatraz tour or over to Angel Island State Park. At this park in the bay the tour group can relax on a tram tour of an authentic Civil War camp and the old immigration station on the island that prompted people to refer to Angel Island as the Ellis Island of the West. Bicycle and kayak rentals are also available on Angel Island for the more adventurous traveler.

Close to Northern California’s best group tour attractions

Despite what you might have been told sometimes close does count! And there is no better example of that than Vallejo, California. The city’s great location makes it the #1 Gateway City for your group’s Bay Area or Northern California vacation. Vallejo is close to San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, and the Napa and Sonoma wine countries. And Vallejo is just an hour from the ocean and two hours from the Sierra Nevada mountains. Along with its location, Vallejo’s affordability makes it the very best overnight destination for tour groups where they can explore all the wonderful things to see and do in Northern California.

Your stay in Vallejo offers all the comforts and attractions of a big city, with the charm and appeal of a relaxed, small town atmosphere. The city is perhaps best known as the home of Six Flags Marine World and the now closed Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Six Flags Marine World is one of the only combination animal park, oceanarium, and theme park in the world. Truly a place for all types of groups, a day at Six Flags includes getting splashed by a killer whale, encountering an elephant, watching a walrus, and riding one of the parks many rides, ranging from mild to wild. The park features several world-class roller coasters, as well as other rides for the the gamut of age groups.

Although closed by the military in 1996, the once secret Mare Island Naval Shipyard is now open for group tours of its unique history. The first military installation on the west coast, Mare Island features almost 150 years of U.S. Navy, California, and Vallejo history. St. Peters Chapel, located on the island, contains a priceless collection of Tiffany stained glass windows. The magnificent mansions on Officers Row, the historic stone dry dock built over the course of almost 20 years late in the 19th Century, and the building ways where almost 500 ships from sailing vessels to nuclear submarines were built and launched, and the new Mare Island Museum, all make a tour of Mare Island something not to be missed.

The City of Vallejo’s own rich history can be viewed by a tour of the city’s Heritage and Historic Districts, featuring homes from the 1800s. Located in the heart of the historic district is the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum, a great place to start to learn more about Vallejo’s unique history. The museum houses two floors of exhibits and information about Vallejo and Mare Island, and even includes a working WWII submarine periscope.

Vallejo’s neighbors also have their own unique historical tales to tell. The Benicia Camel Barn Museum, Napa Valley Museum, Travis Air Force Museum, Vacaville Museum, and the Western Railway Museum are all great group tour spots located nearby. While staying in Vallejo you will also want to make a short trip to visit the Jelly Belly Candy Company, makers of the world famous Jelly Belly jelly beans. Free factory tours begin at their visitor center, continue through the factory where you can see how Jelly Bellies are made, and finish at their onsite cafe and ice cream parlor. Free tours are also available at the nearby Anheuser-Busch brewery, one of only a handful of locations in the United States where you can see how the King of Beers is crafted.

Explore Napa Valley’s Wine Country

Because Vallejo is located at the southern end of the Napa Valley, no group trip to the area would be complete without a visit to one of the most famous grape growing and wine making regions in the world. The Napa Valley Wine Train offers daily trips through the heart of the valley, serving gourmet food and renowned Napa Valley Wines. Another way of seeing the valley is from the sky on an early morning ballooning adventure with Napa Valley Balloons, Of course, it is also possible to explore the Napa and Sonoma Valleys on your own. Both areas offer many fine wineries, both big and small, including V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena and the well-known champagne makers at Domaine Carneros. Downtown Napa’s cool attraction is COPIA: The American Center for Wine Food & the Arts and it extends the definition of museum to new dimensions. With unique exhibitions, tasty delicacies and a world of discoveries for all ages, COPIA offers seasonal art exhibits as well as daily programs including food and wine classes and garden workshops.

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