Discover Solano Summer 2022: Discover Rio Vista

Water helped bring this Solano County community to life and, in 1862, contributed to its destruction.

That’s when the Sacramento River rose and 12 feet of water covered Rio Vista.

The community was reestablished on higher ground approximately 2 miles from its original location where the Cache Slough meets the Sacramento River.

A wharf was built and the first church, for Catholics, was erected in 1862. A Congregationalist church was also built the same year.

A salmon cannery was one of the businesses in the river town, which has recently experienced rapid growth. Its population nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010, and California State Department of Finance projections predict continued growth.

The Sacramento River has often doubled in movies as the Mississippi River – notably playing a starring role in many Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn films from the early 1900s. Dozens of other notable films – from silent to talkies – brought in famous stars and directors such as William Desmond, John Ford, Cecil B. DeMille, Jackie Coogen and possibly even John Wayne, when ‘The Big Trail’ was filmed there in 1930.

Along with human visitors, wayward humpback whales sometimes make their way to Rio Vista, attracting enough attention to block the tiny hamlet. The most recent date back to 2007 – a mother and calf named Delta and Dawn. Humphrey’s visit in 1985, however, is immortalized on a plaque at the foot of Main Street by City Hall.

The Chamber of Commerce likes to note that Joseph Strauss, the architect of the Golden Gate Bridge, designed the community’s largest landmark, the Helen Madeira Memorial Bridge, or the Rio Vista Bridge as it is known, “located across the river Historic Sacramento with a silhouette of the rolling hills of Montezuma to the south.

Madere was a former Rio Vista city councilwoman.

The business group also boasts how Rio Vista “still maintains a laid-back, small-town attitude, even though it’s central to Northern California’s two largest population centers.” Additionally, the community is known for having some of the best sport fishing in the state and hosts the West Coast’s oldest striped bass derby every October – the Rio Vista Bass Derby and Festival.

Rio Vista Airport on the outskirts of town makes flying in for a business day, lunch, or just exploring the area easily accessible. The community is also home to “world class” Percheron horses, buffaloes, and the only endive producer in the United States.

Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find Rio Vista a friendly and fun place to visit, right in the heart of the California Delta.

Rio Vista is trying to stay ahead of the game by improving the city’s infrastructure and modernizing the downtown area. The community relies on its location to continue its growth, as Rio Vista did when its proximity to the Sacramento River allowed the city to capitalize on trade between San Francisco and Sacramento.

Today, Fairfield and Lodi, each about 20 minutes away on Highway 12, are the largest nearby towns. Stockton and Sacramento are just half an hour away on nearby Interstate 5.

The town is home to a number of very popular events in addition to the venerable Bass Derby and Festival. The city offers downtown shopping, several restaurants, and the Rio Vista Museum where people can learn about the history of Rio Vista and the delta.

Nearly 6% of the city exists in nearby waterways – and the community’s future may match its river past.

Chamber of Commerce: 37 N. Second St., Rio Vista. 374-2700, www.riovista.org

Foster’s Bighorn Bar

If you’re looking for big horns – literally – look no further than Foster’s Bighorn Bar in Rio Vista.

Along with an extensive menu of grills, steaks, seafood and a well-stocked bar, the restaurant has a private collection of over 250 big game specimens from Africa and North America.

The collection was put together by Bill Foster in the 1930s and 1940s. Several exotic and prized animals from his travels in Africa, Canada and Alaska hang on the wall, including African elephant and giraffe heads.

Foster, originally from Hayward, was involved in smuggling. Fleeing the law, he moved his wildlife collection to Rio Vista, where it remained for over 100 years.

Location: 143 Main Street Rio Vista
More information: 707-374-2511, www.fostersbighorn.com

Sand beach

Located on the Sacramento River near Rio Vista, the half-mile-long sandy beach is a great Solano County spot to cool off in the spring, summer, and fall and enjoy the outdoors all day long. year round.

It is open year-round and has a 24-hour boat launch, campsites and picnic areas including tables, barbecues, volleyball courts and a tennis court. Horseshoe.

Location: 2333 Beach Drive, Rio Vista
More information: 374-2097 (maps and reservation information available), https://www.solanocounty.com/depts/rm/countypark/sandybeach.asp.

Rio Vision Gallery

Rio Vision Gallery features art from the Delta region by local artists. The gallery offers monthly artist receptions.

Location: 116 Main Street, Rio Vista
More information: 707-360-5244, www.riovisiongallery.com

Rio Vista Museum

Step back in history when you enter the Rio Vista Museum.

Local memories of years past are spread across a wide range of artifacts – from photos and newspaper headlines to vehicles, farm equipment to clothing, books to kitchenware. Opened in 1975, it is located in a former blacksmith’s workshop. Friendly and knowledgeable docents are available to answer all your questions.

Location: 16 N. Front St., Rio Vista
More information: 707-374-5169, www.riovistamuseum.com

Rio Vista Events Calendar

Summer market: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second and fourth Sundays in August. Delta Bay Park, 922 W. Brannan Island Road, Isleton. The event includes arts and crafts, locally grown produce and fresh eggs, a children’s corner, barbecue, music and non-profit exhibits. Info: https://deltabay.org/foundation/.

Rockin’ the River Concerts: The Rockin’ the River Concert Series is sponsored by Starlight Stage and the Rio Vista Art & Music Center and includes free shows all summer long along the Sacramento River. The Starlight stage is completely self-contained and includes a state-of-the-art digital sound system and digital lighting to meet most technical pilot requirements. The stage has a performance area of ​​40 feet by 16 feet. The next shows are scheduled for July 8, July 22, August 12, August 19, September 2, September 16 and September 30. Info: Starlight Stage, 100 Main St., Rio Vista, https://www.starlightstageshows.com/.

August Pork Bites: Downtown hosts Hog August Bites from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on August 27. . For further information: Downtown Rio Vista, 707-469-3080, www.hogaugustbites.com.

74th Annual Bass Derby and Festival: Thousands of anglers will descend on Solano County’s delta community for the 74th annual Derby and Bass Festival, scheduled for Oct. 7-9. The Rio Vista Bass Festival is open to anyone who loves to fish. The Rio Vista Bass Festival offers everyone a chance to have fun and provides a full middle ground with carnival rides, games, food, drink and live entertainment. Access and parking at the Derby and the festival are free for the public. A community parade begins at noon on October 9. For further information: various locations, 707-374-2700, www.bassfestival.com.

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