Buildings in historical downtown Vacaville, CA.

Things to Do Near Vacaville (Short Driving Distance)

The best thing about Vacaville is its central location. The list of things to do within driving distance of Vacaville is immense. It’s close to the Bay Area, Sacramento, Napa Valley, Lake Berryessa, the Sierra mountains and many beaches. 

San Francisco Bay Area

Within an hour, you can be in most parts of the San Francisco Bay Area from Vacaville. That means you can walk Pier 39 in San Francisco, visit Alcatraz island and all the other things the Bay Area has to offer. 

Famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco at night seen from Battery Spencer viewpoint. Long exposure, artistic vintage style processing.

Some of the world’s most famous parks, museums, zoos and more can be visited on a day trip from Vacaville. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, there are fantastic hiking locations in and around the Bay Area including Muir Woods, Mt. Diablo and other local outdoor favorites. 

A whole world of culinary experiences await with one of the most diverse regions for cuisine in the world.

Consider the Following Bay Area Attractions

  • Winchester Mystery House
  • Coit Tower, San Francisco
  • Oakland Zoo
  • Alcatraz Island

Sacramento Valley

Sacramento is the capital of California and it’s 35 miles from Vacaville. With a population of over 1.5 million, the greater Sacramento region has its share of attractions.

Historical sites from the gold rush and beyond provide for educational outings. Old Sacramento is a hub of dining, shopping, entertainment and history. 

If you’re looking for nightlife, Downtown Sacramento’s clubs and bars are favorites of all ages. From college students at Sacramento State University and UC Davis to more family-oriented crowds, there’s a restaurant, brewery or dining experience for everyone. 

Try these sacramento area attractions

  • Sutter Fort
  • Fairytale Land
  • Crocker Art Museum
  • American River Rafting

Napa Valley Wine Country

If you’re a wine lover, you’re in luck. Vacaville is a short drive from the nation’s most famous wine region, the Napa Valley. An endless number of unique wine tasting experiences and tours are just down the road. 

Couple tasting wine at a vineyard

One of our favorite experiences is the Napa Valley Wine Train. In the Spring, hot air balloon rides are popular. Some big names make appearances at local concert venues and the annual Bottle Rock festival draws crowds from all over the world.

Not a wine drinker? The lesser-known beer and whiskey industry has a strong footing in the area. 

Lake Berryessa

Just north of Vacaville is California’s 14th largest lake. Lake Berryessa is a destination for boaters, fishers and outdoors enthusiasts from all over northern California. 

Aerial view of Berryessa lake from Stebbins Cold Canyon, Napa Valley, California

The lake itself has a rich history as one of the largest man-made reservoirs in California. The Monticello Dam was completed in the 1950s. Its overflow spillway is known as “The Glory Hole” and is an incredible sight when the lake gets full. 

If you have a boat or jet skis, great. You can launch from several locations on the lake. No boat? You can rent speed boats, jet skis and even a house boat. Or just go take a swim and stop by the town of Winters on your way back. 


The town of Winters is Vacaville’s tiny neighbor to the north. It sits on the I-505 exit that takes visitors to Lake Berryessa. The town has become one of northern California’s best-kept secrets. The quaint downtown is packed with fine dining, beer and wine tasting and the historic Buckhown Steak House. 

More and more Vacaville residents are calling Winters their weekend retreat. With a population of 7,300 it doesn’t show up on everyone’s radar. Go check it out…but shhhhhhh….it’s still kind of a secret. 

If you’re a cornhole player, Hooby’s in Winters hold regular indoor cornhole tournaments.

The Sierras, Tahoe & Reno

No group of thrill-seekers are as excited about the Winter as ski and snowboard lovers. How many places in the world give you California weather but let you ski in the Winter. Sierra ski resorts in and around Lake Tahoe are just a couple hours east of Vacaville. 

Two middle aged men on skis look out over the lake tahoe mountains

But Tahoe has something for the family to do year-round. Boating, fishing and other watersports on crystal clear Lake Tahoe are a summer favorite for Vacaville residents. Countless cabins are available for rent year-round. 

Not a skier? Both Tahoe and Reno are entertainment hubs with casino resorts, day spas and so much more to experience. And it’s all so close to home if you live in Vacaville.

Oh, and if you want to get away without driving, you can book a train from Vacaville to Reno (and yes, the trains have drink carts). 


We can’t mention a city in California without talking about how close it is to a beach. No, Vacaville isn’t exactly a coastal city. But as with everything else on this list it’s not a very long trip. 

Aerial view of Stinson Beach and Bolinas lagoon, Marin County, north San Francisco bay area, California

Dillon Beach, Stinson Beach and Bodega Bay are the first three beach locations that come to mind, but there’s an entire coastline nearby. You can also explore the small ocean towns up and down the coast to find hideaway bars and quaint restaurants serving local seafood. 

Hiking, beaches and more can all be found at the Point Reyes National Park just north of San Francisco. 


Being centrally located has its benefits for Sports fans too. From collegiate to professional, several sports teams call northern California home. Check out a game or event with any of these teams (in no particular order of course):

  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Oakland A’s
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Sacramento Kings
  • San Jose Sharks
  • Sacramento Rivercats
  • Stockton Heat
  • UC Davis Aggies

Concert & Event Venues

Regardless of your taste in music or entertainment, Vacaville is close to some major event centers that attract big names in entertainment. Consider looking for shows at the venues below:

  • Golden One Center, Sacramento
  • Chase Center, San Francisco
  • Concord Pavillion
  • Oakland Arena
  • Wheatland Amphitheatre
  • Robert Mondavi Center
  • Cache Creek Resort
  • The Phoenix Theatre

Also don’t forget about the places in town that hold their own in terms of bringing in talent. Both the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre and the Theatre Deville in Vacaville maintain calendars of in-demand shows. 


Looking at more than just places to driver to? Vacaville is conveniently located near three international airports. Private flights can be chartered out of Vacaville’s own Nut Tree Airport and Amtrak’s nationwide rail lines stop here. Or hop on a cruise ship departing from nearby San Francisco. 

There are plenty of options for transportation if you’re looking to book trips or quick getaways. 

  • Sacramento International Airport
  • San Francisco International Airport
  • Oakland International Airport
  • AmTrak
  • Cruises Departing from San Francisco

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