Table of Contents
Captain Robert H. Waterman founded Fairfield in 1856, naming this city after Fairfield, Connecticut, his childhood hometown. Fairfield, California, is situated in a scenic rustic part of Central California between San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento to the east.
Fairfield is considered one of the region’s most underappreciated towns. It sits roughly 43 miles southwest of Sacramento and just north of the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research area.
Fairfield is well-known for its iconic jelly bean factory and Travis Air Force Base. But that is not all Fairfield has to offer. So is Fairfield worth visiting? Absolutely! Its numerous urban parks and nature centers complement historical attractions. Fairfield is also a mecca for artists, golfers, and culture buffs.
This region is known for olive oil production, with roughly a dozen different growers. The area is famous for wine tours, with multiple wineries peppered throughout the area. There are several breweries and taprooms, including the Budweiser Brewery.
TLDR; Things to Do in Fairfield, CA
- Most significant landmark – Old Solano Courthouse
- Best Park – Rockville Hills Regional Park
- Best free activity – Jelly Belly Self-Guided Factory
- Best thing to do for kids – Scandia Family Center
- Best thing to do for adults – Heretic Brewery and Distillery
- Best food – Heretic Brewery and Distillery
- Best nightlife – The Downtown Theatre
- Best all-around accommodation – Staybridge Suites Fairfield
Best & Fun Things to do in Fairfield, California
1. Travis Air Force Base Aviation Museum
Address: Building 80, 461 Burgan Blvd, Travis A.F.B., CA 94535
Travis Air Force Base Aviation Museum is a landmark in Fairfield. Travis A.F.B. usually operates as a hub for worldwide strategic air mobility operations. Located east of downtown on one of the area’s largest military installations, the Travis Air Force Base Heritage Visitor Center is one of Fairfield’s top tourist attractions.
The Travis Air Force Base Aviation Museum collection includes dozens of vintage and modern aircraft, ranging from a massive C-5 Galaxy to the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, ending World War II.
And interactive exhibits detail the United States’ involvement in Vietnam War and WWII, as well as the Korean War.
Humanitarian airlifts are a vital part of the U.S. Air Force tradition. Beginning in 1907, the Signal Corps’ Aeronautical Division used the airplane to help perform rescue actions and disaster relief. The Museum’s interactive presentations highlight the 60th Air Mobility Wing (A.M.W.) Humanitarian Aid worldwide.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Sonoma, California
2. Western Railway Museum
Address: 5848 Hwy 12, Suisun City, CA 94585
The Western Railway Museum is just off State Highway 12 in Suisun City, a few minutes southeast of downtown Fairfield. The Western Railway Museum makes for a fun, family-friendly outing and is one of the best things to do in Fairfield.
Housed in a station of the old Sacramento Northern Railway, a short-distance commuter passenger service, the Museum contains archive materials, railway exhibits, and train paraphernalia.
It is also home to over 50 historic cars – restored trolleys and interurban transports. The complex also has a gift shop and shaded picnic grounds.
The Western Railway Museum allows visitors to ride historic streetcars and interurban electric trains. The Interurban 50-minute electric train ride and The Streetcar 15-minute ride loop the complex grounds. Never been on a train? Then this is an easy and safe introduction to these mechanical wonders.
3. Jelly Belly Candy Company
Address: 1 Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield, CA 94534
The Jelly Belly Candy Company has to be one of the best things to do in Fairfield, California. The Jelly Belly® Candy Company is the home of legendary jelly beans – favorites of rock stars and Presidents. This beloved plant offers Self-Guided Factory tours daily. Or, if you prefer, there are several private city tours that include the candy factory.
A Jelly Belly factory tour is a sneak peek behind the scenes. The tour explains the company’s history. It also reveals how jelly beans are made and why it takes two weeks to make a single bean. Visitors can explore a genuine working factory where over 100 kinds of Jelly Belly beans are made.
After resisting the temptation to snack on jelly beans, grab a bite at the Jelly Belly Café, which serves hamburgers and jelly bean-shaped pizza. Or finish the tour and try to identify the taste at the ‘BeanBoozled’ Challenge.
Upstairs, you’ll find the Jelly Belly Chocolate & Wine Experience, featuring wines from Suisun Valley and Jelly Belly chocolates. It is easy to see why U.S.A Today listed the Jelly Belly Candy Companyas one of the Top 10 Factory Tours in the United States.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Mendocino, California
4. Scandia Family Center
Address: 4300 Central Place, Fairfield, CA 94534
Scandia Family Center is nine acres of family-centric entertainment It features multiple mini-golf courses. In fact, there are two award-winning 18-hole courses. Non-stop outdoor fun includes single and double go-karts for the lil’ indy race car track and waterbugs- bumper boats.
For those baseball and softball playing wanting to practice their swing, there are batting cages. Players can adjust the 18 computer-controlled pitching machines for slow and fast pitching styles. Hardball pitches range from 40 to 70 M.P.H. Softball is available in both fast-pitch and slow-pitch configurations.
Indoors, the Scandia Family Center holds over 200 arcade games, pinball, skeeball, and other ticket redemption games. There is also a state-of-the-art Lasertag arena.
While in the area, take a few minutes to detour toward the Mangels Ranch Adobe. Once a stop on the Pony Express, it still stands at 4640 Westamerica Drive. Some consider this one of the oldest buildings in Fairfield. A few blocks away is the Staybridge Suites Fairfield for a peaceful night’s rest.
5. Glashoff Sculpture Ranch
Address: 5402 Williams Rd, Fairfield, CA 94534
The Glashoff Sculpture Ranch is located a few miles northwest of Fairfield and several vineyards along Suisun Valley Road. This unique art ranch is the home and studio of famed metal sculptors Phillip Glashoff and Chad Glashoff. Even before arriving at the Ranch, the area is peppered with sculpted mailboxes.
The Sculpture Ranch itself is a masterpiece. Visitors are greeted at the entryway with a road sign collage archway. And the driveway into the main Ranch is lined with countess metal creations -some poignant, some whimsical.
And larger pieces sit in the fields. A metal banjo stands guard outside the fences, and a stone Buddha overlooks the Ranch. There are also herds of llamas and longhorns grazing between the artwork.
If you are wondering, is Fairfield worth visiting? It is, if only for the opportunity to enjoy this unique art-filled attraction. The Glashoff Sculpture Ranch is also a great place for birthday parties and company outings.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Glendale, California
6. Allan Witt Park
Address: 1741 W Texas St, Fairfield, CA 94533
Allan Witt Park is located in the heart of Fairfield. It is a community park and year-round Aquatics Complex with a retractable roof known as the Natatorium. There is a lazy river current. And a six-lane activity pool and a one-meter diving board round out the sports equipment.
The outdoor activities area includes the Big & Little Dipper water slides, Playland Lagoon, and Lil’ Squirt splash pad. There are also two 30-foot serpentine pool slides.
Beloved by the community, this unique municipal Park also offers swim lessons, aquatic fitness programs, and group play. The picnic tables are shaded for a relaxing time for those wanting to stay dry. The Fairfield-Suisun Rotary Skate park is also part of the Allan Witt sports center.
A few blocks from the Park sits The Downtown Theatre at 1035 Texas Street. The theater is curated by the Downtown Theatre Foundation for the Arts, a public non-profit 501c3 organization. It was formerly known as the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts and is Solano County’s arts center.
The Downtown Theatre is a 22,000-square-foot performing arts complex perfect for theatrical performances, symphony concerts, seminars, and conventions.
7. Brewery Tours
Address: Fairfield, CA 94533
Heretic Brewery and Distillery is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening in Fairfield. Free tours are available on Horizon Drive in Fairfield a few days a week, and no advance registration is needed.
Heretic usually has roughly 20 beers on tap in their tasting room. These hand-crafted brews run the gamut from pale ales and blondes to porters and stouts. And the upscale pub fare pairs perfectly with their beers.
Fairfield is also home to Budweiser Brewing. Budweiser, owned by Anheuser Busch, is one of the country’s most iconic beer brands. The lager is brewed at the facility on Busch Drive in Fairfield.
Breweries are unique technology for those who’ve never seen one up close and personal. A Budweiser Brewery Tour is highly recommended. The Fairfield brewery opened in 1976. Daily two-hour tours teach about the brewing process and bottling and include complimentary beer during and after the tour.
See Related: Best Breweries in San Diego, California
8. Lawler Falls Parks and House
Address: 1401 Hammond Ln, Suisun City, CA 94585
Lawler Ranch and Lawler Falls Park are both technically within Suisun City, within five miles of downtown Fairfield. And not far from the Lawler House Art Gallery and History Center. While claimed by Suisun, the Park’s serenity is worth a few minute’s drive if you have the time.
Lawler Falls is a neighborhood oasis with small waterfalls. There is also an open field and a pond. The Park is excellent for a breath of fresh air, a quick respite from a hectic day, or a peaceful picnic.
Short hiking paths and quaint bridges allow for a quiet stroll, and leashed dogs are always welcome. There are no play structures or activity courts available.
Lawler Ranch Park, two miles west of Lawler falls Park, is a large 10-acre park with an open field and a playground menagerie. Lawler Ranch also serves as a dog park, divided into small and large dogs, for the surrounding area.
These parks are great locations to relax, catch your breath or let the family pup run.
9. The Il Fiorello Olive Oil Company
Address: 2625 Mankas Corner Rd, Fairfield, CA 94534
Central California is definitely a top attraction for anyone interested in gourmet foods or wine. There are over a dozen olive producers in the area. One of the most revered is the Il Fiorella Olive Oil Company.
This family-owned business is located on Mankas Corner Road in the heart of Fairfield, while the properties are in Green Valley and Suisun Valley between Fairfield and Napa Valley. The company houses state-of-the-art technology to produce its Sonoma harvest olive oil and balsamic reductions.
Staff led-tours of the Visitors Center and Tasting Room are available daily of the groves and production facilities. Visitors have the opportunity to sample the gourmet oils after the tour.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Coronado, California
10. Paradise Valley Golf Course
Address: 3950 Paradise Valley Dr, Fairfield, CA 94533
Paradise Valley Golf Course, an award-winning golf course, is frequently ranked as a San Francisco North Bay Area best value golf course. Known for a speedy but adaptable course with challenging play, this Robert Muir Graves-designed course with oak studded fairways, seasonal creeks, and lakes on five holes.
Golf lessons, retail equipment from the golf shop, and carts are available at Paradise Valley Golf Course. There is also a driving range for anyone who needs to warm up before tee-off and an impressive short-game practice area.
The Cafe, Legends, offers traditional golf grub of hamburgers or a grilled chicken breast sandwich and salads. And several beers are on tap to celebrate after breaking the club record.
A favorite of golfers all over the state, Paradise Valley Golf Course is consistently voted the number one golf course and one of Fairfield’s best attractions.
11. Rockville Hills Regional Park
Address: 2149 Rockville Rd, Fairfield, CA 94534
Rockville Hills Regional Park is a 633-acre regional park in Fairfield. A geological marvel, the Park is known for its volcanic rocks and blue oak trees. The region is wonderfully diverse, with patches of oak woodlands complementing grassland savannas.
There are also aquatic habitats spread throughout the area. Rockville Hills Regional Park boasts ten miles of open trails for mountain biking and hiking. It is also frequented by bird and animal watchers.
In addition to Rockville Hills Regional Park, the city of Fairfield has over 728 acres of accessible open space. And with more than 107 trails covering 846 miles, a hidden gem is bound to be perfect for your needs and skill level.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Santa Cruz, California
12. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Address: 1001 Fairgrounds Dr, Vallejo, CA 94589
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a quick drive, about 17 miles southwest of Fairfield. Named the ‘Thrill Capital of Northern California,’ this 150-acre amusement complex is fun-filled. The Park’s main attractions are half a dozen thrilling roller coasters. There are also family rides and tours, such as the White water Safari.
There are also high-intensity activities, such as go-kart racing and laser tag. The baby animal nursery and alligator alley are thrilling for all ages.
This is a great day trip from Fairfield and one of the best things to do in Fairfield with kids or without! Sea lions, tigers, and even dolphins are all on hand to entertain. After all that play, plenty of restaurants are on-site to feed the kids.
13. Vezer Family Vineyard
Address: 5071 Suisun Valley Road, Fairfield, CA 94534
Central California is ‘wine country.’ And the Vezer Family Vineyard – Blue Victorian vineyards is located at its heart, just a few miles from downtown Fairfield. The Central California winery is known for its award-winning wines and as one of the region’s best producers of zinfandels and petite Sirahs.
In fact, this region is considered the Petite Sirah Capital of the World. Vineyard and wine-tasting tours make it easy to learn about particular grapes, wine culture, vineyard harvesting, and even modern wine-making methods.
Once you have toured the Vezer Vineyard, the Tolenas Winery, with its award-winning fine wines, is definitely on the itinerary if you prefer the pinot noir grape. Another vineyard worth visiting in the heart of Fairfield is Wooden Valley Winery.
This multi-generational, family-owned winery has its roots family based values and celebrates the tastes of Northern Italy. In fact, over a dozen wineries and public tasting rooms pepper the Fairfield area.
There is even a family-friendly tasting room. And six of the tasting rooms are open seven days a week—rain or shine, there’s always wine in Fairfield. With this many vineyards in such a small area, wine tasting must be listed as one of the absolute best things to do in Fairfield, California.
For accessible accommodations centrally located between the vineyard and Fairfield, try the Hilton Garden Inn Fairfield.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Los Angeles, California
14. The Suisun Wildlife Center
Address: 1171 Kellogg St, Suisun City, CA 94585
The Suisan Wildlife Center is a rehabilitation center that aids injured and orphaned animals for eventual release back into the wild. Those that need ongoing care for their safety become permanent residents of the Center.
Typically there are roughly 1,000 individual animals at the Center at any given time. Badgers, mountain lions, hawks, owls, and foxes are examples of wildlife that have been cared for by volunteers.
Visitors are welcome to visit the animals. The Suisan Wildlife Center is curated by the Suisun Marsh Natural History Association, a wildlife preservation non-profit.
15. Lynch Canyon
Address: 3100 Lynch Rd, Fairfield, CA 94534
Lynch Canyon is located in the Vallejo foothills. Close to the city, it offers a great day in the rustic grasslands of Central California. It is home to abundant animal species, including hawks, owls, coyotes, bobcats, and waterfowl.
Wildflower blooms are impressive in the spring if you are in the area. Many of them are commonly seen on well-marked trails. Lynch Canyon is rustic, almost primitive, with no amenities. Grab a fully stocked to-go bag if you head out to the biking and hiking trails.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Burbank, California
Address: 734 Marin St, Vallejo, CA 94590
Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum sits on Vallejo’s Mare Island, roughly 17 miles from downtown Fairfield. The Museum makes a perfect day trip from Fairfield.
The Museum celebrates that for most of the 19th century, the area was home to one of the West Coast’s largest naval shipyards. The Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum is part of the historic Old City Hall, with five galleries devoted to U.S. Naval history.
The Museum features military equipment, photographs, and testimonials of life and conditions for sailors, officers, and shipbuilders who worked at the shipyards. The interactive exhibits are popular with all ages, as is the working submarine periscope showing views of Mare Island.
El Nopal’S URBAN COCINA is about a block away from the Museum and offers upscale authentic Mexican cuisine if you are looking for someplace in the area to relax and enjoy a meal with the entire family.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Palo Alto, California
17. American Armory Museum
Address: 4144 Abernathy Rd, Fairfield, CA 94534
The American Armory Museum is perfect for anyone interested in military history. It is immediately off Interstate 80 in west Fairfield.
This unique collection contains over 12 military tanks and multi-use vehicles from the past several decades. There is also a range of personal combat weapons and artillery dating back to World War II.
Museum exhibits also display uniforms, photographs, and other military paraphernalia. The Museum is free and open daily and a great way to spend an hour or two.
After wandering the armory grounds, it may be time for a bite. El Pitayo is a couple of miles from the Museum. This small restaurant offers a familiar Mexican menu.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Mariposa, California
18. Old Solano Courthouse
Address: 580 West Texas Street, Fairfield, CA 94533
Old Solano Courthouse in Fairfield, California, was initially designed by E.C. Hemmings in 1911. It is among the oldest buildings in the city. This two-story, 29,900-square-foot courthouse is an outstanding example of Beaux Arts architecture and is part of the Central Solano County Heritage Commission’s inventory of Lasting Heritage buildings.
The Old Solano Courthouse is near another century-old building, the Hall of Justice. This court building was initially built as the area high school but was reassigned after a fire destroyed the area.
If you are craving some good southern comfort food, don’t miss Chez Soul, a few blocks from the courthouse. The menu is filled with fried chicken, sweet potato pie, Big Mama Tea Cakes, and sweet tea.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Healdsburg, California
What is the best thing to do with kids in Fairfield?
Scandia Family Center is one of the best things to do with kids in Fairfield. It is a family-friendly amusement complex that covers nine acres in Fairfield. It features multiple 18-hole miniature golf courses, single and double go-karts, and waterbugs- bumper boats. There are even batting cages. The cafe serves a pizza-centric menu, but there is something for everyone.
What is Fairfield known for?
Fairfield boasts the world-famous Jelly Belly Candy Company. Jelly Belly Candy also makes over 50 other sweet treats. And this forty-minute free tour, voted Top 10 U.S. Factory Tour, provides a behind-the-scenes look at how the famous bean is created.
What are some things to do in Fairfield when it’s raining?
There is no need to get bored in Fairfield when it’s raining. Take a morning and tour the Travis Air Force Base Aviation Museum Visitors can wander through the air collection of dozens of vintage and modern aircraft, including the B-29 Superfortress. There are also interactive exhibits and historical items such as uniforms, medals, and photographs.