Rio Vista sits on the northwest bank of the Sacramento River. It's a quiet town which is beginning to suffer from overdevelopment of tract houses built to house the overflowing populations of Sacramento and the Bay Area. Ships headed from the ocean to Sacramento routinely pass by the waterfront.
Rio Vista briefly made international headlines during the 1980s when a wayward Humback Whale took it upon itself to swim upstream like some sort of crazed mutant salmon. The Whale spent about a week near Rio Vista before being led back to the ocean 100 miles away.
Rio Vista is in the heart of the California Delta, and accordingly is skirted by levee roads on most sides. Highway 160 is a wonderful drive if you can handle its narrow lanes, and offers a scenic view of many delta waterways as it follows their winding paths all the way from Sacramento in the north to Antioch in the south. Turning from Highway 160 onto Highway 12 West, drivers will pass over the Rio Vista Bridge, an iconic draw bridge admired by Rio Vistans as one of their most renowned monuments. Entering from Highway 12 East coming from Fairfield, one must drive very carefully, as this is one of the deadliest roads in all of California.
Rio Vista Municipal Airport
Although the Rio Vista City Council has brought great improvements to the bus lines running through Rio Vista, it is much easier to walk. The entirety of the downtown area can be ambled through in just about 15 minutes, that is, if you can resist the tug of such bucolic boutiques as The Social Butterfly Consignment Store and the many eateries which line Main Street.
- Foster's Bighorn. World famous for its collection of dead animals strung from the walls. And most Rio Vistans celebrate their 21st birthdays by locking lips with a particularly attractive moose head.
- 1 Rio Vista Bridge, California Highway 12. The Helen Madere Memorial Bridge, commonly called by its former name, the Rio Vista Bridge after its location, is a vertical-lift bridge which carries California State Route 12 across the Sacramento River at Rio Vista. The present bridge was completed in 1960 and is one of several moveable bridges spanning rivers in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta.
- Sandy Beach County Park, 2333 Beach Dr, ☏ . An enjoyable sandy beach good for small children, sunbathing, or picnicking. Swimming is banned due to the close proximity of the ship channel about 100 ft. offshore (ships in small rivers tend to suck in a lot of water when moving, which is very dangerous to swimmers).
- Bass Festival. Held during the second weekend of October
|Routes through Rio Vista|
|Fairfield ← Jct N ←||W E||→ Lodi → San Andreas|
|END ←||S N||→ West Sacramento → Sacramento via|