The City of Rio Vista is the “Gateway to the Delta”. Located just 45 miles NE of San Francisco, 35 miles SW of Sacramento, and about halfway between the cities of Fairfield and Lodi on SR-12 Rio Vista is accessible via water, land or air.
The present location of Rio Vista is several miles south of the original settlement. Colonel Nathan H. Davis founded “Brazos del Rio” near the entrance of Cache Slough at the Sacramento River, on the Rancho Los Ulpinos Mexican land grant, in 1858. The settlement was renamed “Rio Vista” before a flood in 1862 that resulted in the town moving to its present location on higher ground. The city’s name combines the Spanish words for “river” and “view.” Post authorities established office in 1858. The community was officially incorporated as Rio Vista on December 30, 1893. The newspaper of record there is the River News-Herald and Isleton Journal, established in 1890.
Our largest landmark, the Rio Vista Bridge, is one of many drawbridges designed by Joseph Strauss, architect of the Golden Gate Bridge. Situated on the historic Sacramento River with a silhouette of the rolling Montezuma Hills to the south, Rio Vista and the surrounding Delta maintains a relaxed vacation-like atmosphere for everyone!
Rio Vista’s history lesson: (La Vista del Rio) meaning “River View” became adopted around 1859. Rio Vista soon became a prosperous town providing services and agricultural supplies to travelers on one of the many Sacramento River steamships running between Sacramento and San Francisco. Despite that Gold Rush fever was waning around the 1860’s; miners, machinery and necessities still filled northbound steamships towards Sacramento. Although no gold was discovered in Rio Vista, the town provided one of the largest supplies of fresh fish and canned salmon to San Francisco and beyond.
Today, Rio Vista still maintains an easy going “small town” attitude even though it is central to the two largest population centers in Northern California. Our local merchants, restaurants, and community organizations provide something for everyone. Our recreation opportunities include windsurfing, water-skiing, jet skiing, sail boating, casual yacht cruising, or hanging out at the marina. Of course, fishing is always the top leisure time activity. Rio Vista is known to have some of the best sport fishing in the state and is the host for the West Coast’s oldest Striped Bass Derby each October.
The Rio Vista Airport located just on the outskirts of town makes flying in for a day of business, lunch or just to explore the area an easily accessible destination.
If you’re looking for a great place to get away from city living, you’ll find Rio Vista a great the perfect choice. Open space abounds in the area surrounding the city with fields of wheat, corn, safflower, vineyards, pears, and cherries. Goat, cattle and sheep share ranch land with wind turbines that provide Green Energy to businesses and residents in Northern California. Rio Vista is also home to home to “World Class” Percheron horses, buffalo and the only Endive producer in the United States.
Whatever your looking for you will find Rio Vista a friendly, fun place to visit, right in the heart of the California Delta!