Vacaville is a city located in Solano County in Northern California. Sitting approximately 35 miles (56 km) from Sacramento and 55 miles (89 km) from San Francisco, it is within the Sacramento Valley but is also considered, at least by some agencies, to be part of the San Francisco Bay Area. As of the 2010 census, Vacaville had a population of 92,428, making it the third largest city in Solano County.
The early pioneers of the land were Juan Manuel Cabeza Vaca and Juan Felipe Peña who were awarded a 44,000 acre Mexican land grant in 1842. The same year in 1842, Vaca and Peña's families settled in the area of Lagoon Valley. Peña's Adobe home is the oldest standing building, built in 1842.
Discussions for the sale of a portion of land to William McDaniel began in August 1850. A written agreement was signed on December 13, 1851 forming a township, nine square miles of land were deeded to William McDaniel for $3,000, and the original city plans were laid out from that. In the agreement, McDaniel's would name the new town after Juan Manuel Cabeza Vaca.
In 1880, Leonard Buck created the California Fruit Shipping Association, as well as the L.W. and F.H. Buck Company, an early company selling auctioned fruit in the state, and Vacaville was soon home to many large produce companies and local farms which flourished due to the Vaca Valley's rich soil.
It official became a city in 1892.
In 1885, the first grade school built was Ulatis School. In 1898, the town's first high school was built, Vacaville Union High School.
In August 2020, parts of Vacaville were evacuated due to the Hennessey Fire, which resulted in the burning of over 315,000 acres (127,476 ha) in five counties, including in Vacaville where farms and homes were destroyed.
There are a number of rare and endangered species in the Vacaville area.