Winters is nestled in the valley just east of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain Range. This quiet town is located 10 miles north of Vacaville and 10 miles west of Davis on the I-505 and I-80 corridor. Agriculture was and still remains Winters' primary source of commercial activity. The town is rich with its numerous historical homes, buildings, and agriculture. The citizens of Winters take tremendous pride in their community. The current city population is approximately 6,900.
When the charming town of Winters was founded in 1875, it claimed a special place in California's history as the Sacramento Valley's commercial center for agriculture and passenger rail service. Over the years Winters has retained it's original historic and rural charm, offering visitors a glimpse of the past while enjoying a variety of modern amenities. A walk down the National Historic Main Street is a walk through history, with many architectural treasures now occupied by restaurants, shops and businesses.
Downtown Winters is a unique place, representing the city’s future as well as its past. Its attractive historic buildings express the importance of Downtown to the community’s identity and the value the community places on its origin. They are also indicators of the City’s growth and economic development policies, focusing investment at the center of the community rather than allowing sprawl to spread into surrounding agricultural lands. The lack of strip commercial development and the presence of nearby neighborhoods encourage residents to visit Downtown daily, creating a lively and active district that is no longer common in the Central Valley.
Though nearby technology facilities, regional tourism, and UC Davis all are expanding, agriculture remains a basis of the local economy. It evolves just as other industries do, and Winters is the regional center for farms growing and distributing the high quality, value-added produce that supplies Northern California’s farmers markets and most-renowned restaurants. Winters is also home to an active arts and an artisan community, and residents prize the quality of life in a small town that is close to major cities as well as expansive recreational and open space areas. A short drive to Lake Berryessa, Putah Creek & Lake Solano offers camping, boating, fishing and picnicking for your family enjoyment. With these and other attributes, Winters’ desirability as a place to live and work will continue to grow.
Recent building renovations and new businesses attest to Downtown’s viability. However, as the community grows, there are opportunities to improve the district as a public place to solidify it as a thriving, small-scale, walkable commercial district. Additional commercial space can significantly reduce the leakage of local spending to other communities. Visitor-oriented business can also expand Downtown’s offerings to the local community. Redevelopment of vacant and warehouse-related properties offers opportunities for new housing that supports Downtown and reduces pressure for growth on the city’s perimeter. And improvement of streetscapes and public spaces will support Downtown as a community destination that attracts local residents as well as visitors.
Woody Fridae has been doing Photography since his days as High School Yearbook photographer. After a stint as a wedding photographer to augment his college expenses, he stopped taking photos for several years. Lately, he has turned his talents to low light subjects, taking pictures with "available light" such as moon light or street lights. The exposures are usually from one second to as much as 30 seconds. The camera often picks up what the human eye can not. He as photographed northern California streetscapes including Davis, Vacaville, Grass Valley and Winters.