The historic town of Sonoma is nested in the heart of the Sonoma Wine Country. It is famous not only thanks to its many award-winning wineries but also for its quaint stores, interesting art galleries, incredible restaurants, and historic buildings. The Sonoma Plaza is in the center of the town and surrounded by 19th-century adobe buildings including the Mission San Francisco Solana. The plaza hosts fun events through out the year such as its farmer's market where you can taste local organic produce and music festivals.
The Mission Era
In 1823, Father José Altimira of the Franciscan Religious Order built the Mission San Francisco Solano located in Sonoma. The mission was the 21st and last one in California. It was closed 10 years later along side with all other missions in California. The mission is designed in Spanish style and a great place to visit and learn more about the history of California.
The plaza itself is a National Historic Landmark covering about 8 acres. Surrounding it are the following historic places:
- The early 20th-century city hall
- The Mission San Francisco Solano
- Captain Salvador Vallejo's Casa Grande
- The Presidio of Sonoma
- The Sebastiani Theatre
- The Bear Flag Monument
- The home of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo
This town of about 30,000 residents is geared towards tourism and takes every step possible to ensure an incredible experience for its visitors. The climate is Mediterranean style with warm and dry summers and mild winters. It is simply a great place to go on vacation or for a romantic weekend getaway.
As mentioned, there are lots of quaint shops around town, Indeed, with over 100 shops, there is something for every taste (Tiddle E. Winks, The Total Look, Wine Hardware, The Loop, Lyall Scott, Sox de Vinew, Sonoma Silver Company, Large Leather, Bella Vita, etc.). Each store has its unique charm and at a walking distance of the plaza.
If you like art, you will find many art galleries (Fairmont Gallery, Eminent Design, Lisa Kristine Gallery, LaHaye Art Center, Terra Firma, Sonoma Rock & Mineral, etc.).
If you like shopping, you will find great clothing and accessory stores with a California flare.
If you like wine, there are numerous wine tasting rooms.
If you like food, well... you will not be disappointed. Some of the best restaurants in the North Bay are in Sonoma. There is also the Sonoma Jack Cheese where you can choose from many local cheese selections.