Things to see in Sonoma
While visiting wine country in Sonoma, it’s also worth a visit to the city of Sonoma to enjoy the many attractions around the old part of town and other places just outside of the city. The town centers around the main square plaza where the majestic City Hall resides, a stately stone manor currently used as city hall and visitors bureau. Around the park is a children’s park, a rose garden, fish ponds and public restrooms. The town’s beginning and entry to California history starts with the presence of the northern-most mission built in Alta California. The mission at San Francisco de Solano is along the main square and worth price of admission which covers entry to the mission, barracks, hotel, museum and the estate and home of General Vallejo, the earliest commander of Alta California.
Surrounding the main square are some of the stately buildings that have been refurbished and converted into hotels, restaurants, boutiques and galleries. Some of these buildings like the Sebastiani theater have also been remodeled and preserved as a theater showing first run independent art oriented films. A mannequin sits in the front cashiers box in period clothes as if frozen in time. It’s a very popular spot to take pictures of the theater and make-believe cashier.
The restored Sebastiani Theater, Sonoma square, features current art and independent films.
Highlights around Sonoma
There are many things worth seeing around Sonoma and just on the outskirts town. These include to following attractions:
2) Cornerstone Gardens is just outside the city and worth a visit for those interested in art, design, gardens and cool galleries all in one space. Here is a recent post on Cornerstone that I just completed.
3) Mission San Francisco Solano is located on the main square. The entry ticket includes admission to the barracks, hotel, museum and the home of general Vallejo’s summer home. For more information about the mission visit their website here.
4) The headquarters and tasting room for Sonoma cheese factory is also on the main square and you can taste all the amazing Sonoma cheeses that they produce for sale on the premises.
5) Anyone interested in visiting a unique diner in the valley should head just outside the city to Fremont Diner – a very cool spot to try some local favorites with hearty wine country flair
6) Visitors interested in trains should stop by Sonoma Train Town, a fun park for children with a petting zoo, miniature train ride and amusement park. To see some highlights and activities visit Train Town’s website here.
7) General Vallejo home – a preserved Victorian historical home of the home of General Vallejo, the highest commander of Alta California at Sonoma. The home depicts early lifestyle and living conditions in the early Sonoma days of the generals family. To visit the site and schedule a tour, go to their website here.
8) Infineon Raceway – A variety of Nascar and other competitive racing including sports car lessons you can also take on the racing lessons through the Audi sports car experience at the Sonoma raceway.
9) A wine country drive through Sonoma Valley along Highway 12 and Highway 121 will give you the best wine country experience to the magnificent valley. Along these scenic drives are many wineries with excellent tours and gardens, along with tasting centers to try any of each wineries daily offerings.
10) Sonoma Valley Museum – This local museum presents a rotating schedule of local and contemporary art and hosting impressive shows featuring artists from Goya, Picasso to David Hockney. The museum also hosts lectures, classes and various community events. To learn more about the museum and events, visit their website here.
A beautiful drive along wine country roads in Sonoma
Sonoma is a wonderful place to visit and enjoy a morning or a few days discovering the various attractions and lifestyle in the valley.