Sonoma is synonymous with grape growing and the fine wines that are the result of excellent grapes grown there. But it is so much more!
Sonoma, the city, is only about an hour's drive north of the city of San Francisco, so naturally, tourism is important to the city of Sonoma. But Sonoma lies in the heart of Sonoma Valley, which is only a part of Sonoma County... a whopping 1768 square miles with a population close to a half million people!
The city itself is steeped in historical significance, filled with geat people and businesses, surrounded by one of the world's top grape-growing regions and interlaced with great and giant Redwood forests and sparkling streams and rivers. What is there not to like?
Sonoma – originally named El Pueblo de Sonoma – was laid out in the standard form of a Mexican town. Comprising 8 acres, Sonoma is centered around the largest plaza in California. This plaza is surrounded by historical buildings, in the center of which is the town’s early 20th-century city hall, still in use today. Serving as the town’s main focal point, the plaza is a National Historic Landmark that hosts numerous community festivals, attracts tourists all year round and is the location of a weekly Farmer’s Market from April through October.
If for no other reason, check out the area's great restaurants (more than thirty in the Plaza area alone), superb shopping, wonderful accommodations and... make sure you save plenty of time to sample the oustanding wines!
Tastes and Tours in Sonoma
Our first stop was in the vineyards where Beth demonstrated the art of vine pruning...