The city of Sonoma is the birthplace of the California wine industry. Sonoma Valley’s quaint towns glow with as much character as the local wines. Sonoma is a historically significant city in California; its historic town plaza is a remnant of the town’s Mexican colonial past. Today, Sonoma is the home of the Sonoma International Film Festival.
Many visitors along the way decided to become full-time residents and the population continues to grow. The valley has always been filled with a hospitable spirit. Most local residents will be happy to take the time to give directions, point the way, or help with questions. Feel free to ask!
The Town of Sonoma began in 1823 when missionary Jose Altimira declared Sonoma Valley as the best site he had seen for a new mission. Everything he was looking for was here: fertile land, mineral springs, creeks, abundant game and adobe soil for building materials, and the near perfect climate we all continue to enjoy today.
The Sonoma Plaza is the old town square and the largest of its kind in California. The plaza's eight acres and the surrounding street grid were laid out by General Mariano Guadelupe Vallejo in 1836, turning Sonoma from a mission town to a Mexican-style pueblo. He built the barracks for Mexican army troops at the northeast corner of the plaza across the street from the Sonoma Mission, and his family's first Sonoma home, La Casa Grande, on the west side. For a short time Sonoma was the center of traffic and trade north of San Francisco.
Today the Plaza is lined with charming shops, popular restaurants and Sonoma Valley agricultural specialties, including world-renowned cheeses and wines. Enjoy one of the fun events held in the Plaza or relax for a picnic and visit the friendliest ducks in town.
Dedicated in 1908, Sonoma's City Hall in the center of the Plaza was originally designed with four identical facades so that merchants from any side of the square could say the City Hall faced their businesses. Made of basalt stone from local quarries, the City of Sonoma government offices still remain in this central landmark of the valley.
Concord is 30 miles east of San Francisco, the area was first inhabited by the Bay Miwok Indians and explored by the Spanish in the late 18th century. Concord was established on the initiative of Salvio Pacheco in 1868 under the name Todos Santos, the city was renamed for Concord, Massachusetts, in 1869.Concord Details »
The Dixon city was incorporated in the year 1878 and is today the hub for miles of grain alfalfa and dairy farming. Dixon also has a long history in the sheep industry and today hosts an annual sheep festival known as Lamb Town. Dixon also hosts the May Fair, which is the oldest state fair in California.Dixon Details »
Fairfield is the county seat of Solano County, CaliforniaFairfield Details »
Thousands of years ago, this beautiful, lush area we call Healdsburg was home to the Pomo Indians. These early residents built their villages in the open, fertile valleys along the Russian River. Occasional visits of European sailing vessels on the California Coast from the 1500’s to early 1800’s had little impact on our area.Healdsburg Details »
Hidden Valley Lake
Hidden Valley Lake, CA, (HVL) was originated and developed by the USA Land Corp. from the late 1960s until 1972. During that time, a dam was constructed across Coyote Creek creating the 102 acre "Hidden Valley Lake." Also during that time several buildings were constructed - clubhouse, cart barn, tennis courts and campground - and the 18-Hole "Billy Bell" golf course was installed. Its original design was as a vacation/recreation retreat. From 1970-72, the Equestrian Center and Country Club (later, Community Center) were built. 3310 lots were laid out for homes. Another 695 larger lots were also laid out in a nearby area called "The Ranchos." In 1972, USA Land Corp. was bought by Boise Cascade. BC offered model vacation homes, regular homes and vacation rentals. BC promoted the leisure-time and recreational activities available at HVL throughout the Western USA.Hidden Valley Lake Details »
Lakeport was first settled by Native Americans several thousand years ago. At the coming of the settlers, the Kabe-napos, a subtribe of the Pomo people, lived here within their main village. The village name was Kaci-Badon, after the water lily plant Kaci and badon which was the native name for island.Lakeport Details »
Lower Lake was founded by E. Mitchell in 1858 as Grantville. He built the first house there. The settlement's first post office was opened in 1858.Lower Lake Details »
Oakmont is a 55+ community located in Sonoma County and features three pools, three recreation centers, two 18 hole golf courses, over 3300 homes and approximately 5500 residents. miles of hiking trails, over 100 clubs and organizations and much more!Oakmont Details »
Petaluma is easy to find, straight up Highway 101, 32 miles north of San Francisco. It is the portal to Sonoma County, making Petaluma an ideal base for excursions to the Wine Country, the dramatic Sonoma Coast, and the majestic redwood groves.Petaluma Details »
Rio Vista, the “Heart of the Delta” was established in 1858 along the scenic Sacramento River. The Delta region is one of the most productive farming regions of the United States.Rio Vista Details »
Rohnert Park is one of the first planned communities in the United States. The city was designed with families in mind, with the focus being on children. Each Rohnert Park neighborhood was designed around a city park and elementary school, and the tree-lined streets are connected by bikeways and walkways. The city is also home to Sonoma State University, which offers 9 credential programs and eight undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. Although the original designer's focus was children, the needs of seniors were not left out.Rohnert Park Details »
Santa Rosa was settled by Missouri farmers and frontiersmen and stood as a stronghold for the Confederacy in a Yankee county during the Civil War. The center of a farming area, Santa Rosa grew to 50,000 people by 1970 and then, bolstered by well-to-do commuters and retirees, doubled in size in less than 20 years.Santa Rosa Details »
Sebastopol serves as the hub of Western Sonoma County Wine Country. Sebastopol is the gateway to the breathtaking Sonoma Coastline and Russian River Redwood Corridor.Sebastopol Details »
Vacaville is a charming city in Northern California's Solano County, considered to be part of both the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sacramento Valley. It is best known as the home of the Nut Tree Airport, which showcases historic aircraft from the 20th century, and the Vacaville Premium Outlets retail centerVacaville Details »
Windsor, Sonoma County’s newest town is located in the heart of Sonoma County and is the “GATEWAY TO THE WINE COUNTRY”. Located less than one hour from the San Francisco Bay Area and minutes from the Pacific Ocean, Redwood Forest, health resorts, the Russian River and world-class wineries, Windsor offers a rural atmosphere with city conveniences.?Currently, Windsor is Sonoma County’s fastest-growing town.Windsor Details »