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.
Santa Rosa, the largest city in Sonoma County and the county seat, is centered in the Sonoma County Wine Country. Named one of the nation’s Most Livable Communities, Santa Rosa maintains a small-town feel while having a population of over 150,000. Located 55 miles north of San Francisco and 30 miles east of the Pacific Coast, Santa Rosa serves as the dominant center of trade, government, commerce, and medical facilities for Northern California.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 »
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 »