Sonoma is not just the city. The name embraces the 10,000 people inside the two square miles defining the city limits as well as the 25,000 others strung in a skein of unincorporated towns lining the Valley of the Moon along Highway 12 and creeping upland into the adjoining hills and mountains. Centered in the heart of town is the historic Sonoma Plaza. Once a Mexican military station and a Spanish mission village, the 8-acre park is now lined with more than 100 shops, dozens of eateries, and more than 20 tasting rooms. What’s more, it’s a National Historic Monument. Recent visitors highly recommended spending some time here window shopping, wine tasting, dining and even letting the kids run around the on-site playground. Tuesday morning is the weekly farmers market.
Sonoma Plaza is located in central Sonoma. Restaurants and shops have varying opening and closing times. Street parking is available, but with three-hour limits from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For extended parking options, consider leaving your vehicle in one of the free all-day lots located nearby, such as the one at First Street East, located across from the mission. For more information, visit Sonoma Plaza’s website.
The Center of town is the Plaza this is the focal place. On the east side of the Plaza, in addition to coffee and tasty breads, pastries, coffee cakes, and muffins, the Basque Boulangerie Café offers breakfast all day, with croissant, roll, and panini breakfast sandwiches, as well as waffles.
Sonoma is a great walkable town. Within the Plaza park you’ll find a monument to the Bear Flag Revolt, one of the first steps leading to California becoming part of the United States, and a bronze statue of town founder Gen. Mariano Vallejo sitting on a park bench. Sonoma State Historic Park consists of multiple locations around the Plaza, including Mission San Francisco Solano, the Sonoma Barracks, and the Toscano Hotel, as well as General Vallejo’s Home just three blocks to the west. And two blocks north of the Plaza, in a former railroad depot, the Sonoma Valley Historical Society’s Depot Park Museum is filled with vivid displays and artifacts illustrating local and California history. Immerse yourself in the Wine Country lifestyle in the small town of Sonoma, which takes good Wine, good food, the arts, History, and laid-back living and blends it into the ultimate lifestyle. While searching neighborhoods and Sonoma homes for sale make sure to pick up a map at the Visitors center on the plaza so you can make sure an see the 5 main neighborhoods and regions. Cookbook author Sondra Bernstein’s The Girl & The Fig restaurant a local favorite. OSO Sonoma offers urban-chic décor and uncommon but delicious small plates,. Southwest of the Plaza Tasca Tasca features Portuguese flair. For more ideas, check our listings of Sonoma County restaurants and click on the City of Sonoma.