Attend the markets and explore the fascinating sites decorating the flanks of this large plaza for a glimpse into Sonoma’s intricate past.
Sonoma Plaza is a historic square in the heart of the town of Sonoma. Several of the region’s most iconic and intriguing structures overlook the plaza, including the early 20th-century City Hall and the Mission San Francisco Solano. Meet friends and family at this fascinating gathering point, before exploring the architectural gems around it.
Admire the old-fashioned adobe façades of the stores that flank the plaza. Try the range of restaurants, shops and cafés. The plaza also has easy access to artisan boutiques, art galleries and wine-tasting salons.
Relax on the verdant centerpiece of the plaza and read a book. Purchase fresh cheese and other ingredients for a picnic on the lawn or attend the various cultural events staged here. These include film festivals and a Fourth of July parade. Inspect the Bear Flag Monument in the northeast corner of the square. It is a reminder of the temporary Bear Flag Republic from the 1800s.
On the northeastern corner of the plaza is the Mission San Francisco Solano, which was built after Mexico won independence from Spain. Admire its elegant whitewashed façade and timber features. Make your way through the small Sonoma State Historic Park, which holds the mission, La Casa Grande and the Blue Wing Inn among other buildings.
Attend the farmers market held here on Tuesdays in the summer. Consider the square’s rich history, having served as a Mexican military outpost and Spanish Mission village. Head north for a few blocks to the green hills of the Montini Open Space Preserve. Follow the preserve trails and enjoy the serenity of the quiet space.
Sonoma Plaza is the nucleus of the city, around which Sonoma and its highlights have grown. Take one of the many bus lines to this spot and get around the charming area on foot or bicycle. See nearby attractions, such as the Vallejo Home State Historical Monument, the Sonoma Overlook Trail and the Mountain Cemetery.