Sonoma, California

The wine industry is alive and well in Sonoma, California, the wine center for the west coast of the United States. Sonoma is one of the first places where wine was made in California, with activity dating back as far as the early to mid-1800s. the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival, the state's oldest wine making celebration, is held each fall and draws thousands of tourists and wine aficionados to the area.

Sonoma has been an ideal location for wine making due to its favorable climate and ample moisture. The area has a hot, dry overall climate during the summer and its winters are cool and wet. In addition, Sonoma receives just over 30 inches of rain, on average, in a given year. Sonoma Creek runs through the town and ends in the Napa Sonoma Marsh. Other creeks supply plenty of moisture for all the grapes that are grown in the dozens of vineyards in the Sonoma area.
Sonoma Coast, Bodega Bay California
Though Sonoma had a population of just over 10,000 people as of the 2010 Census, it is a huge tourist draw due to its vineyards and wine shops. Many area vineyards offer wine tasting tours during the peak season. Outside of the wine, Sonoma is known for its arts and culture. It is home to the Sonoma International Film Festival, which has been held annually since 1997 and features films from novice and professional filmmakers around the globe.

History is another main source of tourism for Sonoma, as many visitors come to the area to see its historic locations. Popular stops include the Mission San Francisco Solano, which was the only Franciscan mission established in the state of California by Mexico. Lachryma Montis, the home of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, is another popular spot for tourists interested in the history of the area, as is the Bear Flag Monument in Sonoma Plaza, which marks the spot where California was declared to be freed of rule by Mexico.


Outside of history and wine tastings, there are still plenty of things to do in Sonoma. Visit one of the local live theaters for regular performances or the Sonoma Traintown Railroad, a park that includes a petting zoo, ferris wheel, rides and more for children and adults alike. If the timing is right, you can even take in an event at Sonoma Raceway, home to NASCAR road races, IndyCar races and more.



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