Sonoma

Sonoma


One of the most historic square blocks in California is located in Sonoma’s Downtown Plaza, which is part of Sonoma State Historic Park. Around the plaza there are old buildings, a courthouse, General Vallejo’s home built in 1850, and the Sonoma Mission. The park doesn’t appear to be a traditional California city park plaza, which typically looks like it could be out of the mid-west. Sonoma’s park plaza is very Old Mexico. The Blue Wing Inn was erected in 1840 and operated as one of the earliest hotels in Northern California. Guests included, John C. Fremont, U.S. Grant, Kit Carson, Union Generals William T. Sherman and Phil Sheridan. There is great shopping in the downtown area, including the fantastic Sonoma Cheese Factory, famous for its Monterrey Jack cheese in different flavors.

Outside of the town of Sonoma, on Highway 12, is a beautiful drive to Glen Ellen and Jack London State Park. There are many hiking trails throughout the state park but the main points of interest here are the famed novelist’s “House of Happy Walls,” built by his widow Charmian in 1919, London’s simple grave (covered by a mossy boulder,) and the ruins of “Wolf House,” the home that burned to the ground just before he and his wife could move in. Also, preserved is the small cottage with the sleeping porch where Jack London died on November 22, 1916, at the age of 40. There is a wonderful collection of his work and the couple’s souvenirs from their travels all over the globe in the house his widow built after his death.





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