is fascinating to visit, the people are good-spirited and the amazing Gold Rush history connects guests with the past. Many of the historic churches, the courthouse and homes provide a sense of pride to an area with history its top tourist draw in this Tuolumne County destination.
Tuolumne County Events held mostly in Sonora include John Muir Festival, Firemans Muster, Groveland Car Show, 49'er Festival, Bach Festival, Jamestown Fall Festival and the delightful Sonora Christmas Parade.
Sonora, set in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, combines old & new. It has chain restaurants, hotels, Walmart, a fairly new movie theater, Starbucks, and all the amenities modern vacationers seek. But there's also the historic buildings and shops in the downtown shown in the photo that are just amazing to look at. Definitely park your car and walk around to look at them.
Up the road a short distance is the Columbia State Historic Park, a must-see for those who want to get the real feel for the Old West. A cemetery at the park features gravestones with names of people who lived and died, often young ages, during a time when people came to the area to seek their fortunes as they hoped to find gold.
Annual events at the state historic park are held, along with summer tours most days, to provide a full calendar of events. You can stay at one of two hotels inside the park. They may not have TV, nor private baths. There are no elevators, either, in these authentic 1850's hotels. The Falon Hotel includes a community playhouse where quality theatrical performances are held. The Columbia Hotel has a restaurant dining room, and upstairs parlor. Both hotels are operated by concessionaires under contract.
Sonora has a Best Western hotel, and several other accommodations you can choose from.
History to absorb in Sonora: The hastily established mining camp quickly evolved into the commercial, government and cultural center for the region. Incorporated in 1851, Sonora is home to museums, art galleries and live theatre, but also includes an outdoor paradise not far from Calaveras County Big Trees State Historic Park, Angeles Camp with the Jumping Frog Jubilee, and Yosemite National Park 70 miles away.
Getting there: State Highways 108 and 49 pass through Sonora, putting you in the heart of the action and inviting you to stay.
Events are unique, and usually involve something extra. For Halloween, an All Hallow's Faire creates a fantasy them with historical bend and costumes to provide intrigue. allhallowsfaire.com
A full schedule of events and information is available at the official tourism site, tcvb.com, which stands for Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau.