Mission San Francisco Solano State Historic Park
114 East Spain Street
| +1 707-938-9560
Sun - Sat 10am - 5pm
History at the heart of SonomaSonoma might be more synonomous with a day trip and an amazing wine country these days, but its California history roots run deep int he fertile soil.
The California missions represented the final expansion of the Spanish Empire, and between 1769 and 1823, soldiers and monks built a total of 21 missions and five Presidios (military forts), along the Pacific coast. The last one was the San Francisco Solano, aka the Sonoma Mission, founded July 4, 1823, and an easy 45 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge.
The mission is part of six sites that comprise the Sonoma State Historic Park where you'll also find the Sonoma Barracks (also called the Presidio of Sonoma), the Blue Wing Inn, La Casa Grande, Lachryma Montis, and the Toscano Hotel.
Stroll around the sites and check out the 1913 reconstruction of the mission's adobe chapel as well as the Presidio's barracks and outbuildings, now operated as a museum.
The mission is adjacent to a Mexican-style town square that is still the heart of downtown Sonoma. Here you'll find tasting rooms of local wineries, swanky boutiques, and restaurants. Other historic buildings nearby include the Sebastiani Theatre, a movie house opened in 1933 and still host to screen and stage entertainment, and the General Joseph Hooker House, the restored home of the Civil War general.
Sonoma was the site of the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846, that declared California independent from Mexico.