Things to Do in Sonora, California
Sonora is a former Gold-Rush city with a large downtown that contains some impressive, well-preserved buildings. Attractive and lively, it’s the center of local entertainment, commerce and government.
Tuolumne County Courthouse
At the heart of downtown, just up the hill and across the wooded plaza from the main street, there’s a pretty, old courthouse. Built in 1898, it has a small clock tower in the middle and looks a little different from any other courthouse in the state.
The Sugg House was built in 1857 by William Sugg, a freed slave. The wooden frame was completed in 1880. It was used as a hotel until 1921, when changes in the state law (requiring hot and cold running water in each hotel room) caused it to close. Nevertheless, the house remained in the Sugg family until 1982. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sonora Opera Hall
Built in 1885 with money from Sonora’s Bonanza Gold Mine, this historic opera house has had its ups and downs over the years. It’s been occupied by a number of businesses, including a carpenter shop and a garage. In 1986, the city bought the property and re-opened it as an opera house.
Columbia State Historic Park
Just north of Sonora is the old mining town of Columbia. Now just a small community, Columbia was one of the most significant towns of California’s gold-mining era and the Gold Rush. At one point in the 1850s it was one of the largest communities in California. Today, there are various sites, museums and other tourist attractions.
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