In our last look at the town of Sonoma—one of our favorite places for a family outing—we focused on the historic Sonoma Plaza, picnicing, and places to pick up lunch supplies. The Plaza itself is surrounded by the historic remains of the old Mexican town of Sonoma, which dates back to the founding of Mission San Francisco Solano by Father José Altamira in the 1820s. Sites include the mission itself, the remains of General Mariano Vallejo's Casa Grande, the Sonoma Barracks, the Blue Wing Inn, the Toscano Hotel, and Lachryma Montis, Vallejo's Victorian home, which is located a short distance from the Plaza.
The historic buildings in Sonoma, all part of Sonoma State Historic Park, are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm and admission is inexpensive (just $3 for adults and $2 for kids), so you should definitely plan a visit with your family. The park is a great way to learn about California history, especially since Sonoma was the site of the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt that proclaimed the California Republic and marked the beginning of the end for Mexican rule of the Alta California, as well as the creation of California's iconic state Bear Flag.