Sonora is the county seat of Tuolumne County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 4,423. Sonora is the only incorporated community in Tuolumne County.
Sonora is just off Highway 108, which leads from Modesto northeast and goes over Sonora Pass to the desert east of the mountains. Part of the way from Oakdale Highway 108 shares the same road as Highway 120, the route to Yosemite. To get to downtown Sonora, take the Route 49 exit (Stockton Street) from Highway 108 about two miles to the downtown area. Visitor information is available from the Visitors Bureau building, also on Stockton Street, about a mile south of downtown.
The downtown area can be walked around. Park either on the main downtown street, Washington Street, or on the street or in nearby parking lots that are on Stewart Street, one block east of Washington Street. There is a business area in East Sonora, a couple of miles east of downtown, that has additional shopping and restaurants (including the only chain stores and restaurants and fast food places in Tuolumne County).
The county Courthouse, built in 1898 with yellow Roman pressed brick, and still in operation as a courthouse today. The courthouse is on Yaney Street and a block west of Washington Street in the north part of downtown. The Red Church, originally built in 1860 and still in use, which can be seen from most of downtown Washington Street as a landmark at the north end of town. The Opera House, built in the late 19th century of brick.
Eat at a number of restaurants in the downtown area. Mexican restaurants, not surprisingly given the town's history, are particularly common. The Old Stan on South Washington street, right near the center of town, serves excellent tappas style fair, including excellent salads, vegetarian and meat dishes. The also serve several local wines, and their own sangria.
Bombay Pizzaria, toward the North End of Washington Street, is the one good non-mexican ethnic restaurant in town. Despite the name, don´t believe there´s any pizza on the menu, but there is a substantial indian menu, and a few italian items thrown in there, too.
Backstreet bar and grill on Stewart street (one street back from Washington street) has excellent woodfire pizza, salads, and italian specialties.