Destination guide

Sonora strikes gold in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Founded during California's Gold Rush heyday, Sonora is a former gold mining town famous for the Big Bonanza Gold Mine, which yielded a stunning 12 tons of solid gold in two years. Book a Sonora vacation rental in the heart of town and you're certain to strike gold. Nestled in foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Sonora is known as the Queen of the Southern Mines. Catch a show at the Opera House, visit Jamestown, a quirky one-horse town with notable antiques shops, or take a pilgrimage to Mark Twain's Cabin, 8 miles west of Sonora.

Things to do

I ain't sayin' she's a golddigger

Sonora is a small city crammed with old-school charm. Book a Sonora vacation rental in the historic downtown, and you'll have a wealth of antique shops, restaurants and the farmers' market right on your doorstep. Sonora is proud of its rich arts scene, and is home to the Central Sierra Arts Council, which looks after a clutch of artists studios now open to the public. As a nod to its gold-panning history, there are several gold mines still open in Tuolumne County. The closest is in Jamestown, 3 miles southwest of Sonora.


Up the creek without a paddle

Surrounded by the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Sonora is a favourite base for fans of rugged outdoor pursuits. Beginners should start with the Dragoon Gulch Trail, a fun 2.5-mile romp through Mother Lode's ancient oak woodlands. It follows the path of a natural creek and boasts Sonora's most impressive views of the Sierra Nevada. If you don't fancy getting muddy, book a Sonora vacation rental close to the historic downtown and potter around the 19th-century shops and buildings. After dark, catch a musical or a show at Sonora's legendary Sierra Repertory Theatre.


After the gold rush, comes the cold rush

Sonora benefits from the classic Southern California climate, which feels more Mediterranean than Mexican. Think cool, damp winters, and dry, hot summers with more than 250 sunny days a year. Peak season in Gold Rush Country tends to be in summer, from June to August, when prime Sonora vacation rentals are booked up well in advance. Winter is low season in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Hiking and biking activity starts up again in the spring, when the snow starts to melt from the trails.

Natural features

Let's go where the wild things are

Tucked away on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the small city of Sonora is surrounded by a wealth of natural beauty. It's a 20-minute drive from Stanislaus National Forest, which offers a plethora of scenic hiking and biking trails, waterfalls and caves which will sate even the hardiest of outdoor types. Keep your peepers open in the pine forest for resident bald eagles, peregrine falcons and wolverines. Named after the Stanislaus River, which runs through it, the forest is home to numerous lakes, rivers and streams, which are great for rafting and kayaking.

How to get there

How to get to and around Sonora

The nearest airport is in Mariposa, CA (RMY-Mariposa-Yosemite), located 37.8 mi (60.8 km) from the city center.

Where to stay around Sonora?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 669 vacation rentals near Sonora. From 284 Cabins to 297 Houses, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Sonora for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Sonora?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Sonora. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Mother Lode Fairgrounds: 595 vacation rentals
  • Tuolumne County Historical Society: 614 vacation rentals
  • Veterans Memorial Hall and Military Museum: 620 vacation rentals
  • Pine Mountain Lake Marina: 207 vacation rentals
  • Columbia State Historic Park: 653 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Sonora listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Cabins in Sonora?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 284 Cabins in Sonora. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Sonora include:

  • Houses: 297 rentals available
  • Cottages: 284 rentals available
  • Bungalows: 284 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Chalets and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Sonora?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 381 vacation rentals with pool available in Sonora. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

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