Solano Mission, founded in 1823, was the last and most northerly of the 21 Franciscan missions of Alta California. It marked the northern end of "The King's Highway," El Camino Real. The Mission was the only one of the California missions to be established under Mexican rule, independent of Spain.
Sonoma Mission, as it is popularly called, was the dedicated goal of the young and zealous Padre Jose Altimira. With the approval of Mexico's Governor Arguello, but without official church sanction, Altimira headed into the northern wilderness to find a more healthful location for his Indian neophytes than the crowded San Francisco de Asis Mission.
Here in the Sonoma Valley he found his ideal location, with fertile soil and mild, sunny climate. He blessed the site on July 4, 1823, and started construction the following month.
(Sacramento) California State Capitol Grounds
(Sonoma) California Wine Tours & Transportation
(St. Helena) Charles Krug Winery
(Sacramento) Crest Theatre
(Petaluma) Garden Valley Ranch Nursery
(Santa Rosa) Luther Burbank Home and Gardens
Request a Free copy of the Mile-by-Mile Guide to the Oregon Coast, which will be delivered to your USA postal address. Also request a free first issue of Oregon Coast magazine and sign up for coast deals.
12/15 Coming to The Sonoma area
Arden Fair Sacramento CA March30-April18 Open the doors to Arden Fair and step inside. Here you'll find contemporary fashions, jewelry, accessories and brand name merchandise at over 165 specialty stores, plus Nordstrom's, Macy's, Sears, and JC Penney. Arden Fair also has a number of terrific restaurants, everything from fast food to fine dining. And it's completely enclosed, so it's always a comfortable 70 degrees inside no matter what it's like outside.
Santa Cruz Baroque Festival Santa Cruz CA April13-May11 A festival of baroque music.
Oakland Greek Festival Oakland CA May17-19 Wonderful aromas of Souklavia and Loukoumades waft through the air and the sounds of traditional Greek music and shouts of OPA! resonate in the hills of Oakland.
California Exposition & State Fair Sacramento CA June12-28 The Cal Expo is the site of the California State Fair. All year Satellite Wagering, Waterworld USA, Paradise Island Fun Center and an RV Park are just a few of the features of the Cal Expo.The first State Fair was held in 1854 in San Francisco at the old Music Hall. The fair offered premiums (prizes) for its competitions and included such agricultural exhibits such as 2-inch-long peanuts, 72-pound beets and a 10-pound carrot that was longer than 3 feet. Horseracing was part of that first fair and has continued to be a part of the fair ever since.
Midsummer Mozart Festival San Francisco CA July18-28 Organized in 1974, the Festival is the only music festival in North America dedicated exclusively to Mozart.
Gilroy Garlic Festival Gilroy CA July26-28 The internationally acclaimed Great Garlic Cook-off, the signature event of the Gilroy Garlic Festival has increased the top prize in the July 27th competition to $5,000.