My Top 3 Things to do in Tuolumne County as a Newbie

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For people who are new to Tuolumne County, it’s hard to know where to start exploring your newfound home. Sonora, the county seat, is known as “the Queen of the Sierra” and there are many hidden gems in her crown waiting to be discovered by you! From historic downtown to must-see attractions on the outskirts of “city” limits, here are my top 3 things to do in Tuolumne County as a newbie.

First Stop: Take a Stroll in Downtown Sonora

Downtown Sonora is a top destination in Tuolumne County. Lining both sides of Washington Street are historic buildings filled with a unique collection of clothing boutiques, vintage shops, candy and toy stores, local restaurants, and so much more! Easily comparable to what you would find in the areas of Rockridge in Berkeley or some trendy neighborhood in San Francisco.

This is where I go for unique gifts or when I need my shopping fix or something special to wear. 

As a wine enthusiast, I highly recommend The Independent Wine Co. — great for tasting wine and known for their carefully curated wine and bubble selection. It is also my top favorite place to get a bite to eat. The selection includes small bites that change weekly and seasonally. Trust me you will want to order everything on the menu! 

Or check out Tar Flat for refined vintage goods or their sister business Servantes for artisanal cocktails, curated wines, and live music. A top scene for nightlife among your local hipster crowd. If you and your friends are an eclectic group looking for a vibey scene, check it out!

Second Stop: Visit Indigeny with the Pup

Looking for a place where you can bring your dog along for the fun? Stop by Indigeny! This local hard apple cider distillery is a must-see. Start your visit with a hike around the sprawling apple orchards and lake, letting your pup frolic and play.

After that, refresh with a growler of cider to share at one of the outdoor picnic tables and take in the grounds as you sip. Finish the day with a competitive game of horseshoes or cornhole! The best time to visit is October, after the apples have been harvested and the orchards are lush with golden color. Just know crowds are heavy during this time! Still not enough apples for you? Make Covers Apple Ranch your next visit and grab some fresh baked goods.

Third Stop: Casino Night at Black Oak

For an exciting night out on the “town”, head out to Black Oak Casino. No gambling required! Bring the family to the downstairs bowling alley; it has a great family-friendly sports pub that serves delicious burgers, where you can eat and watch as your kids get gutter balls.

Or experience fine dining at Seven Sisters — all of your favorite classics but with an extravagant twist. Have you ever tried millionaire’s bacon? Stop by Seven Sisters and taste it for yourself! It’s the perfect special treat right before a concert. Stay tuned for their concerts to return with headline music from top artists and touring bands — they’ll be back before you know it!

These 3 things will get you started on your new adventure in Tuolumne County as a newbie. If you’d like more ideas, check out these other things to do, suggested by Visit Tuolumne County. And if you’d like to know more about other local attractions in and around the Gold Country, make Team French real estate agents your go-to source! We are your guides to the Gold Country. Call me today at (209) 303-7637 or email

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