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Sonoras golden Christmas touch
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SONORA — Sonora in the heart of the Gold Country with its historic main street and its colorful mom and pop stores along with many bed and breakfast opportunities is a great way to spend a pre-holiday weekend with a shopping trip in the equation.
Immigrant miners from Mexico back in the mid-1800s help establish the old business district that now has a few empty stores due to the Great Recession.  It continues to boast its history and claim of being an historic Gold Rush Town to be enjoyed by travelers looking for fine dinners and unique gifts reminiscent of the Old West.
The Knowles Hill Mansion has been lovingly preserved and offers the finest in creating bed and breakfast memories for anyone’s stay for the night close enough to take an after dinner stroll through old town Sonora along with a showing at the Stage 3 Theater.
The staff boasts it to be a bed and breakfast with integrity, quality and craftsmanship with genuine people, gourmet food and elegant surroundings.  New businesses have opened in Sonora during the past year with the 2015 gross earnings said to be the best ever from the flatlanders going to the foothills.
Other bed and breakfasts in the area include the Barretta Gardens Inn, the Bradford Place, and the McCaffrey House.
A descendent of the Mexican miners of yester year, Marianne Wright, wrote, “Although our town is much more rich and interesting now with new people, the old ways and memories are still valuable and important.  Great new changes have occurred, but not all the new turns out to be better.  Love Sonora! Old parts and new parts.  Care for her and enjoy. Welcome the good of the new, but don’t give up all the good ways of our hard working salt-of-the-earth elder before us.”
The downtown shopping adventure boasts charming antique shops, clothing boutiques and restaurants.  It is the heart of Tuolumne County which includes The Railtown 1897 Historical State Park in nearby Jamestown.
When dining in Sonora, stroll down Washington Street for the best places to have a memorable dinner.  There’s The Diamond Grill where they offer nine different half pound burgers to choose from for a casual meal along with sweat potato fries.  Nearby is Tallulah’s where a $15 ravioli sampler is a must for the hungry traveler.  It includes spinach, Gorgonzola, butternut squash, cheese, crab, wild mushroom and beef ravioli served with polenta and marinara and Alfredo sauces.  Then there is the cocktail bar at Emberz also on Washington Street in the downtown where concoctions such as birthday cake martinis and basil margaritas are served.
Those wishing to check with other leading bed and breakfast sites can go to www.flipkey.com/vacationRentals/TopRated.

To contact Glenn Kahl, go to gkahl@mantecabulletin.com.