What’s Living in Sonora Like? ☀️⛏️ | Ultimate Guide to Moving to Sonora CA

Located in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, Sonora is a beautiful city in mid-eastern California. Sonora was first founded in the 1800s during the California Gold Rush by Mexican miners from the state of Sonora, Mexico. Since then, the city has grown, and residents living in Sonora enjoy the beautiful weather, rich history, and dazzling architecture that the area has to offer. Sonora is known for its old-time look, and more than 300 films and television series have been filmed in the area, including the popular Little House on the Prairie series. There is always something going on in the city of Sonora. As such, Sonora is a good place to live.

Where Is Sonora?

Where is Sonora, CA? Sonora is in Tuolumne County and is the only incorporated community within the county’s lines. The city is nestled in the Sierra Nevada Foothills and is just a few miles away from Yosemite National Park and Stanislaus National Forest. Sonora is bordered by the census-designated places of Jamestown, East Sonora, and Springfield. 

It is about 49 miles from Modesto CA to Sonora CA, and 94 miles from Sacramento CA to Sonora CA.

Sonora CA Population & Demographics

The Sonora population is 4,940, which gives the city a population density of 1,562 people per square mile. This is just a small fraction of Tuolumne County, which has an overall population of 55,810.

There are many notable people from Sonoma, including actress Jenny O’Hara, NFL player Josh Parry, and writer David Carkeet.

Sonora Demographics:

  • Sex ratio: 55% female, 45% male
  • Median age: 38.3
  • Racial and ethnic composition: 81% White, 11% Hispanic, 3% Asian, 2% two or more races, 1% Native American
  • Median household income: $56,279 (compared to the California average of $84,097)
  • Educational attainment: 91.9% high school degree (or higher), 28.2% bachelor’s degree (or higher)
  • Foreign-born population: 5.7%

Is Sonora a safe place to live? The Sonora crime rate is 6,008 crimes per 100,000 people. This is 132.8% higher than the state average and 156.1% higher than the national average. The violent crime rate is 802 per 100,000 people, which is 81.4% higher than the state average and 106.8% higher than the national average. The property crime rate is 5,206 per 100,000 people. This is 143.4% higher than the state average and 165.9% higher than the national average. 

Although these numbers are high, much of the crime is concentrated in specific areas on the edge of the city lines where there is not as much traffic. There are many safe places to live where there is little to no crime at all. You can also access crime and arrest records at any time to get an idea of what is happening around you. When living in Sonora, CA, you will be served by the Sonora Police Department. There are ten officers on the force, and they are led by Police Chief Turu VanderWiel.

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Cost of Living in Sonora CA

Is Sonora expensive? The Sonora cost of living is just slightly above the national average. The Cost of Living Index in Sonora is 109.5. This means that it is 9.5% more expensive than the national average of 100. This is much lower compared to many other California cities, such as Anaheim, Sacramento, and San Diego, where the Cost of Living Index is 153.9, 120, and 147.2, respectively.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four would need to earn $91,755 per year ($7,646 per month) to live in Sonora. 

Typical Sonora living expenses

  • Average Sonora utilities per month: $372.85
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $17.50
  • Gallon of milk: $6.07
  • Gallon of gas: $4.75
  • Transportation (monthly): $1,369
  • Health care (monthly): $1,587
  • Child care (monthly): $1,001

Source: Numbeo

Are you thinking about purchasing Sonora, CA real estate? Luckily, the Sonora real estate market is starting to slow down a bit. According to Redfin, the average home price in Sonora is $363,000. This is lower than the national average of $418,000. 

Do you want to rent Sonora, California real estate? According to RentCafe, the average rent in Sonora is $1,652 per month. This is much lower compared to other California cities such as East Bay ($2,570 per month), San Jose ($2,939 per month), and San Diego ($2,917 per month). Some of the most popular apartment complexes in Sonora include Greenwood Village Apartments and Sonora Garden Apartments. 

Sonora Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Sonora CA

Are you on the hunt for the best places to live in Sonora? The area is quite small, but there are a few areas and neighborhoods in Sonora that are more popular than others. Here are some of the best areas to live in Sonora. 

Washington Street | Family-friendly area with large houses and fenced-in yards

The area around Washington Street is very popular among families moving to Sonora with children. The area is within walking distance of Adventist Health Sonora and the top-rated Sonora Elementary School. The houses in this area are large and typically have beautiful fenced-in yards.

Downtown Sonora | Busy area great for young professionals

If you want to be in the center of all of the action, then you should consider Downtown Sonora. The downtown area is in Central Sonora and has many fun attractions to check out. There are many incredible coffee shops, restaurants, and retail stores situated along S Washington Street.

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North Forest Road | Quiet area perfect for small families and retirees

The North Forest Road area is one of the best places to live in Sonora for those looking for a quieter lifestyle. There are many nature activities in this area, such as the Dragoon Gulch Trail Head and the Alpine Trailhead. There are also many childcare and education options, like Kiddie Kollege Pre-School and Mother Lode Adventist Junior Academy. 

Sonora Weather & Climate

According to the Köppen Classification, Sonora has a Mediterranean climate. This means that the Sonora climate is classified by hot, dry summers and wet, mild winters. Sonora weather is quite comfortable most of the time, although the summer months can be incredibly hot. The hottest month of the year in Sonora is July, with an average high of 89ºF. The coolest month is December, with an average low of 37ºF. 

Sonora’s wet season lasts nearly six months, from October 31 to April 18. The Sonora annual rainfall is 32.79 inches, with many rainstorms and thunderstorms drifting down from the Sierra Nevada. 

Things to Do in Sonora CA

When living in Sonora, you can do your grocery stores at places such as Grocery Outlet and Safeway. You can also enjoy retail shopping at the Sonora Plaza Shopping Center and the Timberhills Shopping Center. Here are just a few of the best things to do in Sonora CA. 

Dragoon Gulch Trail Head

If you love to hike, then you can’t miss the Dragoon Gulch Trail. This trail is 3.1 miles long and provides incredible views of the city as well as the surrounding mountain ranges.

Dragoon Gulch Trail Head, 680 Woods Creek Dr, Sonora, CA 95370, (209) 532-3508

Tuolumne County Museum

Located in the city’s old jail, the Tuolumne County Museum is one of the best things to do in Sonora. This museum showcases photos, antiques, and artifacts to help paint a picture of the county’s rich history.

Tuolumne County Museum, 158 Bradford St, Sonora, CA 95370, (209) 532-1317

Teleli Golf Club

The Telei Golf Club is one of the best things to do in Sonora, California for golf lovers. This 18-hole championship course is perfect for people of all ages and skill levels. You can also enjoy the club’s restaurant, bar, banquet facilities, and driving range. 

Telei Golf Club, 158 Bradford St, Sonora, CA 95370, (209) 532-1317

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Additional attractions in Sonora

Looking for more fun things to do in Sonora, CA? The City of Sonora has many trails and parks in the area for you to enjoy. You can also check out the city calendar for upcoming events in the area.

Sonora Restaurants

There are many incredible Sonora, CA, restaurants you can’t miss out on. Here are just a few of the best restaurants in Sonora, CA.

Emberz Wood-Fired Foodz

Emberz Wood-Fired Foodz is easily one of the most popular restaurants in Sonora. This relaxed joint serves up unique wood-fired American entrees and delicious cocktails.
Emberz Wood-Fired Foodz, 177 S Washington St, Sonora, CA 95370, (209) 532-2272

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In the mood for Japanese fare? This laid-back restaurant serves up some of the best ramen in the city!

Yoshoku, 70 W Stockton St, Sonora, CA 95370, (209) 536-4396

Diamondback Grill

The Diamondback Grill is one of the best restaurants in Sonora California. Stop by the grill to enjoy a sandwich, burger, or salad. There is also a wine bar adjacent to the restaurant! 

Diamondback Grill, 93 S Washington St, Sonora, CA 95370, (209) 532-6661

Jobs in Sonora CA

On the hunt for Sonora, CA jobs? Jobs in Sonora, California were once largely based in the mining and timber industries but now rely mostly on tourism. Sonora is very close to Yosemite National Park, so many of the park’s visitors choose Sonora as a place to stay. 

Because Sonora is such a small area, many of the residents choose to commute to nearby cities in Tuolumne County for work. Some of the top employers in Tuolumne County are Columbia College, Diestel Family Turkey Ranch, and Adventist Health Sonora.

According to PayScale, the average salary in Sonora is $69,000 per year. If you are looking for Sonora jobs, then check out the city job board or search for “Jobs in Sonora, California,” on Indeed.

Sonora California Schools

Sonora is a part of the Sonora Union High School District. Students living in Sonora are served by Sonora Union High School, Sonora Elementary School, and Dario Cassina High School, each located within the city limits.
Sonora California is also home to Columbia College, which is a public community college and is a part of the Yosemite Community College District.

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When living in Sonora, you will have access to the Tuolumne County Libray System.

Sonora Statistics & Information

  • County: Tuolumne
  • Sonora area: 3.18 square miles
  • Sonora zip code: 95370, 95373
  • Sonora elevation: 1,795 feet
  • Sonora area code: 209
  • Sonora time zone: Pacific (PT)
  • Closest airport to Sonora: Stockton Airport (SCK), 47.6 miles away

Sonora CA Map

Explore more things to do, restaurants, and amenities with this map of Sonora

Is moving to Sonora in your future? Our expert Sonora movers are here to help you achieve an easy and stress-free move. Give Grace Moving a call today at 209-404-3507 to receive a free estimate!

Patrick Bolger
Patrick Bolger
We are Patrick and Sally Bolger, and we own and operate Grace Moving Company. We were set-up on a blind date nearly 25 years ago and have been married almost 20 years now! In the early years, Patrick worked at Bambacigno Steel and Sally was the marketing director at a large retirement community in Modesto.

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