20 Best Things to Do in Sonora, TX

Sonora, TX
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The city of Sonora is in West Texas, tucked between the Davis Mountains and the Big Bend National Park.

Sonora has a population of just under 4,000 people.

It has a rich history and is surrounded by natural wonders.

If you're looking for outdoor adventure, you can hike or mountain bike through the scenic landscapes, ride horses, or take a jeep tour through the desert.

To sample local culture, visit the Old Sonora Icehouse Ranch Museum or tour the Historic Downtown Sonora.

If you're visiting with kids, check out the Caverns of Sonora, where you can explore underground caves.

No matter your interests, you'll find plenty of things to do in Sonora.

Here are the best things to do in Sonora, TX:

Explore the Breathtaking Caverns of Sonora

View inside the Caverns of Sonora
Kate Connes / Shutterstock.com

The Caverns of Sonora sit in the middle of Big Bend National Park and the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.

It's a great place to explore the fantastic underground rock formations.

The Caverns of Sonora were discovered in the early 1900s and were formerly known as Mayfield Cave after its owner, Stanley Mayfield.

The caverns are home to mineral formations, including stalactites, calcite crystal formations, and helictites.

The caverns have become a massive hit for tourists worldwide; the caverns were formed between 1.5 to 5 million years ago.

Stalactites and stalagmites in the Caverns of Sonora
IrinaK / Shutterstock.com

The butterfly is the most famous form in the cave and is a calcite formation that is white and pink.

The temperature in the caverns remains a constant 71 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a great place to visit year-round.

You can explore the Caverns of Sonora on a self-guided tour or take a guided tour with a ranger.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can take a spelunking tour and rappel into the caves.

Bacon-like formation in the Caverns of Sonora
DanielCD (talk) (Uploads), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn about the Wild West at the Old Sonora Icehouse Ranch Museum

For a taste of local history, visit the Old Sonora Icehouse Ranch Museum, housed in a former icehouse built in 1927.

The Old Sonora Icehouse Ranch Museum is near downtown Sonora and is a great place to learn about the area's history and culture.

The museum features a variety of exhibits on the ranching industry and Native American artifacts.

The museum tells the story of Will Carver, a member of the Wild Bunch Gang, an active outlaw group in the late 1800s.

It tells the story of the discovery of a deep water well that led to the development of the city of Sonora.

The museum also exhibits the history of the Texas Rangers and West Texas pioneers.

The museum has a collection of artifacts from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including ranching equipment, firearms, and pioneer clothing.

If you're interested in the Old West, this is a great place to learn about the people and events that shaped this part of Texas.

Commune with Nature at the Eaton Hill Nature Center & Preserve

For a fun day, head to the Eaton Hill Nature Center & Preserve.

The Eaton Hill Nature Center & Preserve is a great place to hike, bike, or ride horses.

There are also a variety of educational tours and programs offered at the nature center, such as the Nature Center Tour and Preserve Tour.

Exhibits include the Mineral and Geode Collection, a Mammoth Tusk excavated locally, the Birds and Butterflies Collection, and the Venomous Snakes of West Texas.

There is also an exhibit on the area's history, including information on the Native Americans who once lived here.

Visitors can explore the 37-acre preserve through its improved trails to encounter an eclectic mix of the fauna and flora of the region.

Wild animals are also abundant, with axis and white-tailed deers seen in the area.

Practice Your Swing at the Sonora Golf Club

The Sonora Golf Club is where you can spend an afternoon, whether for beginners or experienced golfers.

Established in 1973, the Sonora Golf Club offers a variety of golfing options, including a nine-hole course, driving range, and putting green.

Group lessons are also available if you want to learn the game or brush up on your skills.

Sonora Golf Club, the best nine-hole course in Texas, complete with water hazards and different challenges, is the perfect place to spend an afternoon or a day.

The Club also hosts events for the community, such as the West Texas Juniors Open, 2-Man Scramble, and 2-Man Shamble.

After a day of golfing, you can relax in the clubhouse, which offers a full-service bar and restaurant.

Step Back in Time at the Historic Downtown Sonora

Buildings along Downtown Sonora
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Downtown Sonora is home to a variety of historic buildings, including the 1891 Sutton County Courthouse, Miers Home Museum, and shops and restaurants.

If you're interested in the area's history, you can join a walking tour of the downtown area or visit the Sonora Heritage Museum.

The Sonora Heritage Museum is in the historic Sutton County Courthouse and features exhibits on the county's history and its residents.

Exterior of Sutton County Courthouse along downtown Sonora
Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can tour the supposedly haunted Sutton County Jailhouse near the Courthouse, built in 1890.

Otherwise, you can spend some time at the John and Mildred Cauthorn House, a Victorian-style home built in 1883.

Today, it's a bed and breakfast.

For a taste of the local cuisine, check out one of the downtown restaurants, such as the Pit Stop Barbecue or the Purple Pig Café.

Take a Stroll through the John & Mildred Cauthorn Memorial Depot

Originally known as the Santa Fe Depot, the John & Mildred Cauthorn Memorial Depot is a historic train depot constructed in the 1930s.

Located in the Historic Sonora Downtown, the depot was named after the couple John & Mildred Cauthorn, thanks to their contribution to the Sonora community.

The last train left the depot in 1977.t

After that, the property remained vacant for nine years.

In 1986, the Sutton County Historical Society received the property as a donation, and they decided to renovate the depot into a community meeting place.

The furniture in the Depot consists of original pieces used in the waiting room and depot office.

Beat the Heat at the Sonora Municipal Swimming Pool

The Sonora Municipal Swimming Pool is fantastic for cooling off during summer.

The pool is open to the public during warmer months.

The pool features a diving board, water slides, and a wading area for children.

There are also picnic tables and lounge chairs for those who want to relax and soak up the sun.

The Sonora Municipal Swimming Pool is the perfect place to spend a hot summer day.

Explore the Miers Home Museum

The Miers Home Museum is a historic home built in 1888 and donated to Sutton County Historical Society.

One of Sonora's early pioneers, Isaac Miers, owned the Miers Home Museum.

Sporting the board-and-batten design, the Miers Home Museum is one of the few remaining examples of this type of construction in the area.

Miers furnished the Victorian home during the pioneer era.

It features exhibits that showcase the history of the Miers family and the Sonora community.

Take in the Grandeur of the Sutton County Courthouse

The Sutton County Courthouse is one of the most iconic buildings in the area, with a design from Oscar Ruffini.

Constructed in 1884, the Courthouse is built in the Second Empire style of architecture and features a mansard roof.

The Courthouse underwent restoration in 2002, returning the exterior details of the building to their original glory.

Situated in the Courthouse Square, Sutton County Courthouse also houses the Sutton County Jail, which once held outlaws in Sonora and nearby cities.

The Courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.

It's one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sutton County.

Take in the Gorgeous Surroundings at the Sutton County Park

Sutton County Park is the perfect place to enjoy the area's natural beauty.

The park features a playground and a pavilion and is the perfect place to bond with your kids.

It is also home to the Sonora County Civic Center, which hosts various events and activities throughout the year.

The Sutton County Park features a baseball field where the high school baseball team practices.

The charming and quiet park has jungle gyms, swings, and a set of slides for the kids while you relax and take in the fresh air.

Birds and butterflies are in the park, so don't forget to bring your camera.

Stalk Game at FF Hunting Ranch

Bring the thrill of a hunt to your visit to Sonora with a booking at the FF Hunting Ranch.

This hunters’ destination, which was established in 2005, is located on Sutton County Road in southeast Sonora.

FF Hunting Ranch offers to its visitors several packages for hunting a variety of free-ranging game in its expansive fenced-off area.

Hunting in this ranch offers a wide selection of trophy animals such as whitetail deer, scimitar-horned oryx, blackbuck antelope, and bison.

Rio Grande turkey, red stag, and feral hots are also among the game that you can stalk at FF hunting Ranch.

The ranch offers a hunters’ lodging with all the creature comforts of home provided.

Dine at Sutton County Steak House

Established in 1976, the family-style restaurant Sutton County Steak House is already an institution in Sonora.

This restaurant is great for a stopover on North Service Road, with offerings of breakfast, lunch, steaks, seafood, and Mexican dishes on its menu.

All meat that Sutton County Steak House cooks and serves are hand-cut fresh daily from its own butcher shop.

The weights of steaks that customers order are first shown to them and cooked to perfection the way they want it.

The dining hall of the restaurant exudes a striking ambiance, with its displays of large game trophies of deer, impala, gazelle, elk, and African kudo.

Catch the Excitement of the Sonora Outlaw Rodeo

The Sonora Outlaw Rodeo is a long-running annual event held at the

Sutton County Park & Arena Complex on North Crockett Avenue.

This event is considered as the second largest Texas rodeo under the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

A colorful parade around the city of Sonora typically kicks off the Sonora Outlaw Rodeo.

Besides the regular pro rodeo events, kids’ activities are also part of the fun in the Sonora Outlaw Rodeo.

Children from four years up can compete in rodeo games like mutton busting and goat roping.

Swing to the Beat of the Dry Devil's River Music Flood

The Sonora Chamber of Commerce launched the Dry Devil's River Music Flood in 2012 primarily as a street dancing event in the downtown area.

This music festival typically held around end September has grown since then, featuring several top Texas bands.

The Dry River Devil’s Music Flood has also moved to a bigger venue at the Sutton County Park on North Sutton Avenue.

A cook-off as a side-event has also become a popular addition to this music extravaganza in Sonora.

Cook-off participants vie for prizes and plaques in several categories including pork ribs, chicken basket, and brisket.

Drop by the Historic Old Rock Schoolhouse

The Old Rock Schoolhouse on East College Street is one of the most impressive among its eight nearby historic sites in Sonora.

This two-story schoolhouse immediately draws attention with its Italianate architectural style.

The Old Rock Schoolhouse was constructed in 1904 to expand the educational facilities for Sonora’s growing population.

Native rocks from a quarry east of Sonora were used in the construction of this schoolhouse.

A 1914 addition on the south end of the building expanded the Old Rock Schoolhouse which was used for elementary grades and junior high students.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Discover the Mysteries of Fort McKavett State Historic Site

The grounds of Fort McKavett State Historic Site
Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fort McKavett State Historic Site is a former United States Army post established in 1852.

Drive 39 minutes from Sonora to reach the site in Fort McKavett, Texas.

Fort McKavett served as a supply depot and military post during the American Civil War and the Apache Wars.

Standing atop a hill, Fort McKavett State Historic Site offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside.

History marker of Fort McKavett State Historic Site
Pi3.124, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It was named after Capt. Henry McKavett.

The historic site is about 82 acres and features more than 20 structures, restored to their original appearance.

The buildings include the commissary, hospital, officer's quarter, and stables.

Fort McKavett State Historic Site is a must-visit for history buffs and curious travelers.

Historic buildings at Fort McKavett State Historic Site
Pi3.124, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy the Great Outdoors at the X Bar Ranch Nature Retreat

The X Bar Ranch Nature Retreat is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and is just a stone's throw away from the Sonora Caverns.

You can find this place in Eldorado, Texas, 23 minutes from Sonora.

The nature retreat features hiking trails, fishing spots, and bird-watching areas.

The X Bar Ranch Nature Retreat still uses the Headquarters House, built in 1933, as the main office for the ranch.

The nature retreat is home to the Round House, built in 1967, which they rent out to visitors for unparalleled views of the majestic scenery.

The X Bar Ranch Nature Retreat is the place to enjoy the peace of nature.

Stop by the Crockett County Museum

Exterior of Crockett County Museum
Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located in Ozona, Texas, roughly 30 minutes from Sonora, the Crockett County Museum showcases the "biggest little town" in Texas.

The three-floor museum features a variety of exhibits that showcase the history and culture of West Texas settlers.

A schoolroom in Crockett County Museum
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Built in 1926, Crockett County Museum was a former county courthouse.

Some of the museum's highlights include a collection of firearms, fossils, and Native American artifacts.

You can also see items from the early 19th century, such as a horse-drawn hearse and a stagecoach.

A blacksmith shop in Crockett County Museum
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the museum's gift shop for souvenirs like arrowheads or a coon skin cap.

The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays and is free for all visitors.

A scale model in Crockett County Museum
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spend a Day or Two at the Twistflower Ranch Nature Retreat

The Twistflower Ranch Nature Retreat is one of the best places to visit if you want to commune with nature.

The 5,800-acre nature retreat is located in a remote area, specifically built for eco-tourists and outdoor enthusiasts.

The ranch is home to more than 20 animals, including white-tailed deer, javelinas, and wild turkeys.

The Twistflower Ranch Nature Retreat also has a butterfly garden, a favorite among visitors.

It also features hiking trails, horseback riding, and camping areas.

Explore the Schleicher County Park Area

The Schleicher County Park Area in Eldorado is the biggest park in the county and offers a variety of activities for visitors.

It's a 22-minute drive from Sonora.

The 1,800-acre park is perfect for a short run before going to work.

Visitors can also clear their minds while taking a stroll in the park.

The park has a playground for the kids and a pavilion that you can rent for special events.

There are also picnic tables and grills available in the park.

The Schleicher County Park Area also features a public pool open during the summer months.

It has a playground, pavilions, barbecue pits, and a basketball court.

Final Thoughts

Sonora is the ideal place to visit if you're looking for a little bit of everything.

The city has a rich history, beautiful scenery, and plenty of things to do.

Whether you're visiting for the day or staying for a week, there's something in Sonora that will keep you entertained.

What are you waiting for?

Start planning your trip to Sonora today!

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