By Michael Ayala, Executive Director & CEO
Welcome to the Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Community Profile and Business Directory. Tuolumne County is such a beautiful place to not only live, work, visit and play, but we have so much more to offer. Following is a quick glimpse of what you will find in our new Directory.
History: From a historical perspective, you will have the opportunity to flashback to about 1848 to get a look at what took place here during the Gold Rush that lasted for almost 10 years, and how the towns of Sonora, Jamestown and Columbia came into being. Take a walk down the streets of Sonora, visit Columbia State Historic Park, or take a train ride at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.
Tourism: the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau’s slogan captures the essence of Tuolumne County as “One Destination, Three Vacations: Gold Country, High Sierra and Yosemite.” We also have Dodge Ridge Ski Resort, Pinecrest Lake, and Leland High Sierra Snow Play along State Route 108. Then State Route 49 is the route of the historical California Gold Rush. Finally, Highway 120 takes you through the historic towns of Chinese Camp, then up to Big Oak Flat and Groveland all the way to Hetch Hetchy and Yosemite.
Our Outdoor Recreation is bountiful, with numerous lakes offering skiing and boating, fishing in our rivers, rafting, camping, hiking, and biking. How about experiencing a pack trip through our beautiful Emigrant Wilderness?
Homes & Real Estate: So you have come to visit and now you want to make our county your home. Our real estate companies will help you find the home of your dreams and help you decide where you want to buy. How much property do you want, where’s the snowline, water district or well? They will help you with all those questions, but the biggest benefit is that our homes are affordable and range in size according to what you are in the market for.
Our Arts & Entertainment form a vibrant community ranging from Second Saturday in downtown Sonora, to our talented theatrical arts at Stage 3 in downtown Sonora or Sierra Repertory Theatre in East Sonora. Our Tuolumne County Arts Alliance is growing and very active in our community for the budding artist to the growing musician and a great place to connect your talents.
Ciderworks/Wineries: We have the renowned Indigeny Reserve, a great producer of some amazing hard cider, brandy and more recently, tasty vodka. We also have Gianelli Vineyards and Inner Sanctum Cellars with tasting rooms in Jamestown. They have each won gold, silver and bronze for their remarkable and spectacular wines.
Our health care is anchored by our fantastic Sonora Regional Medical Center that includes 24-hour emergency care, a cancer center, birthing center, and a surgery center, along with a prompt care clinic. Then our Tuolumne County Health Department provides a multitude of services throughout our community of 57,000 for young and old alike.
Education: The County has 11 public school districts, including four public charter schools and three non-public schools. The County Superintendent of Schools office provides county-wide education leadership for pre-K through high school, and through age 22 for eligible students with disabilities. We are also home to Columbia College, offering associate’s degree and associate certificate programs for students as early as high school and post high school education.
Business, Retail & Professional Service: The Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority is currently attracting new manufacturers and technology firms to our county, “where the outdoors meets your front door,” according to Larry Cope, TCEDA’s CEO. We also have a very active and engaged SCORE Chapter. Tuolumne County SCORE will help you with free one-on-one mentoring for starting, maintaining, or growing your successful small business or nonprofit. SCORE can be found at https://tuolumnecounty.score.org.
Transportation: Finally, if you don’t want to use your car, how do you get around the County? We have Tuolumne County Transit whose motto is “We go there, we get you there,” and we mean it! They have Fixed Route service with six different routes, and Dial-a-Ride for those who need a little more care and attention. The SkiBUS runs during the ski season and operates from Sonora to Dodge Ridge on weekends and holidays. Then the Yosemite bus or YARTS runs from May to September from Sonora to Yosemite Valley. Finally, take the historic Trolley to special events that make the county a great place to live, work or visit.
So please read through our 2016 Directory and find the nuggets of gold that make Tuolumne County what it is today!