August 22, 2019

Santa Rosa & Philo, CA

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Santa Rosa to Philo, California
Handley Cellars
Distance: 87 miles
Duration: 1 night
Cost: Boondocking - free
Weather: Cool and partly sunny

We said our goodbyes to Sue and Rob then drove over to Sebastopol to meet up with our good friends, Sarah & Bert. Of course, we planned our lunch date at Handline so we could enjoy yet another delicious meal of fish tacos! After our early lunch, the four of us headed to Hook & Ladder Winery for some wine tasting. The winery is quite lovely and would be a nice place to go for a picnic lunch next time we're in Santa Rosa. We bought two bottles of their Sangiovese and had fun looking at all the shirts and caps that firefighters have brought to have on display in the tasting room. I even found one from Lincoln!

The bounty from George & Merry's avocado trees!

A foggy morning in Santa Rosa.

Handline fish tacos & fries. Delicious!

Our dear friends, Sarah & Bert.

Fun to spot this one from Lincoln, Nebraska!

Perfect spot for a picnic.

Happy travelers!

After more goodbyes, we got back on Hwy. 101 and started making our way north to the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County. Handley Cellars Winery (a Harvest Host site, which is located in Philo) was our destination for the night. It is less than a 100 miles from Hook & Ladder, but the last 40 miles (on Hwy. 128) took close to an hour, as it is quite curvy. However, the trees and vineyards were gorgeous in their fall colors and the drive turned out to be more beautiful than expected.

We arrived at Handley around 4:00 and after checking in at the tasting room, found our way to our site. In order to park out of the way and find a level spot, we had to park next to the old water tower, facing some small cottages (which we assume are for workers) and weren't able to position the RV with the windows looking out toward the vineyard. There was also some music coming from one of the cottages, but it was turned off before we were ready to go to sleep. So, not an ideal vantage point to appreciate the beauty from inside the RV, but certainly a lovely location to spend one night.

After dinner, we wandered around the property, taking in the views and watching the sun set over the hills in the distance. 

Note: Should we ever decide to travel from Hwy. 101 over to Mendocino (on Hwy. 128), a few nights at Hendy Woods State Park, which is situated on the Navarro River, might be a good alternative for a longer visit to this particular area.


  1. Even if the view wasn't the best, I bet it was fun to spend a night at a winery.

    1. Kathy, we have now camped at three wineries and one lavender farm. The lavender farm was by far the most beautiful in terms of views from our RV, but yes. It's fun to spend the night at any of these locations. The mornings are especially beautiful and serene.

  2. What pretty landscape. How nice that you were able to see your friends and share a wonderful meal. Those fish tacos look super yummy!

    1. Iliana, Northern California is so beautiful. We always enjoy traveling in this area and it was especially nice to meet up with our good friends, especially since our visit included fish tacos and wine! :)


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