One of the best scenic drives in Sonoma County takes you through vineyards, redwoods and ends at the beautfiul Mendocino and Sonoma Coast along the Navarro River. Begin on Hwy 101 and exit at Cloverdale/Hwy 128 West. Stop at the Hamburger Ranch first for great burgers, pasta, or breakfast if you’re running on empty. It doesn’t take long before you’re away from civilization and into rolling hills with oak trees and the Russian River running through the canyon below. There are several tubing spots and fishing spots along the road. The vineyards begin near Yorkville, a small blink of a place that used to have Christmas Tree Farms, that have gone to grapes. There is a store here, hours are somewhat irregular. Several wineries in pretty locations are along Hwy 128, with areas to picnic. Booneville and Philo are beautiful towns. There is a county fair in September in Booneville that is a great small town affair. Outside of Philo is Hendy Woods, a beautiful park with huge redwoods. Further along the Navarro River begins. There are several nice spots to take a dip or sun. The water is refreshing and cold. The redwoods are thick along this road until just outside of a little town called Navarro, with a store and Paul Dimmick campground a few minutes away. There is a wide beach where Hwy 128 joins Hwy 1 north, where seals can often be seen playing at the wave line. I love this drive. It’s peaceful and full of multiple experiences. You can relax in total quiet, or be with others — it’s up to you. To return, either go down Hwy 1 back to Sonoma County (a 2 hour drive, but beautiful!) or turn around and catch some of the spots you missed on the way up.

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