You won’t find a more eclectic collection of canoes and kayaks than at Catch-A-Canoe, which has been outfitting paddlers on the eight-mile-long Big River estuary near Mendocino since 1972. Well behaved dogs of all makes and models are welcome to ride along and enjoy the scenery in surrounding Big River State Park.
“You can go in a standard canoe, but for stability I recommend an outrigger,” says Jeff Stanford, owner of the adjacent (and extremely dog-friendly) Stanford Inn by the Sea. “Dogs can sit on the platform across the top or in the bottom of the boat. People take dogs on them all the time.”
You won’t encounter whitewater or significant currents on the scenic Big River, but the estuary is tidal and salty and the climate often chilly, so be sure to dress warmly and bring fresh water for your pet.