California travelers know fall is the ripe time to pack the hiking boots for an adventure in Northern California’s Mendocino County
. As the barometer slides, the fog pulls away, corks pop and nature hits its seasonal migration stride.
Here is the best of dog-friendly Mendocino County in the fall:
Coastal Mendocino County
is stitched to rivers and ocean, but visitors aren’t restricted to just looking at the water. It’s also possible to get out on it—with your dog. Two premier options: the Water Dog Package
at Little River Inn Resort & Spa, which offers river nature tours on the Albion River, and Catch A Canoe & Bicycles Too
, which has been outfitting paddlers on the Big River since 1972.
The active Noyo Harbor fishing village sets an engaging backdrop for a Noyo Harbor Inn
stay. Walk your dog around the village, or plan adventures
at the area’s state parks, beaches, botanical gardens and attractions. Ride the famous Skunk Train
. Admire shimmering Glass Beach
at sunset. Photograph Fort Bragg murals
. You’ll find plenty of fun for you and your four-legged friends.
Take a national seashore, cross it with some intriguing history, add luxury cottages, an oyster bar and restaurant. Give it a shake and what do you get? Nick’s Cove
Restaurant, Oyster Bar & Cottages, a dog-friendly, boutique resort on Tomales Bay in Marin County, just outside Point Reyes National Seashore
. Nick's Cove is one of the last remaining historic settlements catering to the early California tourist trade on the beautiful Tomales Bay coast land. Book direct and save
As of June 20, it’s officially summertime! Lakes and rivers are not so full as last year, but don’t let the drought hamper your fun. Thousands of splash spots in California await people and pups eager to get wet in the great outdoors.
Here are the great splash-zones where you can get wet with your dogs:
It’s no secret that California Highway 1 (aka the Pacific Coast Highway) is considered one of the most scenic routes in the country. All the better, then, that it leads to Santa Cruz
, arguably one of the most scenic sun-and-surf towns in the state. You’ll love it there and so will your dog, given all the fun activities you can do together.
Leaving Highway 101 at Cloverdale (Sonoma county), and heading on CA-128 West, this scenic road offers up many delights, from the Boonville General Store
(think deli goodies from pizza to soups and sandwiches) in southern Mendocino County
, to Leggett, on the Eel River in the north. In between? Let us count just a few of the ways along this 55-mile stretch of road to make your DogTrekking trip memorable.
From the editors: We thank John Poimiroo for this special tribute to Cooper, a passionate and loyal DogTrekker! Check out his adventures...
It’s oyster season! And it’s hard to imagine a more ideal place to enjoy a delectable dozen than at Nick’s Cove Restaurant and Oyster Bar
, a cherished dog-friendly restaurant
and lodging property on Tomales Bay in Marin County.
Santa Claus also makes his annual trek
by boat to his boathouse workshop on December 6, 2020, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Safety will be his main concern so kids will not sit on his lap this year, but able to have a socially-distanced photo with him (bring and wear your masks).
It's finally summer (Indian at least) and it's hot, hot, hot! Many DogTrekkers will be heading for the beaches over the next several weeks, both mountain and ocean! For a fun and safe time for pups and the entire family, please be follow the above safety precautions (click to enlarge or download
By now, we all know the drill: wash your hands, cover your face in public, maintain six feet of “social distancing” between yourself and anyone else who is not a member of your household “bubble.” So where does your dog fit in? Right by your side, as always! In Mendocino County
, you’ll have access to many activities that let you have fun while still adhering to the guidelines. Here are a few suggestions.
Summer is here, and so is beach season. This year, however, looks strangely different due to Covid-19 restrictions. Many of the 1,500 beaches in 15 coastal counties still have temporary beach and parking lot restrictions. While some beaches are open in every county, no counties
have all beaches and facilities fully open and operating. Check out the full county by county list
Great news for dog parents! The East Bay Regional Park District reopened Point Isabel Regional Shoreline
today, June 1, 2020, with special restrictions to keep dogs on leash. The popular Point Isabel was closed out of an abundance of caution to limit crowding and maintain social distancing.
As summer approaches, so does beach season. However, this year looks strangely different due to Covid-19. Many of the 1,500 beaches in 15 coastal counties have temporary beach and parking lot closures. While some beaches are open in every county, no counties
have all beaches fully open and operating. Check out the updated list by county
From Santa Cruz County
all the way down to Ventura, California’s Central Coast
is a wave-washed mecca for DogTrekkers. You’ll find lots of choices for dog-friendly cabin and cottage lodging as well as tempting properties offered on airbnb.com, vrbo.com, homeaway.com and other home-sharing sites. Here are a few of our favorite retreats up and down this scenic slice of the state.
For the month of February, we are teaming up with the Beach House Inn
in Fort Bragg
to give away a two-night stay with waived pet fees to one lucky California dog (or dogs) and their two legged best friend(s)!
From Marin Dog
Take Action to Stop the 2019 Superintendent’s Compendium By Wednesday, November 27!
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area recently released a Superintendent’s Compendium
that attempts to implement parts of the withdrawn Dog Management Plan
—but without a public process. If the National Park Service gets its way, there will be new restrictions in Marin County, right in the middle of our most popular off-leash areas.
These changes are unnecessary, unjustified and almost impossible to enforce. This also impacts GGNRA lands in San Francisco
and San Mateo
Counties. DogTrekker asks that you continue reading to better understand this new approach and what you can do to once again stop this craziness.
is a standout in the dog-friendly world not simply because it was one of the first in California to roll out the red carpet for pets. It was also one of the first to adopt sustainable practices, helping to kick off the “green” revolution that resonates today. And it might just be the only vegan resort in the nation. If you’re an omnivore, don’t be put off, be adventurous! What you’ll sample at The Ravens
, the inn’s acclaimed restaurant, will turn your head and your mind. It starts with a cooked-to-order, plant-based breakfast (included in the rates).
A mere five minutes from Little River, much-photographed Mendocino Village, with its wealth of lacy Victorians and colorful saltbox cottages, is loaded with places to enjoy with your four-legged friend. Our top pick is Stanford Inn by the Sea
, just south of the village across Big River. Once you’ve explored the compact downtown, get your tails over to Mendocino Headlands State Park
, which surrounds the town on three sides.
is named for that big puddle of blue on the map, and there’s lots to wag tails about on its shores. But Clear Lake is hardly the only body of water in the vicinity. Blue Lakes (Upper and Lower), just five miles away, are a pair of clear, spring-fed bodies of water ideal for swimming and fishing. Only human-powered craft and electric motors are allowed (speed limit is 5 mph), but you can rent an electric “yacht” or pontoon boat from the Lodge at Blue Lakes
and pile the kids and dogs on board for a great day of cruising about.
Many say that coastal Mendocino County
is not so much a place as a state of mind. And for DogTrekkers, full immersion wouldn’t be complete without a dog-friendly paddle excursion along the serene Big River estuary. Catch A Canoe & Bicycles Too
, which shares ground with the extremely dog-friendly Stanford Inn by the Sea
, has been putting paddlers on the 8.3-mile estuary since 1972. A decade or so ago, it introduced Canine Cruisers to its fleet of handmade redwood outrigger canoes. The dog-friendly craft feature a raised, padded deck centered in the middle of the canoe between paddler positions in bow and stern.
Nine miles. Four-plus hours of water time. Countless tail wags, big smiles. A float/paddle on a secluded section of the Russian River is a DogTrekker must-do for visitors to Sonoma County. With your water-loving dog on board in a custom-made SOAR inflatable canoe from Russian River Adventures
, you’ll explore a secluded section of the waterway downstream from Healdsburg and linger at swimming holes and beaches, picnicking, playing fetch and wishing the adventure would never end. If DogTrekkers act fast, the usual $10 dog fee will be waved mid-week through the end of June (use code DOG10TREK19 when booking reservations
, a happy, playful Lab/pit mix guy who, like lots of other dogs, lost his home due to the Camp Fire. Luckily for him he landed with the good folks at Butte Humane Society
in Chico, where he's waiting for his new folks to come find him.
Whether your drive all or just some of intoxicating Highway 1 hugging the Mendocino County coast, you’re sure to find many places to pull over and get some sand between your and Buster’s toes. Go slow, stop often and be sure to check out these highlights.
Noyo Beach, Mendocino County
. Legal places to romp off-leash with your dog are few and far between on Mendocino County’s gorgeous coastline, but one place you can unclip and let your pup run free is Noyo Beach Off-Leash Dog Area in Fort Bragg.
You’re sure to have a Beach Boys sound track playing in your head as you and your pup cavort on aptly named Dog Beach
, the leash-free segment of 3.5-mile-long Huntington Beach, centerpiece of the city of the same name (also known as Surf City USA). Surf culture rules in this SoCal mecca for more than 8 million annual visitors—and sometimes, especially during the annual Surf City Surf Dog
competition (Sept. 24 this year), it seems like there are that many dogs, too!
You’re never far from the water when following the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) through Santa Cruz County
. The curvy coastline is studded with 29 miles of beaches providing lots of options for DogTrekkers. Fifteen strands are dog-friendly, and one, Mitchell’s Cove
, is legally leash-free during daylight hours before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.
You’ll forget all about work, worries and traffic woes once you get within sight and sound of the sea. And in Sonoma County
, there are dozens of places where you and your pup can splash to your hearts’ content and then bed down to the ceaseless whooshing of the restless Pacific.
Diesel and Oliver's parents, Ashley and Chris P. were the lucky winners of our Nick's Cove 2015 DogCation. The whole family got to enjoy a wonderful seaside adventure along Tomales Bay.