Bodhi at Ten Mile Beach. Photo Credit: www.blakefloydgardner.com
Whether you drive all or just some of the 102 intoxicating miles of Highway 1 hugging the Mendocino County shore, you’re sure to find many places to pull over and get some sand between Bella’s toes. Take it at a snail’s pace, but be sure to check out these highlights.
• Start in Fort Bragg, where you can treat your pent-up pup to a leash-free romp on compact but popular Noyo Beach or roomier Seaside Beach. Dog-friendly hiking opportunities start right in town at Pudding Creek Trestle, a railroad bridge converted to pedestrian use that connects via Ten Mile Beach Trail to MacKerricher State Park, one of few state preserves where dogs are allowed on dirt trails. And dog-friendly lodgings abound, among them Emerald Dolphin Inn, Beachcomber Motel and Surf & Sand Lodge.
• Just 10 miles south of Fort Bragg, much-photographed Mendocino village, with its wealth of Victorian architecture, serves as a jumping-off point for visits to Mendocino Headlands State Park, Big River State Beach and Van Damme State Beach. Look to spend the night? Check for specials at dog-friendly Little River Inn, Mendocino Hotel and Garden Suites, Blackberry Inn and Stanford Inn by the Sea.
• Gualala beckons with still more dog-friendly highlights, among them Gualala Point Regional Park and Beach, a 195-acre preserve on the Mendocino/Sonoma county line; and Cook’s Beach, accessed via the Bonham Trail just north of town. Whale Watch Inn, four miles north of Gualala on Anchor Bay, is a close-to-nature haven with ocean views from all 18 suites. Other good bets: Surf Motel, walking distance from the center of town at the start of the Gualala Bluff Trail; and Gualala Country Inn, walking distance from shops and restaurants. About three miles north of town, Serenisea Cottages is a small resort encompassing a cluster of four bluff-top cottages and a dozen nearby rental homes.
Photo Credit: www.blakefloydgardner.com