There it sits, a big blue puddle on the map about 75 miles due north of Santa Rosa. When’s the last time you and your furry sidekick visited Clear Lake, in Lake County?
Sip some coffee and munch a muffin in the car as you start the trip north on Highway 101 out of Santa Rosa.
To burn a few calories and make room for memorable meals later in the day, devote a couple of hours to Hood Mountain Regional Park, just outside of town.
This rugged, 1,700-acre preserve is beautiful, and offers many opportunities to get a workout with Rover. Among them is the 3.5-mile round-trip trek from the Los Alamos Road trailhead to the headwaters of Santa Rosa Creek.
The route will get you both panting as it climbs and dips through rugged terrain to end up at a streamside spot perfect for a rest, a picnic and a swim for your pup.
Back in the car, head north on Highway 101 through Northern Sonoma County wine country. If you’ve planned well, you’ll pull into Healdsburg just in time for lunch.
Afterward, browse the shops and wine bars on the central plaza. Topel and Portalupi are among those that welcome dogs, but don’t leave without a stop at the Healdsburg Dog House just across the street from the dog-friendly h2hotel. This woofie boutique is known for its doggie ice cream, which comes in cup-size containers you can let Rover relish while you amble through the plaza.
Come June, you, your pup and your friends can rent inflatable canoes from Russian River Adventures for a memorable float/paddle trip with shuttle transportation.
But we’re headed to Clear Lake, right? Tear yourself away from Healdsburg and continue on Highway 101 to Kelseyville, on the southern end of the lake.
At nearby Clear Lake State Park, you can camp, hike and boat to your heart’s content, but be sure you follow the rules when it comes to four-legged visitors.
Your pup is welcome in your campsite and at day-use areas, but the only place it’s legal to go for a dip is within the non-designated beach area between Campsites 57 and 58.
To avoid those restrictions, book a stay at Edgewater Resort, right on the water at Soda Bay.
Although primarily an RV resort, it also has tent sites and furnished cabins and houses with full kitchens. There’s also a clubhouse, a 230-foot fishing pier, 600 feet of lake frontage and many other amenities to make for an enjoyable stay.
Another great choice, providing your dog weighs under 35 pounds, is the Lodge at Blue Lakes, a luxury property turned destination resort.
Up for some wine tasting? You and your dog will get a warm welcome at Six Sigma Ranch and Winery, Steele Wines and Thorn Hill Vineyards, to name just a few of many places where you can wine taste with Timber by your side.