Day 3: Hiking, history and waterfront hotels

By: DogTrekker Staff
Two individuals accompanied by their dog, embark on a journey atop catamarans adorned with vibrant red sails.
Dog-friendly outrigger canoes. Photo by Catch A Canoe.

Artists and adventure-seekers are drawn by Mendocino’s sweeping vistas and sea breezes. DogTrekker readers love this legendary small town, too. Pacific shores, parks, rivers and hiking paths define this corner of the North Coast. Think pygmy forests at Van Damme State Park, bluff-top trails at Mendocino Headlands State Park, and countless places to go kayaking or canoeing.

Don’t miss Big River Beach, on the south side of town. Here, leashed dogs can explore paved paths and blankets of sand set along beautiful blue waves. Across the river is the 10-acre Stanford Inn, a dog-friendly favorite for more than four decades. The property features organic gardens, spa services and wide-ranging wellness programs, plus a variety of dog-friendly amenities. The on-site Ravens Restaurant makes organic sweet potato treats and steamed vegetables for pups, as well as delicious plant-based dishes for people.

The Stanford Inn is home to Catch A Canoe & Bicycles, Too, which rents bikes and watersports gear. Paddle the river with a special canine cruiser where dogs sit on a stable middle deck and enjoy the ride. A few miles south, Little River Inn has dog-friendly dining, on-leash walking areas, and welcome amenities for pups. Lush gardens and classic Victorian structures at this family-owned resort overlook the Pacific Ocean. The Little River Inn features nearby cottages as well.


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