Mendocino County’s sculpted coastline is so intoxicating you can yappily spend a week without venturing beyond sight or sound of the sea. Settle in at a pet-friendly property such as the Stanford Inn by the Sea or Little River Inn, both of which provide amenities including bowls, towels and sheets for keeping sandy paws off the furniture. Fan out from there to get a feel for what gives this storied slice of the North Coast its almost mythical reputation.
Just outside picturesque Mendocino Village, with its wealth of lacy Victorians and colorful saltbox cottages, Mendocino Headlands State Park is one of relatively few state-administered preserves to allow leashed dogs on dirt trails. The beach at the base of the bluffs, while not leash-free, is a gorgeous place to stroll. Looking to exercise your arms as well as your legs? Photo-ops will come nonstop when you take your dog for a float on the Big River in a specially crafted “dog canoe” rented from the Catch-a-Canoe outfitter shop adjacent to the Stanford Inn.