If peace, quiet and scenery are your vacation priorities, you’ll find plenty of all three in big, diverse Mendocino County—especially in September and October, when you’re likely to experience the best weather conditions of the year. For the ultimate in privacy, try a vacation rental like Redwood Majic, a two-bedroom home with fenced yard tucked deep into the forest just a mile from Mendocino Village.
Those who love being shooshed to sleep by the sea should gravitate to Serenisea, a blufftop cluster of cottages and vacation-home rentals, many of them dog-friendly, three miles north of Gualala on the county’s south coast. Andiron Seaside Inn & Cabins in Little River is a collection of 11 one- and two-room units decorated in 1950s themes and endowed with ocean views and a soundtrack to match. Howard Creek Ranch Inn, very different in character, is a registered historical site with a farmhouse built in 1871, a string of ocean-view cottages decorated with antiques, 60 acres of grounds to romp on and a dog-friendly beach to top it off.
Want to surprise your sweetheart with an out-of-the-ordinary overnight stay? Dog-friendly West Cottage on the grounds of Point Cabrillo Light Station, a picturesque lighthouse and associated buildings dating from 1909, is available as a romantic vacation rental.
Even more secluded is the architecturally stunning The Other Place, four modern dog-friendly cottages managed by Sheep Dung Properties. Set on a ridge outside of Boonville overlooking the Anderson Valley, each cottage is fenced for your dog’s safety, and she’ll enjoy seeking out scents and experiences not available at home. Bring groceries, bring books, bring your hiking shoes and prepare to explore and relax in this tranquil setting.
Fear not that you’re totally isolated somewhere out in the Mendo boonies: dozens of wineries and fine restaurants are within a half-hour drive. And if you need to be closer to civilization, Sheep Dung has a cottage in downtown Boonville, too.
Photo Credit: Berklee Akutagawa