Coastal Mendocino County is stitched to rivers and ocean, but visitors aren’t restricted to just looking at the water. It’s also possible to get out on it—with your dog. Two premier options: the Water Dog Package at Little River Inn Resort & Spa, which offers river nature tours on the Albion River, and Catch A Canoe & Bicycles Too, which has been outfitting paddlers on the Big River since 1972.
The first option includes a two-night stay in a pet-friendly guest room, a kayak tour in a sit-on-top kayak you’ll share with your pup, a doggie goodie bag and a $120 dinner voucher. It’s a lovely inn, perched on a bluff overlooking the ocean, which will sing you to sleep with shooshing surf. Get up close and personal by choosing from a wide variety of coastal activities when booking your room.
Or, drive north to paddle on the Big River estuary with Catch A Canoe on the grounds on Stanford Inn By the Sea. Call ahead to reserve the “canine cruiser,” an outrigger catamaran with a between-hulls platform where dogs can sit, lie or stand. You’ll paddle an 8.3-mile stretch of calm river down to the sea. Once done, you and your pup can pick up more than a bone at the inn’s award-winning vegan restaurant, Ravens, where you can eat in the parlor if the weather is sketchy.