Family-friendly Things to Do With Your Dog

Family and Dog-friendly in California

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Best in show: Dog-friendly Noyo Harbor Inn

Best in show: Dog-friendly Noyo Harbor Inn

Welcome to Fort Bragg, where dog-friendly rooms at the Noyo Harbor Inn overlook the tree-lined Noyo River. The inn features waterfront patio dining, spa services and authentic Craftsman details dating back more than a century.

It also serves as an upscale home base for enjoying canoe routes, coastal trails, photo walks and Skunk Train rides. The historic line travels Mendocino County’s classic Redwood Route, providing a dog-friendly introduction to the region’s scenic highlights.
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Board the storied Skunk Train

Kayla boards the Skunk Train
Kayla boards the Skunk Train

Experience classic Mendocino County on the California Western Railroad’s Redwood Route, a logging-era line established in 1885. Pungent odors produced by early-1900s motorcars earned the route its Skunk Train nickname—those units ran on gasoline and burned crude oil to keep passengers warm.

Today, the Skunk Train’s refurbished (and very dog-friendly!) steam- and diesel electric-powered cars still showcase old-growth forests. more »

A pedigreed playground for your pup

A pedigreed playground for your pup


The active Noyo Harbor fishing village sets an engaging backdrop for a Noyo Harbor Inn stay. Walk your dog around the village, or plan adventures at the area’s state parks, beaches, botanical gardens and attractions. Ride the famous Skunk Train. Admire shimmering Glass Beach at sunset. Photograph Fort Bragg murals. You’ll find plenty of fun for you and your four-legged friends. more »

Paws for dinner on the patio

Paws for dinner on the patio


Perched on the river’s edge, the inn’s Harborview Bistro and Bar offers indoor dining and open-air deck and garden seats. Pup-friendly patio spots fill up fast, especially on sunny summer evenings. Local, organic elements headline the brunch, happy hour and dinner menus crafted by Executive Chef Fabrice Jean-Pierre Duboc. more »

Redwoods, railroads and Mendocino County magic

Ride the famous Skunk Train, Mendocino County
Ride the famous Skunk Train, Mendocino County

California Western Railroad lines have wound through majestic Mendocino County redwoods for 135 years. Affectionately known as the “Skunk Train,” this celebrated attraction welcomes travelers and their four-legged friends on five historic trains traveling two unforgettable routes.

The experience anchors an array of dog-friendly adventures on California’s rugged North Coast, from sampling local brews in Fort Bragg, to hiking more than 20 state parks, beaches and reserves dotting Mendocino County. Punch your ticket and start planning today.

Here are the latest stories about the Skunk Train:

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All Skunk Train experiences

Kayla sniffing out the Redwoods
Kayla sniffing out the Redwoods

Step back in time for a magical ride through the redwoods on the world-famous Skunk Train. According to Chief Skunk Robert Pinoli, "In our 136 years of service, we've transported millions of passengers. We think it's high time that our beloved canine companions should be able to join in the fun." Here are some of the outstanding experiences you can ride, from classic daily trips to Magical Christmas, Easter and Pumpkin Express outings. more »

If it's summer, it's splash time with your dog!

Maya chillin
Maya chillin' on Lake Tahoe

As of June 20, it’s officially summertime! Lakes and rivers are not so full as last year, but don’t let the drought hamper your fun. Thousands of splash spots in California await people and pups eager to get wet in the great outdoors.

Here are the great splash-zones where you can get wet with your dogs:

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Juneteenth FREE Park Day In East Bay Regional Parks

Courtesy of the East Bay Regional Park District
Courtesy of the East Bay Regional Park District

The very dog-friendly East Bay Regional Park District is partnering with Outdoor Afro to commemorate Juneteenth by waiving park entry fees on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Juneteenth is an annual recognition of the 250,000 enslaved Black Americans in Texas who were notified of their freedom on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.

“There is no better place than parks to reflect on Juneteenth, the end of slavery, and today’s ongoing social justice issues,” said Park District Board President Dee Rosario. “The District embraces diversity, inclusion and promotes equal access for all.” Learn more heremore »

Big River Beckons at Catch A Canoe

Rollin
Rollin' on the River

There’s something magical about the Big River estuary near Mendocino—and something ingenious about the “canine cruiser” that transports two- and four-legged visitors down the calm and inky river to the sea. Catch A Canoe & Bicycles Too, which has been outfitting paddlers on an 8.3-mile section of the river since 1972, added the cruiser to its fleet of handmade redwood watercraft more than a decade ago. more »

Hitch a Ride With This Dog-Friendly River Outfitter

Russian River Adventures
Russian River Adventures

Nine miles. Four to six hours. Countless tail wags, big smiles. A float or paddle on a secluded section of the Russian River is a DogTrekker must-do for visitors to Sonoma County. With your water-crazy dog aboard in a custom-made SOAR, inflatable canoe from Russian River Adventures, you’ll explore a section of the river downstream from Healdsburg and linger at swimming holes and beaches along the way. Boats are limited this year, so book soon. more »

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