Mendocino County has so many dog-friendly activities that you might want to stay a few extra days. The Skunk Train is a northern California classic that departs from depots in coastal Fort Bragg and inland Willits. If splashing around with your pooch is more your style, book the Water Dog Package at the Little River Inn. Or, take to the waves with a specially designed canine cruiser from Catch A Canoe & Bicycles Too, at the adjacent Stanford Inn. Check out our full list of pup-centered attractions.
Just Beach It: You’ll find a comprehensive list of dog-friendly beaches in Mendocino County. And you’ll be pleased to know that you won’t find crowded conditions on any of them. While legally leash-free options are limited to Noyo Beach and Seaside Beach, both in Fort Bragg, a dozen more welcome pets, so long as they’re kept on a string. The shooshing sound of the sea will calm both of you as you walk along the shore and get some sand between your toes. At Glass Beach, part of MacKerricher State Park (one of the only state preserves in this part of the state that allows dog on designated trails), you’ll spy all manner of glass shards, rolled smooth in the sand. Don’t pick them up; that’s illegal. But look in local shops for jewelry made from these colorful gems.
Smell the Roses (and Other Aromatic Things): A top attraction for DogTrekkers in Mendo County is Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, a dog-friendly beauty spot on the edge of the sea. It comes with a thundering ocean soundtrack and a moody maritime climate that fosters signature displays of rare rhododendrons, camelias, dahlias, heaths, heathers and a perennial garden that stays bright with color from spring to fall. Wander the manicured pathways with your pup, stop and stare over the ocean in winter and you’re likely to spot migrating gray whales swimming northbound.