For 18 years, visitors in the know have headed to Mendocino County during the month of January, when the annual Crab, Wine and Beer Festival (Jan. 20-27 this year) fills the calendar with delectable events. As everyone in Northern California knows, winter is Dungeness crab season and time to shrug off the winter blues! Your dog can’t join you at all the crab-inspired activities planned during the festival, but with some sleuthing, you’ll sniff out a few both of you can enjoy.
The Hopland barrel tasting event Jan. 21-22 is just one option. Do-it-yourself crab feeds are another—just pick up some crustaceans, a loaf of crusty bread and a crisp local wine from a purveyor like the Fish Peddler in Ukiah or Noyo Fish Company in Fort Bragg and dig in! Virtually every wine-tasting room in the county has special events planned, while on the beer side of the picture, Anderson Valley Brewing Company welcomes four-legged guests in its beer garden.
Festival time is also a good time for anytime activities like a ride on the dog-friendly Skunk Train, a canine-accommodating canoe trip with Catch A Canoe & Bicycles Too or a wander along the dog-friendly paths at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.
And yes, you’ll find lodging specials from our partners during the festival as well. The Stanford Inn by the Sea is offering 20 percent off regular rates, while the Surf & Sand Lodge in Fort Bragg offers two nights for the price of one throughout January. Little River Inn boasts "The Crabbiest Rate on the Coast", while Emerald Dolphin Inn offers a package including Botanical Gardens passes and free unlimited mini golf.
Check out all of Mendocino County’s lodging specials here.