If seclusion is your thing, you’ll find plenty of it in big, diverse Mendocino County. DogTrekkers who love being shooshed to sleep by the waves should check out the possibilities at 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. Also near the water is Howard Creek Ranch Inn, a historic, 60-acre, family-owned, waterfront homestead bordered by redwood-clad mountains. Cabins are furnished in antiques, full breakfast is included in the rates and many wineries are nearby.
Even more secluded are the architecturally stunning, modern cottages managed by Sheep Dung Properties in rural areas of the county. Long Valley Ranch, part of an 800-acre spread on the Boonville-Ukiah Road, offers three cottages sleeping two to six people and their canine companions, while The Other Place, on a ridge outside of Boonville overlooking the Anderson Valley, has four cottages in an equally tranquil setting. Bring groceries, bring books, bring your hiking shoes and prepare to explore and relax. Both properties are fenced for your dog’s safety, and she’ll enjoy seeking out scents and experiences not available at home.
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.