Perhaps your dog would like to expand horizons, catch up on culture and enjoy some activities not available in many places. So, if your dog loves to travel, then you simply must visit Mendocino county, a few hours north of San Francisco. Horizon Air has added flights from Las Vegas to Santa Rosa, California. You and your dog can take a nice scenic hour and a half drive north and visit dog friendly wineries along the way. Most of the wineries are have grass and bushes to explore and sniff. Some even offer doggie treats. Navarro and others allow dogs in the tasting room.
The Maccallum House Inn in Mendocino offers winery tours, chauffeured limos and dogs are allowed to tag along, if you book as a private party… Ask for Jim Davis and tell him that you found out about the tour from the author (of this article).
Here are the top 12 dog friendly things to do in Mendocino
l. Tiptoe through the Botanical gardens
Between the tulips and other flowers, (over 150 varieties), Fido will enjoy a nice stroll with you to the beach. Well-mannered dogs
on leashes are always welcome and enjoy free admission.
2. Beach romp (Noyo Harbor or a private beach)… most beaches are dog friendly and dogs have to be on leash.
Dogs love to splash and do the doggie paddle in the ocean. And Mendocino County’s coastline has an abundance of places for them to swim.
Big River Beach, N. Big River Road, Mendocino
Portuguese Beach, Mendocino Headlands, Mendocino
Van Damme State Beach, Highway 1, Mendocino
Caspar Beach, 14441 Point Cabrillo Dr., Caspar
MacKerricher State Park, Highway 1, Fort Bragg
And for an extended stay, you can also camp out with Fido.
California State Parks Camping Reservations: 1-800-444-PARK (7275)
With nearly 100 miles of coastline and dozens of state and private campgrounds, finding a place to camp on the Mendocino Coast is not difficult. The most popular state parks are MacKerricher (Fort Bragg) and Russian Gulch (Mendocino) and Van Damme (Little River).
3. Take a hike.
Jughandle State Reserve features a 2½-mile self-guided nature trail called the Ecological Staircase. Starting by the ocean, this trail goes inland up a series of five ancient terraces formed by waves, glacier, and tectonic activity. Each terrace was uplifted from the sea about 100,000 years after the previous was raised. The lowest terrace is prairie, followed by a pine forest, then a redwood forest, and finally a pygmy forest with knee-high trees that are decades old. The trail features an amazing variety of trees, since the ecologies of the different terraces vary widely.
Three miles south of Fort Bragg. Turn west off Highway One into the well-marked parking area. 707-937-5804
4. Get a free ice cream cone for your mutt at Cowlick’s ice cream
You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream. And Fido may also enjoy a sweet vanilla kiddie cone on a sunny day.
5. Stroll the shops in Mendocino and buy some doggie perfume.
After all the rolling, licking and splashing in the water and mud and sand, you may want to get some doggie perfume for Fido. Mendocino has many enjoyable gift shops and places where Furshionistas prefer to shop such as Sallie Mac.
And there are numerous pet supply shops such as Paws for Cats & Dogs, 338 N. Main St., Fort Bragg, 707-964-3322, Fort Bragg Feed & Pet, 880 Stewart St., Fort Bragg, 707-964-3333, and Evergreen Barn Pet Grocery, 477 Evergreen St., Mendocino, 707-937-3300.
6. Stay at a dog friendly inn such as the Agate Cove Inn, Little River Inn, MacCallum House Inn, Cottages at Little River Cove, Stanford Inn, Sea Foam Lodge, Dehaven B&B and the Blair House (where the TV series Murder She Wrote was filmed). The pet friendliest lodging can be found at these inns. Standford Inn, MacCallum House, Cottages at Little River Cove and Little River Inn supply a doggie gift basket including bowls, treats, and doggie bed.
More information can be found at
7. Dine together
The Stanford Inn is an original pet friendly zenlike inn. You can even dine with well-behaved Fido during the day.
Well behaved dogs are welcome in the lobby but not the dining room. If you would like breakfast or dinner to be served in the lobby, they are happy to accommodate you…
8. Play catch or frisbee at the Fort Bragg dog park.
Fort Bragg has McDoggie park, a dedicated dog park, where non-aggressive and friendly doggies play. McDoggies is at Willow and Lincoln Streets. Take Maple Street east from Highway One (Main Street) until it ends at the dog park on Lincoln St.
9. Go kayaking with your dog
You can paddle up Big River in a canoe from Catch a Canoe & Bicycles, Too, located at Highway 1 & Comptche-Ukiah Rd, Mendocino, 707-937-0273.
10. Tiny dogs can take the Skunk train with their owners, if they can fit inside your purse; chew chew… chew chew…
11. Fido may accompany you while sport fishing and whale watching with All Aboard Adventures, North Harbor Dr., Fort Bragg, 707-964-1881 or Anchor Charter Boats, PO Box 103, Fort Bragg, 707-964-4550.
12. There are many places for you and Fido to have a puppy picnic in the area.
And if you seek a hot meal, there are a variety of choices of restaurants where Fido can sit beside you outside.
Café One, 753 N Main Street, Fort Bragg
Home Style Café, 790 S. Main Street, Fort Bragg
Laurel Deli, 401 N Main Street, Fort Bragg
Mendocino Cookie Company, Main St., Fort Bragg
Nemo’s Fish Market, 2410 N Harbor Dr., Fort Bragg
Piaci Pub & Pizzeria, 120 W. Redwood Avenue, Fort Bragg
Lu’s Kitchen, 45013 Ukiah Street Mendocino
Mendo Burgers, 10483 Lansing Street, Mendocino
Mendocino Café, 10451 Lansing Street, Mendocino
Mendocino Hotel, 45080 Main Street, Mendocino
Moody’s Organic Coffee Bar, 10450 Lansing Street, Mendocino
Moosse Cafe, 390 Kasten, Mendocino