It just doesn’t seem fair to leave your pup behind while you romp, run and play in dog heaven. Mendocino, just 140 miles north of San Francisco, is the ultimate canine vacation. Complete with hiking, off-leash beaches, paddling down Big River with dog biscuits aboard the boat, Mendocino’s widely considered one of the most dog-friendly towns in Northern California. Even many wine tasting rooms outside of town welcome pups. Everybody wins.

For the perfect weekend away, check out these top spots for travelers with dogs.

Inn at Schoolhouse Creek
All the amenities you want with a touch of Mendocino’s laid back vibe, The Inn at Schoolhouse Creek makes it easy to travel with your dog. With easy access to a private off-leash beach cove and a dog wash station, this lovely inn treats your pup like a celebrity guest. Step into your room to find a welcome pet basket for your top dog. Then explore the off-leash area or, if you’re in a cottage, pad out to your private porch or hot tub. 

MacCallum House Inn & Restaurant
Upscale dining, top accommodations, it’s really a dog’s life at the MacCallum House Inn & Restaurant. In fact, it recently received The Dog Lover’s Companion to California “Golden Bone Award”, for amenities that make dog people drool. Stocked with plush dog beds, food and water bowls, waste bags and treats, it’s the deluxe treatment for weary pup travelers. Even dine “al fresco” on the wrap-around restaurant porch with your pup at your side. With thumbs up ratings from Wine Spectator and San Francisco Magazine, you’ll eat well with good company at your side.

Pacific Mist Inn
Welcoming pups into their private, forest cabins, the Pacific Mist Inn offers cozy accommodations with wood burning fireplaces. Quiet and tranquil, yet so close to town, this spa retreat is just the spot for you and your furry sidekick to relax in peace.

What to do:

Take the Tour. Call ahead to book a tour of the coast, the wineries, the tasting rooms. Each winery has a different pet policy so find the one that’s best for you and your traveling companion.

Canoe with You. Dog-friendly canoe rentals! It’s true. Just call Catch-a-Canoe for doggie details and an adventure you’ll never forget.

Hit the Off-Leash Beach. Your dog will love to run on Mendocino’s Noyo Beach. Take North Harbor Drive from Highway 1 and follow it all the way to the end. Keep your pup on-leash in the parking lot below the Noyo Bridge, then turn him loose on the sand.

Shop Around. Mendocino even makes it possible to shop with your dog. You’ll find lots of pet-friendly stores in the Mendocino Village, and along Fort Bragg’s Main and Franklin streets.

The Scoop:

Mendocino Visitor’s Guide

Inn at Schoolhouse Creek

MacCallum House Inn & Restaurant

Pacific Mist Inn

Dog-friendly Canoe Rental
Catch-a-Canoe, (707) 937-0273 or

Thanks to Jen & Ty and Kate & Napoleon for the tip. Photo courtesy of Inn at Schoolhouse Creek.