This is why there are so many dog-friendly beach towns on our rocky, rugged coast—there’s so much for a dog to do, and relatively little trouble to get into. The beach is, simply, nature’s coolest playground, even if you never go in more than ankle deep.
Rent a canoe or kayak from Catch a Canoe & Bicycles, Too ($40/day; catchacanoe.com) and explore the Big River estuary.
Eat: Head to Mendocino’s little New England–esque downtown, to Mendo Burgers and eat at the picnic tables ($$; 10483 Lansing St.; 707/937-1111). The fish is fresh and juicy, the fries hand-cut.