Northern California's Sonoma County is best known for the myriad excellent wines produced in the region. However, it's also home to this gorgeous riverside beach where you and your dog can enjoy a grrr-eat day out together.
Forestville River Access, which is better known by locals as Mom's Beach (perhaps because it's a great place to take kids), sits on a scenic and peaceful stretch of the Russian River. It's a beautiful, little spot popular with sunbathers and swimmers, and leashed dogs are more than welcome to join you on the water's edge.
There's a parking area available on site, though it can fill up quickly during the summer months, and the beach is accessed via a short walking trail. Step down onto the beach and you'll find yourself on the rocky shores of the Russian River. The water is calm and often filled with swimmers or paddlers passing by. The beach itself is also surrounded by redwood forest, adding to its seclusion and charm.
You and your dog can take a stroll along the water's edge, watch swimmers and paddlers having fun in the water, or just lay down a towel and enjoy some time in the sun. If you get there early and stake out a good spot, you won't want to leave all day long.
However, you'll need to make sure that your dog remains on a leash of no longer than six feet at all times. You'll also need to take plastic bags with you and remember to clean up after your pet.
Apart from that, all you need to worry about is having a paw-some time. The beach opens at 7 am and closes 30 minutes before sunset, and parking is free. Forestville River Access may not be what most people think of when they picture a beach in California, but it's undoubtedly a wonderful place to visit with your canine companion.