A DAY OUT WITH LLAMAS: A number of nature-close stay-over spots feature rambles and hikes and walks. Those come in all flavors -- some will cover a history-laden trail, others will take in the sights of the area's small towns or wilder vistas -- but a pretty small slice of 'em involve animals. Perhaps dogs, if your dog is permitted to stay with you at the hotel, or horses, but that's a horseback ride, usually, and not a hike. Heading out with llamas is a rarer treat. Oh, California is home to a few very fine llama ranches, ranches that welcome visitors, but those moments when we can head into the thicket with the beautiful beasties bringing up the rear, or visit a beach, don't come around too often. The Little River Inn in Mendocino County, however, is a definite place you can go to find a) a boutique destination for the night b) the gorgeous Mendo wilds and c) llamas ready to trek with you. Sold? Yeah, it sounds fun, especially since you can design your day out with the llamas, at least a little bit. Choose to head into the Redwood Grove Reserve or the Little River ocean bluffs, then decide what you'd like to do there (painting is one choice, as is picnicking). The package's sweet name? Little River Inn Loves Llamas.
PARTS OF THE PACKAGE: You'll need to make advance reservations on this one, since local company Lodging and Llamas works with the Little River Inn. You'll get an overnight, as mentioned, and appetizers to snack upon during the trek. Plus a survival kit, too. Sweet? Sweet. Price starts at $270 (formerly $220).
BUT... If you are a tried-and-true Fido-ist -- we know we mentioned dogs before, so we wanted to circle back around -- you can have a stay at the Little River that involves your furry BFF. Your furry BFF *and* water. It's called River Dog, and it gives your little tail-wagger a chance to head out, in a canoe, on the nearby Big River. It's separate from the llamas deal, so take note. Dogs one visit, llamas the next? Yeah, that sounds like two dream vacations in a row.