Labor Day is the official end of summer. We've dug up two events near Mendocino in northern California that'll keep you busy.
Three words: Ugly. Dog. Contest. At Fort Bragg's Paul Bunyan Days festival, check out the ugliest, smartest, and best-dressed dogs in the crowd. Bonus: a dog and master look-alike round. Organizers say that this is the original Ugliest Dog Contest (don't be fooled by impostors!), established in 1967.
The rest of the festival features a "Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Show," a classic car show, a tricycle race, a "King of the Log" pillow fight for kids, a parade, and the "Paul Bunyan Logging Show and Expo," where you can learn about sustainable forestry practices. Friday 6 p.m. to Monday (parade is at 11 a.m. on Monday). Admission to the festival is free; expo is $5. N. Main & Laurel Fort Bragg, Calif.
Enjoy more of California's coast with the Studio Discovery Tour. The tour starts just 13 miles south of Fort Bragg on Highway 1. More than 40 local artists will open their studio doors, from oil painters to potters. Download the catalog (which opens as a PDF) to plan your road trip (the studios are located along 60 miles of coastline). Saturday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.