Dream Vacations are just a tank away

Summer is winding up, but in the Northwest, there’s really no bad time to travel. And for those of us with canine co-pilots, the fun increases dramatically when the places we go are populated with people who love pets as much as we do. Whether you crave a serene getaway, a righteous adventure, or a home away from home, the following vacation properties — all Spot favorites — have it all. Fill up the tank, load up the dogs, a kayak, or just a change of clothes, and prepare for experiences of a lifetime!

Red Lion at Jantzen Beach

We begin at The Red Lion on the River at Jantzen Beach, which delivers “the beauty of the beach, the excitement of the city.” Bunking here keeps you in close proximity to the Oregon Brewers festival in summer, Multnomah Falls in winter, or Portland Saturday market on opening day. This hotel has wonderful amenities, and panoramic views. If you have plans at Edgefield, Vancouver Farmers Market, or one of countless summer or fall concerts, The Red Lion at Jantzen Beach is a great option nestled “in between.”     

Bennington Properties

Heading south, we reach Bennington Properties in Sunriver, known as “personal and unique.” Owned and operated by the Bennington family, they say they “understand the concept of ‘togethering’ with the ones you love.” They’ll even help you plan and book your trip “as if it was our own,” they say, adding: “Here, you’re family.”

At Bennington Properties, that enthusiastically extends to the dogs, who they say, “are just as welcome here as you are.” And it shows — from the welcome basket with whimsical items for pooches (and practical, like ID tags), to the off-leash play area, on-site dog wash, and, during summer, weekly Yappy Hour events.

 These are not only dog-loving homes away from home, they’re the perfect mix of recreation and relaxation, nestled in an area that offers fantastic outdoor adventure, including 30 miles of paved bike trails (and complimentary quality bikes with every rental), golf courses, tennis courts, and softball fields. The homes vary in size and price, and there’s a perfect setup for every size family and their dogs. 

La Quinta

Traveling southwest, we head for Eugene, aka “Track City, USA,” and “Home of the Mighty Ducks,” as well as the popular La Quinta Inn & Suites in Eugene. This town loves its beer, and within a five-mile radius, you can sample suds at great breweries like Oakshire, Steelhead, Hop Valley, Ninkasi and Falling Sky.

Located on the banks of the Willamette River next to Alton Baker Park and Autzen Stadium, the pet-friendly La Quinta Eugene is an ideal spot to enjoy the natural beauty, recreational activities and cultural arts in this trendy town.

When not biking, jogging or kayaking, you can put your feet up by the indoor swimming pool and spa. If working out is your thing, there’s a 24/7 fitness center. La Quinta also offers free Wi-Fi, a microwave, refrigerator, and other amenities, and serves a free Bright Side Breakfast® including everyone’s favorite foods to start the day right.  

Hallmark Inn

Ready for some beach time? Let’s head west and make our northerly way to some of the hottest pet-friendly spots by the sea.  First stop, Hallmark Inns in Newport. Family owned and operated, this hotel prides itself on customer service. Every room has a balcony with an unobstructed ocean view.  If you travel to Newport in February, you’ll find yourself among fans of The Newport Seafood and Wine Festival. For a quieter experience, whale watching, boating or fishing is just a short drive away, and this community is home to many annual festivals and celebrations. 

Looking Glass Inn

Our northbound beach junket next takes us to Looking Glass Inn, a Top Dog Award-winning family-owned Westover Inns property. Looking Glass Inn is one of few hotels in the historic Taft district. Rooms offer fantastic views of Siletz Bay and the Pacific Ocean, whirlpool tubs, gas fireplaces, and decks. Looking Glass is just one of three ocean-view Lincoln City hotels owned by Westover Inns.

Photos:  Residents Rain and Paco (above) want all dogs to be comfortable at the Looking Glass Inn, so when you check in, your dog receives a basket to use during your stay that includes two dog sheets, dog towels, bowls, pooper scooper bags, and treats. All shapes and sizes of dogs are welcome, with a maximum of 2 dogs per room.

Other Westover Inns Dog Friendly hotels:

The Wayside Inn, Cannon Beach: thewayside-inn.com

Shearwater Inn, Lincoln City: theshearwaterinn.com

Lakeshore Inn, Lake Oswego: thelakeshoreinn.com

The Dalles Inn, The Dalles: thedallesinn.com 

Idyllic Beach House

Continuing north up the coast, we stumble upon two homes by Idyllic Beach House. The Guardenia Street House and The Pier Street House are both comfortably appointed, and are nestled in a beautiful space just four miles north of Pacific City. Time moves a little slower in this quaint fishing town. Popular attractions include crabbing, surfing, dory boat rides, and horseback riding. For those seeking adventure, sightseeing flights are available, offering a bird’s-eye view of the ocean. Just a short walk up the beach awards the effort with an estuary frequented by eagles, herons, cormorants, and seabirds. Visitors often enjoy the estuary in the company of nearby seals. For a lush, quiet getaway, the Idyllic Beach Houses are a slice of heaven.

The estuary has an interesting history:

In 2003 there was an attempt to develop a Scottish links-style golf course on 120 acres of the Beltz Farm dunes, but the proposal never came to a hearing before Tillamook County. Four years later the Bastasches filed a Measure 37 claim to allow resort development, but the County ultimately dismissed the claim. Since then, the Beltz property has remained unspoiled and natural, free of development proposals.

For the past 30 years, many agencies and conservation organizations have tried to purchase the Beltz property for conservation, including the US Forest Service, Trust for Public Land, and others. All attempts failed, but early in 2014, Ecotrust Forests LLC (EF) acquired an option from the Bastasches on the entire 357-acre Beltz property and subsequently purchased the land.

The Beltz property became Oregon’s newest State Park in late Summer 2014. Parks will manage the Beltz property mainly for habitat restoration and light recreation, which is in accord with surrounding residents’ wishes. Fully supported by the Oregon Coast Alliance, the purchase will conserve marsh and dune habitats, eliminate inappropriate development, and complete the protection of lands bordering Sand Lake estuary. 

Hotel Monaco

Our travels end in the heart of downtown Portland at Hotel Monaco, where the downtown scene is complemented perfectly with a nightly wine tasting event in the lobby. A concurrent kids' hour of games, arts, crafts, and play ensures everyone enjoys themselves.

It’s really the dogs, however, who strike it rich at Hotel Monaco. The Unleashed Pet Package gets your best friend a gift card to LexiDog Boutique, a packet of trailmix (for both of you), an Oregon microbrew (for both of you), and an urban map of all pet-friendly breweries and restaurants in the area. For no extra charge, there is no limit to the number, size, or weight of dogs per family. Guest rooms are stocked with dog bowls, beds, treats, and cleanup bags. If you venture out without your co-pilot, the hotel even employs dog-walkers, -sitters, and groomers.