Spin the compass, and Get OUT!


Best Bets for NW Adventure

It’s no secret, the Pacific Northwest is a mecca of amazing pet-friendly places. Wherever your whims take you this summer, these wonderful, Fido-friendly hot spots are fantastic options that promise great adventure and wonderful memories.

Head East

Bennington Properties — Sunriver

The Bennington family puts the love in vacationing with your dog. With classy dog-friendly homes and lots of fun activities, you’re sure to make memories that last a lifetime. Visit Sun River and enjoy Yappy Hour snacks and beverages while your pups romp and tussle with their “vacation friends.” Check out the Pet Parade during the Day celebrations. There’s also the American Cancer Society Bark for Life. Like biking? There bike trailer rentals for the dog!

Cooper Spur Mountain Resort — Mt. Hood

Visiting Cooper Spur Mountain Resort is a cozy getaway. The pet-friendly resort has all the amenities, plus barbeque grills, picnic areas, and an on-site restaurant. All of this surrounded by the majesty of Mt. Hood National Forest.

Head West  

Idyllic Oregon Beach Houses — Tierra Del Mar

If long quiet walks away from city crowds are to your liking, this will feel like a slice of dog-loving heaven. Both the Pier St. and Guardenia St. houses live up to the idyllic name, with accommodations for pooches and nine to ten people, all just a blink from the beach in a quiet neighborhood. Enjoy walks on the beach, watching seals and winged wildlife, while your dogs romp happily alongside.

Surfsand Resort — Cannon Beach

Fireplaces. Balconies. Haystack Rock. This resort has a lot to offer pet lovers, and half the rooms are pet friendly. Surfsand throws in dog-savvy extras like pet beds, towels and sheets, dishes, doggie bags, and placemats, and tasty treats whenever your pup pops into the lobby. In the fall, the resort hosts a dog show to raise money for the Clatsop County Animal Shelter.

Head North

Tranquil-A-Tree — White Salmon, WA

What? A tree house you can take your dog to? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Tranquil-A-Tree — a dog-friendly two-story log cabin suspended in the firs. Enjoy the pleasures of taking in the nature and beauty around you, hiking and birdwatching, relaxing in the hot tub, and more.

Sou’wester — Seaview, WA

Who hasn’t seen the vintage camp trailers that look like rolling toasters and thought how cool it would be to stay in one? Sou’wester Historic Lodge and Vintage Travel Trailer Resort invites you to check that one off your bucket list — with dog in tow. Keep the vintage vibe going by borrowing the resort’s bicycles or vinyl records, or indulge in a little pampering with massage and bodywork. Attractions include miles of beach, hiking, museums, lighthouses, and funky thrift stores.


Hotel Monaco — Downtown Portland

The uber dog-friendly (dare we say dog-crazy) Hotel Monaco in the heart of downtown actually employs a Director of Pet Relations to guarantee Fido gives them two paws up. Perks include no pet fees, no weight or size restrictions, and no limit to how many furry friends can join you. And how about a nightly dog-friendly wine reception? This is a staycation you’ll surely dig.

International Rose Test Garden — Portland

What good is it to live in the City of Roses without enjoying its signature flower? Set high in the hills above the city in Washington Park above the Oregon Zoo, visits to the garden are free and boast scenic views, rose variety, scents and colors beyond the imagination. Perfect for a picnic, and all of it dog friendly.

Lucky Labrador Brewing Company — Portland

Lucky Lab is a Portland fixture with its four locations and incredible dog-centric vibe. What more would you expect with a dog breed in the name? How about philanthropy? Yep, the Lucky Lab is into that too, presenting an annual dog wash to benefit DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital. When looking to enjoy a brew and bite, make it your summer goal to take the pup and visit dog-loving pubs on Hawthorne, Quimby, Capital Hwy and Killingsworth.

McMenamins — everywhere

This NW favorite has locations from Seattle to Eugene and in between, and the grounds and restaurant patios of many are dog friendly. Just west of Portland, the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove boasts lush, scenic grounds, and seasonal outdoor eating.  Just east of the city is pet-friendly Edgefield, with exquisite sprawling grounds. Each location offers craft beers and unique art that tells the stories of the area. 

The Oregon Garden — Silverton

Imagine 80 acres of lush botanical gardens, something for everyone, and all pet friendly. A short drive to Silverton takes you to this gardener’s paradise. Enjoy photography, geocaching, and learn about sustainable farming while strolling the fabulous grounds.

Hike the ‘Hood

If you’re looking to clock some miles under your hiking boots this summer, there are plenty of dog-friendly destinations close at hand. Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (Sellwood) has miles of paved and unpaved hiking trails with views of the native forest, wetlands, and the Willamette River. Tryon Creek State Natural Area (Terwilliger Blvd) boasts bridges, a wetland boardwalk, shelters, exhibits, wildlife, and miles of multi-surface trails. Forest Park is a gem in the city, with more than 5,000 acres of vistas, views, and hiking galore.

Head OUT

Oregon State Parks

Most Oregon parks are pet friendly. Check website for information on day facilities, campgrounds, trailheads, and more. If you have time to book well in advance, consider a dog-friendly yurt or cabin at one of 22 campgrounds. Many activities are available at various locations, including hiking, wildflower viewing, beach walks, educational talks, biking, and swimming.

Learn more



Hike the ‘Hood — PortlandOregon.gov/parks











A Portland native, Kennedy Morgan has been around dogs her entire life – from the multitude of strays near the country home of her youth to the crew she calls her own now. Vegas, her retired agility superstar (Great Dane!) has been her primary inspiration for all things dog in the last decade, including her passion for writing.


Get ready for summer’s best NW escapades


This is the time of year when clear skies and warmer temperatures invite us to explore. But after months of slower, cooler days, we and our dogs need to pace ourselves.

Age and Ability

Consider the fitness level of both you and your best friend. Those who are active, healthy and relatively young will enjoy long hikes and big treks. For others, easier, shorter excursions are just as fun and beneficial (physically and mentally).


Consider terrain, plants, wildlife, and insects. Keep dogs on leash or voice control to avoid confrontations or injuries to themselves or wildlife. Especially keep small dogs close and be watchful of possible predators. It's also important to watch for poison oak or treacherous foxtails. The latter can cause severe ear problems in dogs, and if you venture into a tick zone, treat your pet in advance and do a thorough post-activity check — of both pooch and human.


Be prepped and equipped for the conditions. Depending on age, breed, color, and coat, the same trek might warrant a coat for one pup and sunscreen for another. If your activity buddy is a Pug, Boxer, or other short-nosed (brachycephalic) breed, watch for signs of labored breathing with exertion. Remember, too: walking on hot surfaces is dangerous for dogs as their pads can easily burn. 


Most parks and recreation spots require you to have your dog on leash, so a sturdy, comfortable lead is a must. Harnesses can be nice on hikes where enthusiasm might make your dog want to pull ahead.

If you’re really venturing out, pack some essentials for the unexpected. Nobody plans on getting lost or having an injured hiking partner, but it’s wise to prepare. Before you go, consider these items for your backpack:

•    Basic first-aid kit (most vets keep a handy content checklist)

•    Water and bowl (pet supplies and outdoor retailers stock handy pack-and-carry types)

•    Snacks for you and your dog

•    Emergency phone numbers (vet, emergency contacts)

•    Waste disposal bags

•    A bed sheet or blanket (if needed to carry an injured pet)

•    Rain poncho/parka (for canines and humans)

•    Emergency blanket

•    Backpack (medium and large dogs can often carry some gear themselves and share the burden, but be careful to not overload!)

•    GPS unit

•    Dog booties (available in styles for every activity)


If your pup will be swimming, even strong swimmers benefit from a good flotation vest. For hot-weather adventures, consider a cool coat to shield the dog from the harsh rays of the sun. . Wetting the cool coat also provides effective cooling.

One more possible backpack item is a dog-specific sports drink. Water enhancers like Go Dog and Active are meant to encourage dogs to drink while replenishing electrolytes and helping with stamina and muscle recovery.

Now that you’ve got your checklist and gear ready and checked twice for summer fun, get out there and enjoy! Share your photos with us at SpotMagazineNW on Facebook. 


K9 Power Go Dog * k9power.com/go-dog-hydration-electrolytes-active-dog-nutritional-supplement

WaterDog *  https://www.waterdogsupplements.com/product-page/waterdog-active

Ruffwear *  ruffwear.com


A Portland native, Kennedy Morgan has been around dogs her entire life – from the multitude of strays near the country home of her youth to the crew she calls her own now. Vegas, her retired agility superstar (Great Dane!) has been her primary inspiration for all things dog in the last decade, including her passion for writing.

Sink or Swim! Water Safety for Your Dog

Summer Must Sees The author's dog, Vegas.jpg


If you have a water-loving dog, you know there are few things more inviting than cool water on a warm day. There are risks such as overexertion and toxic algae, so it’s important to take precautions to help keep things fun and safe.

Don’t push a scared or reluctant swimmer — not all dogs are natural swimmers.

Take along: Ear cleaning/drying solution if your pup’s floppy ears are vulnerable to infection, a dog flotation vest, and knowledge of pet first aid.

Water-crazy dogs don’t automatically rest when they’re cold or tired. Watch for signs of fatigue, and get your dog on dry land for regular rest breaks.

Safe fencing to prevent unsupervised swims by pets or kids in pools and ponds.

Watch the waves. They can be deadly to tired or distracted swimmers.

Heed all warnings and advisories about toxic algae. Get help right away if you see signs of illness (lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea) as toxic algae poisoning can be fatal in under 24 hours. Check for affected areas at by searching "Algae Bloom Advisories" at oregon.gov.

That rule about swimming right after eating applies to dogs, too. Avoid any heavy physical activity for several hours after a meal. 

Paradise found — year round

Considering a Sunriver vacay? Bennington Properties tops the list for a getaway that promises lifelong memories. In the shadow of Mt. Bachelor, near 4 major rivers and streams, 30 lakes, and 5 snowcapped mountains, the destination is beautiful, and best of all, the Benningtons don’t just welcome dogs, they love them.

Proprietor Robert Bennington’s dog’s name is Ohana, meaning ‘family’ in Hawaiian, and family is exactly how guests — including the pups — are treated.

“Ohana, our Golden Retriever, comes to work with me every day,” says Robert with a smile. “And my employees are welcome to bring their dogs to work every day.”

“Here, you’re family,” affirms Robert. “We help you plan and book your trip as if it was our very own. No detail is too small and nothing goes overlooked. Your vacation begins to take shape the moment we answer the phone. Our staff take the time to get to know you, to find out what you want from the trip, and to recommend the perfect house or condo for your experience.”

Indeed, staff help with everything from pre-arrival grocery shopping to dining and activity recommendations — which might include horseback riding, golf tee times, or the perfect trail for your pack.

Each of the 174 unique Bennington Properties is carefully screened. From hot tubs and complimentary bicycles in all units to free movie rentals, popcorn, and high-speed internet, details matter. 109 of the properties — over 60% — welcome dogs.

The properties feature an off-leash play area and complimentary on-site dog wash, perfect for cleanup after a fun-filled day. Whether it’s romance for two or a reunion for 16, the accommodations, surrounds, and staff care cover every fantastic detail.

Mention Fido at reservation time and your pup (of any size or breed) will receive the royal Bennington treatment — including special doggy goodies waiting at your vacation home. Even puppies under one year are welcome (with a security deposit just in case). Mention the kids and receive the Kipa Ranger Guide, which is packed with fun activities.

Dog-loving activities are held year-round, and even tiny dogs can go, thanks to bike trailer rentals from Sunriver’s Village Bike and Ski. The locale boasts 30+ miles of paved pathways, some along the Deschutes River, and lots of fun off-leash areas.

Summer offerings also include Yappy Hour events, with complimentary beer, wine, soda, snacks and ice cream, and a fun-packed off-leash area for Fido. Find more summer fun online.

In winter, families love the dog-friendly groomed ski/snowshoe trail (Oregon’s first), just 15 minutes away at Wanoga Sno Park, elevation 5,500’. Sunriver Brewing Company’s K9 Keg Pull is a perennial crowd-pleaser.

Asked what makes him laugh out loud, Robert replied, “I would have to say, the wiggly butt of a dog. They kind of arch their back into a crescent moon shape, and their butt’s just wiggling, they’re so happy.”

Spoken like a true dog lover.

For more details about Bennington Properties’ beautiful rentals, too many fun activities to list, what to take on vacation and more, visit benningtonproperties.com.


Fido-Friendly Summer Travel

For Dr. Jason Nicholas and his family, a short jaunt out of Portland usually means a stay at the Oregon coast or hiking and snowshoeing in the Columbia River Gorge. For a shorter day trip, the family of four might spend an afternoon on the Sandy River Delta. Whatever the destination, Wendy, the family’s 11-year-old Spaniel/Border Collie mix, is almost always along for the ride.

Traveling with our pets is good for us and for them. We make memories and strengthen our considerable bond. “There are cats that enjoy getting out on a harness and going for hikes, but mostly we’re talking about dogs when we’re traveling with pets,” says Nicholas, adding that, as a hiking or camping partner, a dog offers security as well as companionship. 

But whether canine or feline, furry travel buddies make us better at getting out and exploring, even if only because we stop the car for their bathroom and exercise breaks. Just doing that, we’ll explore things we might have driven past and talk with people we might never have met.

As a family man, Nicholas loves the freedom of loading the kids and the dog in the car and heading out for adventure. But as a veterinarian and chief medical officer of the educational website Preventive Vet, he’s alert to the danger of heading out unprepared. 

Tips for Traveling Well from Dr. Nicholas

1.     Keep current on vaccines and parasite prevention.  Lyme disease is less common in our region than elsewhere in the US, but cases here have steadily risen in recent years and annual cases tend to peak in August. While ticks that might carry Lyme disease are more plentiful in the mountainous and eastern reaches of our region, “we’ve even had some Lyme disease over here in the western side of the state,” Nicholas says, “And fleas are a concern 365 days a year in Oregon; we don’t have a flea-free season here.” 

Talk to your vet about your dog’s lifestyle and travel schedule. Regular flea and tick prevention might be enough, but for intrepid wilderness explorers, a Lyme vaccine might be in order. 

2.     Buckle up!  An excited, wiggly dog is a hazard in a moving car and a projectile during even a low-speed crash. The results can be devastating. “Virtually any harness will help prevent an accident,” but not all will stand up to an actual crash. Nicholas prefers padded, crash-tested models like those from Sleepypod, but depending on your pet’s size and travel attitude, she may do better in a carrier that’s carefully secured. In any case, never let a pet ride in your lap. If an air bag deploys, pets on drivers’ or passengers’ laps get crushed in the impact.

3.     Keep ID tags current.  “Ideally, they’ll also have a microchip,” says Nicholas. Also keep a current photo saved on your phone in case your pet gets lost. 

4.     Scope out your surroundings on arrival.  “Say you check into a vacation home in the mountains and there are rodents out there,” says Nicholas. “Do a quick check of your hotel or rental house for possible hazards: rodent poisons, chemicals, balconies, maybe an open gate. And while you’re doing that, find out where the nearest veterinary clinic is in case you have an urgent and unexpected need.”

5.     Remember hot cars are deadly.  “No discussion of pet travel is complete without a warning about the risk of heat stroke,” Nicholas warns. Even on a mild day, the temperature inside your car will quickly climb into the danger zone. And when heat isn’t a concern, unrestrained pets left alone in parked cars can chew or choke on whatever they find in the car. 

Where do you and your furkids like to travel? Here’s how dog parents answered that question in a recent informal Facebook poll.

“Almost anywhere on the Oregon Coast.” We all know there’s something magical about dogs and beaches. Favorite lodgings include Lincoln City’s Looking Glass Inn, “very dog-centric property right on the Siletz Bay.”  —    Michele from Portland

“The Fireside Inn, The Whaler in Newport, Neskowin’s Proposal Rock Inn, and The Surfside at Rockaway Beach.  Very dog friendly and we like that beach a lot.”  —    Julia and her travel-loving St Bernard, Gomer

The Oregon Gardens Resort in Silverton, perched just between Salem and Portland, has dog-friendly rooms and endlessly walkable garden trails.” I took my dogs there last 4th of July — no fireworks!”  —    Jawea from Salem

Also citing The Oregon Garden. . . 

“Visitors can even bring their dogs to fenced exercise areas just up the road for off-leash playtime, in case you still need to tire them out,”  —    Sue from Molalla

For swimming/hiking/camping adventures, Stub Stewart State Park west of Portland boasts trails, cabins, and an off-leash romping spot. Many Oregon State Parks have dog-friendly yurts, as do some Washington State Parks such as Cape Disappointment. Other favorites include Sauvie Island, the Washougal River (SW WA), Cooper Creek Reservoir (Southern Oregon), and the popular hiking area known as Peavy Arboretum (Corvallis).  


Dog Friendly Oregon Coast * idyllicbeachhouse.com * visittheoregoncoast.com

Dog Friendly State Parks * oregonstateparks.org

 Safety * preventivevet.com

 Silverton * OregonGarden.org

 Sunriver * BenningtonProperties.com

Michelle Blake is a Salem, OR-based massage therapist and freelance writer whose work has appeared in national publications. Her husband wants you to know that she's a REALLY crazy dog lady too.

Ready to Roll? Take the pet on Amtrak

New policy offers convenient travel for you and your small buddy

When Amtrak Cascades — which operates trains between Washington, Oregon and British Columbia — first considered developing a pet carrier, there was one small setback.

"We talked with Amtrak about wanting to be able to carry pets on our trains and they gave me the dimensions of the pet containers that would fit under the seats," says Kirk Fredrickson, Cascades Passenger Services Manager in Olympia, WA.  "And, true story, I had one of my coworkers and his three young boys create a cardboard box in the pet carrier's actual dimensions.  They brought it to our train and it didn't fit."

Turns out, the Amtrak Cascades are the only trains in the entire Amtrak system with cars built overseas.  "Amtrak Cascades coaches are from Spain," explains Fredrickson, "and they’re different than all the other trains.  Our trains have a post under the seat so the box they told us we could use didn't fit!"

On all the other Amtrak trains, the pet carrier slides under the seat.  But on Amtrak Cascade trains, the carrier is allowed to sit on the floor in front of the seat.  After that minor detail was worked out, in May 2016, Amtrak Cascades began offering riders the ability to take along their dogs and cats.  The traveler purchases his or her seat at the going rate, and an additional $25 for the pet seat.  Since the carrier sits in front of the other seat it is unusable by another passenger. 

Amtrak Cascades added five pet seats to each of its 11 daily trains.  Pet seats purchased for any train are placed in Coach 4.

Amtrak began offering pet seats after a small national pilot program.  At first, the company was concerned about losing the full fare of a seat offered to a pet.  "We said there may be a little bit of revenue loss on some of our trains as a result of this, but at the end of the day we're going to come out ahead and we're going to please a lot of people who would like to travel with their pets," says Fredrickson.  "We've been hearing people ask about traveling with their pets for years."

Portlander Dena Sorensen has had her Blue Heeler puppy June for just three months, but they’ve already traveled together on Amtrak.  "We traveled to Seattle to visit my mother-in-law," Sorensen says.  "It was very convenient.  I mean, it was not an issue at all!  Her seat was right next to me.  Having the carrier close was a good factor in keeping her calm."

Sorensen says she wouldn't have taken the train at all if they hadn't allowed her to take June along, adding that driving in Seattle is a turn-off and that she's grateful she now has another option.

"It was awesome!" she says.  "I enjoyed not having to drive four hours or sometimes five to get there.  It was relaxing.  And the scenery is so pretty.  It's worth taking the train — I enjoy it."

Amtrak's early concerns about noise from the pets, "accidents" needing to be cleaned up, or riders having allergy issues were soon laid to rest.  “None of that has been a problem," says Fredricksen.  "We've had a couple of people ask to be reseated from the pet car and that was not a problem — we reseated them and everything was fine.  Our cleaners come through and clean the carpets and wipe down the pet car after every trip and they have had no problems."

Prior to the new pet policy, Amtrak did not allow pets of any kind or size other than service dogs.  "People would say all the time, 'We want to be able to take the train and we want to travel with our pets,'" says Fredricksen.  "It's not easy for folks to find a pet sitter or kennel and they want to bring their pets because they’re part of the family.  We saw the pet policy as a good way to keep our customers happy and increase ridership on the trains."

Amtrak Cascades carried 813 pets from March to December 2016.  So far in 2017, 220 pets have traveled Amtrak with their families.  “Word is getting out among our pet-loving customers and the numbers are climbing,” says Fredricksen.

All aboard!

Limitations and Guidelines

  • Only cats or dogs are allowed. No rabbits, gerbils or other animals. 
  • Must be 20 pounds or less
  • Pet reservations are first-come, first-served for five pet seats per train (service animals do not count toward this limit)
  • Pet owners must provide a pet carrier meeting the train's size requirements
  • The pet must stay in the carrier the entire trip
  • The pet must be at least 8 weeks old and current on vaccines

Get the complete guidelines at www.amtrak.com/pets

Vanessa Salvia's love for animals began as a child, when stray kittens just seemed to follow her home (who thankfully, her family accomodated). She lives on a sheep farm outside of Eugene, OR, surrounded by dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and kids.

Up for a coastal outdoor adventure?

Citydog Countrydog offers a variety of canine events, classes and fun for puppies and dogs in Yachats on the Oregon Coast. Puppies and adult dogs can brush up on social skills during monthly events through October; other offerings include Willderness Companion Training, Testing & Certification, Adventure Hikes, Reactive Dog Practice Groups, Canine Caching and more. Learn more at citydogcountrydogtraining.com.

2016 NW Pet Fair - Get Ready for Fun!

Grab the gang, including the pets, and get to the NW Pet Fair Apr. 23-24 at the Portland Expo Center.  It's the party of the year for pets and their peeps!

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.

Destination Dog Heaven — Carmel By-the-Sea

Considering a road trip with your pooch to California this summer? Carmel, a small, enchanting village on the sea with white sandy beaches and a leash-free dog beach might be just the ticket.

Located about six hours north of Los Angeles and 2½ hours south of San Francisco, Carmel By-the-Sea, is known as a “top dog destination.”

With pet-friendly inns, restaurants and patios catering to your pooch complete with a menu of his or her own, this beautiful area boasts wineries, upscale shopping and restaurants, golfing, (Pebble Beach and the world famous 17-mile drive are right next door),  and more. Rated the #6 travel destination in the US, Carmel has something for everyone.

Actress Doris Day, known for her huge passion for animal welfare, co-owns and operates the Cypress Inn. When she joined the venture in the ‘80s she insisted that four-legged friends be welcome, and one of the first pet-friendly boutique hotels was born. Since then, more than 20 hotels and B & Bs welcome pets to Carmel, as do many rental properties and campsites.

Dogs run revel in the sand and frolic in the surf on the public off-leash beach, and many enjoy on-leash outings with their peeps to art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. There are 22 restaurants in Carmel that welcome dogs to their outdoor tables. One of the most popular is The Forge in the Forest, which offers dog biscuits, water dishes and even meals. The Canine Cuisine Menu is inexpensive and a fun way to include the pup in your al fresco dining. Hot dogs, hamburger patties, chicken strips and even a New York steak are all on the menu for dogs on the town. “Milk bones” in a bucket are available for a tail-wag.

Families like the Cliffords from Rocklin, California and their dog Spike, a rescue, visit Carmel every year as their three young boys love spending time on the white sandy beach with their dog.

Along the cobblestone streets water bowls appear in front of nearly every business. For a dog treat? Just step inside.

“I love that I can bring my dog into the Coach store while I shop,” laughs mom, Dana Clifford.

Melinda Thompson is a freelance writer with a degree in Speech Communications and a coveted "Ducktorate" from the Walt Disney World Company. She has been featured in many local magazines and newspapers.  She lives in Vancouver USA with her husband, son and daughter.