Cannon Beach - Oregon Coast. Photo Credit: Judd Hall (CC)
We Californians think our Highway 1 and Big Sur coastline are scenic, and they certainly are. But Highway 101, which runs a bit inland along California’s North Coast and continues over the state line into Oregon, gives it a run for the money. The road hugs 363 miles of Oregon shoreline, much of it given over to beaches. Almost all those strands are open to leashed pets, and many (outside state park boundaries) offer off-leash privileges as well. From Brookings in the south to Astoria in the north, you can roll the dice, see where you land and probably not be disappointed.
That said, one dog-friendly town stands out: Cannon Beach, at the north end of 101, about 80 miles northwest of Portland via Highway 28. There are 44 public beach access points in and near this town of just 1,700, and strands under municipal control follow “ocean shore” leash laws permitting dogs under voice control to run free on stretches of sand known for their near-shore and very photogenic stack-rock formations. Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint is a particularly good spot for capturing the moment.
Cannon Beach is an art town as well as a beach town, playing host to more than 700,000 visitors annually. It has the “dog thing” down pat, so it’s easy to find overnight accommodations in every price range. Pup-ular choices include the Wayside Inn, SurfSand Resort and Ocean Lodge, which thoughtfully provides pet washes for sandy paws. Restaurants with heated, dog-friendly patio tables include Lumberyard Rotisserie & Grill, Sweet Basil’s Café and Cannon Beach Hardware and Public House, but there are many more!
Be sure to stop into Puppy Love by the Sea, a canine-centric “shopping experience” that will have you pulling out your credit card and closing your eyes as you pay for all those irresistible treats and toys.
Photo Credit: Judd Hall (CC)