Yes, it’s a long drive from California (650 miles and 10 hours minimum from San Francisco), but Portland-with-pup is worth the time-and-money investment. “Portlandia” (also nicknamed PDX, after its airport code), is a city of neighborhoods, so keep that in mind as you choose a base camp, plan your dog-friendly activities and plot how to get from place to place.
First, you need a pet-friendly place to plunk your suitcase and your pet’s paws. You won’t go wrong at the Benson in Southwest Portland, just steps from landmarks including Pioneer Courthouse Square and Powell’s Bookstore. Canine visitors get a cushy pet bed and other amenities, along with a pet-friendly Portland pet guide for their people. The dog-friendly Ace Hotel is located inside a historic downtown building that shares its space with Stumptown Coffee Roasters, one of those quintessential Northwest cuppa-joe joints. Also downtown, Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco welcomes four-footed guests at no additional fee, provides a selection of complimentary amenities and employs a “director of pet relations” to help arrange services such as dog walking or pet sitting. The recently revamped Hotel Vintage (another Kimpton property) likewise welcomes pets at no charge, while the RiverPlace Hotel (also by Kimpton) adjacent to Waterfront Park is ideal for those planning on long walks with their dog.
Yes, it rains a lot in Portland. But neither dogs nor people let that keep them from the hiking trails and dog parks to be found in almost every neighborhood. The largest off-leash venue in the city is Sandy River Delta/Thousand Acres Park where 1,400 acres of fields, wetlands, trails and rivers are open to canine exploration (be forewarned, however, that it’s not exclusively a dog park; equestrians, hikers and mountain bikers use it, too). Other DogTrekker faves include Mount Tabor Park, Sellwood Riverfront Park, Chimney Park, South Park Blocks and the famous International Rose Test Garden, where both of you can ooh, aahh and sniff to your hearts’ content.
When it comes to breweries and restaurants with dog-friendly outdoor seating, Lucky Labrador Brewing Co. (four locations) leads the pack, with barley-flour pizza and Black Lab Stout leading the menu. A whole range of dog-friendly options is offered through the McMenamin family of establishments, which include 10 hotels, two dozen breweries and 66 eateries, almost all of them dog-friendly. In the trendy Pearl District, Rogue Distillery and Public House serves gastro-pub fare, pours from 38 taps and offers a canine menu. At Tin Shed, Tuesday nights are Doggie Love Nights and Fido eats free! Buy a doggie bandana, and his next meal will be half-price.
Photo Credit: Lulu Hoeller (CC)