Willow’s Canine Travel Review: The Village Green in Cottage Grove
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Willow -- a 13-year-old Spaniel mix -- is a seasoned traveler who accompanies her best friend to dog-friendly dining, camping, and lodging spots around the Northwest. Best friend Michelle – Spot’s Managing Editor – is responsible for packing, driving, paying the restaurant tabs, and sharing their adventures with our readers.
Our traveling duo recently explored a historic and dog-friendly destination in Cottage Grove, just south of Eugene. The sights and sounds in the garden define the Village Green experience. With a happily vacationing pup at your side, you wind through a peaceful labyrinth carved into the lawn, cross a serene footbridge into a garden bursting with fragrant blooms, and follow meandering paths through gardens of diverse themes and color schemes. You feel as if you’ve gotten far from the hurry and fray. Yet, with the quiet hum of Interstate 5 drifting through the trees, you’re reminded that your getaway is just an easy hop from it all.
You find your guest room stocked with Willow-approved toys and treats, a dog blanket, and stainless-steel food and water bowls. Your room includes Fido-friendly fenced patio, and a fenced dog park provides off-leash play space in addition to 14 acres of gardens and meadow lawns. In the evening, as the sounds of live music drift from the lounge doors, guests are welcome to dine with their dogs on the restaurant patio. (Willow recommends the pasta.)
With Wi-Fi and modern amenities, the resort still feels like a trip to an earlier era. When the Village Green welcomed its first travelers in 1959, I-5 itself was a new attraction. Thanks to the newfound ease and speed of the interstate, travelers flocked to motor lodges like this one, taking a welcome break from road travel to swim, dine, and rest just moments from the freeway.
A revered destination during this midcentury heyday, the Village Green suffered in the 1990s as travelers’ tastes changed and chain hotels blanketed the interstate’s shoulders. Today, though, the graceful old motor lodge is enjoying a midlife facelift, thanks to new ownership by Moonstone Properties, which also owns the Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton.
Shady paths, sunny lawns, sparkling fountains, and fragrant plantings all beckoned Willow to explore the grounds, where she met several other canine travelers. As she exchanged greetings with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Oscar, her bestie asked Oscar’s dad whether he’d stayed at the Village Green before. “No,” he said, “this is our first visit. But we definitely know where to stay in the future.”
Disclosure: Spot Magazine received free lodging at The Village Green for the purpose of writing this review.