Idyllic Home Away From Home


Tucked slightly off the beaten path of Highway 101 near the sea-weathered town of Pacific City, the Idyllic Beach House rental properties truly are idyllic for visitors seeking the comforts and convenience of home away from home.  The best part for families traveling with canine kin?  Pawed travelers are not only welcomed, but pampered with many dog-friendly features.

The two homes, long ago named “Idyllic Beach Houses,” are both fully equipped, each with a few unique amenities.  Guardenia House, for example, has a lovely fireplace, a detached “kid’s bunkhouse,” and master bedroom with vaulted ceiling, skylights and floor-to-ceiling picture windows overlooking a dense Sitka spruce forest. 

The two-story Pier Street House offers two adjoining bedrooms, a kid’s room, and a pull-out bed in the living room for larger groups.  This property has the bonus of a doggie door that pops into the laundry room – perfect for wiping off sandy paws.  While both properties are just a block from the beach, Pier Street House is closer, with beach access just a few steps away.

Newcomers to the Northwest may not be as familiar with Pacific City as with the more populated and attraction-laden towns of Newport, Lincoln City or Cannon Beach.  But for many, the quieter atmosphere, proximity to several state parks, and relatively empty beaches make the Pacific City area a favorite.  Surrounded by Bob Straub and Cape Kiwanda State parks, the Sand Lake Dunes and the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, beachcombers, cyclists and hikers don’t lack for adventure here.  And if a night on the town is desired, it’s an easy 20-minute drive.


Exploring the “Three Capes Road Scenic Drive” is a perfect way to experience some of the hidden gems of this area.  The 40-mile loop starts in Pacific City and cruises through the funky little towns of Netarts, Oceanside, and what remains of Bay Ocean.  Once dreamed to be a western Atlantic City, unfortunately Bay Ocean was built on a land spit that over time returned to the sea. 

Dogs and humans both can stretch their legs at various points along the way, visiting the “Octopus Tree” and the “shortest lighthouse in Oregon” at Cape Meares Lighthouse & Wildlife Preserve.  Cape Lookout State Park offers a 2.5-mile trek to the beach, and Whalen Island County Park is a favorite with birdwatchers.  A great ending spot is back where you started — Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. 

Kiwanda is the perfect place to seek starfish and seals, grab a bite and a brew at the award-winning Pelican Pub and Brewery, and of course, challenge your cohorts to a race up the massive 200-ft. sand dune and have a look around before getting your little kid on and running back down, full speed ahead. 


Of course, you may want to forget the car, grab the dogs, and just explore the coast on foot.  The beach houses’ locale grants this wish easily, and, according to the entries in the guest journal, the two-mile walk up the beach and to the estuary is a favorite with families with dogs (it’s fun to find the “traced paw” pictures of sleeping dogs drawn on the journal pages).  It seems this trek is guaranteed to send even the most active dog to dreamland at day’s end.

The beach house proprietors provide plenty of reading and gaming materials, plus booklets of dining and entertainment suggestions.  For those who love just lazing around, playing board games, reading or watching movies while soup simmers in the kitchen and the dog slumbers happily . . . you can do that, too.  The possibilities are endless, and isn’t that the best part of a getaway?

To learn more or reserve an Idyllic Beach House, visit, call 503-662-5420, or email

Vacation Paradise


Home Away from Home in Sunriver

Sunriver, Oregon has been called a year-round "recreation mecca" for good reason.  Located 18 miles from Mt. Bachelor in the high desert with sunny skies all summer long, for Northwest residents, Sunriver is a nearby vacation paradise.  Recreation options abound, including boating, fishing, kayaking and river-rafting, star gazing, horseback-riding, bike paths, golf, tennis, a new aquatic center, and of course, dog parks.

For a stay in Sunriver, Bennington Properties’ cozy and luxurious pet-friendly lodging offers easy access to “SHARC,” the aquatic facility, private hot tub or pool, and more.  Cabins sleep four to 16, so there’s something perfect for an intimate getaway for two or a large gathering of family or friends.  Viewing the options on is like shopping for a home (without the commitment), and you'll enjoy building your own vacation through plenty of pictures, and choice of location and atmosphere. 

Our cabin was equipped with an indoor fireplace and deck with barbecue and hot tub.  Maddie, our Lab, loved watching cyclists whiz by while lounging on our enclosed deck as we enjoyed a soak.  Speaking of bikes, we took a two-wheeled trip to the Village Mall’s gourmet grocery and then spent the evening barbecuing and dining on the deck. 

Maddie ready to go to Sunriver!

Maddie ready to go to Sunriver!

In Sunriver, you, your dog, and family or friends will discover there’s enough outdoor fun to last from a weekend to three months.  Much of SHARC is open year-round, and includes indoor/outdoor pools, a lazy floating river, a rock climbing wall and tubing hill.  It’s great to have the option to leave the kids to enjoy the center while the grownups take in a little shop or spa treatment at nearby retail venues.

The Bennington experience is truly about family.  Happy dogs are everywhere and many cabins are equipped with bicycles (also available for rent nearby).  We enjoyed a walk to the stables along the beautiful Deschutes River that runs through Sunriver.  This summer we’ll be back to enjoy a white water rafting river adventure.

A very short walk from the stables, the observatory hosts weekly star and planet gazing events.  One of the most memorable parts of our trip was bundling up for an evening of looking through telescopes at the planets.  We actually saw the Space Station zoom across the beautiful night sky — amazing!  

More exploration awaits just 30 minutes down the road in Bend.  Another dog-friendly city, Bend boasts plenty of cultural events, shopping and dining.  We took Maddie along for an art walk, where the festivities included a sidewalk chalk art contest, local music and vendor stalls. We picked up a great fleecy dog bed cover for Maddie before heading for a swim near the walking trails along the Deschutes in the Old Mill District.

Cozy comfort at Bennington Properties

Cozy comfort at Bennington Properties

Back “home,” we picked up one of the free movies available (and complimentary popcorn), tucked into our cabin, got a fire going, and took in a flick on our large flat screen while enjoying a complimentary bottle of local wine.  

The Bennington family makes each stay personalized in so many ways, and one nice touch for the dogs is a complimentary pet bag that includes a tag (a great preventative for potential wanderers), treats, toys, and a gift certificate to the village pet shop.  The on-site dog park even has a free dog bath facility.  

Bennington knows what makes for a great stay with pets, and they provide it.  This writer will certainly be back and I'll see you, and your pups, on the river (or at SHARC!) this summer or on the slopes come winter.

All photos by Megan Mahan

Lucy Provides Pug Love for Shearwater Inn


The face of Westover Inns is . . . wet-nosed and furry in much of the company’s marketing.  A seasoned model is Lucy, an 11-year-old Pug who has starred in the ads for Westover’s Shearwater Inn in Lincoln City, and who lives with Heather and Steve Zink, their two children Daniel and Amy, a German Shepherd named Duchess and Laverne the black cat.

According to Heather, Lucy is the perfect model — thanks to her food obsession her photo shoots are incredibly easy, she says.  “She is so food motivated that I can stand behind the photographer with a biscuit and make her head go pretty much any way I want.  She’ll sit still while she just follows that biscuit with her head and eyes.”  Biscuits work well for photo shoots, but the one food that really gets Lucy going?  Bananas.  “She’s all about the bananas,” Heather says laughing.  “She just whimpers and cries to eat a banana.”

The Zinks have had Lucy from puppyhood and, while small, is “a big part of our family,” says Heather.  Typical of the Pug breed, Lucy is generally easygoing.  “We can dress her up, hold her like a baby,” says Heather.  “She loves people and always wants to be next to someone.”  During Halloween festivities, Lucy has dressed up “as kind of a strange-looking ladybug,” says Heather, and as a princess to match the youngest daughter’s costume.  “She’ll pretty much let you put anything on her.”


Not too keen on toys or tricks, Heather says Lucy can do something a little unusual for a Pug:  “You can take a little bit of food — and of course Pugs don’t have much of a nose — and balance it on that little bit of a nose and get her to wait.”  Once Heather calls “Okay!” Lucy flips the treat off her snout and catches it in the air with impressive Pug prowess.

Mostly, says Heather, Lucy is just in it for the cuddles, which the family happily provides . . . although there is a limit.  “She used to sleep with me,” Heather says, “but her snoring is so loud that my husband can’t take it.  So now she sleeps with my son.” 

Learn more about pet-friendly lodging at all the pet-friendly Westover Inn properties at or by calling 503-682-1737.

Cannon Beach, Seaside and Manzanita


Longtime Favorites for Dog Lovers

Cannon Beach and Seaside

One of the more popular destinations for visitors to and locals in the Northwest, Cannon Beach is often the “go to” spot for a day at the beach.  The city is also well known for its iconic “Haystack Rock,” which graces many a postcard and

magazine cover, and works great as a backdrop for day-at-the-beach pictures.  CB’s sister city to the north, Seaside, has its own share of notable landmarks, such as the Promenade, auto Turnaround, and of course, the statue marking the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail, the explorers rendered forever gazing at the horizon with . . . dog lovers take note . . . their trusty canine companion Seaman at their sides.

Visitors who insist furry family members be included in beach adventures will find plenty of pet-friendly hotels, vacation rentals, shops and dining areas in these two popular coastal towns.  In addition to ample pet-friendly amenities, there are plenty of recreation opportunities as well.


Cannon Beach hosts an impressive array of art galleries and studios in its relatively small shopping district.  You’ll also find a good mix of surf shops, bookstores, specialty boutiques and crafty, beachy places ideal for browsing.  You and your pack are welcome at Puppy Love By The Sea, where your dog can have a treat while the humans visit with the friendly staff and pick out a new doggie toy for the ride home.

The main shopping district in Seaside has a festival atmosphere in summer, complete with surreys careening through the streets, Carousel songs, and the ever-present aroma of kettle korn.  Shoppers can stroll along, checking out galleries, knick-knack shops and specialty boutiques.  Furry shoppers rave about the Beach Puppy boutique.


Well, you are at the beach, so whether you’re racing down Cannon Beach or strolling leisurely along the water at Seaside, the ocean is the place to play here.  However, both cities have several nearby state parks, including Ecola and Gearhart.  For a short, brisk hike, Ecola State Park has a 2.5 mile loop trail, or you can traverse an eight mile section of the Oregon Coast Trail, keeping an eye out for the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse on a clear day.  If you want to really wear the pack out, take a detour 30 minutes inland and tackle the Saddle Mountain trail.  This 5.5 mile loop takes hikers up a long series of switchbacks, culminating in an incredible panoramic view.


Quick note:  All dogs are required to be on a leash no longer than six feet within the boundaries of state parks.  Outside those boundaries, leash laws are rarely enforced, though dog guardians are required to keep their pups in control at all times and are responsible for their behavior.  Certainly it’s best to follow the “can’t we all get along” golden rule, which means being sensitive to other and exhibiting courtesy first.  Also, please keep dogs out and away from the nesting areas of Western Snowy Plovers.


After a full play day, relaxing and enjoying a meal is one of the best parts of a day at the beach.  Both Cannon Beach and Seaside provide excellent regional fare, whether for a quick bite or an elegant sit-down-and-watch-the-sunset affair.  Cannon Beach offers a couple of dog-friendly eateries with pooch-friendly patios.  The Lumberyard Grill & Rotisserie is a family-friendly favorite, while Sweet Basil’s Café has a homey, funky feel and vegetarian fare.  In Seaside, if you want to sit and snack con perro, check out the great local seafood at Bell Buoys.


Kicking off your sandy shoes, taking a nice hot shower and climbing into a comfy bed completes the beach experience.  Okay, so the dogs won’t kick off their shoes, but they can get very comfy at numerous locations.  In Cannon Beach, The Ocean LodgeLand’s EndTolovana Inn and the Surfsand Resort welcome dogs.  Seaside also has plenty of lodging choices, including the Best Western Ocean View ResortInn at the SeasideOceanside Vacation Rentals, and the Sandy Cove Inn



Want mellow?  Head for Manzanita. 

When it comes to coastal destinations that offer a quieter, cozier ocean respite, Manzanita often tops the list.  Dog lovers continue to seek out this peaceful seaside town for its overall friendliness, relatively empty beaches, and homey village atmosphere.  As with all coastal cities the beach is the big draw, but Manzanita and its neighboring communities of Nehalem, Arch Cape and Rockaway Beach offer plenty themselves for a relaxing vacation.


You won’t be overwhelmed by taffy shops in Manzanita, though the main drag that leads out to the beach provides a pleasant stroll with relaxed browsing.  Antique shops, art galleries, crafts and books are all within walking distance, and the pet boutique Four Paws on the Beach stocks plenty of treats, apparel, pet food and toys.


For a small town, there are plenty of places to partake in Manzanita.  The Bread and Ocean bakery is a popular eatery for a sweet treat, salad or deli sandwich.  If you’re planning a picnic, cruise by Mother Nature’s Natural Foods and fill your basket with healthy fare.  The local Mexican restaurant El Mariachi Loco is a tourist favorite, and the Big Wave Café offers a wide selection for breakfast, lunch or dinner.


You won’t be overwhelmed by taffy shops in Manzanita, though the main drag that leads out to the beach provides a pleasant stroll with relaxed browsing.  Antique shops, art galleries, crafts and books are all within walking distance, and the pet boutique Four Paws on the Beach stocks plenty of treats, apparel, pet food and toys.



The beach at Manzanita stretches out for seven miles of running room for you and your pack on gorgeous white sand.  There’s also plenty of open space for kite flying, wind surfing and even horseback riding along the shore.  Beach bikes are available for rent to give you an edge on your fast-running canine.  For the hikers, a favorite trek is Neahkahnie Mountain, whose 1600-foot peak offers a birds-eye view of the Oregon Coast.  If you’re looking for a calmer water experience, you can picnic or a swim along the North Fork of the Nehalem River near Roy Creek Park.

Later this summer, dogs and their families will turn out for the Muttzanita Festival Aug. 18.  This benefit for the United Paws of Tillamook features doggie demos, a pet parade and canine-inspired activities.


For a small town, there are plenty of places to partake in Manzanita.  The Bread and Ocean bakery is a popular eatery for a sweet treat, salad or deli sandwich.  If you’re planning a picnic, cruise by Mother Nature’s Natural Foods and fill your basket with healthy fare.  The local Mexican restaurant El Mariachi Loco is a tourist favorite, and the Big Wave Café offers a wide selection for breakfast, lunch or dinner.


Mellow Manzanita doesn’t lack for places to stay with canine companions.  Vacation rentals through Coast Cabins and Manzanita Rental Company all offer cozy pet-friendly getaways, while Oceanfront Vacation Rentals provides beachfront lodging at its Studio and Lighthouse locations.  Nearby Rockaway Beach also has room for the critters at the Ocean Rogue Inn.  Looking for something a bit more rustic?  Nehalem Bay State Park offers pet-friendly yurts.

Lincoln City - Follow your nose to a canine fav


A long-favored destination for pet-loving vacationers in the Northwest, Lincoln City provides excellent opportunities for families with canine to play, stay and thoroughly enjoy themselves in and around this central coast region.  For those who love sand and surf, there are nearly eight great miles of it in which to romp, roll, dig and revel.

For those who love variety, nearby lakeshores and forests beckon.  If shopping and excellent food make for a superb weekend, there’s ample variety.  And when it comes to great lodging, there are plenty of hotels, motels and vacation rentals that happily lay out the welcome mat for you and your furry companions. 

Many pet people make a point to visit during one of the biggest pet events of the year, the Mutt Masters Dog Show & Olympics, happening May 19 this year (see article on Mutt Masters here).  Simply put, Lincoln City offers something for everyone, including the dogs.



Somehow being at the beach, or on vacation, or just away from home stirs the appetite.  Of course, the coast has an incredible abundance of fresh, locally-caught seafood served everywhere from roadside chowder stands to fine eateries.  Many consider a cup of clam chowder at Mo’s or the Dory Cove a must, while others swear by the Blackfish Café or Kyllo’s wonderful local fare.  Want to keep the dog with you while dining?  Check out Beach Dog or Nelscott Cafés.  Well-behaved pooches are welcome in the outdoor dining areas at both.



There is little more smile-inducing than a dog playing at the beach, whether she’s digging her way to China, barking at the waves or running in pure canine bliss.  Most dogs simply love the beach.  And here there are more than a dozen public beach entrances, from Road’s End Recreation Area to the north to Siletz Bay down south. 

For a respite from coastal winds, Devil’s Lake Recreation Area, just a few minutes from downtown Lincoln City, offers a couple of half-mile hikes and a 9-mile loop through the forest.  If you prefer something a little more moderate, the 2.5 mile Spring Lake Trail shows off old growth forest and a 400-year-old Sitka spruce.  If you’re game for a short drive, you won’t be disappointed with a hike along the Drift Creek Falls Trail, a 3-mile one-way trek that culminates in a 75-foot waterfall that’s visible from a 240-foot suspension bridge.  The sight is well worth the walk. 



While antiquing’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it is big in Lincoln City, with at least 20 shops devoted to treasures of yesteryear.  There are also plentiful art galleries, bookstores and gift shops throughout the city.  To really delve into local flair, consider a kite to fly in this self-proclaimed “Kite Flying City of the World.”  And, if you’d like a little treat for your four-pawed friend, visit Paws on the Sand, which carries a wide range of healthy pet food and boutique items.  The Lincoln City visitors guide says well-behaved and leashed animals are welcome in many shops . . . but pooches and antique stores don’t always mix well.



Of course, at the end of the day, that perfect, cozy place to rest is key to a great vacation.  Fortunately, when pets are part of the package, options in Lincoln City are plentiful.  The Ester Lee Motel and Looking Glass Inn are favorites among pet lovers for their beach access and pet-friendly policies.  The Coho Oceanfront Lodge at Wecome and even Chinook Winds Casino accommodate pets as well.  For those seeking something less hotel-like, consider a vacation rental through Ocean Odyssey.  Another great getaway are the two Idyllic Beach House guesthouses.  Located just 30 minutes north, these homes provide wonderful respite from the city.

Coast inn gets new ownership, new name


In early April, Westover Inns purchased the O'dysius Hotel in Lincoln City, Oregon, and has given it the new name, the Shearwater Inn. 

A family owned company since 1976 and owner of seven hotels in Oregon, the Westover Inns is committed to providing comfortable, well-appointed rooms and excellent service. The Shearwater Inn will soon boast new decor in all the rooms, many of which are dog-friendly (small to medium-sized dogs up to 45 lbs). One dog is allowed per room, at $10/night, which includes a special dog basket for use during his/her stay including dog sheets, towels, bowls, pooper scooper bags, and treats.

The rooms at the Shearwater Inn are spacious with beautiful ocean views.  Guests enjoy gas fireplaces, free Wi-Fi, complimentary continental breakfast, single-person jetted tubs, decks, and suites with full kitchens.  The hotel is ideally located in the heart of Lincoln City, just North of the D'River, at 120 NW Inlet Court.  Contact them at 800-869-8069, (new web site coming in June:

Favorite Holiday Accommodations

Hotels and vacation rentals roll out the red carpet for pets and their people

The holiday season is traditionally a time to be with family, and for many of us that includes our animals. The Northwest is paws-down one of the most pet-friendly communities in the nation, and many properties offer superlative amenities, great rates, and spectacular services for holiday revelers, and our furry best friends.

Spot sniffed out some great accommodations to consider for a holiday getaway this season, in some of our favorite getaway locales.

Have Dog, Will Travel - Let’s go to the coast!

Pet-friendly lodging, shopping and EATS


BROOKINGS - Shopping & Supplies

 A-Xotics Pets & Supplies

722 Chetco Ave.


Brookings Pets

1240 Chetco Ave. 


Best in the Northwest - Have Dog, Will Travel

With warm weather upon us, it’s time to think about vacays and quickie getaways. Don’t you love it best when your destination is one where your dear doggies can have as much fun as you? 

We asked Spot readers for their favorite pet-friendly places for overnight stays. Here are their favs, appearing in no particular order, where not only two-footed folks are welcome, but four-pawed guests are treated like the VIPs they are.