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


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:

Shearwater Inn, Lincoln City:

Lakeshore Inn, Lake Oswego:

The Dalles Inn, The Dalles: 

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.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles


Traveling Safely with your Pet  

For many people hitting the road this summer, the dilemma is not which sight to see but whether to take along their four-legged family members.  With all due respect to well-traveled iguanas, rabbits, or canaries, this question most often involves cats and dogs.  Before taking Fido or Fluffy along for the ride, ask yourself:

* Are both the mode of travel and the ultimate destination something your pet would enjoy?

* Is the destination pet-friendly?  For example, many wilderness sites can be downright hostile to companion animals. 

* Do you have room for the pet to travel comfortably?

* Does your pet get motion sickness (find out before starting a long trip!)?

Remember, an unhappy traveling companion of any kind can take the vacation out of a trip.

If you do decide to bring your buddy, plan ahead.  If traveling by air, contact the airline carrier weeks ahead for required health certificates and specifications for the pet carrier.

If the open road appeals to you, here are some helpful tips to prevent heartbreak when your co-pilot goes along for the ride:

Pets should not ride in the front seat of vehicles with airbags.  Airbags were designed for the safety of adult humans, and they can critically injure or kill an animal.

Pets should be restrained at all times inside moving vehicles.  An unrestrained pet can distract the driver, and in the event of an accident, become critically injured, potentially become a dangerous projectile, and/or escape from a vehicle.

Pets should never ride unrestrained on the outside of a vehicle, such as in the bed of a pickup. 

Pets can be restrained comfortably in a variety of ways:  inside carriers or behind vehicle barriers, or secured with pet seats, pet seat belts, or pet harnesses.  The safest place to secure your dog is in the middle of the back seat. 


Pets should not be left unattended inside vehicles for any length of time.  Changes in air temperature inside the vehicle, unattended food, and tasty tempting car upholstery all pose dangers to your pet. 

Pets should not ride with their heads outside vehicle windows.  Flying debris can damage their eyes, ears, face, or neck.

Keep an airtight container of pet food, a sealed jug of water, and a pet first aid kit inside your vehicle in case of emergencies.  Inside the kit, keep a copy of your pet’s medical record, your veterinarian’s phone number, and a recent photo.

Your pet should carry proper identification at all times (microchip, I.D. tag, or tattoo) when traveling by car. 

Traveling in an automobile from point A to point B should be comfortable, enjoyable, and above all, SAFE for all passengers, including our furry friends.


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.

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. 


Livin’ for the summer weekends

Heaven is just a tank away! 

For most people in the Northwest, the coast is a powerful magnet, calling us to play for a day, or an extended stay. For pet lovers, the adventure just keeps getting better as ever more destinations, shops and lodgings declare themselves pet-friendly. Nearly every coastal town is pet-friendly to a degree, but some towns really stand out for putting out the welcome mat in a special way. Please join Spot in exploring some of these destinations over the spring and summer months. This month we visit Lincoln City.