By Katherine Teeple from Eastonofthewild - April 29, 2019
Travel with your dog to the West coast
Traveling from Vancouver to Portland then to Seattle and back was amazing. I love the trip every time. After being in Colombia for a few months, I forget that not everywhere is as pet friendly - but the west coast is pretty good at allowing pets to go with you everywhere you go.
This is going to be a longer blog because I’m going to combine recommendations from all of these places. When I spend a few weeks in Vancouver come July, I’ll do a more thorough blog about Vancouver (and surrounding area) only!
Where to stay
My go-to is always airbnb because you can filter pet friendly places. We got super lucky with finding a hotel that was pet friendly. Hotel Monaco Portland (Kimpton) was everything we wanted and more. You walk in and there’s a sign in the shape of a dog with all the names of the dogs staying there - and a bowl of water. There were made in house dog treats at the check in counter (Easton got lucky and staff offered us a bag to go since he loved them so much) and the staff were beyond friendly and respectful. Everyone asked if they could pet E before approaching him (even though I’m sure he approached them first - such a suck). They have a happy hour in the lounge which pets are invited to as well (drinking with my dog?…yes please!). They also have free bike rentals if you want to check out the town via bike - you heard me…FREE. We all know that location is key when it comes to traveling too and this hotel is in the heart of it all! So close to everything you could possibly want - donuts and ice cream included (can you tell I have a sweet tooth?). Anyways, I 100% recommend any Kimpton hotel when traveling since they are absolutely amazing!
If you’re not the hotel type, airbnb or vrbo is a great option. Both are rental sites for short and long term and can filter out pet friendly places. And if that’s still not your thing, I’m sure there’s camping around the areas.
What to eat
If you love donuts, Voodoo is your spot. They are known for their wacky flavours but the line ups are long. They have a patio outside the shop (downtown location for sure) where you can enjoy your donuts with your fur baby. I come to Voodoo every time I’m in Portland and am never disappointed. My fave? Captain crunch for sure! But they have amazing flavours like maple bacon (with 2 strips of real bacon on it), m&ms, peanut butter oreo, and fruity flavours too such as grape jelly, tangerine, and coconut guava. Not a fancy donut kinda person, no problem - all the classics are there as well!
When my friend and I decided to do brunch, we ended up at Mothers. This place had great reviews and they did not disappoint. From regular bacon and eggs to waffles and pancakes to amazing veggie scrambles - this place had it all! They have a patio that is open in the spring/summer time that is pet friendly if you want to bring your pup with you. When we went, the patio wasn’t open yet so I tied E outside and the staff were nice enough to offer us a table by the window so that we could keep an eye out.
Street Vendors (on the streets of downtown Portland)
Portland has a big street vendor scene. They have parking lots that are surrounded by street vendors and you can pick and choose what you want to eat. Best part? It’s on the street so it’s pet friendly! Just find a seat by a park or a bench outside on the street and you’re good to go - food with your dog!
Tea Bar - Pearl district
This place was recommended by a friend (thanks @scoutgoldenretriever!) because it is delicious and has a dog park close by. This little tea bar has outdoor seating so you and your dog can chill outside while you have a tea, bubble tea, soft serve ice cream, or some baked goods. I have the thai tea boba and my friend had the lavender boba and both were SO good! I’ve been told that their rose tea is to die for. We were going to get a rose scone but we were so full from brunch that it didn’t happen BUT they did have a sample of their lemon poppy seed loaf and it was really good.
But really…any patio
Portland is really good for pet friendly places especially in the spring/summer time when the patios are out. So if you ever find yourself in Portland around that time, be sure to check out the patios!
When we were in Seattle, we didn’t really spend that much time with E in the city because we were there for a wedding. Because this is the case, I’ll recommend some restaurants that I thought were good but I am unsure if they are pet friendly.
In Georgetown, this place had character. With a super small menu, they are able to do a lot with a little. Their main dish is rotisserie chicken - comes with sides and sauce - our friends had it and said it was really good. We opted for some smaller dishes and what I think was good were the dips. Each dip came with flatbread and the portions of the dips were generous to say the least. We also tried the pickled hot peppers and they were DELICIOUS! Definitely recommend those if you go (only if you’re into hot because they are quite hot). Now this restaurant/bar had an outdoor patio that was fenced in which makes me think that they are pet friendly if you sit on the patio. Don’t quote me on that - but just a thought.
Some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had! Their portions were large and prices were reasonable. Their corn tortillas were soft and fluffy (almost could mistake them for flour tortillas) and didn’t fall apart when you picked it up. I had the mushroom soges (I think they were called - corn tortilla, sautéed mushrooms, lettuce, feta tomato) and they blew my mind. Such simple ingredients and yet so flavourful. We also had a avocado and cheese toasted sandwichMy friends had the poblano peppers and cheese tacos and charred peppers - SO GOOD! They have a patio in the back as well but again, I’m not sure if they are pet friendly.
Close to Pike Place Market, this restaurant has a pretty amazing brunch menu. From simple eggs and bacon to ginger congee, there is something for every one. I had the pork shoulder hash (yes it’s as good as it sounds) and Andrew had a leg of lamb (their daily special that day) and nothing disappointed. Friends had the burger, the congee, and the bennie - which all for raving reviews. Staff were super friendly and were not afraid to ask the back for more detail on a dish you wanted to know about. Not pet friendly but would go back in a heartbeat.
I am not a big donut fan but when I’m traveling, I do love them for some reason. I stumbled upon this donut shop while waiting for @theadventuresofkeira at Alki Beach and man oh man am I glad I walked in! Their small showcase of donuts were simple yet decadent. There were 4 types of donuts: classic raised, old fashion, filled, and fritter - but then they had different flavours of each type! I love an old fashion donut - it’s moist and has texture - if I’m going to eat a donut, I’m going to make sure I can taste the calories lol. This was a great stop in our little adventure! Oh - did I mention they have outdoor seating? You know what that means!! Yep, you guessed it…pet friendly!
My friend @thisisaliceko introduced me to TurF. For all my healthy eaters that don’t know about this place, you need to check it out! We sat outside on the patio because this place IS pet friendly! (side note: some restaurants in Vancouver - just because they have a patio, doesn’t mean they are pet friendly….unfortunately. BUT many are ok with your dog sitting outside the patio area ‘with you’). Known for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free options, this menu does not leave you hanging. From bowls to smoothies to more hearty dishes like a cabbage steak (with coconut bacon) and desserts, this is the place to be. Inside is also a little fitness studio and a little store where you can purchase fitness clothing, this place is all about healthy bodies - which is something I can get behind.
If you guys know me at all, I am an ice cream fanatic! I can eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if i could ensure that I didn’t gain a billion pounds. I love small batch ice cream and Earnest is awesome. With regular and vegan options, this place is pretty darn amazing. They have a few flavours that are constant but the rest change seasonally - same with the vegan options. Some of the best ice cream I’ve had from them: basil, vegan cardamom sugar cookie, rhubarb and oat crumble, sour cherry and goat cheese (I am all for trying weird flavours because someone thought it would work and sell lol), and their famous salted caramel. Earnest itself isn’t pet friendly but the shops are pretty small so many people eat their ice cream outside. So you can bring your pets, you just can’t go inside the shop with them. Note: if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to wait in their massive line, go to the pint line and grab a pint to go (their jars are returnable for $1 off your next purchase).
Rain or Shine on 4th Ave
Rain and Shine competes with Earnest but they have some amazing flavours as well and some different ideas. They have their core, never change, flavours but also seasonal as well - with vegan options as well. One thing they do is an ice cream taco (they do taco Tuesday as well!). Two scoops of ice cream in a waffle cone taco shell, with a topping and whipped cream - sounds decadent? It is…and it’s delicious. I find that their ice cream is a little bit lighter than Earnest so it depends on what you like. I believe that their locations have outdoor seating so you can bring your pup with you to grab some ice cream!
Things to do
If you are in the heart of downtown Portland, along the water is a huge park that dogs are welcomed (on leash of course). In the spring time, there are beautiful cherry blossoms that run along the water and a pathway shared by runners and bikers with lots of green space for your pup to roam. There is also a water fountain in this area as well. E loved it while we were there because it was a lot of open space!
Shopping on 23rd St
Lots of little shops on 23rd St! Some stores are pet friendly while others will have you tie up your pup outside. There’s not really much to say because it’s shopping haha. There are both consignment stores as well as big name stores such as urban outfitters but most of these shops are locally owned. With little eateries such as salt and straw (ice cream) and blue star (doughnuts), you can shop and grab a bite with your pup. Worth checking out if it’s your thing.
Breweries - patio season
There are TONS of micro breweries in Portland and each one is worth checking out! Lots of breweries have happy hours and patios so pets are allowed to come with you! We checked out Deschutes… and had some food and drinks there - really good mac and cheese and they had a nice dry cider! Downtown and outside of the downtown are have a lot of breweries so it’s worth checking out!
Multnomah Falls - about 30 mins east on Hwy 84
What kind of trip would it be if we didn’t check out a trail or two? Multnomah falls is about 35 mins east of Portland and can be seen from the hwy. There is a parking lot just off of the hwy so you can park and get out and check it out. We were going to go the trail, but the main trail was closed due to a mudslide (they got a lot of rain this season) so we unfortunately didn’t get to check out the top of the falls. But there is a path that leads to the bridge which was nice to see. This area gets really busy so beware if your pup reacts in busy spaces. Dogs are welcome on the trail but have to be on leashes.
Wooden shoe farm - about 45 mins south
I wanted to go to wooden shoe farm so badly because its tulip season but I just couldn’t make it work due to time constraints - which makes me very sad. But from what I hear, it’s an amazing place to go! Fields full of tulips and sometimes hot air balloons in the distance..sounds like a dream. I also assume that they are pet friendly since the gorgeous tulip photos have taken over the dog community on instagram.
Pike Place Market
There’s something about this market that I love. The little shops, the vendors, the food, the flowers - it’s just all so beautiful to me. They are pet friendly as well! Around the area is Beecher’s cheese shop (amazing cheese curds), this bakery on the corner that sells the biggest cookies in the world (get the monster cookie - its SO good!), and the original Starbucks - which is still operational. Back to this cookie spot (sorry, not sorry), they have regular AND vegan AND gluten free options! Just had to tell you. By the market is also the bubble gum wall (both fascinating and gross) - apparently it started years ago and people just keep putting their gum there. It’s kind of a work of art because of all the colours, but it’s everywhere on this wall and the germaphobe in me is bugging out - big time.
Fremont neighbourhood in Seattle has kind of an artsy scene. If you pick up a tourist map, its an histerical map, instead of an historical map. There are some art around the neighbourhood that is worth checking out with blurbs about why they are important and how the project came to be. Some of the ones we checked out were Lennon, the Troll (which is under a bridge) and the rocket (stuck to the corner of a building). On Sundays, Fremont puts on a farmers market and its pretty cool! It’s your typical market from what you would expect but there’s also antiques and thrifting to be done. We saw some pretty cool stuff when we were there such as light switch plates with different countries and states, some antique pins and coins, and some records. This whole market is pet friendly! I could have spent a whole day there if I had the time.
Alki beach pathway (leashed and off beaches)
With Seattle pretty much right on the ocean, you bet there are beaches. When V and I decided to get together, we picked this place: Alki beach for its proximity to where I was staying. This beach went on for miles and the dogs kept on wanting to go into the water…but…beaches in Seattle don’t allow dogs on the beach or in the water. I’ve been told that it’s loosely enforced unless you’re on a busy beach (heads up - Alki beach is considered popular). On the positive side, the pathway is wide and allows tons of space for dogs and walkers and bikers alike. With donut and coffee shops along the way, its a great spot to take your pup for a walk or run.
Being from Vancouver, the list can go on and on but here are some of my faves.
Spanish Banks off leash dog park at low tide
At the end of Spanish Banks, there is a off leash dog area which is amazing at low tide because the dogs have so much room to run. My only suggestion is to be careful of the barnacles that are on some of the rocks. Nothing happened with our pups paws, but I’ve heard that the barnacles can hurt their paws - so just be careful. It does get super mucky so dress accordingly - rain boots are good if you’re going onto the beach at low tide and wear pants that you don’t really care about because they’ll get dirty pretty much for sure.
Quarry Rock in Deep Cove (off leash)
If you find yourself in Deep Cove, this trail can get busy, but its good and leash optional once you get onto the trail. There will be people telling you to put your dog on a leash but I assure you that it is a leash optional trail! There is a proper sign and everything. But of course, still remember that there are rules that need to be followed such as: keep your dog under control at all times, keep in mind that not everyone likes dogs - even friendly ones, and pack your dogs poop out. There is a great view at the top of this trail and it isn’t very long either which is nice - about 30 minutes to get to the top.
Probably my fave trail. The Chief has 3 peaks that you can do: peak one is suitable for dogs (some climbing required), peak two has a ladder that goes up a wall so its not suggested, and I’ve never done peak three - at least not that I remember. This trail is shaded so its nice on hot days and has an epic view of the Squamish valley and Howe Sound. I will remind you to keep your pups on a leash especially at the top since it is a VERY deep drop off the cliff. There are chipmunks at the top so if your pup likes to chase, PLEASE keep your pups on a leash - I have seen dogs run after them and it gives me a heart attack every time.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park (leash optional trails)
A forest in the middle of the city - it’s gorgeous and calm. My friend @starskythegoldie showed us around and its one of my favourite places to go now! This area is is full of leash optional trails that but be careful because some trails are not off leash. There are rules just like any other hike so be aware of them. It is also a complex network of trails so be observant of markers - they are well laid out. This forest is full of tall trees that give you a chance to reflect and unwind. I will be going back here for sure the next time I’m in town.
Shopping on 4th Ave
Many places on 4th Ave are pet friendly - kind of like 23rd St in Portland. This is very similar - with tons of shops and eateries, such as Patagonia, Lululemon, Rain or Shine, and TurF, there is lots to do.
I will be back in Vancouver in July so there will be a more detailed list of things to do in the area.
We love sharing pet friendly places with you guys since I’m sure that I’m not the only person that likes to take their pup everywhere with them (because I’m crazy of course). If you guys like stuff like this, please let me know! I’m hoping to travel around Canada and the US and do this for every trip (depending on how long my trips are). If there are any other suggestions for your fellow followers, leave a comment below so everyone knows!
Stay Golden my friends.