We are one of the many currently swept up in the Portland craze (Portlandia?) and it has made our short-list of favored travel destinations. We were so excited to not only hear more about Portland, but hear about all the fantastic things to do in Portland that include dogs. Our hosts include Pit-mix Sadie, Lab Maggie, and puppy Hurley. From food trucks to coastal views to mountains, waterfalls, and brew pubs, here are itineraries of what to do in 1, 2 or 3 days:
One of the best aspects of Portland is its geographic location. Beyond the city is some of the most beautiful scenery you can find anywhere. A visit to Portland is incomplete if you skip on checking out the beautiful countryside. The best part? The scenic areas outside of the city are perfect day trips for you and your dogs.
The following is our “visitor” itinerary. You come visit us for a 3-day weekend, this is where we’ll take you and what we’ll do, dogs in tow. We hope you enjoy your visit!
Day 1: The Coastal Loop
Oregon has some of the most gorgeous coastline in the US. Sunny, sandy beaches you will not find here. We call it the Coast, not the Beach, for a reason. Sunshine is a rare occurrence at the Coast so make sure to pack your windbreaker (Portland fun fact: Portlanders never use umbrellas, we’re just used to the rain & mist being constant) and bring warm layers. Our favorite spot along the Coast is also a short hour drive from Portland out Hwy 26. Cannon Beach is a quaint coastal village; for us, it’s reminiscent of the villages on Cape Cod or the Maine Coast, where the hubster and I spent much of our childhood. We stop in Cannon Beach to enjoy this beautiful beach (OK, we do have beaches in Oregon, just not sunny ones) and to grab a few sandwiches and a bottle of wine for our next stop.
After a good walk through the town of Cannon Beach and a stroll along the beach to view Haystack Rock (pictured), we head to Ecola State Park, just north of the town. This is the perfect spot to build a fire out of driftwood, crack open that bottle of wine and watch those crazy surfers who brave the frigid temps of the Pacific this far north. It’s also generally less crowded than Cannon Beach and the dogs are able to romp off leash in the waves.
Once we are sufficiently drenched by the drizzle & spray and have warmed ourselves back up with our beach bonfire & wine, it’s time to head back to Portland. We take Coastal Hwy 1 up to Astoria and Hwy 30 along the Columbia River back to Portland.
Day 2: Mt Hood & The Columbia Gorge
Our day will start about an hour and a half from Portland at Lost Lake. This is my favorite place to catch views around Mt Hood. The dogs enjoy a great swim and you get to take gorgeous photos of Mt Hood. We enjoy a leisurely stroll around the lake with the dogs splashing in whenever there’s an opportunity.
With lunch in our bellies, it’s back on I-84 towards Portland. We’re not headed straight back though – as no visit to the Columbia Gorge would be complete without some serious waterfall viewing. At Multnomah Falls (the most popular and most crowded waterfall of the Gorge), we stop for a gander and the requisite hike up to the bridge.
Day 3: Portland, finally!
This is a trip to Portland after all, right? I love to give my guests the option of where they would like to go here in PDX, once we’ve taken in the Coast and Mt Hood/Gorge. The only requirement I have is that we start our day with Portland’s best brunch at The Tin Shed. Not only is their patio 100% dog friendly; many of their dishes are dog-themed and they also have doggie bowls. That’s right – brunch for you and for your dog! One of our favorite memories of our dear Suzy was her visits to The Tin Shed. She was a big fan of their chicken & rice bowl for dogs but didn’t really like the mushrooms so much. She would meticulously lick each one and place it beside her bowl, uneaten. The wait staff always had a good chuckle at our expense once we started special ordering her bowl sans mushrooms.After having the best breakfast you’ve ever had, we’ll likely head to one of the many city parks. Forest Park is the world’s largest city park and contains miles of hiking trails – a great place for the dogs! However, if your pooches are tired out by the previous 2 days’ activities and not up for a hike, we may head to Washington Park to take in the Rose Garden and enjoy glimpses of the beautiful Portland skyline.
Following our walk in one of the parks, we’ll take you out to either Alberta St or Mississippi St for some light shopping and serious people watching. Both are great examples of what makes Portland such a unique and interesting place to visit. Hopefully, you’ll coincide your visit with one of the fabulous street fairs they put on each summer. The dogs of course are totally welcome and we’ll make a pit stop at either Amnesia Brewing or The Mash Tun, both great brewpubs.We hope your enjoyed your virtual visit to our neck of the woods. Wanna move here yet? This place sort of has that affect on our visitors and we are truly blessed to have such an amazing place as our backyard. PS – the dogs enjoy it as well.
We loved seeing this insider's view of Portland, and even if we can't literally make it to Portland, it's still inspiring to see the types of things we can do with our dogs in our own city. And as one reader pointed out, it's always a good idea for pit bull owners to research beforehand as some parks and areas might not allow pitties. You can read more about Sadie, Maggie and Hurley here. In case you missed them, you can also read about things to do with dogs in Richmond, Virginia, Seattle, Kansas City, Nashville, Alaska, and Chicago. And you can read about roadtripping with 4 large dogs and boating to the Bahamas with a pit bull. We do love hearing insider's tips, and if you would like to share your hometown, please click here for more information or contact us through our Facebook page.