Visit the Oregon Coast: a Pet-Friendly Vacation

Visiting the Oregon Coast with Dogs

We've been traveling to the Oregon Coast for over 20 years. Since my husband and I went from dating, to married, to parents, we've loved returning time and time again to the beaches along Oregon's western edge, bordering the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to 4 kids, we have 2 dogs. When we plan a trip to the Oregon Coast, we have them in mind just as much as the children. In fact, our annual vacation along Oregon's beaches is the highlight of the year for our canine family members!

There are a number of hotels, beaches and trails that are dog-friendly along the Oregon Coast. In fact, the freedom to allow your dog to run off-leash is one of the primary reasons we keep coming back. Just make sure that you follow posted regulations - as well as common courtesy - in keeping your dog in line, and cleaning up after him!

All photographs in this hub are the property of Stephanie Hicks. Please contact me for permission to use.

Our little dog, Earl, plays along the shoreline in Manzanita on the Oregon Coast
Our little dog, Earl, plays along the shoreline in Manzanita on the Oregon Coast | Source

Seaside, Oregon on the Oregon Coast

From Seaside, Oregon down to Newport, Oregon, there are a number of Oregon beaches that are dog-friendly! In fact, most public beaches are open to both owners and their canine companions.

Dogs can be off-leash and running free on most beaches on the Oregon Coast, provided that they respond to your call, and are well-socialized with other dogs. Considering that many people and children also use the beaches, it only makes sense that you should use dog etiquette to clean up after your pet, rather than leaving their mess in a sandy pile.

Seaside, Oregon is our first stop. About 30 minutes south of Astoria (the northwest tip of Oregon) is popular Seaside. The boardwalk downtown has a video game stop, a carousel, many tourist traps, and the popular Pig N Pancake breakfast restaurant.

Along the beach, you can surf, walk, run, fly kites or simply wade into the ocean. Dogs are quite welcome here. And let me tell you.... they love it!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Garrett playing in the waves south of Seaside on the Oregon CoastDog-friendly Oregon CoastDogs love playing in the ocean along the Oregon Coast
Garrett playing in the waves south of Seaside on the Oregon Coast
Garrett playing in the waves south of Seaside on the Oregon Coast | Source
Dog-friendly Oregon Coast
Dog-friendly Oregon Coast | Source
Dogs love playing in the ocean along the Oregon Coast
Dogs love playing in the ocean along the Oregon Coast | Source

Canon Beach on the Oregon Coast

If anyone is even remotely familiar with the Oregon Coast, they will probably think of Canon Beach. Famous for Haystack Rock, and a popular destination for weddings, Canon Beach is classic Oregon.

Did you see the movie, "Kindergarten Cop"? The 1980s-era film was made right along the Oregon Coast, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger before he was a famous movie star, or the Governor of California....

Among the northern Oregon coast beaches, Canon Beach is the most popular, and the most crowded. But if you plan your trip after Labor Day and before Memorial Day, you can enjoy the best of the Oregon Coast without most of the annoying tourists.

We love visiting Canon Beach - but not staying there! Seafood restaurants, salt-water taffy, hand-dipped ice cream from Tillamook Cheese Factory - there is so much to enjoy here. Just make sure that you justify your culinary experiences with some extra long walks along the beach!

Garrett chases our kids on the Oregon Coast
Garrett chases our kids on the Oregon Coast | Source

Manzanita Beach on the Oregon Coast

Manzanita Beach is our usual destination on the Oregon Coast. My husband's family has had a home in Manzanita for over 25 years. Literally steps away from the beach, the house is a family favorite. We often have to reserve our time on Labor Day or other holidays months in advance.

Manzanita Beach is about 5 miles long, with plenty of wide, open sandy beaches for dogs and kids to run free. Make sure you consult a tide table so you can get out to the ocean's edge to spot the best seashells and tide pools.

What we love about Manzanita is that it's a relatively private beach and people there are laid-back and relaxed. If your dog likes to bark, most people won't get their feathers ruffled. In fact, I usually find that I'm more concerned about our dogs' behavior than other dog owners appear to be!

Manzanita Beach is a great place to go running, fly kites or skim board. Younger children love building sand castles and playing in the streams that run into the ocean.

You can expect generally sandy beaches, not a lot of larger rocks, and nice, clean expanses of sand. Children love to search for seashells, and dogs just love to play frisbee or chase seagulls.

We always make a point of hiking Neahkanie Mountain, which is right behind Manzanita. The 1 mile trail takes you up over 1000 feet above sea level for some fantastic views. Dogs are welcome on the trail, too. Our little poodle-schnauzer mix, Earl, loves climbing the mountain!

Just look how much fun this dog is having at the Oregon Coast!

Newport, Oregon on the Oregon Coast

Newport, Oregon is famous for its aquarium. Keiko - the killer whale from Free Willy - stayed at the Newport Aquarium before he was moved to Iceland.

When you visit Oregon, you are there for more than just the Aquarium and the salt water taffy. Newport is a historic city, as well as a prime location for enjoying seafood (my favorite is Dungeness Crab) in the Pacific Northwest!

There are many attributes of Newport, Oregon which add to its charm and the fact that its often described as the most authentic city on the entire Oregon Coast The city is comprised of distinct neighborhoods including Agate Beach; Nye Beach; the Deco District, which contains art deco buildings; the historic Bayfront which is a working fishing port, the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse; and South Beach which is home to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Rogue Brewery, the Hatfield Marine Science Center, and boat launch and fishing opportunities.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Dogs are often welcome on hiking trails in Oregon Dogs love the Oregon CoastManzanita on the Oregon Coast
Dogs are often welcome on hiking trails in Oregon
Dogs are often welcome on hiking trails in Oregon | Source
Dogs love the Oregon Coast
Dogs love the Oregon Coast | Source
Manzanita on the Oregon Coast
Manzanita on the Oregon Coast | Source
Views of the Northern Oregon Coast from above
Views of the Northern Oregon Coast from above | Source

The Oregon Coast is a Fun Place for Pooches!

The Oregon Coast is a very pet-friendly place for you to bring your dogs. Many properties allow dogs at no extra cost. And, the fact that your pets can run along the beaches off-leash mean that they have fun (and get tired) and you can enjoy your own walk or hike.

Consider the following when planning a vacation with your four-legged friend:

  • Access to clean, fresh water
  • Always bring a leash
  • Don't forget dog food and chews
  • Extra toys (balls, frisbees, etc.) are a plus
  • Bring an extra towel or two to help your dog dry off after playing at the beach
  • Consider rinsing your dog off either outside or in a shower immediately after a trip to the ocean (salt water can irritate their skin and you want to avoid sandy footprints and fur)
  • Ask the property owner or hotel manager if there is a sur-charge for pets in advance
  • Small dogs can get chilled in the stiff breezes;  you may wish to pack a sweater or coat for them, too!

What better place to bring your pet than the Oregon Coast? Wide open beaches, friendly people and a temperate climate all contribute to a perfect location for families of pets and children alike!

Have any questions about a trip to the Oregon Coast with your pets? Be sure to contact me!

show route and directions
A markerSeaside Oregon -
Seaside, OR, USA
[get directions]

B markerCanon Beach Oregon -
Cannon Beach, OR, USA
[get directions]

C markerManzanita Oregon -
Manzanita, OR, USA
[get directions]

D markerNewport Oregon -
Newport, OR, USA
[get directions]

The Oregon Coast near Canon Beach
The Oregon Coast near Canon Beach | Source

© 2010 Stephanie Hicks

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Comments 18 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

You have beautiful beaches in Oregon,stephhicks!;)


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you! We love the Oregon Coast any time of the year. I think the dogs sense when we are getting close, too! They start panting and whining and get so excited by the smell of the salty air.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

I must agree with Mentalist acer- Oregon has some positively beautiful beaches, and you're so lucky to live nearby them! Your photos are fantastic, and this is a most helpful hub- I especially appreciate the smart pet-trip tips at the end. Hurray!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Simone - Really enjoyed putting this one together. We were just at the Coast a few weeks ago, but I was also able to find other pictures waiting for me to use on my hard drive. ;-) Our dogs really love the Oregon Coast beaches.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

Years back, on a road trip with my daughters, we stopped in Seaside--I believe it was Seaside...there was a monument at the end of the road to the beach. Now, I may be "all wet," but it seems to me there was something about it being the westernmost place in the continental U.S. Then again, my memory could be faulty. LOL

Anyway...this was a great article, and brought back fun memories. Thanks for sharing!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks MsLizzy - it was probably Astoria. There is a point at which the land juts out into the Pacific Ocean, at the confluence of the ocean and the Columbia River. Seaside is further south along Highway 101. :)

We've visited Astoria, but I haven't been out to that point. Now I'm curious.... Thanks much! Steph


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

Ah--okay! Thanks for that correction! ;-) Cheers!


chubatemjen profile image

chubatemjen 6 years ago

Your tips on helping out with pets was very helpful... as well as very informative..a nice place for vacation!!

http://hubpages.com/politics/savewildlife


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks very much - we love the Oregon Coast for vacation! So do our 2 dogs!


jcales profile image

jcales 6 years ago

Another seaside? there's Seaside, CA which is nice and quaint as is Oregon's coastal city with the same name.

I keep hearing lots of positives on Oregon from various places. I like cooler weather and greenery so this trip may just happen.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Oh yes - another Seaside! ;-) Oregon is such a lovely place to visit. Similar to California, but definitely a bit cooler and cloudier. You might find it a nice change of pace.

Speaking of Seaside, CA - I'll have to get down there for a compare and contrast! :)


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Great photos and hub - one of my favorite places in the world!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Audrey - I'm sure your dogs love the Oregon Coast too! Cheers, Steph


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for this excellent travelogue. I have been to California and Washington a few times but missed Oregon. It is on my bucket list. Your children (and Earl) are adorable. I enjoyed the journey with you.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you James (Earl thanks you too - he just got a haircut today!) Definitely add the Oregon Coast to your bucket list. The weather is temperate year-round, but summers are especially nice. Cheers, Steph


GPSWorldTraveler profile image

GPSWorldTraveler 5 years ago from Washington State, USA

We love to travel with our dog. Lovely locations you featured in your article!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you GPS - our dogs have always enjoyed the Oregon Coast! Steph


liquidgranite profile image

liquidgranite 5 years ago

I love the photos....such a perfect vacation.

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