The perfect travel companion can be hard to find, but sometimes it's as easy as inviting a furry little friend to join. However, it obviously isn’t always easy to travel with a dog. There are many places they aren’t allowed, or modes of transportation they can’t take. And, if travelers choose to go on a road trip with their dog, they must also keep their pet's comfort in mind.
If all of this is taken care of, then road tripping with a fur baby can be a great time. Obviously, travelers must take their dog's individual needs and personality in mind when road tripping with them. If the driving distances are too great for an individual dog, then don’t do them. Travelers can treat this article as an itinerary or simply a guide to five great locations (including some of the best dog-friendly beaches). Either way, travelers are sure to have a great time with this perfect dog-friendly Pacific Northwest road trip itinerary.
Day One - San Juan Island Sculpture Park, WA
Perhaps not the most convenient of locations, but almost because of that reason, this park is an incredible destination to bring a dog to.
The San Juan Islands Sculpture Park connects nature with fantastical art. The island is littered with marshland and coastline that dogs will love exploring.
It is also home to statues of native wildlife, dragons, and bizarre geometric shapes. Travelers and dogs will have a great time exploring locations like Poetry Trail, perfect for a pup and literature lover.
Travelers and the pups will need to ferry to San Juan Island Sculpture Park, but the ferries are accessible to well-behaved and leashed dogs.
Dogs are also totally welcome to come into many of the cafés and vineyards on the island too when it's time to relax.
- More info: Frequently Asked Questions
- San Juan Island Sculpture Park Location: 9083 Roche Harbor Rd, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Day Two - Ocean Shores Beach, WA
Travelers and their furry friends can then swing south towards Ocean Shores Beach for a great coastal experience, This saltwater oasis is perfect for letting the pups run leash-free and treat the other dogs, that will likely be present, kindly.
This beach can be found on the Point Brown Peninsula. The peninsula divides the North Bay from the Pacific creating this magical dog-friendly location.
Travelers and their pups can also dig up razor clams, they just need to know where to look!
Nature lovers will have an easy time following the signage to well-marked natural landmarks and to native species. The relaxed leash laws in the area, as well as a few dog-friendly seafood locations, make this little stretch of land quite the location for traveling pups.
Travelers and dogs will absolutely not go wrong spending a bit of time here.
Day Three - Cannon Beach, OR
Perhaps it is the ever-present scent of Bunnies or Haystack Rock that was featured in the Goonies, regardless, Cannon Beach in Oregon is an excellent location to spend some time with the pup.
The city does see an influx of rabbits, but it's likely that your dog won’t interact with them at the beach. However, in the spirit of the Goonies, this is a great location to go hunting for some treasure and find a good time.
Leashes are not required for dogs visiting the beach, but it is strongly encouraged that only well-behaved dogs be allowed off-leash as there will likely be others visiting the beach with their furry friends.
A few dog-friendly locations to check out are the Surfsand Resort, The Ocean Lodge, and the Inn. They all celebrate pets and a quite welcoming to them. They are great locations for travelers to grab a treat for themselves and their pups.
There are even pet washes and towels available to visitors who want to help their pouches get some sand and saltwater out of their fur after a long day of fun.
- Surfsand Resort - Details
- The Ocean Lodge - Details
- The Inn - Details
- Cannon Beach Location: Cannon Beach, OR
Day Four - Manzanita Beach
For travelers who enjoy a quiet beach to spend some quality dog-friendly time, they should check out Manzanita Beach. With far fewer visitors and Cannon Beach, this is a nice change of pace, but still a great time. On the beach itself, dogs are allowed off-leash with the usual precautions asked of the dogs’ owners.
There are also a fantastic collection of local dog-friendly walking trails if travelers want to get away from the beach for some time.
Manzanita is also home to an annual dog festival. Money is raised for local animal rescues with events like the Chuckit toss, a fashion show, and a pet parade.
The Coast Cabins in Manzanita are also worth checking out. They were built by the founders of the city after they left and moved to Manzanita Beach.
The cabins bring a bit of cozy city comfort and artistic style. For those who want to spend the night in one, they’re available for rent.
- Manzanita Beach Location: 11 Manzanita Ave, Manzanita, OR 97130
Day Five - Cape Disappointment State Park
Cape Disappointment State Park may have the most pessimistic name of any American State Park, but that has more to do with a story from the park’s past full of adventure and treachery, not actually being a disappointment.
The details surrounding the park's name are part of the fun of visiting here.
The best place to catch more details about the park's past is to visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Travelers can even bring their pets into the center, assuming they asked permission first, to enjoy the history lesson too.
Other than history, travelers and their furry friends will have a variety of dog-friendly trails to adventure around and snag some photos.
One of the locations travelers will likely encounter is North Head Lighthouse. It still watches over the cove and guides sailors to this day.
- More info: Best Dog-Friendly Trails in WA