If you’re anything like me, no vacation is complete without our dogs. They’re members of our family and we take delight in seeing them out and about, traveling with us. If you think taking your dog along for the ride makes for a boring time with low-grade accommodations, think again! These are the top seven places that welcome your pup and provide top-notch fun, rest and relaxation.
1. Wanderlust in the wilderness
Remotely located in the Wallowa Mountains of Eastern Oregon, the Minam River Lodge welcomes dogs with a canister of high-quality dog food, pet bowls and a comfy pet bed in luxury cabins dotting the landscape. There are many trails to hike and outdoor activities to keep both canines and humans occupied. As there’s no access to Wi-Fi or technology and no in-room televisions, this is an opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with nature and the beautiful animals that reside in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.
Foodies will enjoy meals prepared by chef Sean, who has worked at Jean Georges New York and served as sous chef for James Beard Award winner Vitaly Paley in Portland. Dinners are a special occasion with guests in deep conversation with each other and music in the background as the sun sets on another day. To get to the lodge, guests can opt to hike 8.5 miles in with Fido, charter a plane or ride in on horseback.
2. Off the beaten path (Bingen, WA)
The Society Hotel Bingen in Washington state offers visitors a truly off-the-beaten-path experience for dog owners and non-dog owners alike, appealing to solo travelers, couples and families. Nestled within the Pacific Northwest’s stunning Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, the renovated Bingen Schoolhouse was originally constructed 1908 and then rebuilt in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps in an effort to maintain its historical preservation.
The Society Hotel Bingen’s cabins are great for families and couples who might want to prepare their own meals while traveling, with a refrigerator and hot plate in each space. They also offer budget-friendly hostel accommodations in the main schoolhouse building. The Spa & Bathhouse features a saltwater soaking pool, sauna, hot tub and cold plunge, as well as massage rooms and a Spa Cafe. The open space brings renewal and relaxation for active travelers.
Head over to Ferment Brewing Company in Hood River for a lunch of hearty burgers, fries and kombucha, which is the modern brewery’s specialty. Conceived out of a passion for fermentation, the restaurant offers beers and kombuchas using locally foraged ingredients whenever possible. Well-behaved dogs are allowed in their open dining area overlooking the Columbia River.
3. Base camp in Bend
In 2020, Bend, Oregon, was named one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. Not only does Bend offer a plethora of outdoor pursuits, but it’s also highly dog friendly. Store owners routinely leave out water bowls for passing dogs.
Stay at Wall Street Suites, a luxury boutique motel, which is conveniently located near downtown, within walking distance to restaurants, parks and much more. Offering 17 tastefully decorated and roomy units, most with their own kitchenette, the hotel also has complimentary cruiser bikes for guests to use along with an on-site dog park for convenience and socialization. There’s a fire pit in the common area for guests to use along with several dining tables and chairs to sit and enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee. In the winter, Wall Street offers complimentary snowshoes along with free cross-country ski rentals at Pine Mountain Sports.
Stop by the Bendy Dog for dog treats, leashes, dog food and more. Store associates are eager to learn more about your best friend and are always ready with treats in hand.
4. Stay at SCP and Do Good
SCP Hotels offer something new to visitors. Not only are all SCP hotels dog friendly, they pride themselves on what SCP stands for – Soul Community Planet, with the core values focused on wellness, kindness and sustainability.
With five locations (Redmond, Oregon; Gleneden Beach, Oregon; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Hilo, Hawaii, and Depoe Bay, Oregon), for each stay, SCP plants a tree in a deforested area through their partnership with One Tree Planted. Some locations feature Peaceful Rooms, which offer a space free of technological distractions such as TVs and clocks to enhance a mindful experience.
If you’re staying at the SCP Redmond location, be sure to book reservations for their Rooftop Gardens. The cozy bar offers local tapas plates along with hand-crafted cocktails, all while enjoying sweeping views of the Cascade Range. Just across the way is General Duffy’s Watering Hole, a collection of the best food trucks to satisfy any appetite. On many a summer night, a fun event or concert is happening, so make sure to stop by and bring your best friend along – dogs are welcome!
5. Largest Pet-Friendly Chain Hotel
Best Western has over 1,600 hotels across the U.S. and Canada that are pet friendly. Not only is the hotel chain welcoming to Fido, they are also family-friendly, offering pools to keep kids active and engaged. Best Western Plus in Hood River is situated right on the Columbia River shoreline, offering accommodations with scenic river views, water access and a private beach. Don’t miss dinner at the hotel’s popular restaurant, Riverside, offering spectacular views as you wine and dine. After dinner, make sure to take your pup along the riverfront for a leisurely walk.
6. The sophisticated rover
If you are thinking about an exotic location, head to Cabo San Lucas. Pamper your dog at Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, with operations spanning five continents. Nobu, a 200-room property, features contemporary Japanese minimalism with locally sourced natural, Mexican materials and finishes. Recently opened in 2019 right before the pandemic hit, this luxury resort sits on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula. There are no weight restrictions on your dog, and included in the $150 pet fee, the hotel provides 2 pet bowls, some treats and a pet Do Not Disturb sign.
For pup parents who are fitness enthusiasts, the hotel offers outdoor yoga next to the beach while enjoying gorgeous morning views. Book a relaxing massage at Esencia, the hotel’s on-site lavish spa that offers a full range of treatments to stimulate the mind and body.
7. Wild West
Take Fido to Sisters, Oregon, which is named after three peaks that overlook the town. Preserved as a charming 1880s town from the Old West, there’s much to do for both canine and humans alike. While there are many places to set up camp, you’d be remiss not to stay at Five Pine Lodge, which offers comfortable cabins that have fireplaces and soaking tubs. The hotel has a swimming pool, spa and mountain bikes to borrow for exploring.
Access to hiking is minutes out your front door to Peterson Ridge Trail which is over 20 miles long. Nearby Suttle Lake offers fishing and of course there are over 800 acres of skiing at Hoodoo Ski Area in the winter months. A stroll through downtown will reveal many artist galleries, specialty boutiques and farm-to-table dining.