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The Oregon coastline—all 363 miles of it—is completely open and accessible to the public, thus it’s nickname the “People’s Coast.” Governor Tom McCall spearheaded the legendary Oregon Beach Bill in 1967, insuring everyone would have free access to the shore, from one end of the state to the other.
And, with a lovely collection of small towns scattered down the coastline, pets welcome on all beaches (unless otherwise posted), many establishments being pet friendly, the most difficult part of planning an Oregon getaway is deciding where to go!
To help make your planning easier, we’ve done some paws-on-the-ground research at three of our favorite pet-friendly spots along the coast.
Accessible in less than two hours from Portland, Manzanita is one of the more popular destinations on the Oregon Coast, due to its proximity and beauty. Yet it’s still less crowded than nearby Cannon Beach and Seaside.
There are outdoor activities galore, from hiking, surfing, and paddling to strolling the seven miles of pet-friendly beach. Time your visit during whale watching season and hike to the top of Neahkahnie Mountain for a chance to spot gray whales breaching. Just don’t forget the binoculars!
Head just down the road from town to Oswald West State Park, named for the man who spurred the idea of the People’s Coast. This is a popular spot for surfers, and the cove is also ideal for a picnic while you enjoy the sun and watch others catch some waves.
Or, if want to experience the water, but the cold temperatures of the Pacific make you think twice, check out SUP Manzanita for paddleboard lessons or a tour of the calmer waters of the Nehalem River Valley. Be sure to bring a life jacket for your pup!
Stop by the Winery at Manzanita to sip on small-batch produced wines while your pup plays with Pinot, the owner’s friendly black lab. The winery serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well, or try the Sand Dune Pub, serving a variety of sandwiches, burgers, and local seafood dishes on the pet-friendly patio.
Yachats (pronounced “yah-hots”) is the sort of town where every head in the local bar turns toward the door when an out-of-towner walks in. With a population of just over 600, this darling village packs plenty of entertainment into its tiny size. From exploring tide pools to hiking to the highest point on the Oregon Coast and staring into hypnotic ocean swells slamming into the volcanic rocks, Yachats is the perfect choice for a relaxing beach excursion.
For great hiking options, drive two miles down the road to the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area and pick up a $5 day use pass or pull out your Northwest Forest Pass. Explore the 6.5 miles of trails that lead to the Cape Perpetua stone shelter, constructed in the 1930s, and perched 800 feet above the raging water.
Back at the visitor’s center, be sure to catch the mesmerizing shows put on by the Pacific at Devil’s Churn, Thor’s Well, and the Spouting Horn at Cook’s Chasm. For a more low-key walk, try the 804 trail that connects seven miles of beach between Yachats and Waldport.
Yachats has some tasty dining spots to whet your appetite. Start the day by grabbing a coffee and a pastry at the Green Salmon, one of the best little cafés on the entire Oregon Coast. All of their teas and coffee are fair trade and organic, featuring some seriously creative brews like the Kashmir Express flavored with cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg.
This is Oregon, so of course there is a local brewery. Throw down a pint (or two) at Yachats Brewing, a sustainable brewery that celebrates the beauty and culture of Yachats and welcome pets on the outdoor patio.
Several camping options are available in the area, though none directly in town. Camping is available at Cape Perpetua for close access to trails. If you want to stay right in the center of activity, consider The Fireside, which is located on the 804 trail.
Hiking? Check. Iconic haystack rock perfect for a sunset Instagram photo of your dog? Of course. Dog-friendly brewery pouring delicious pints? Absolutely. Giant sand dune to hike up and sprint down? Most definitely.
Pacific City, though popular, still retains its peaceful atmosphere. If you enjoy cycling along idyllic country roads bring your bike (and dog trailer!) and take a cruise along the Three Capes Scenic route. The loop meanders along the north Oregon coast, continues past Cape Lookout and Cape Meares State Parks, and passes through several small coastal towns.
Hike or run along the beach through Cape Kiwanda Natural Area and Bob Straub State Park to the tip of Nestucca Spit. Stop to inspect some tide pools or peer into the sea in search of the dory boats that bring in the catch of the day. Finish strong and hike to the top of the Cape Kiwanda sand dune for an expansive view of the village and the coastline. Then race your dog to the bottom for a real thrill!
Quench your appetite and thirst at Pelican Brewing, one of the most iconic breweries in Oregon, where you can sit outside with your pup and enjoy the views of haystack rock and the Pacific Ocean. Go during an off-time, as waits for a table can be extensive during high season. If you like Mexican, don’t miss Ben & Jeff’s, where tacos and burritos can be enjoyed on the patio or taken to go and savored on the beach.
Plenty of camping options exist in Pacific City, including Bob Straub State Park and Cape Kiwanda Natural Area. Otherwise opt for the Surf & Sand Inn, an affordable accommodation located within walking distance to the beach, dining, and the Nestucca River.
Now that you have a few ideas of how to spend a few pet-friendly days on the Oregon Coast, get out your calendar and pick a time to visit! Tip: If you can, try and schedule your vacation during the middle of the week in the summer, or in September when the crowds thin out.