Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pet Friendly Portland

The past three weeks have felt increasingly crazy.  Wedding planning, house hunting, and general life make for a stressed out soul.  We did manage to fit a vacation in, cramming a West coast adventure into less than a week.  Our recent trip to Portland and Seattle fit the criteria of our "Cities of America Tour" and it was a great time to experience spring in the West.

First off, Portland is a supremely dog friendly city.  It was the first place I've been where a majority of lodging was advertising pet friendly.  The foo and I are super users of the website AirBnB for our vacations and most hosts had a house dog or were open to you bringing yours for the stay.  If flying wasn't so traumatic, we'd have loved to bring Harry with us!

The city itself is very walkable but if you're not into walking, Portland boasts one of the easiest public transit systems around.  They weren't advertised pet-friendly but there were certainly transit dog sightings on our short stay.  Portland is also integrated with public parks and surrounded by the ethereal view of Mt. Hood.  A stroll through Washington Park is perfectly ok to do with your dog beside you, and in May the rose gardens (which are huge and free by the way) are in bloom.  Forest Park is another free dog friendly adventure and a must see in the Western city.  

My compulsion to visit Portland was driven by the fact that the city is home to 53 individual brewers operating 73 breweries in the metro area alone.  I am a big fan of beer, and a big fan of dogs (obviously) and there's a brewery in Portland that combines both:  Lucky Lab Brewery.  While you taste all of their craft beers on tap, your dog can play outside on the canine patio with other brew loving pooches.
Photo courtesy Neighborhood Notes
One of the most memorable sights on our trip was the Columbia River Gorge.  That area of Portland itself is home to 90+ waterfalls, 77 of which are on Oregon's coast, the rest on Washington.  Of these the biggest one of all is famous Multnomah Falls, the third highest year round waterfall in the world at a drop of 627 feet.  The Gorge is surrounded by a public "highway" which feels more like a country road.  You can spend the day biking, hiking, or driving from waterfall to waterfall and of course, you're welcome to bring your dog.   

All in all, if you're thinking of vacationing with your pet via a road trip, Portland is a great place to spend a few days!


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