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Oysterville, WA

Featured Article

Road Trip to the Coast

The essential guide to taking your dog to the beach

Article by Kimber Patterson

Photography by Ken Heyman + Poppy Hildebrandt + Provided

Originally published in Meridian Lifestyle

When I asked my husband what he wanted for his birthday he replied, “I want to see the ocean.” Our dog Joey wagged his tail in agreement, so with Boise in our rearview mirror, we all drove west on I-84 toward the cool coasts of Oregon and Washington. 

Day one: Pendleton, Oregon may be known for its iconic rodeo, wool blankets, and whisky, but this western town halfway between Boise and Portland has plenty of cred beyond its pioneer beginnings. MotoLodge, a fully renovated mid-century motor lodge has modern rooms and a pet-washing station. Their expert staff recommended the dog-friendly Oregon Grain Growers Distillery for dinner. This farmer-owned distillery offers 13 varieties of house made spirits, and wows with remarkable food. While shopping in the Historic District, we discovered New York Clothier, a haberdashery specializing in hand-crafted shirts that are both traditional and updated for the modern man. Later we indulged in whisky bonbons from Alexander’s Artisan Chocolates. (Note to self: Come back to Pendleton when we can stay longer.)

Day two: Astoria, Oregon holds plenty of activity for two and four-legged adventurers. After strolling through downtown, Joey slept in front of the fireplace while we enjoyed the spectacular views from our comfy bed at the Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa. Everything was included to make Joey’s stay wonderful—a luxurious Pendleton bed, delicious treats, and a stylish bandana to show off his good looks. 

Days three through five: Just 30 minutes north of Astoria sits Long Beach, Washington and the Inn at Discovery Coast, a sanctuary by the sea designed for rejuvenation. The cozy and beautiful room included a sumptuous bathtub and the sound of crashing waves. A short trail led us to the 28-mile-long sandy beach where Joey ran with gleeful abandon, and his joy was contagious. We hiked the dog-friendly trails at Cape Disappointment State Park; explored the Historic District of Oysterville; walked along the shore as often as possible; and followed Joey’s good sense to indulge in daytime naps. Next door, the Pickled Fish Restaurant has views, an inspired menu and a daily Cocktail for a Cause benefitting a local organization. After only a couple of days, we felt like locals ourselves.

Days five through seven: 

Ninety minutes north of Long Beach sits the historic Tokeland Hotel, the oldest hotel in the state of Washington. Owner Heather L. Earnhardt, Seattle chef and author of Big Food, Big Love, has created a haven for travelers with warmth, fine dining, and restful lodging augmented by diverse art and entertainment. The hotel’s restaurant, The Wandering Goose, offers food grown from the farm on the premises. The entire property feels like a porthole to a magical time and place; one connected to history, Southern hospitality, and even the ghosts who wander the halls. There is plenty to do in Tokeland, including biking, hiking, fishing, crabbing, surfing, kayaking, beach combing, swimming, bird watching, and kiting, but it’s hard to beat playing board games, reading, eating, drinking, and soaking up the vibe of this one-of-a-kind hotel.  

The journey home finally got underway when I suggested that we stay in Pendleton on the way back to buy a handmade shirt. Once again, Joey wagged in agreement.     

PULL QUOTE PAGE 2:  We hiked the dog-friendly trails at Cape Disappointment State Park, walked along the shore as often as possible, and followed Joey’s good sense to indulge in daytime naps.

Where to Stay, Eat & Shop





Tips for Traveling with a Dog

1. Pack more food and medication than you need to guard against unforeseen circumstances or delays. Include water, bowls, leash and harness, bed, carrier, a veterinary first aid kit, doggy bags, unscented shampoo, towel, and favorite treats and toys. Be sure tags are current with easy-to-read names and phone numbers, and vaccinations.

2. Frequent breaks help drivers stay alert and gives everyone a chance to stretch their legs. Many dogs find travel stressful. CBD soft chews such as bacon-flavored SurityPro Calm Soft Chews, are formulated to help a dog’s ability to cope.

3. Losing a pet is devastating, particularly in an unfamiliar location. Microchipping is easy and safe, and can help reunite pets and families quickly.

4.  Wherever you travel, make note of the closest 24-hour emergency vet and store their number.  Every minute counts in an emergency, and knowing exactly who to call and where to go can save a pet's life.  

5.  Be extra kind to hotels, restaurants, parks, and other facilities who allow dogs. Clean up, have good manners, and leave a good review if you and your dog enjoyed themselves. Source: StatePoint 

  • Inn at Discovery Coast
  • Long Beach, WA
  • Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa
  • Long Beach, WA
  • Ollie at the Tokeland Hotel, Tokeland, WA
  • Tokeland Hotel
  • Tokeland Hotel
  • Tokeland Hotel
  • Oysterville, WA

Businesses featured in this article