Portland Real Estate Fun Tips: The McDonald Group Dog-Friendly Portland Guide

Portland Real EstateOne of our favorite things about Portland is how dog-friendly the whole city seems to be. Portland has been voted the most dog-friendly city in America by DogTown USA multiple times, and it’s no wonder. Many parks, hotels, coffee shops, and even some stores are happy to welcome your four-legged friend, and a lot of Portland businesses have canine mascots. One of our local vintage shops, White Rabbit vintage off of SE Belmont on 29th Avenue is home to a very friendly and often sleepy black lab, and one of our local radio stations, KINK.fm, has a studio dog named Scouty that can occasionally be heard barking On Air. Organized events include the cult-classic Doggie Dash, with 2,000 dogs a year participating in this fun run. The Pug Crawl fundraiser for the Oregon Humane Society features a costume contest, parade, Pug kissing booth, retailers and, of course, pub fare. Oregon’s passion for dogs also means that it possesses some of the toughest anti-cruelty laws in the nation, and Portland employs two full-time humane investigators with full police authority. Portland even hosts Dog Bakeries – that’s right, restaurants and bakeries cooking up treats for your dog – there are more than 37 Dog Bakeries in the Portland-metro area! Here at the McDonald Group Real Estate offices, we adore dogs, and thought we would share some of the best dog- friendly places in Portland, whether you’re visiting or thinking of buying a home in Portland.

Best Dog-Friendly Parks in Portland

- Reed College Canyon – This little-known gem in the Woodstock/Eastmoreland neighborhood is the perfect spot for nature-loving dog owners. While dogs must remain on-leash, they are more than welcome on this dog-loving campus, including the college’s pristine nature reserve, the Reed Canyon. This 28-acre watershed in the heart of the campus includes the headwaters of Crystal Springs Creek, a tributary of the Johnson Creek Watershed, and Reed Lake, which has been deemed the oldest naturally occurring lake in Portland. Enjoy sights of Great Blue Herons, or try to catch a glimpse of mature coho salmon in the creek waters, some of the first Salmon to make it up the Johnson Creek tributary in over ten years. The path around the canyon winds through a century-old orchard, past giant uprooted trees, and features picturesque benches with glorious views of the lake. Here is a map of the Reed College Canyon for interested walkers.

- Forest Park – Forest Park, all 5,000 acres of wooded and trail-laden bliss, is one giant dog paradise. Stretching for more than 8 miles on hillsides overlooking the Willamette River, it is one of the country’s largest urban forest reserves, where more than 112 bird species and 62 mammal species frequent the park’s wide variety of trees and shade-loving plants. The Park offers enjoyment to hikers, bicyclists, runner, and others who just enoy being outdoors in a forest atmosphere. The 30+ mile long Wildwood Trail (a National Recreational Trail) traverses the Park from the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Hoyt Arboretum to Newberry Road.

- Laurelhurst Park – Laurelhurst Park is a large shared park in SE Portland, and one of the more popular ones on the east side. Laurelhurst is the place to see and be seen with your pooch – everyone from skinny-jeaned hipsters to lace-wearing grandmas happily bring their dogs out to frolic, play Frisbee, and socialize with other neighborhood pups. The off-leash area is at the southern end of the park, adjacent to the pond. The area is a large, open grassy area surrounded by large trees. There are several picnic tables in the area, and water fountains nearby.

- Other Off-Leash Parks in Portland – Portland has a number of parks with unfenced off-leash dog areas. The parks are Alberta Park (NE 22 and Killingsworth), Cathedral Park (N. Edison and Pittsburg), Fernhill Park (NE 37 and Ainsworth), Lents Park (SE 92 and Holgate), Mt Tabor Park (SE Lincoln – east of SE 64), Portland International Raceway (N. Denver and Victory Blvd), Williamette Park (SW Macadam and Nebraska) and Wilshire Park (NE 33 and Skidmore).

Best Dog Friendly Restaurants and Bars in Portland

Don’t want to leave your pets at home while you dine out? Don’t worry! Portland’s got lots of pet-friendly dining spots, cafes, and coffee shops with outdoor dining so you can feed your four-legged friend table scraps under your chair. Several even have doggy menus!

Lucky Labrador Brew Pub – 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd.- This local brewery is famous for bringing together dog lovers and their pooches – having the dogs running around in the summer while drinking fantastic beer has to be experienced to be believed. Founded in October, 1994, the Lab produces some of the tastiest brews in the northwest, all with a doggy theme. Outside on the back covered patio is a great place to relax and meet friends or hang out with your canine.

Detour Cafe – 3035 SE Division St. – The perfect Portland breakfast/lunch cafe with pleasant, dog-friendly outdoor patio. Somehow Detour manages to avoid the crazy-making lines typical of other brunch spots in Portland. We’ve never had a hard time getting a table, and the food is beyond fantastic. In the August 2010 issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray, Portland’s Detour Cafe was chosen as having one of the four best breakfast sandwiches in the nation. The article lauds Detour’s “Don Egg Sandwich,” which was named after the “don of Division Street,” a musician and former employee. The $8.50 sandwich is made with potato focaccia bread that’s stuffed with Italian pork sausage, avocado, tomatoes, basil and two scrambled eggs that have been baked with portobello mushrooms, roasted onions and feta cheese.

Cooper’s Coffee – 6049 SE Stark St. – This is a local neighborhood spot with a nice staff, great outside seating and a good location. They also always have 3-4 beers on tap and very reasonable prices. Their outside patio gets a ton of sun at just the right times, and they are very dog friendly. If you order anything they’ll give your dog a free biscuit. With a yellow lab on their sign, it’s apparent that the fine folks at Coopers are dog people. The walls are plastered with pictures of adorable neighborhood dogs, so its an idea place to walk your dog in the morning.

Tin Shed Garden Cafe – 1438 NE Alberta St. – Dogs are allowed both indoors and out, and there are dog-specific menu items. On the spot’s (often long) sign up sheet, you have to account for how many canines are in your party when you put your name on the waiting list.

Best Dog Friendly Hotels in Portland

Ace Hotel – 1022 SW Stark St.  Portland, OR 97205 Pet Policy: No breed, size, max # restrictions. Pet Fee: No Fee! The Ace Hotel in Downtown Portland offers 79 total guests units, and these units come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For travelers on a tight budget, one of the basic rooms that shares a bathroom with two or three other rooms might be the way to go, while those with more to spend might prefer a standard room with a bathroom or one of the deluxe rooms. All of the rooms, regardless of price, feature artsy decor with a funky edge, not to mention flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and high-quality bedding. In the larger and more expensive rooms, a clawfoot tub and a turntable for playing vinyl records often figure among the added perks.

Hotel Monaco – 506 SW Washington St – One of the most pet-friendly hotels we’ve ever seen. There is no additional charge for pets, there are no size, weight, or breed restrictions, no limit on the number of pets allowed, and you don’t have to pay a deposit. They have a pet ambassador, Timmy the yellow lab, who can be found lounging in his over-stuffed dog bed in the lobby or wagging his tail happily as he welcomes your pet during check-in. Pet-friendly amenities include a bowl with mat and a dog bed for use during your stay, a bottle of spring water and treats, walking services by The Tails of Two Cities, a pet masseuse from Posh Pooch Massage, and even a pet psychic! You can also get a complimentary goldfish upon request, or purchase a special Portland Unleashed Pet Package, complete with

  • Copy of ‘Dog Lover’s Companion to the Northwest’ book (in room, for use during your stay)
  • A doggie makeover at LexiDog (near hotel)
  • Transfer on the Portland Lite Rail
  • Trail mix kit (for humans and pets alike)
  • Hiking map of Forest Park
  • Urban map of pet-friendly breweries and restaurants in the Portland area
  • Oregon micro-brew for you (and doggie beer for your pooch)
  • Pet leash for your pooch

Many rental homes and apartments in Portland have breed and size restrictions, so buying a house in Portland is often the smartest choice for true dog lovers, especially lovers of bigger breeds. Get in touch with us to find the perfect dog-friendly home in Portland, whether you’re looking for lots of land, a fenced backyard, close proximity to a dog park, or whatever you and your dog desire. We are more than happy to share our tips for living a dog-friendly life in the best city in America. Contact us with any questions today!


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