Liam the pug turned 9 over the weekend, and this year hasn't been the best dog year he's ever had. He developed a pretty nasty digestive bug due to foster kittens, he had a dental cleaning with multiple extractions and he hurt his back jumping on to a chair. I think we are all ready for this year of his to be over. And we all want his next year to be a whole lot better.
I couldn't think of a better way to push the reset button than by taking little Liam and Sinead to one of their favorite places on Earth: Newport, Oregon. Have you been there with your dogs? No? Here's why you should go, and what you should do when you're there.
Newport is about 2 hours away from Salem by car, which makes its location incredibly convenient for those of us who live in the Willamette Valley. But, it seems that many people pass Newport by when they're thinking of places to go for a day or weekend trip. That means the beaches are remarkably empty. I don't have to worry about Liam and Sinead being bowled over by off-leash dogs at this beach. We saw few other dogs at all.
The sand in Newport is also hard-packed and firm, which makes it very easy to walk on, even for long distances. And blowing sand isn't much of a problem. Even after a pretty long walk, Liam had very little sand on his face or in his eyes.
If walking on the beach isn't your thing, you can take a little day trip up to the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. There's a lighthouse here to explore, and plenty of trails that take you up and down through wildflower fields and man-made jetty areas. Dogs are allowed on all the trails, but they must be on leashes. And dogs are not allowed to splash through the jetty water, due to protected species.
Liam and Sinead walked for several miles with me through this area, and they were fascinated by the birds flying overhead and the California sea lions dozing below. I brought the binoculars for closer looks at detail, but the dogs were very content to just walk and sniff and gaze. We had a great time here.
A long walk tends to make one hungry and thirsty, and when I saw Nana's Irish Pub, I just knew Liam and Sinead and I had to stop. This pub has a great deal of food humans would like, and they allow well-behaved dogs sitting on leashes to stay on the patio with their people. They brought water to the dogs, and every person who came to serve the table gave the dogs a little pat. They really enjoyed this little respite from walking, and I enjoyed the food quite a bit.
Nana's Pub is just a few blocks away from the hotel we stay in while we're in Newport: the Inn at Nye Beach. This hotel is wonderfully dog friendly. The team provides a little bag of dog snacks when you check in, and the dogs are allowed free reign of the large hotel rooms, as long as they don't bark. Every room has a big balcony they dogs enjoyed, and there's a fireplace in most rooms that makes for cozy evenings. Liam and Sinead settle right down in these rooms, and we always enjoy the friendly staff and breathtaking views.
The Inn also has private access to the beach, but that access is via a set of stairs that is quite long and quite steep. After Liam's back injury, we didn't think he could manage those stairs without being carried. But I can imagine that a healthy dog might love the stairs. And using the stairs might wear a dog out, too.
Newport is also home to several brew pubs operated by Rogue Ales and Spirits. We went to the Public House in the old part of Newport, where we had a cozy and covered seat outside with prompt service for dogs and humans. Some of these pubs have menus made just for dogs, but we didn't see that in this outpost. The dogs settled for sips of water and bites of fries instead (and I don't think they minded that substitution one bit).
We walked around the historic bayfront for a bit, stopping for snacks and bites and photos along the way. Again, there were very few dogs here but several dog lovers. So Liam and Sinead got a lot of attention, which they always enjoy.
All in all, this was a great trip. And hubby and I are both planning to return just as soon as we can. We love finding spots the dogs AND the humans love, and there's a lot of that to love in Newport.
Have you ever been there? Drop me a note and tell me about it! Love to hear about your adventures.