Set in the high desert, just a three-hour drive from Portland, this 3-day itinerary in pet-friendly Bend, Oregon will delight any pet traveler!
Known as the state’s outdoor recreation playground, it’s a perfect weekend getaway from the city, or a great stop if you’re planning a road trip through Oregon.
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More importantly for us dog folk, Bend was named the most dog-friendly city by DogTown USA in 2012! You and your pup can count on loads of fun at the many restaurants, breweries, trails, off-leash areas, and other recreational activities around town. And the selection of hotels in pet-friendly Bend doesn’t disappoint!
Here’s how we would spend three pet-friendly days in Bend:
Day 1: City Living
Start your day off right with a healthy meal from Mother’s Juice Café, which serves a variety of breakfast sandwiches and bowls, like the chai oatmeal or Sambazon Bowl, loaded with fruits and superfoods.
Once your belly is full, head to Tumalo Creek & Canoe to rent a paddle board and cruise down the Deschutes River while your dog (hopefully!) settles peacefully at the nose of your board. The river cuts right through the city and the morning hours are peaceful and not too hot.
Pro Tip: Just like you, precautions need to be taken to keep your pet safe on the water. Make sure you have a high quality life jacket for dogs.
After returning your board, it’s only fair that your pup gets to run around and play. Head to one of the many off leash hiking areas in the city, like Bob Wenger Memorial Dog Park. This 18.8-acre fenced park features fire hydrant fountains for summer fun. The park also features a small dog area for pups weighing less than 25 pounds.
For lunch, try Kebaba, which serves Middle Eastern food suitable for all diets. [Note: Kebaba is now closed.] The patio is quiet and lovely with plants and trees providing shade in the summer. Be sure to sample whatever flavor of local kombucha they have on tap!
Leave room in your belly, because next it’s time to partake in Bend’s favorite activity: the pub crawl. Or as we’ll refer to it here, the pup crawl! Bend has more breweries per capita than any other city in Oregon. And there are plenty of top-notch, dog-friendly breweries to visit!
Start your journey at Good Life Brewing Company. Their large, fenced “biergarten” (open June through October) features lawn games, cozy Adirondack chairs, and live music. The brewery is best known for their Sweet As! Pacific Ale, but their whole line up is worth sampling.
Next, make your way to to Crux Fermentation Project where you can enjoy “Sundowner Hour” and a pub picnic while watching the sun set over the mountains. The original idea for the large grassy area was to create an off-leash park attached to the brewery, but they couldn’t find an insurance company to underwrite the plan. Still, dogs are more than welcome to join their humans and bask in the warm sun on the grass.
Last stop on this pup crawl is Boneyard Beer Pub, makers of the insanely delicious RPM IPA, but more importantly, of Dawg Grog. Made from spent grain from the brewery, vegetarian K9 glucosamine, and a vegan trace mineral supplement, at this stop your dog can join you for a pint!
Remember our first visit to pet-friendly Bend, Oregon? We found plenty to do with the dogs on that trip, too!
Day 2 – Hiking Paulina Lake
Fill up at A Broken Angel food cart before heading out on the day’s hike. Chef Richard Hull serves vegan savory comfort food, and don’t you let the vegan label turn you off! They whip up some seriously amazing dishes like the Mt. Bachelor Hash and the more simple biscuits and wild mushroom gravy. You can’t go wrong.
Once you’ve taken on some calories and probably won’t be too hungry for a while, it’s time to head out for a hike. Paulina Lake sits in the caldera of Newbury Volcano, a 45-minute drive from Bend, and the turquoise color of the water will remind you of the Caribbean.
Hike the full 7.8-mile pet-friendly trail around the lake for a good workout and lovely views. If you’re there during cooler weather, consider a visit to the hot springs, known to be one of the most relaxing and peaceful in the northwest. There are plenty of places for your pup to stop and play in the water during the hike.
Back in Bend, hit up On Tap Bend where you can choose from over 30 craft beers and partake from a selection of six food trucks. The outdoor seating area features an enclosed and covered patio with heaters, bar seating, two large fire pits, and a lawn to enjoy.
Day 3 – Smith Rock State Park
Smith Rock State Park is today’s destination. Best known for its ideal rock climbing, Smith Rock has plenty of adventures for everyone. From hiking, to trail running, and mountain biking, there is no shortage of fun and amazing views.
Smith Rock State Park
To escape the crowds and watch the rock climbers scale the walls, try the pet-friendly 3.7-mile Reverse Misery Ridge Loop. If you want to see the whole park, take your dog on the 7.3-mile Summit Loop that offers fantastic views of the park.
The temperatures can be scorching here in the summer, so be sure to bring plenty of water for both you and your pup.
When you’re finished exploring Smith Rock, it’s a 2.5 hour drive back to Portland.
This just covers a short snippet of all the fun activities in pet-friendly Bend, Oregon. There are countless hikes in the surrounding area and all sorts of adventures to be had all year round. We hope you enjoy your visit!
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