Arriving in a new city often triggers a bit of shyness. Like our canine companions, we’ve learned to introduce ourselves by sniffing around the edges before diving in.

Take a look at the map and you’ll see Portland is a city of bridges. It’s also perfectly walkable and quite dog friendly – just the kind of place we enjoy exploring with Ty and Buster.

We started on the Central Eastside. Being east of the river let us get the lay of the land, and this industrial side of town has an appeal all it’s own.

Downtown Portland Map
Thank you for the image!

Cafes and coffee shops, all shiny and new, have sprung up amongst the long-standing factories and warehouses – and the views weren’t bad either!

City View - Portland, Oregon

Walking the Eastside Esplanade (the green strip on the map running along the east side of the river) allows for some great shots of the city, or just settle on a bench and watch the boats pass by. At lunch time it was bustling with walkers, runners and bikers – everyone out enjoying the sun on a gorgeous day. It’s just what we needed to get our feet beneath us before venturing across the Steel Bridge toward downtown.

Dog on Bike - Portland, Oregon

Mirroring the Esplanade, on the west side of the river is Waterfront Park, which acts as the city’s front yard. People were picnicking, strolling, and splashing – clearly reveling in summer. Even Buster was drawn in – Thundershirt and all!

Kids In Fountain - Portland, Oregon

Buster in Fountain - Portland, Oregon

The downtown neighborhoods each have their own feel, and walking from one to the next is an excellent way to spend the day. The Pearl District, formerly a rail yard, was our favorite, with it’s eclectic combination of architecture, window shopping opportunities, and huge off-leash area for the dogs to play. I’m sure our partiality has nothing to do with meeting another comical and energetic German Shepherd.

Pearl District - Portland, Oregon

Pearl District - Portland, Oregon

Pearl District - Portland, Oregon

The clean lines of the Pearl district give over to the laid-back, come-as-you-are vibe of Nob Hill. Charming Victorian homes in different stages of restoration and vintage clothing stores are the theme here.

Nob Hill - Portland, Oregon

Nob Hill - Portland, Oregon

In this part of town, do not miss Nature’s Pet Market – the pet supply store that saved our butts! (We cut it a little too close, and Buster and Ty would have gone hungry waiting for a shipment if they hadn’t stocked The Honest Kitchen dog food.)

In a fantastic coincidence, we realized we’d met the owners of the store a couple of weeks back in Florence! We happened to wander in as they were celebrating their second anniversary in this location. We got to say hello again, and also caught their pooch helping herself to the anniversary cake!

Nob Hill - Portland, Oregon

The downtown area, with it’s tree-lined streets and flowered open spaces, gives a distinctly different feel than the glass-and-steel ambiance of Chicago’s Loop or Center City Philadelphia. Unlike other cities we’ve visited, there is no palpable undercurrent of agitation – possibly due to the lack of cabs blasting their horns (most people use the free streetcar). Even the people seem more relaxed – less self-important hustle, more take life as it comes.

Pioneer Park - Portland, Oregon

Primed by this recent post on DogJaunt, we were looking forward to sampling some of the food carts that have taken Portland by storm. Lining entire city blocks, and making everything from dumplings to waffles, you could eat all day … and we did.

Food Trucks - Portland, Oregon

Buster and Ty couldn’t resist the photo op when they came upon a local celebrity – a beaver from Oregon State!

Buster and Ty - Portland, Oregon

As we were heading back across the river to the Winnebago we caught a glimpse of Mt. Hood – watching over The City of Roses from behind a building.
Mt. Hood - Portland, Oregon

One visit to Portland, and we’re totally in love with this city! If you’re planning to visit here, you’ll find a plethora of pet friendly hotels in Portland to choose from. Pack your walking shoes, and have a great time!

Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy:
Pet Friendly Hotels | Pet Friendly Destinations | Pet Friendly Activities

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  • As a property manager in the city of Portland this is illegal. You are not legally allowed to be charged a pet fee for an official sport animal. I’m pretty sure you’re either misinformed or being screwed by your property managers and I wish you the best.

  • David, I’m so sorry this has been your experience of Portland. At we focus on the ease of traveling to a city with pets – not living there permenantly, and I can certainly understand how your perspective would differ from ours. I hope that you’re able to find a more accommodating place for you and your dog to live and wish you all the best.

  • I see all these sites promoting Portland as a ” dog friendly city”. I seriously beg to differ. I’m a disabled, medically retired gentleman who lives in a apt. My dog is federally registered as a service/companion animal because of many validated documented medical conditions. I was charged a pet deposit which in this case is not to be done, my animal is not classified as a “pet”. But my landlord as well as many, if not all do not follow the ADA fair housing laws. I was going to file a complaint with the renters board, et all. I was informed, in no uncertain terms, that if i did this i would need to find another place to live. Physically I’m not able to make a move, afford that, (as im on soc sec) or locaye a nice apt as im in for the price here in Portland. The people with actual houses in thw neighborhood demand that dogs be walked in the street, NO WHERE close to their grass at all. (I always p/u after my dog no matter where we are). Restaurants, no matter where I go my dog is not welcome. This is worrisome as what am I to do with him in the summer, leave him in a hot car?? He is ALWAYS by my side and I’ve got nobody to watch him as I’m single and totally by myself. I’ve given up on this city, it’s lies, deceit in regards to being animal friendly, let alone being disabled friendly. I’m trying to make arrangements to move out of this state, find a place where my dog and I are welcome. I was to believe this was the place, but Portland has shown me the truth about itself, in every respect.