Dog-Friendly Oregon Coast: Part 2

This blog post is Part 2 of our Oregon Coast series. If you have not yet read it, considering starting with Part 1.

So, from Cape Kiwanda, we headed south to Newport, where we decided to rest for the night. We managed to score a dog-friendly, oceanfront hotel suite at the Hallmark Oceanfront Resort.

Talk about rolling out the red carpet for pooch pals! They gave us a ground-level suite with patio overlooking the ocean, and Briley scored a flying disk toy, travel water bottle, dog biscuits and a bed to boot.

Briley’s hotel swag at Hallmark Oceanfront Resort

And, as disappointed as we were that our camping plans had failed… believe me when I say I didn’t mind the in-room Jacuzzi spa and kitchenette! (We were even able to cook our camp meal after all.)

That evening after dinner, we huddled in a blanket to watch watch the sun set over the beach. The resort sits high atop a flowered hill, making for incredible beach and sunset views.

We really appreciated the dog walk area, too, which included helpful potty stations.

The next morning, we decided to go all in and order room service. The blueberry pancakes were to die for, and you know that Briley got a bite or two. (In my defense, she does have seriously adorable begging face skills.)

The beach and sunset view from Hallmark Oceanfront Resort in Newport.

Seal Rock State Recreation Site

From Newport, we headed 10 miles south to Seal Rock, a small seaside village along a 5-mile stretch of Oregon’s scenic Pacific Coast Highway. 

The viewing deck from atop the hill makes for sweeping panoramic vistas before a paved path leads down the rocks onto the beach.

The massive Seal Rock (photo at top of this blog page) juts out into the Pacific, covered in nesting shore birds who preened and sang as we made our way along the beach. While the beach is crowded in summer, the expansive stretch of sand offers plenty of personal space and our sometimes leash-reactive pup did great!

The water here was gorgeous, ranging from turquoise shimmers to deep blues and was, of course, ice cold. Briley chose to spend most of her time sniffing rocks and patrolling the seagulls.

Smelt Sands State Recreation Site

Another 12 miles southward brought us to Smelt Sands–the absolute gem of the weekend and now one of my favorite spots in Oregon.

One of the things I love most about the Oregon coast is how rugged and raw it is, and this historic area embodies those qualities at their best. Located in Yachats, Smelt Sands is a natural wonder–a beachless 1.5 mile roundtrip paved trail that meanders along large, moss-covered rocks and tidepools brimming with life.

Of course, we couldn’t stick to the sidewalk. We spent hours rock hopping, sunning and watching tremendous ocean waves slam against the rocks, producing breathtaking swells and sprays that dwarfed us by comparison.

This kind of violent beauty, however, comes with great risks; in 2011, two local teenagers were swept off a rock by a sneaker wave and died shortly thereafter. A memorial has since been crafted on the site in their honor, as a cautionary tale for visitors to the churning waters.

If you do decide to scramble the rocks with your pup pal, please be sure to stick to dry rocks more inland and steer clear of the rocks nearer the water. Never turn your back to the ocean–always keep an eye out. And be sure to keep your dog leashed, close to you and out of harm’s way. You can learn more about sneaker wave safety here.


Briley explores the tidepools under the mist of ocean spray at Smelt Rock.

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