Portland loves its four-legged residents and visitors alike. In fact, there’s even a list of the types dog owners in PDX. Dogs and their humans, Portlandia denizens or not, listen to the mountainous landscape’s call for running and jumping and fetching (yes, even in the misty winter wonderland that is December). Grab the leash, a warm cup of Stumptown, and bundle up because Portland is a west coast must for a winter escape—rain or shine, there’s plenty to explore. With 33 dog parks, countless dog friendly restaurants, and pup-loving pubs, there’s a a little something for everyone.
For optimum comfort during the cold months, book a stay at one of these dog-loving accommodations—all of which offer dog beds (so Fido doesn’t hog your bed).
- Red Lion: Close to downtown and shopping with great views from the balcony, Red Lion welcomes up to three pets for an extra $15 per stay. Maybe Fido can bring friends? There’s a Red Lion near the airport, but we recommend staying at the Jantzen Beach location.
- Ace Hotel: Your dog is welcome to enjoy a stay by your side at this trendy, modern downtown PDX hotel Complete with an art gallery and coffee shop, this place screams Portland. Better yet, it’s only a half mile from the Pearl District, where you and the pooch can dine and window shop. The fee is $25 per night for dogs under 25 lbs. If you have a “fluffy” husky, just call ahead to be accommodated.
- River Place: This hotel is right on the Willamette River with elegant rooms, and no weight restrictions or fees for four-legged guests. A Kimpton hotel, RiverPlace delivers—reception will watch your pup if you want a night out on the town. In the morning, take Fido for a walk along the river or the nearby trails (weather permitting). For a more upscale Kimpton hotel experience, try Monaco downtown—their house dog Jack will welcome you and your four-legged friend. The staff will continue to spread the love with complimentary dog walks, feedings, and play dates.
Hotels not your style? Check out our Portland Airbnb recommendation.
Often restricted to patios when pooch is in tow, these haunts serve as warm winter hideaways between fetch and sightseeing.
- Lucky Lab Brewing Co.: Thirsty after a morning hike? Cross the river from downtown and you’ll find Super Dog IPA and a whole lot of dogs roaming this brewhouse. Pick your poison from the chalkboard, grab a game from the stockpile, and warm up with hops and rambunctious patrons (both two and four-legged). Grab a snack and drink here, but save room for more delicious grub below.
- Tin Shed: We’ve raved about this place before, and for good reason—locally sourced, delicious piping hot coffee, fresh brunch fare, and free doggy dining on Tuesdays under the covered patio. Order up any entree, and the pooch gets free-range chicken or beef with a peanut butter ice cream dessert. Not visiting on a Tuesday? Still worth it. Snag a doggie bandana souvenir on your way out, too—100% of proceeds go to a local dog-loving non-profit.
- Teote: Smoky pollo, arepas, and pork belly next to a fire, surrounded by colorful Latin American decor? This lively scenario is the perfect cure to any winter blues. The upstairs patio is covered and thoroughly heated, and the patrons love the spice and service, both generous. Plant lovers, chins up—there are plenty of vegan options for you too. And don’t forget: you can order a tasty margarita (even in December) on account of the cozy heaters.
- Prost: Maybe a little European cuisine to fuel your Portlandia walks? Stop in for a pretzel sandwich, a brat, and a boot (yes, the German kind, but no, not to finish by yourself). Grab a seat at one of the communal tables on the heated patio, where you can catch up with old friends and make news ones…best friend by your side, of course. If a sausage isn’t pleasing the pooch’s palette, you’re welcome to grab food cart fare and bring it in to pair with your brew.
The bitter cold will never keep your dog’s fun-loving spirit at bay, but these activities are especially sure to make his ears perk.
Mt. Tabor Park, Gabriel Dog Park, or any dog park: Portland has more off-leash dog parks than you can fit into one trip—but they’re all awesome, so you really can’t go wrong. For winter wanderers, try impeccably maintained Mt. Tabor, an extinct volcano with steep inclines for the maximum workout, plus beautiful views. Gabriel, with views of its own, is ideal in the winter because its expansive space remains mud-free. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but totally worth it.
Farmer’s Market: For eight weeks of winter, the downtown farmers market offering fresh produce, samples, warm coffee, and excellent people watching. It’s worth a pass through, especially if you opt to stay at an Airbnb and do some cooking of your own.
The Grotto: This is the place to go for the ultimate Portland escape—one of the many places that are stunning and enjoyable, despite dropping temps. Take the pooch to the grounds (parking is free) and explore the greenery and gardens under the tress, complete with waterfalls and Christmas lights. Bonus: There’s a second level sanctuary with a meditation center and statue of St. Francis. However, it’s off limits to four-legged visitors, so save it for when Fido’s in daycare.
Pearl District: Reminiscent of San Francisco (or vice versa), this urban oasis is home to boutiques, brewpubs, bakeries, and more, all available by either foot or streetcar. Some must-see favorites include Powell’s Books and the delightfully tacky Voodoo Doughnut shop.
Peacock Lane Christmas Lights: A tradition since the 1920s, these Tudor houses seriously light up for the holidays with twinkling bulbs, nativity scenes, and life-like decor. It draws big crowds, so Uber over, or park a few blocks away for a short walk. Enjoy lights, as well as free cider and hot cocoa and carolers. It’s well worth the Christmas cheer you and your best friend will experience—stroll down the lane from December 15th to the 31st. You’ll need a short leash and a pep talk to ensure the four-legged one is comfortable with the crowds.
Ready to jet off to the City of Roses? Grab your dog’s warm winter duds, running shoes, a water bottle, and an appetite.