Pet Friendly

A Festive, Pup-Friendly Staycation in Surf City USA

Last week we spent a few days (a “staycation”, if you will) in a wintery, Christmas-y beach side town we love... Huntington Beach! Okay, so maybe it’s not thattt wintery, but it’s definitely a festive spot during the holiday season. Huntington Beach is a short 15 minute drive from our home, and a perfect destination to escape for a weekend and soak in the relaxing surf vibes. Staycations are our hassle-free way to appease that travel itch - and if you forget your toothbrush you can always go home!

Anyway - let’s talk about Huntington Beach. This surfer’s paradise has been termed “Surf City USA” and it’s easy to see why. The pristine, white, sandy beaches, the iconic lifeguard towers, the picture-perfect pier (complete with a bustling Ruby’s Diner).. it’s all like something out of a surf movie. The activities are endless, and with hip restaurants popping up left and right, it's quickly becoming a foodie's destination. It’s about as California as you can get - and we love it for that. We were there in mid-December, so an added bonus was all the holiday decor and sparkling lights around town. It was magical!

We stayed at the Shorebreak Resort, a Kimpton property just steps from the water. We partially chose it because of its proximity to the beach, and partially because of just how dog friendly and accommodating they are (there's no additional pet fee - insert praise hands). In typical Kimpton fashion, every need is met - even extra doggy items such as dog bowls, toys, beds, and more. Sally even made their VIP board!

For us humans (haha), they do an insane job of making your experience as special and memorable as possible. The Shorebreak has a nightly wine hour, complimentary s’mores (yes please!), bicycles to ride around town, even hot coffee and cold pizza (a true surfer’s breakfast) in the morning! You better believe Bobby had pizza for breakfast every. single. day. We also tried their on-site restaurant, Pacific Hideaway for dinner... and their Latin/Asian influenced cuisine blew us away! (Make sure you try the Samurai Old Fashioned and the Tea Pot Pork!) The real highlight of our stay was the picture-perfect view from our balcony. If it wasn't for all the things to do, see, and eat we might not have left! 

Nightly s’mores? Yes please!

Being on a "staycation" gave us the excuse to try some of the hot Huntington Beach restaurants we’d been hearing so much about! Tanner's (located at the Pasea hotel) has a stunning outdoor patio that has an ocean view and welcomes pups. And the FOOD! Alli likes to say that you can judge a restaurant based on how good their salmon is - and Tanner's has one of the best salmon entree's we've ever had. This just might be our new date spot. Located right on the beach is Sandy's Beach Shack, a fun and festive restaurant for lunch and dinner. Prices are affordable, the food is great, and they even have a dog menu! Order a Mai Tai and some fish tacos, and you'll feel as though you're in Hawaii! Milk and Honey is a fun little coffee shop just a short walk from The Shorebreak. They have light and healthy breakfast options, their coffee menu is extensive, and their grassy patio was a hit with Sally. Another great breakfast option is the pup-themed Sit Stay Cafe, with made-to-order coffee and bagels. You can even bring a framed picture of your dog to hang on their (very) full doggie-lined walls! We'll be back shortly with a photo of Sally. ;)

Sally trying to get a bite of Bobby’s burger at Tanner’s :)

Yummy dinner at Sandy’s

Sally begging for a bite of bagel at Sit Stay Cafe

It can sometimes be challenging to find things to do with Sally when we're on the road. Not the case here! We took her to the Huntington Beach Dog Beach daily, aka her favorite place in the world. She could dig, swim, and frolic around leash-free... and the look on her face says it all! The Pasea Hotel has a brand new dog park called PawSea, where she had the chance to run around and play with other pups, and we got a kick out of all the quirky little features. On Tuesday nights they have the Surf City Night's Weekly Street Fair, with live music, vendors, snacks, and more... and a good portion of it is dog-friendly! 

Lifeguard on duty at Paw-Sea :)

Our staycation may have only been for two days, but we packed a lot in, and we truly felt like we'd gone away. Bobby had a chance to surf (while Alli watched from our balcony), Sally got to play on the sand, and Alli got her foodie-fix. It was perfect. Whether you're a So Cal local like us, or in the market for a California getaway, we highly recommend a trip to Huntington Beach. We'll meet you for drinks at the Shorebreak. 

See our Huntington Beach guide HERE.

Bend Lived Up to the Hype

Bend is one of those cities that our friends RAVE about.

The river, the hiking, the friendly locals, the epic breweries, the food trucks… We’d heard it all. When we set our minds on doing a road trip, it was one of the first cities we decided on. It was about time we saw what all the Bend hype was about… and wow, our friends were right.

Out of all of the places we’ve visited on our roadtrip, Bend is one of the few spots we actually said, “We could live here”. It really has it all. Beautiful weather, incredible scenery, awesome locals (for real - Bend attracts cool people), and some of the best food we’ve had on our trip! Because there was so much to see and do, our stay in Bend was one big dreamy whirlwind, but we’ll do our best to share what stood out!

 

WHERE WE STAYED

Tetherow is a resort in Bend that borders the forest, has an 18-hole golf course, has a pool, three restaurants, and is minutes from downtown. Oh - and they’re dog friendly!! It’s incredible.

Some of our highlights were sitting on our porch watching golfers tee off, or watching the sunset behind the mountains. Tetherow felt like our own little oasis.. It was peaceful, cozy, and had all the luxuries of a 5-star resort. Their beds are SO plush and comfy, even Sally couldn’t resist them!

We could’ve easily spent our whole time there! But like we said, there was too much to see, do, and eat in Bend, so we tried to pull ourselves away from the amazing Tetherow Resort at least once or twice a day! ;)

 

WHERE WE ATE (AND DRANK)

Oh man, the food options in Bend are limitless!! We did the best we could for only being there for 3 days, but there are soooo many other places we have yet to discover. For now, here’s what we tried (and loved):

  • The Sparrow Bakery: Delicious coffee, mouth-watering pastries (try their famous Ocean Roll!), and breakfast sandwiches we’ll be craving for months.. This place is a must.

  • Backporch Coffee Roasters: Solid coffee, chill vibes. You can’t go wrong.

  • McKay’s Cottage: If you love a good hearty breakfast, you’ll die and go to heaven at McKay’s. It took us a solid 20 minutes to decide on what we were going to order, everything sounded amazing… And it is. (Don’t leave without a chocolate chip cookie!)

  • Fix and Repeat: The cutest little juicebar (that even has smoothies for dogs)! Order a toast or two while you’re there because why not? It’s healthy! (And SO GOOD)

  • Crux Fermentation Project: Probably our favorite brewery in Bend (that we’ve been to so far, at least.) Crux has awesome drafts in a really fun, chill, and dog-friendly environment. Bring a deck of cards and chill on their lawn for a few hours, just like the locals do!

  • Spoken moto: What do motorcycles, good coffee, craft beer, live music, and food trucks have in common? Not much - but you can find them all at Spoken Moto! It’s laid-back atmosphere is perfect for a Saturday afternoon, or pretty much any day really!

  • Spork: Global cuisine that is crave-worthy. This place is popular (be prepared to stand in line for 30+ minutes), but it’s worth the wait. Order the Lomo Saltado and the Spicy Fried Chicken and mmm.. You’ll thank us later!

  • Thailandia Food Truck: Best pad thai we’ve ever had. Fresh, healthy, and full of flaver. Oh, and it’s from a food truck. That’s Bend for ya!

WHAT WE DID

To be honest, we mostly ate our way around Bend.

We did walk a lot, and enjoyed meandering our way along the Deschutes! We also went to the Oregon High Desert Classics, which is a free horse show in Bend. Dogs are allowed, so we had a blast introducing Sally to some horses… she wasn’t as entertained as we were!

These are some awesome trails that we heard about from some friends, and definitely some fun spots to float along the river, but we just didn’t have enough time. We have to save some things for our next trip, right?

Not only does Bend have it all, it still has the small-town charm that makes it relatable. We quickly learned our way around town, and numerous times we’d recognize people or run into someone we’d already met! We left feeling like honorary Bend locals. (Even though there is still SO much we have yet to discover.)

 

Winter road trip to Bend, anyone?

Sidenote - for those of you that love road tripping in an RV, Bend is the PERFECT destination. One way to cut hotel costs (and add to the adventure!) is by renting an RV with RVshare. They're the largest, safest and most trusted RV rental marketplace with wide ranging inventory from affordable pop-ups to luxury motorcoaches. Whether it's just you and your significant other out on the open road, or you're planning a trip with your family - they have something for everyone! They even have pet friendly RV rentals too! RVshare also has 24/7 emergency roadside assistance on every booking, making it a very safe and trustworthy travel option. Head to RVshare.com to learn more!

Olympia, Washington - So Much More Than Just A Capital City

One of the things we love about road trips is that it forces us to explore new cities. 

Driving from state to state, it’s inevitable that you’ll stumble upon towns and regions you never knew existed. Some spots we simply HAVE to stop and walk around, others we drive right through, and every once in a while we find one that’s really a fun surprise. Olympia surprised us in the best way possible… and while we’ve grown up learning about our state capitals, we’ve never known very much about Olympia (besides maybe the fact that it’s in Washington)! 

When the opportunity presented itself to stay a couple days in Washington’s capital city, we both got really excited. Experiencing unfamiliar cities is our jam - especially when we have no idea what to expect. And here’s the deal, Olympia is cool. It’s up-and-coming, it’s quaint, it’s loaded with amazing restaurants and bars, and it boasts some epic scenery! Yes to ALL the above!!!

Here are some of the highlights from our time in Olympia (most of which are dog friendly, too)!

 

BREAKFAST

  • Lacey Forza: (Dog-friendly patio) Quick, efficient, and totally delicious. Lacey Forza is the perfect place to stop when you’re on the go. But whatever you do, make sure you have enough time to stop and enjoy the bacon cinnamon roll. You’re welcome in advance.

  • Our Table: This cozy, retro diner serves up some of the best breakfasts in town - at affordable prices too! From the Micheal Jackson beats to the perfect breakfast potatoes and bacon that may have made Bobby’s whole trip - it’s definitely a must-do!! (But leave your pup at home, there’s no outdoor seating.)

LUNCH

  • Well80: (Dog-friendly patio) Delicious beer and an extensive menu featuring pizzas, burgers, brussels sprouts, and more… Are we in heaven? Well80 is a modern, spacious, and energetic restaurant that quickly became one of our favorite Olympia institutions. We loved the outdoor patio, and the servers are all really friendly. We can’t wait to be back!

  • Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar: (located in 222 Market, has a dog-friendly patio) Serving up so much more than just oysters, Chelsea Farms is another favorite of ours for lunch! They have great salads, fresh fish, and delicious wines. Sally loved sitting outside and playing with other dogs that were there - win/win for everyone!

DINNER

  • Three Magnets Brewing: (Dog-friendly patio) Our favorite kind of a place. Great drinks, awesome happy hour, delicious “comfort food” that’s prepared with love, and has a healthy twist. Alli had the veggie burger of her dreams, and we split avocado fries that were TDF (To Die For) - definitely recommend!

  • Ricardo’s Kitchen and Bar: (Dog-friendly patio) Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, looking for a fun date night spot, or simply craving a steak, Ricardo’s is your ticket! It’s one of the best steakhouses in Olympia, and for good reason. Everything we had was flavorful, perfectly prepared, and beautifully presented. If the weather is good, sit outside!

COFFEE

  • Batdorf and Bronson: Have you ever been to a coffee shop where you’ve instantly felt at home? The baristas quickly become your BFF’s, the atmosphere is peaceful and inviting, and the coffee is what we like to call, “The Real Deal”? Batdorf and Bronson is just that. We were lucky enough to sit in on an employee “Coffee Cupping” (They do ones every Wednesday (?) that are open to the public!), and getting a behind-the-scenes look at their passion and excitement for coffee was thrilling for us. We love nothing more than getting a front-row look at talented people doing what they love… and the people at Batdorf and Bronson are the real deal. Go. Drink their coffee. Go to a coffee cupping class. And bring some bags home for all of your friends.

  • Olympia Coffee Roasting Company: Another great local coffee shop! There are multiple locations in town, with our favorite being the one on 4th Avenue (you can do Coffee Cupping there too!). OCR has yummy coffee and is a perfect spot to open up your laptop and work for a few hours. And they have epic branding! We'll definitely be back!

ACTIVITIES

  • Kayaking Long Lake with Northwest Paddle Surfers: Long Lake is STUNNING, and a perfect place to explore by Kayak… and you know what else? You can bring your dog aboard!!! While we’ve taken kayaks out numerous times together, this was our first time ever taking Sally - and it was an adventure we’ll never forget!! The team at Northwest Paddle Surfers are incredibly friendly and helpful, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

  • Tolmie State Park: You could easily spend all day in Tolmie. It has beautiful hikes, beaches, picnic spots, and is brimming with wildlife. We took Sally for a walk along the beach (dogs are allowed if they’re on leash) and the surroundings were breathtaking.

  • Explore Tumwater Falls Park: Waterfalls in the middle of the city?! What?? It’s true - we couldn’t believe it either! We loved walking around this quaint little park, and watching Sally’s reaction to a waterfall was priceless!

We could go on and on with more recommendations for Olympia - but then this blogpost would take days to read! So, we’ll leave it at that. Any favorite spots that we’ve missed? Leave a comment and let us know! We’ll definitely be back. ;)

Planning a road trip of your own? One way to cut hotel costs (and add to the adventure!) is by renting an RV with RVshare. They're the largest, safest and most trusted RV rental marketplace with wide ranging inventory from affordable pop-ups to luxury motorcoaches. Whether it's just you and your significant other out on the open road, or you're planning a trip with your family - they have something for everyone! They even have pet friendly RV rentals too! RVshare also has 24/7 emergency roadside assistance on every booking, making it a very safe and trustworthy travel option. Head to RVshare.com to learn more!

Dog Friendly Adventures with Sally the Bernedoodle in San Diego!

So, we have a dog named Sally… that we’re mildly obsessed with. A goal of ours since the beginning has been to focus on more dog friendly trips, since leaving her can be SO HARD. (Those of you with dogs can relate!) While international trips are pretty much impossible with a 60-pound Bernedoodle, we’ve found that taking her on road trips and staycations is the way to go. She’s great in the car, loves exploring new places, and it’s relatively easy for us to transport her! We recently did a little weekend trip to San Diego with Sally (her first time in a big city!) and it was a BLAST. Here are a few of our favorite dog friendly spots:

 

 

WHERE TO STAY

The Manchester Grand Hyatt is one of our absolute favorite places to stay in San Diego, and it just so happens to be extremely dog friendly! The location is clutch - right on the water next to Seaport Village, across the street from The Gaslamp, and walking distance to just about everything. 

Upon check-in we were greeted with water and food bowls for Sally, a bright red ball, and doggy treats in our room. Talk about royal puppy treatment!! Sally experienced her first elevator (she was a little confused at first, but learned to love it) and her first time admiring the view from 48 floors up! But let’s be real… she could’ve cared less about the view - all homegirl wanted was that ball!

The rooms are spacious, modern, and oh goodness… that bed. We’ve come to find that all Hyatt’s have the most plush and comfy beds. Even Sally agreed! 

 

WHERE TO EAT

If you’re a foodie like us, you know that the dining options in San Diego are endless. Every time we come back to the city we hear of new “it” places to eat, and so far nothing has disappointed! And while there are a lot of dog friendly spots, it helps to do your research beforehand. Here’s a few of our (and Sally’s) highlights!

 

SALLY’S FISH HOUSE :: Seaport Village

Yep, you read that right. The Manchester Grand Hyatt has a dog friendly restaurant named Sally’s Fish House, located right on the water. The views are amazing, the food is fresh and delicious (definitely consider the fish and chips!), and the doggy treatment is top notch. Not only do they have an extensive dog menu, they have custom bowls for the pups (they let us keep one!). They even had doggy popsicles for desert! We’ve never seen Sally so happy at a restaurant before. If we’re being honest, this meal was the highlight of our trip. HIGHLY recommend for all dog lovers!!

 

QUEENSTOWN PUBLIC HOUSE :: Little Italy

This Kiwi-inspired restaurant is not only incredibly Instagammable, but the food is insane. Their outdoor patio is perfect for dogs, and the servers even come around with gift wrapped dog treats! We recommend getting here early, as it fills up quick - and if you can, try to score a seat by the fire. Oh, and come hungry. The portions are huge!

LOFTY COFFEE :: Little Italy

Located right across from Queenstown Public House, Lofty Coffee is one of our favorite San Diego based coffee shops. We recommend ordering a couple pour-overs from different regions and sharing. It’s the perfect spot to sit outside with your pup, sip your coffee, and people watch. 

 

PUESTO :: The Headquarters

The Headquarters is a new dining and shopping experience just down the street from the Manchester Grand Hyatt. It’s a great place to explore with dogs, and most of the restaurants have outdoor patios. Our favorite spot is a Mexican restaurant called Puesto, that’s known for their innovative tacos and margaritas. It’s a really fun vibe, and great for dogs. Sally actually fell asleep while we were there, allowing us to eat our dinner in peace - which NEVER happens!

 

 

AREAS TO EXPLORE

Like we said, everything is super walkable from the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Most of our weekend was spent walking around different locations and neighborhoods around downtown San Diego. A few of our favorites are:

  • Seaport Village: Tons of shops and restaurants all along the waterfront. You could easily spend an afternoon walking around the village and having a drink at one of their many restaurants. Also, it’s a great place to watch the sunset!

  • Little Italy: Every time we go down to San Diego we find ourselves back in Little Italy. It’s charming, constantly evolving, and a blast to explore. Some of our favorite Italian food (and gelato!) is there, and it seems like everyone that lives in Little Italy has a dog. Our kind of place!

  • Coronado Island: Just across the bay from the Manchester Grand Hyatt is Coronado Island, one of our favorite places to explore! We parked near the Hotel Del and spent a morning walking along the beach, around the historic Hotel Del, and up and down the quaint streets.

This quick weekend getaway was just what we (and Sally) needed. It definitely got us excited for more dog friendly trips, and for the next time we can return to San Diego with our pup in tow. If any of you have any favorite dog-friendly locations or doggy travel tips, leave us a comment! We’d love to hear!