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A Fido-Friendly Vacation on the Oregon Coast

Want to bring in the New Year somewhere with a little romantic luxury and yet get a way to a place that is not only kid, but dog-friendly at the same time? If you think you need to wait to visit the Oregon Coast until the summer time, think again. The sun still comes out on cool breezy late December and early January days, and has miles of beach to run and play fetch on. There’s also a really nice place for you, your kids and your four-legged child to stay: The Salishan Spa & Golf Resort near Lincoln City, Oregon.

Located on both sides of Highway 101 in Gleneden Beach, The Salishan presents itself as an upper-class golf resort whose property extends over the highway and onto a housing area with beach access. It doesn’t advertise itself as being pet-friendly on its website, but they will allow you to bring your pet. They do ask that if you need to leave your pet unattended to please utilize their pet sitting services (about $8/hour at a minimum of three hours). However, if your pet is well-behaved and can stay in a crate, they don’t enforce that rule.

We stayed there December 30th, 2007 thru January 1st, 2008 and had a wonderful time. I knew the Oregon Coast was a fun to place to take your family and pet in the warmer climate, but I didn't know it could be so much fun in the winter time as well.

Our room had a very lovely “lodge” look to it, complete with a fireplace, private balcony and cozy couch that Marley—our German Shepherd—could snuggle with us on. Next to the fireplace was a small refrigerator with a coffee maker and complimentary Starbucks coffee. Our king-size bed, covered in white down and overstuffed pillows, reminded us of our honeymoon. The bathroom mirrors a spa atmosphere with earth elements and stone walls and shower flooring. Comfortable terry cloth bathrobes hung in the closet next to an ironing board and iron. There was also a TV, desk that had postcards, stationary and a room service menu.

The only real noticeable difference between the pet-friendly room and the other luxury room I’d stayed in before was that the other room had a wide flat Plasma screen hanging over the fireplace, whereas this was a regular television set. In my opinion: not a bad trade off.

After getting ourselves settled in, we decided Marley had been in the car long enough (it had been a four hour drive from Olympia, Washington) and made the short five minute drive to the hotel’s ocean access area. You have to use your hotel card key to open the gate.

The nice thing about the Oregon coast is that there are still dunes to walk through, with a ton of driftwood. You know what lots of driftwood means—lots of ammo for playing fetch!

Marley didn’t let the cold ocean keep him from jumping in. There were some other dogs there, but as soon as they were out of sight, we were able to let Marley off leash several times. The beach access area also has a stand with doggy bags in case you forget to bring them or run out.

We alternated our time between playing at the beach with Marley and having massages at the Spa. The bonus is that by just staying at the Salishan, you don’t have to get a massage to utilize their sauna, steam room or pools. We kept Marley in his crate while we were gone, but I think he was so pooped from running on the beach that he didn’t mind the nap.

There are several places to eat and shop along the coast, though our main purpose was to just relax and enjoy the ocean. If you have kids, there is an aquariam to take them to, as well as fishing trips they can go on. One of the pubs we visited on our first night had live jazz. The Salishan also hosted a very lovely formal New Year’s Eve celebration—it consisted of a five course meal (I ate duck for the first time), ballroom dancing and lots of cheer.

Finally, for those with children as well as pets, the Salishan also offers special activities for kids.  It hosts a Children's Activity Center, a putting course, outdoor recreation center and a Game Zone.  (See their website or call for more details)

I highly recommend the Salishan Spa & Golf Resort to anyone wanting to get away to the coast & sit a little in the lap of luxury with your pooch. Marley gave his paw of approval on this one. To learn more about the Salishan Spa & Golf Resort, visit or call 1-800-452-2300.

Written by Rebekah Curlee, freelance writer in Lacey, Washington

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