Highway 101 (US-101) Dog-Friendly Travel Guide

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U.S. Highway 101 (US-101) runs north-south through three states: California, Oregon, and Washington, chasing the Pacific Ocean’s coast for 1,540 miles. Offering scenic, coastal views and hitting major cities like San Francisco and Seattle, this highway is the perfect opportunity to explore California and the Pacific Northwest. It’s also known as El Camino Real (The Royal Road) because its route along the central and southern Californian coast approximates the commemorative trail linked to the Spanish missions, pueblos, and presidios.


Your Stay in Los Angeles:

US-101 begins in the southern California city of LA, and this celebrity-packed, sunny city has endless options for entertaining your pup. Consider taking your dog to the Lake Hollywood Dog Park for a stellar view of the Hollywood sign or browsing old school vinyl at pet-friendly Amoeba Music, the world’s largest independent record store. If it’s a particularly hot day, you might enjoy cooling off at Rosie’s Dog Beach, located in Long Beach, Ca.

For a pet-friendly place to stay, check out Freehand Los Angeles, which has a rooftop pool and bar and is located in the heart of downtown. You could also stay at Hyatt House LA – University Medical Center, which has an exercise room and an outdoor pool. 

Your Stay in Santa Barbara:

Head north for a little less than two hours or 95 miles, and you’ll find yourself pulling into beautiful Santa Barbara, where you’ll have loads to explore with your furry friend. Head to Hendry’s Beach (also known as Arroyo Burro Beach), an off-leash, pet-friendly beach that’s surrounded by towering cliffs. Or, you can explore around downtown, which is full of art galleries and shops, including Pali Wine, a pet-friendly place to taste wine, located in the Funk Zone.

Stay at the pet-friendly Secret Garden Inn and Cottages, a B&B with a pretty garden, or try out the Kimpton Canary Hotel, which is pet-friendly on top of having a rooftop pool and free perks, like bikes and an evening wine tour. 

Your Stay in San Francisco:

If you keep heading north on US-101 for 5 hours and 25 minutes or 326 miles, you’ll make it to San Francisco, which is full of vibrant (though, steep) neighborhoods to explore. Stop by Alamo Square Park for a lookout point and to see the beloved Painted Ladies. You could also bring your pup to Baker Beach where you can enjoy a scenic view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and your doggo can romp around leash-free.

For a place to sleep, we recommend San Fran’s Beresford Hotel, located walking distance to Union Square, which will include a free continental breakfast and comes at an affordable price. Or, if you’re wanting something higher-end, try the pet-friendly Hotel Nikko, which gives you access to their gym and pool. Both are in good locations, though Hotel Nikko does require an added fee for your pup.


Your Stay in Drift Creek Falls:

Drive for a little over 12 hours further north on US-101, and you’ll reach the Drift Creek Falls Trailhead in Siuslaw National Forest. This trail is open all year round and is perfect for you and your pup to soak in the pacific Northwest feel; it’s three hours long and includes scenic waterfalls and a suspended footbridge. For a place to stay, you can lodge with your dog at Comfort Inn & Suites, which has a hot tub, pool, and exercise room near Lincoln City, or try Sailor Jack’s Oceanfront Inn, which boasts a relaxing hot tub.

Your Stay in Cannon Beach/Ecola State Park:

If you think you’ve seen all of Oregon’s natural beauty, you’re just getting started. Head north on US-101 for another 91 miles or 2 hours and 15 minutes, and you’ll reach Cannon Beach: four miles of pristine beaches and one of the country’s best art towns. Here, you and your pup can kick back on the beach or gear up for more hiking, as there are plenty of coastal and forest trails nearby. While you’re here, we also recommend making the ten minute drive to Ecola State Park, which winds its way through an old growth rainforest before segueing into a phenomenal lookout point of the coast, including large rock formations, as well as the capes and headlands miles to the south.

All of the hotels nearby include an added pet fee, but here are the ones we think you and your pup will like best. If you’re looking for an affordable place to stay, try Surfsand Resort, which allows any pets for an additional fee of $25 per pet, per night. This hotel is especially nice because of its oceanfront location. Or, stay with your pup at Hallmark Resort & Spa Cannon Beach which has the same added pet fee, with beach access just steps away.


Your Stay in Seattle:

Just four hours or 199 miles north of Cannon Beach and slightly detoured from US-101 is Washington’s biggest city: Seattle. Known for the Space Needle, the birthplace of Starbucks, and the outdoors lifestyle, this city is perfect for you and your pup to explore. Take your dog to walk around the Pike Place Market grounds, a historic farmers’ market in the center of downtown. Your dog’s also allowed on the bus, so you can explore the rest of the city through public transportation.

We recommend staying at Hotel Theodore, which has a fitness center and a bar; however, you’ll need to pay an additional fee of $25 per pet, per night. You might also enjoy the Staybridge Suites Seattle – Fremont, which has a one time pet-cleaning fee, which changes depending on how many nights you plan to stay. This hotel lies between two major mountain ranges and is a good place to be if you’re interested in the outdoorsy opportunities of Seattle.

Your Stay in Olympic National Park:

Drive a little less than 2.5 hours or 111 miles from Seattle, and you’ll reach Olympic National Park, which encompasses several ecosystems, including the Olympic Mountains and old-growth forests. Whether you’re hiking, boating, or camping, there’s plenty to do in Olympic National Park. We recommend learning about which areas of the park your pup is allowed in ahead of time, but be sure to check out the guaranteed pet-friendly locations of Peabody Creek Trail, Rialto Beach, and Madison Falls Trail for some outdoor adventures.

There are several lodging options when it comes to finding a pet-friendly place to stay in the Park, including the Boathouse Rooms on Lake Quinault and the Roosevelt Cabins and Singer Tavern Cottages on Lake Crescent. All properties require a $25 fee per pet, per day. Additionally, all pets must be on leashes.

Zoë Butler
Author: Zoë Butler

Content Writer for DogFriendly.com.

Zoë Butler
Author: Zoë Butler

Content Writer for DogFriendly.com.

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