According to a recent poll by Virtuoso 87% of respondents want to take a road trip this summer. This makes a lot of sense as they lend to social distancing, flexibility and are affordable (gas prices being at an all-time low).
However-no poll states how many dogs wish to hit the road! My furry friend Mayor Parker the Snow Dog from Georgetown, Colorado recently got back from a memorable 3-week West Coast road trip. He cruised up the Pacific Coast Highway stopping in California, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon and Portland. He enjoyed exploring the city, mountains, parks and lakes! I recently grabbed coffee with Parker, and this is what I found out about his epic getaway:
Redwood National Park, CA
Parker’s favorite stop on the trip was the Redwood National Park! Boasting with the tallest trees on earth- he felt a bit out of place but considering him and Dad basically had the park to themselves it was a magical and surreal experience. There were times they just sat on the forest floor and looked up at the giants above them. He wasn’t bothered by any Roosevelt Elk (luckily) but he did hear the trees whisper when he pawsed and listened closely.
Pacific Coast Highway
This legendary route has long been on my bucket list so I was eager to hear all about it. Parker got excited just at the mention of Pacific Coast Highway. He advised giving oneself plenty of time to pull over, savor the scenery and take photos stating, “these will be some of the most beautiful views you’ve ever experienced!” Also, make sure you check the posted signs or online to see what beaches are dog friendly. And don’t forget bug spray- they both got eaten up at some stops!
The weather was beautiful and a surf break was mandatory! The water was pawfect- 68F. Parker got to camp with Dad in his brand new Rack Attack, specifically the Tepui Ruggedized Series Kukenam which is a rooftop tent that fit perfectly on top of their Toyota. He was hesitant about this wild camping idea at first, but informed me it was wonderfully comfortable, warm and fit both him and his Dad perfectly. He also appreciated the VIP service and free treats he got when he stopped at multiple shop locations to say hello to customers and check out all the cool adventure gear.
For humans cruising down the coast- I strongly suggest spending a night in Malibu or Santa Barbara, at the Malibu Beach Inn or the Rosewood Miramar Beach. One travel advisor states of the latter, “It’s the cool new kid in town. It has a very residential feel, like you’re staying in your best friend’s family mansion. Ride down to Coast Village Road in Montecito in one of the hotel’s pastel-colored buggies – it’s very photo-worthy.” If you’re seeking a romantic getaway, the 39 room adults-only Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur is ideal for lovers.
Natural Wonders to Witness: Pull over and snap some photos at the viewing areas that overlook the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery near San Simeon, Big Sur’s McWay Falls Lookout, and the Bixby Creek Bridge near Monterey.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Parker fondly remembers his early morning swim on Cannon Beach- the same beach where the Goonies were filmed! He also got to see the Goonies house in nearby Astoria. He was really hoping for a candy bar from Chunk- but no luck! However, Dad got the best meal of his life at Mo’s Restaurant in Astoria- chowder and fish and chips (yum!)
He then convinced Dad to let him swim in the picturesque Rogue River and spotted osprey, bald eagles and river otters. So many river otters! They were sluggish and big and did not seem like they would be much fun to play with, so he left them alone. They didn’t have much time to goof around as the next stop was Seattle- a 6.5 drive away.
Seattle was cloudy (per usual) but no trip to this city is complete without a stop at the Pike Place Market! The fresh fish and doughnut smell were almost too much for Parker to handle. He is bummed he’s not allowed to chew gum- but witnessing and smelling the gooey gum wall was quite the experience.
For humans visiting Seattle, I suggest staying at the well-known Thompson Seattle hotel. Excellent location, heavenly rooftop lounge and you cannot beat the champagne and brownie welcome! With my Virtuoso affiliation; I can happily offer my clients a free upgrade, complimentary breakfast as well as airport transfer.
San Juan Islands, Washington
Although it is always fun visiting Seattle, Parker was ready to get back into nature! Next stop was a long-anticipated trip to San Juan Islands. Dad had been talking about this part of the trip forever. It only took a few kisses for the nice instructor to allow Parker to Kayak solo for the first time! He confided in me that it was incredibly challenging to sit still and not rock the kayak over, but the views were worth being patient! He witnessed orca pods and lavender farms. The Crystal Seas Kayak tour should not be missed- both Parker and Dad said it was a highlight of their trip.
Grand Teton National Park
Next stop was Grand Teton National Park- one of Wyoming’s most stunning destinations! Parker and Dad camped under the stars and relished the peacefulness and solitude of being totally immersed in nature. The magnificent Teton Range is breathtaking and I don’t blame Parker for spending hours just staring at them from the hood of his Dad’s Toyota. There is an endless amount of amazing hikes to explore, check out these top ten Teton hiking trails.
Personally, if I were taking this trip I’d stay a night or two in nearby Jackson Hole at the Four Seasons and enjoy the fabulous dining options (Snake River Grill is a local favorite) and adventurous bars. You can relax on horse saddles with a local beer while listening to live music at the world-famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.
Parker had the trip of his life, but after being on the road for three weeks he was ready to be back in his hometown of Georgetown, CO. They drove a total of 5,335 miles and visited 10 states! What an amazing road trip! Thanks Dad and Parker for sharing your amazing experience with me and the world.
For more memorable US Road trip Ideas please check out Our Favorite Drives in the US. I’m happy to help you put together the pawfect road trip this summer- full of activities, accommodations, routes and even drivers. Reach out let’s connect!
Great article! Makes me want to go! Parker is quite the traveler!
Thanks Lucy! Yes he is- he’s inspiring me as well to hit the road this summer!
Oh man, this gives me major road trip longing – plus I’ve never visited the Pacific Northwest but always wanted to. Thank you for the inspiration!
Awesome I’m glad it’s inspiring! Reach out if you ever need trip planning help 🙂