Dog Swimming Beaches Around Portland, Oregon

by Scott Cornell

You won't find signs exclaiming "No dogs allowed on the beach" along 400-plus miles of coastline in Oregon. That's because the state's coastline is public, and man's best friend is no exception. Portland is the largest city in Oregon, located about 70 miles from the Pacific coast. Although the city lacks dog access beaches, most of northern Oregon's coastal beaches are located within a two-hour drive of Portland.

Portland Dog Beaches

While most pet-friendly beaches are located outside of Portland's city limits, there are dog-friendly swimming areas in the city. One is the 7.62-acre Sellwood Riverfront Park, which allows dogs to play off-leash and swim in the Willamette River. Another is the 1,400-acre Sandy River Delta, the area where the Sandy and Columbia rivers meet. According to Moving to Portland, it's the city's unofficial, unleashed playground for dogs. The delta is a wide-open area consisting of channels and backwaters.

Seaside Beach

Seaside ( is about 90 miles west of Portland. It offers miles of sandy beaches, ocean views and mild ocean climates. It's also an ideal place to walk the beach and wade in the Pacific Ocean with your dog. A highlight of the area is a 1.5-mile promenade, allowing people to get close to the water while still being able to enjoy activities like jogging and bike riding.

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach ( is about 90 minutes northwest of Portland and is considered to be a more upscale version of Seaside. There are 44 beach access points in the city, all of which allow dogs. According to the city's website, dogs must either be on a leash or under voice control of their owner to ensure the animal is properly controlled. A popular Cannon Beach attraction is the 235-foot Haystack Rock, which is accessed by wading through tide pools.

Lincoln City Beach

Lincoln City ( is about two hours southwest of Portland. It features 7.5 miles of pet-friendly sandy beaches. In addition to swimming and wading in the water, dogs are also welcome in most of Lincoln City's oceanfront shops if the animal is well behaved and the pet owner asks permission first, according to Lincoln City also hosts an annual "Mutt Masters Dog Show and Olympics" each year, with funds from the show benefiting animal charities.

State Park Beaches

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area ( is more than two hours from Portland, but features a vast area of more than 40 miles worth of dunes along the Oregon coast, perfect for man and man's best friend to explore. The dunes tower up to 500 feet above sea level, making them the largest dunes in the United States. Additionally, the area is home to over 30 lakes and ponds, offering additional places to swim.

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