Recently, I was lucky enough to catch up with a very special dog to show him our city’s most dog-friendly sights and help him get some iconic Seattle shots for his Instagram feed.
Inspired by John Steinbeck’s classic travelogue ‘Travels with Charley’, Briana Moore, a New England-based photographer and writer, is recreating Steinbeck’s itinerary with her adorable mop-topped dog Quigley by her side. Briana and Quigley have been together for just over three years, after she and her husband James adopted the maltreated Westie-Wheaten mix, who had been dumped in a high-kill shelter. Quigley's rugged handsomeness was not much in evidence back then. He was severely underweight and his beautiful curls were so matted that he had to be shaved bald. As he grew into his good looks and became a regular on Briana's Instagram feed, she started to plan this trip which combines her passions for travel, photography, writing, community and Quigley.
After a successful Kickstarter, Briana set off from New Hampshire on October 1st and has traveled coast-to-coast along the I-90 in a vintage 1992 Winnebago – cruising speed 55 mph - with Quigley by her side, revisiting the route and spirit of Steinbeck’s original 1960 itinerary. She will return home by the end of the year, having circumnavigated the United States, covered almost 15,000 miles and traveled through 31 states, 14 national parks and 11 of America’s most iconic cities. Briana will be comparing and contrasting Steinbeck’s experience with her own observations of contemporary America, through imagery, essays and social media from the road, and a book and photography exhibition when she returns.
Back in 1960, when Steinbeck visited his old haunts in Seattle, he had to put his dog Charley in kennels because it was so difficult to accommodate him in the city. But things have changed, and our travels with Quigley showed why our city is nowadays consistently voted one of the most dog-friendly in the nation. Here is our guide to the best Seattle has to offer for doggie visitors.
Where to Stay
Hotels have become much more accommodating for our four-legged friends since Steinbeck’s day. Quigley had a wonderful time at the Hotel Sorrento, and certainly appreciated his own special pet bed and food bowls in the room. Kimpton Hotels in Seattle also provide dog amenities, while pets are welcomed at the Edgewater, Hotel 1000, the Four Seasons and the Fairmont Olympic.
Where to Eat and Drink
Finding dog-friendly restaurants is a little harder. Quigley absolutely adored Norm's in Fremont which has a special dog menu, featuring a dog 'cigar' and bacon 'pupcakes', served amid plenty of doggie art. Quigley also enjoyed his trip to the Volunteer Park Cafe, a perfect place to stop after a walk in Volunteer Park or the arboretum. Here we could grab lunch at the outside tables, while Quigley sampled the excellent housemade dog cookies. Other recommendations from dog-loving friends include The Shelter Lounge in Ballard, where dogs are welcome both inside and on the patio, Fix Coffee House after a Green Lake walk, and Ampersand Cafe, which is a good post-Alki Beach spot. Check out the schedule for the Seattle Barkery food truck which hits different dog-friendly spots through the week. Breweries are often great for dogs, try the Flying Bike Cooperative in Greenwood, the Optimism Brewing Company on Capitol Hill, and Hellbent Brewing Company on Lake City Way. Sully's Snowgoose Saloon on Phinney is an uber dog-friendly pub.
Where to Shop
Outdoor shopping options are obviously the most dog-friendly. Ballard Farmers Market was like a beauty parade for cute canines when we were there, Quigley also enjoyed catching flying bits of salmon at Pike Place Market. If you 're looking for a mall, University Village is extremely dog-friendly, while if your pooch fancies some elegant yet rugged accessories, the Filson flagship store is super welcoming and has even been known to host the occasional Canine Happy Hour.
Where to Play
The off-leash parks at Magnuson Park and Luther Burbank Park have water areas for swimmers and there is a further good off-leash park at Golden Gardens. Lovely places for on-leash walks are Discovery Park, Gasworks Park, the Arboretum, Green Lake, Ballard Locks and the Olympic Sculpture Park. For indoor fun, try Dogwood Play Park in Lake City which has indoor and outdoor areas and a bar for humans or the K9 Funzone on Nickerson Street.
Where to Pose
If your dog needs to raise his or her Instagram game, many of Seattle's most picture-worthy locations and viewpoints are dog-friendly - Quigley modeled for us in Volunteer Park, Gasworks Park, Kerry Park, Ballard Locks, the Olympic Sculpture Park and Louisa Boren Viewpoint. On sunny days the Sunday Ice Cream Cruise on Lake Union is also a good option.
Ahead of the book and print photo collection that will be published at the end of their journey (check out www.brianamoore.com for more details) Quigley and Briana are posting behind the scenes images, video stories and musings from the road to Briana’s personal Instagram, Quigley's own fluff-heavy Instagram, Facebook, and their blog.