Dog Friendly City Guide: Chicago, Illinois

A dog friendly guide to Chicago with details on where to find dog friendly green spaces, water access, bars, restaurants, activities and hotels.

Jackson Park in Chicago

Chicago, affectionately known as the "city in a garden", is a veritable playground for both humans and their canine companions. This bustling metropolis, with its awe-inspiring architecture, vibrant cultural scene, and renowned food culture, is a delight to explore. Add to that, Chicago's dedication to being a dog-friendly city makes it a dream destination for dog owners. So if you're contemplating a trip with your four-legged family member, gear up for an enjoyable time in this remarkable city.

Dog Friendly Water Access in Chicago

Despite its urban landscape, Chicago provides a surprisingly large number of water access points for your beloved canine. The stand-out is Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago's first off-leash beach located on the North Side. Here, your pooch can freely frolic in Lake Michigan's cool waters, while you soak up the stunning cityscape views.

Just a short drive away is the Belmont Harbor Dog Beach, another fantastic off-leash area where your dog can enjoy a refreshing dip. Please note, to make use of these off-leash areas, you'll need a Dog Friendly Area (DFA) tag, which can be purchased here. This is part of the city's effort to maintain safe, clean spaces for all pets and their owners.

Dog Friendly Parks in Chicago

Chicago's park system, one of the largest in the U.S., is a joy for dog owners. The sprawling Grant Park, often referred to as "Chicago's front yard," offers plenty of space for leashed walks. There are also multiple dog-friendly areas, such as Grant Bark Park, where dogs can play freely.

Jackson Park, another oasis in the city, features beautiful lagoons, a golf course, and even a Japanese-style garden. It's a perfect location for a leashed stroll with your furry friend. Wiggly Field, a play on the name of the iconic Wrigley Field baseball park, is one of Chicago's original dog-friendly areas. It offers an excellent fenced environment where dogs can play off-leash. Meanwhile, the Pooch Park in Evanston, though a bit north of the city, offers a large dog park and even a dog beach.

Dog Friendly Bars & Restaurants in Chicago

Chicago's culinary scene is diverse and exciting, and thankfully, many establishments welcome our four-legged friends. At The Promontory, enjoy a fire-cooked meal while your pet relaxes by your side in the outdoor seating area. If you're in the mood for chicken or fish, Parson’s Chicken & Fish has a dog-friendly patio perfect for a summer day.

For craft beer lovers, the Lagunitas Brewing Company not only offers a wide selection of beers but also welcomes dogs in their taproom. The sprawling beer garden at Sheffield’s Wine & Beer Garden is another perfect spot to relax with your dog and enjoy some BBQ and craft beer.

Dog Friendly Activities in Chicago

Chicago is brimming with activities you can enjoy with your dog. Take a stroll down the Magnificent Mile, where many stores, including Tails in the City, a high-end pet boutique, allow leashed dogs. If your pup enjoys the water, book a Mercury Canine Cruise, a boat tour of the city skyline where dogs ride for free.

The Windy City also hosts numerous pet-friendly events throughout the year, including the annual Bark in the Park fundraiser, where you and your pup can enjoy a 2.5-mile walk along the lakefront followed by a party at Soldier Field.

Dog Friendly Transport in Chicago

Navigating Chicago with your pet is relatively simple. The Chicago Transit Authority allows small pets in carriers on their buses and trains for no additional charge. It's recommended to check the specific policies of taxis and rideshares, but many are pet-friendly.

Dog Friendly Hotels & Accommodations in Chicago

Finding a place to stay with your pet in Chicago is hassle-free, with many hotels and accommodations catering to dogs. The Kimpton Hotel Palomar, located in the heart of downtown, welcomes pets of any size at no extra cost. They even offer pet amenities, including pet beds, feeding bowls, and even a list of nearby pet-friendly restaurants.

The Virgin Hotels Chicago also allows dogs and provides various pet amenities. And if you're looking for a budget-friendly option, La Quinta Inn & Suites offers a comfortable stay and warmly welcomes pets. Don't forget to check the Roch Directory, the world's largest directory of dog friendly hotels ranked by region for more options in Chicago.

Chicago, with its striking balance of urban excitement and relaxed retreats, truly embraces the spirit of dog-friendliness. The city offers an incredible mix of activities, accommodations, and amenities for dog owners, ensuring that your trip with your furry friend is as enjoyable as possible.

We encourage you to share your experiences, tips, or favorite spots in the comments below. Your input helps us continually improve and update our guides, providing the most accurate and helpful information for fellow dog-lovers.

Remember, if you sign up to become a member of the Roch Society, you can request a custom city guide for any location we haven't yet covered. You'll also be the first to know about exclusive discounts in the city. Together, we can continue to celebrate and explore the world's most dog-friendly cities, starting with the magnificent city of Chicago.

Dog Friendly Stays in Chicago

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