During the 19th century, Chicago adopted the motto “Urbs in horto,” a phrase that translates to “City in a Garden.” The city’s parks now flourish under the Chicago Park District, which oversees about 570 parks encompassing a space that totals more than 8,000 acres.
Included in this vast number of recreational areas are 23 dog-friendly parks, most of which have areas where pups can play off-leash. Jackson Bark is a popular choice for active dogs, due in large part to its obstacles and agility equipment. With its array of toys, this park is guaranteed to keep any curious dog entertained.
The Montrose Beach has a fenced in a stretch that was set up especially for canine beachgoers. This dog-friendly area is open during the usual Chicago Park District hours, and it offers a space where dogs can safely run and swim.
If hiking is more your speed, take your dog with you along the Lakefront Trail. This 18-mile-long path winds along Lake Michigan, offering a beautiful view of the water as you take in the sun (or wind!) and get some exercise with your furry friend. End the day on the patio of a nearby dog-friendly restaurant, and toast the night and the moon together.
Near North Side is the area in Chicago where the river system meets open water. So, naturally, this neighborhood offers nautical options for both man and dog. Not only do Seadog Cruises Chicago allow dogs on their flashy speedboats, they encourage it! Take your humans on one of their river or lake tours and they will get a 10% discount. For those who bark, admission is free. Dogs who are looking for more amenities can turn to Mercury Canine Cruise. They provide both water bowls and newspaper to all hounds on board for a mere $8 per pooch. They also include dog facts in their city history narration! No matter your preference for water-travel, you and your fur-baby are in for some good times in Near North Side.
What does Chicago's Near South Side have to offer our hairiest family members? How about two different architecturally-beautiful dog parks! The first of these is the renowned,Fred Anderson Dog Park. This hot spot for Spot is located right in Chicago's Park District. It features separate enclosures for both large and small pups. Things get fancy with a special performance area complete with stage if your dog is the competitive type. Grass, trees and beauty come together in this haven for barkers. Though smaller than the Fred Anderson Dog Park, what Coliseum Dog Park lacks in space it makes up for in columns. If you and your dog travel with kiddos, this dog park is right up your alley. This park has a kid section so both your little one and your furry one can have a great time.
Chicago loves dogs, and no neighborhood makes that clear more than Uptown! It is a favorite spot for local dogs and their owners. Catch some rays and splash in some waves at the Montrose Dog Beach, a gated, off-leash dog beach right on the water! They even have a dog wash station and free bags for unexpected bathroom breaks. If you're looking to get on the waves, both you and your pupper are welcome at Kayak Chicago. Their kayaks are nice and sturdy, so your hairy buddy can sit on top. All you need to bring is a doggy lifejacket! Sand and sea not your thing? No worries! Puptown at Margate Park is a nearby dog park that is loved and maintained by local Chicagoans. If you are looking to enjoy sand, sun or lots of fun with your four-legged friend, Uptown is the place for you.