But if you or your pet are not up for a long adventure, there's plenty to see while strolling through River North itself. Once home to booming industry with factories on every corner, the neighborhood underwent a transformation during the past 50 years, with its former warehouses turning into commercial buildings, loft and studio spaces, and music venues. Since then, modern buildings of glass and steel break up the otherwise historical architecture of River North. Walking through the area, you're given the unique experience of viewing Chicago's past, present, and future all within a few blocks.
If you tire of walking, take Fido to any number of dog-friendly patios and enjoy anything from Spanish tapas, French pastries, American-crafted beer, or a Chicago-style deep dish pizza.
With many locals on their way to work and tourists on their way to play, your leashed friend will need to be mindful of being in others' way. It's not just pedestrian traffic in River North, some main streets of Chicago run through it, such as LaSalle Drive and Grand Avenue. Dogs who are easily distracted or even frightened by city sounds and movement may do better in one of the parks in River North.
If you're tired of being attached to the other end of your dog's leash, Ohio Place Dog Park is conveniently located in the River North area despite it being in the midst of Chicago's downtown. The park reaches a length equivalent to a block, allowing for space if your dog gets nervous or agitated in a chaotic crowd of excited, wagging tails and sniffing snouts. Doggie bag dispensers are placed in and around the park, so there's no need to worry if you've forgotten your own. Ohio Place isn't grassed, however, so it can be quite muddy depending on weather, and isn't very picturesque. But for the benefit of a pup that wants to run and play freely, off-leash, it more than serves its purpose.
Ward A. Montgomery Park is on the bank of the Chicago River and is well-maintained, with a modern playground, lush green grass, open space, and shady trees. There are also several paved walkways to enjoy, some of which run right alongside the river, giving you views of the water. If you and your pup need a break, find any number of seating options and sit back and enjoy the view of glistening downtown towers and buildings, others enjoying the park, and tourists exploring the Windy City on a boat tour.
Larrabee Dog Park acts as an extension of Montgomery Park. Like the Ohio Place Dog Park, Larrabee is mostly a concrete or paved area. The entry to the park is grassy and shaded and would make a great place to walk your dog around if they prefer to do their business in the grass. Dogs should always be well-exercised before going to an off-leash park and interacting with other dogs so this petite grassy entry gives you a good place to walk them around before entering the fenced-in area.