Looming over the young, hip Wicker Park neighborhood, Bucktown is often grouped in with its neighborhood twin because its personality isn't too different. Trendy and riddled with fine-dining restaurants, craft cocktails bars, and vintage and boutique stores, Bucktown has a lot to offer for those looking for the newest, coolest, and tastiest options in the city.
The lure of Bucktown-Wicker Park area is epitomized at the meeting point of three streets that see a lot of foot traffic: Milwaukee, Damen, and North, where art galleries, taco joints, nationally-acclaimed bookshops, and coffee shops line the block.
A wonderful city for walking, Chicago's Bucktown is great for a quick jaunt around the block, whether you have a destination in mind or not. Wide sidewalks, pedestrian-protected crosswalks, and foot traffic-only walkways make the area easy to see and enjoy on foot, especially if you have a furry-friend with you. There are other easy ways to get around, too, however!A mayoral tradition, local government in Chicago has always been concerned with putting bike-protected paths and lanes throughout its urban landscape. Since the late 1800's, American-made bicycles have been manufactured in the Windy City, perhaps influencing its citizens' preference for biking for fun or as an alternative form of commuting. Not much has changed since the bicycle's early days in Chicago, today the city is laden with bike trails and lanes. It's even been named as the best bike-friendly city in the nation by Bicycling Magazine.
So if you're looking for new and safe ways to explore the neighborhood of Bucktown, consider biking. There are a number of dog-friendly products that attach easily to your bike, such as hands-free leashes. These are a great option if your pet is high-energy, isn't afraid of bikes, and has been trained to trot or run alongside a bike.
If you own a small breed, you are able to travel in Chicago utilizing the CTA buses and trains, as long as they are contained in a carrier and well-behaved.
Walsh Park is special for dog owners in the Bucktown neighborhood because it has a Dog-Friendly Area (DFA). DFA's in and around the Chicago area give owners and their dogs the freedom to run and play off-leash without penalty or worry. If you're nervous about your dog's social capabilities around others, you can walk your pet around the area. Also, smaller dogs have their own designated space separate from larger breeds. Walsh Park is off of the 606 Trail which is popular with hikers, runners, and bikers, so if you're interested in walking to the park on the trail, look up their online map before heading out.
If you want to try out other DFAs in the area, head over to Churchill Dog-Friendly Area. It's accessible via the 606 Trail from Walsh Park as well, making it a great pit-stop while out on a stroll. This DFA is located within Churchill Field Playlot Park, which gives those with two legs plenty to enjoy, too!When the weather becomes too much to bear in the middle of winter, take your tag-along to the Doggy Paddle Aquatic Center for Dogs. Not only does it feature a pool for your water-loving pup, but it also has an indoor dog park if you don't own a swimming breed.
If you're looking for something a little more relaxed or if your dog is working on their socialization skills and may be too overwhelmed in an active dog park, there's The Bucktown Green just a few blocks south of the 606 Trail. A small, quiet, well-shaded area where locals enjoy lying on a blanket under the shade with a good book or children of the neighborhood tackle a game of tag, a dog could just as easily welcome this grassy sanctuary into their routine.
In north Bucktown, you'll find Senior Citizens Memorial Park and Holstein Park. Divided only by a street, both parks offer fun activities for dogs and their owners. At Holstein, take a dip into the local pool or take Fido over to the concrete designated-dog area to meet new friends. After you're done playing, hop over to Senior Citizens Memorial Park to enjoy a snack under the shade of old trees at a picnic table or secluded bench.