Near South Side is one of Chicago's community areas, located just south of The Loop and Downtown Chicago which is the city's central business district. With proximity to the heart of the city and access to the Lake Michigan shore, this community has lots of commercial and business activity and plenty of residential buildings. Hotels and restaurants are located throughout this urban area. Residents living in Near South Side can easily walk to adjacent apartments complexes, offices, shops, and services.
The climate in this section of Chicago is more temperate than inland Chicago neighborhoods due to the moderating influence of Lake Michigan. Winter temperatures are a few degrees warmer and summer temperatures cooler with breezes off the lake. More moderate temperatures make walking the neighborhood more pleasant. However, winter outerwear will still be required, spring rains can be expected, and hot summer days without a breeze can be sweltering, so plan your walking excursions accordingly.
There is also a large strip of railroad tracks running through the area from north to south. Large freeways run along the community's borders and through sections of Near South Side. Negotiating tracks and freeways on foot with your dog requires designated pedestrian crossings, so be aware of your route when walking your pup through this neighborhood.
The area along Lake Michigan is an extensive 600-acre greenway called Burnham Park and contains miles of walking trails for area residents to enjoy. The Chicago Lakefront Trail runs through this park and provides access to the lake via a scenic greenway.
The Ping Tom Memorial Park also found in the neighborhood is a unique 17-acre park with Chinese landscape features. Other parks in the area are numerous and include Mark Twain Park, Coliseum Park, Cotton Trail Park, Webster Park, Margaret T Burroughs Beach and Park, and Prairie District Park. Of particular interest to dog owners is the Fred Anderson Dog Park. This park features two enclosed dog-friendly, off-leash areas: one for large dogs and one for small dogs. Both areas have artificial turf, water for playing in, play obstacles, shady structures, seating areas, and doggy drinking fountains. Users require a DFA tag to access the park which is available from local veterinarians.