The oldest city in its county, Grafton, Illinois may have a small population, but it offers a lot of fun for families. Known for its Raging Rivers Water Park, boating and watersport opportunities, and gorgeous waterfront, Grafton is an ideal spot for people who love the outdoors. Grafton has a couple of dog-friendly restaurants right near the Mississippi River, like The Loading Dock Bar and Grill, which has an outdoor patio overlooking the river!
Grafton is only about 15 miles from Alton, a pawtastic city where you’ll find some of the closest vet clinics to Grafton, as well as dog-friendly hotels and restaurants, like Gentelin’s on Broadway, a place for fine dining with outdoor seating for furry paws and their human friends.
If you’re looking for the most dog-friendly opportunities near Grafton in one place, head to the city of St. Louis, MO, which is under 40 miles from the town. The downtown area has parks galore right along the waterfront. Lucas Park Dog Park gives pups a chance to play off-leash right in the city, while the City Garden is a pawfect place for leashed pups to enjoy some serenity while you check out the artwork and sculptures. Grafton’s convenient location makes it easy to find fun things nearby for you and Max to do together!
Pere Marquette State Park is one of Grafton’s best treasures, especially for dog families. The park sits near the Illinois River and features rich geological and Native American history on its land. With year-round camping, fun events for the family, bird watching, fishing, and more, you and your pup can find plenty of adventures together at the park. It’s also known for its many hiking trails, most of which are dog-friendly and lead you through beautiful forests and to some breathtaking views of the river and cliffs. Take your pup on the Sam Vadalabene Great River Road Bike Trail for some of the best waterfront views!
Around 15.5 miles from Grafton is the Landmarks Boulevard area of Alton, IL. This area is in the center of Alton and sits along Alton Lake and the Mississippi River. The Riverfront Park and Amphitheater is one place you and your pup won’t want to miss. This park is pawfect for getting some outdoor exercise and quality time with your leashed dog as you walk them along the paths or visit the playgrounds. Dogs are even invited to most events at the amphitheater. You can also visit Alton Dog Park, which is located next to Riverfront Park in Russell Commons Park, for some off-leash fun.
The City Center of Edwardsville, IL, is a good place to stop if you’re heading south to the city of St. Louis, MO. About 32 miles from Grafton, you’ll have some dog-friendly dining options available, like 1818 Chophouse. This steakhouse is pawfect for meat-loving pups! Grab one of the outdoor tables and choose from a menu of steaks, seafood, chicken, burgers, and more. Big Daddy’s is another casual spot that has a dog-friendly outdoor bar and tables to enjoy with your pooch. This area is also home to the MCT Nickel Plate Trail, one that welcomes dogs to join their owners on the paths that wind through farmlands, business areas, and more.
Just under 34 miles from Grafton and only 2 miles from the City Center is the Harvard Drive area of Edwardsville. This is another furrific place to find dog-friendly dining spots near Grafton. Try Oriental Spoon for some traditional Korean eats as you dine outside on the patio with your dog. Nearby is Sugo’s Spaghetteria, a casual Italian restaurant with all the classics, like pizza, pasta, veal, wine, and more. You’ll also have access to outdoor dining tables that welcome furry paws as they join their owners for a meal. For a quick lunch break, Penn Station East Coast Subs is a pawtastic favorite.
Just under 32 miles from Grafton, the Old Town Florissant neighborhood of Florissant, MO, offers an excellent getaway for furry friends and their owners. Visit Duchesne Park, a small community park with playgrounds, picnic areas, and open space for your leashed dog to play in. Then, take Spot to the off-leash dog park located within, where registered pups can have space to run and make new friends in a safe environment. Need to cool off? Head to Fritz’s Frozen Custard, where you and your dog can use the walk-up window to order a cool treat to eat at one of the outdoor tables.