Jacksonville is a city in Illinois that’s only about a half-hour drive from Springfield. Jacksonville has an incredibly historic downtown area that houses several of the city’s offices, events, shops, and more. As a dog owner, you’ll love that you can walk your leashed pup around the area, and it’s also extremely bike-friendly.
Jacksonville has four veterinary clinics within a few miles of each other. It also has some dog-friendly restaurants near downtown, like Taco Gringo, a pawfect place for casual Mexican food with some outdoor tables for you and Spike. You can also visit Community Park with your leashed pup to enjoy some fresh air near the playgrounds, skate park, and picnic areas.
If you don’t mind a little driving for a fun dog’s day out, head to Springfield, which is east of Jacksonville. This city has plenty of stuff for dog owners to do with their furry friends. Head to Nature’s Select for some yummy dog treats and supplies, or go to Riverside Park Dog Run for some off-leash exercise. There are also tons of paw-friendly restaurants in the downtown area with outdoor seating for you and your four-legged guest.
Jacksonville’s great location makes it easy for dog lovers to find nearby fun!
The East Vandalia Road area of Jacksonville is a furtastic spot for dogs and their owners to call home. The area borders Mauvaise Terre Lake that’s known for its excellent fishing spots where you can catch just about anything from bass to bluegill. Water-loving pups will enjoy hiking around the lake with you or keeping you company on your fishing ventures, but they also have an attraction all their own here: the Jacksonville PetSafe Dog Park. The fenced-in park is beloved by the doggie community here for its spacious area for playing and making new friends, and it's continuously improving thanks to community efforts.
About 31.5 miles from Jacksonville is the Westchester neighborhood of Springfield. Springfield is packed with things to do with your dog, and some of the dog-friendliest neighborhoods, like Westchester, are within only a couple of miles of each other. Westchester is one you’ll want to visit on the way to the downtown area of Springfield. You’ll find some dog-friendly hotels for when you’re just visiting, and there are several restaurants that welcome dogs in their outdoor areas. Indigo Restaurant is a local favorite that’s been voted as the city’s favorite restaurant more than once! It blends cuisine from all over the world in a relaxing, upscale environment.
West Grand Place is another Springfield neighborhood. It’s about 33.5 miles from Jacksonville and just a couple miles east of Westchester. The neighborhood blends residential and commercial zones, and you’ll be right near the Chatham Square Shopping Center, a huge shopping complex complete with a bank, gym, and a pizza shop! West Grand Place also has a spot on the beautiful Wabash Trail, a dog-friendly part of the Rails-to-Trails nationwide network. The paved trail is popular with bikers, but dogs and their owners will love its two miles of tree-lined path that runs through quiet areas of Springfield and will even lead you right to shopping centers.
Just under 30 miles from Jacksonville is West Side Koke Mill, a residential neighborhood in Springfield. You’ll find homes here that can meet just about any budget, and residents love the area for its close proximity to parks, shopping centers, restaurants, and schools. It’s also only about seven miles from downtown! Lewis Memorial Park sits in the middle of West Side Koke Mill. This spot is a treasure for photographers and weddings, but there are also some dog-friendly paths set in a gorgeous area where wildlife spotting is a breeze. Dogs are also welcome throughout the community park if they’re kept on a leash.
Downtown Springfield is about 37 miles from Jacksonville and incorporates important United States history into a small area. This is where you’ll find the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, a preservation of where President Abraham Lincoln lived before his presidency. It’s also the home of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Downtown Springfield has several dog-friendly restaurants to choose from, pawfect for grabbing a bite to eat while you’re exploring the historic district. Café Moxo is one that has outdoor seating for you and your dog where you can enjoy made-to-order coffee drinks, pastries, and more. If you feel like shopping, your leashed pup can even join you at Urban Sassafras, a pupular home décor store.