The neighborhood of Austin is located on the west side of Chicago. It is located 10 miles outside of the downtown area and is one of the 77 officially-recognized communities of Chicago. Austin is a mix of residential and commercial areas. The residential parts of the neighborhood typically have standalone family homes with well-maintained back and front yards. The commercial areas of town are home to chain restaurants, stores, a public library, churches, schools, several greenways, and access to public transportation. Westside Animal Hospital is also in the Austin neighborhood, just in case your pet needs a check-up!
Like the rest of Chicago, this neighborhood experiences all four seasons, so you will experience windy and snowy days, as well as hot and humid days in the summer. Remember to bundle your pooch up in colder weather and be aware of sensitive paws on hot pavement during the summer. Go prepared and you can enjoy a walk in any weather.
Originally, the land that is now the neighborhood of Austin was prairie land, meaning your walks here will be easy and flat! After it was developed, the area had a residential, suburban identity as well as a more industrial area that was home to a rail yard. Today, Austin still has a blend of residential and commercial areas with more artificial terrain. Thankfully, if you keep your walks in the more residential community, you will easily find safe sidewalks, public grassy areas, and large, dominant trees to provide shade during sunny days!
While the larger neighborhood of Austin also encompasses North Austin, South Austin, and Galewood, the central part of the neighborhood is typically referred to as just 'Austin'. The borders of this area are North Kenton Avenue to the east, part of Chicago’s Metra Rail to the south, North Austin Boulevard to the west, and West Division Street to the north.
There are several great greenways in the Austin neighborhood and while none of them have a specific area for unleashed dogs, they are still great parks to visit while trying to switch up your usual walking route. In Austin, you’ll find Davis Park, Sweet Clover Playlot Park, Hubbard Playlot Park, Kinzie Parkway Park, and Austin Town Hall Park. As many of the names suggest, several of these parks are small lots and will have playgrounds for Austin’s local residents.
Austin Town Hall Park and Levin Park are the larger parks in the neighborhood. Levin Park has a playground and some sports facilities. Additionally, there are many paved paths and larger, more general recreation areas that you can use during your daily walks! Austin Town Hall Park is home to the Austin Town Hall Park and Cultural Center, several performance spaces, a basketball court, and a playground. This area is used significantly during the summer months by school and youth programs.