The Chicago River Esplanade sits on the river opposite the Riverwalk. Fairly new and gaining in popularity is the River Esplanade Park, which is close to the mouth of the river as it flows into Lake Michigan. This entire neighborhood has shown a bit of upscale construction, and the esplanade moves past rows of tall apartment and condo buildings, with a view across the river of the skyscrapers of The Loop.
The park features green lawns, trees, flowers and other landscaping, and the artfully paved, lighted walkway on the river's edge offers benches for resting, relaxing and people-watching, as well as viewing the river traffic. Your pooch is welcome at this park, on leash. Please remember to carry doggy waste bags, and use them!
A pedestrian underpass at Lake Shore Drive has been revitalized from a dim, daunting tunnel into a well-lighted and airy part of your walk with your fur-baby. Lining the walls at the Riverwalk Gateway are 28 murals depicting the history of the Chicago River, and are worth slowing down to really look at them. Some are pleasant and pastoral, others thought-provoking, like the depiction of the Chicago Fire of 1871.
Another park landmark is the Centennial Fountain, a popular photo backdrop and wedding venue. This fountain features soft liquid cascades down shallow steps, and is a soothing spot to pause and watch the hypnotic flow. Periodically, the fountain shoots a water cannon out over the river nearly to the opposite shore. Keep a tight hand on Fido's leash if you happen to be walking near here at that time. In spite of all this water, there is no drinking water, so be sure to bring some, as well as clean up bags to keep the park looking pawrific.
Small, grassy lawns are a pawrfect spot to have a sit with the doggo in the sunshine. Bring a blanket and have a picnic! At the end of the park is a small, quiet beach with a furtastic view of the massive lake beyond. Access points are at East North Water Street and at McClurg Court. Street parking is available.
This young addition to Chicago's many parks is a lovely place for quiet walks and sits with your furry bestie!