EVENT Dog Destinations: Chicago

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We’re big fans of getting our dogs involved in travel whenever we can. Their energy and curiosity makes them the ideal companion for outdoor adventures, exploring a new city, or packing a full itinerary into a short amount of time, but some destinations are definitely more welcoming to your pooch than others.

If you’ve been to Chicago, you might already know: there are tons of great places to check out with your pooch in tow, including awesome sights, patios and walkable destinations. If you haven’t been, there’s so much in store for you and your travelling companions. Here are a few places you have to put on your Chicago bucket list.

Lakefront Trail

This trail wraps Lake Michigan’s shores, with 18 gorgeous miles of beach, path, parks and sights. There are many Chicago dog parks, but most require a permit or you run this risk of a ticket. This one, though, is perfect for a casual stroll, stopping for a picnic, or taking a dip if you’re brave. Plus, you’ll meet lots of other dog owners.

See The Sox

Take in a White Sox game with your pooch! Dogs aren’t normally permitted, but on certain days of the year, the U.S. Cellular Field opens its doors to everyone. Take advantage of their annual Dog Day or Bark In The Park parade, cute costumes encouraged! Get on the list at whitesox.com.

Patios & Restaurants

Chicago spends a lot of the time submerged in winter’s cold, which is why their patio scene is extra-special in the summer! Hang out like a local at one of Chicago’s 40 (40!) dog-friendly restaurants and patios - many will let you dip out of the sun and take your pooch inside, too. Check out Thrillist’s guide to dog-friendly establishments here.

Dog Friendly Hotels

There’s lots of accommodation to choose from in Chicago that won’t charge you an extra pet fee. Hotel Palomar is a stunning boutique hotel nestled downtown, with a rooftop deck and delicious in-house restaurant, and they’ll accommodate up to two dogs for no extra charge. For a complete guide, check out BringFido.com.

Navy Pier

Navy Pier is a classic Chicago landmark, so you might be surprised that it’s very dog friendly. You can even let your dog off-leash in much of the area. With shopping, restaurants and bars, gardens, lookouts, and a new-and-improved Ferris Wheel, this is definitely a great place to spend a few hours and enjoy the cool breeze coming off the lake. If you’re travelling with kids, the Pier’s Children’s Museum is a must-stop spot as well.

Seadog Cruises

Take a spin around Lake Michigan and check out Chicago’s beautiful skyline, all with your pup by your side. These cruises, available from 30 minutes long to over an hour, focus on different elements of the city, from a super-fast thrill ride to an in-depth look at the city’s architecture. With over a million happy passengers, this is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon.


This live music and entertainment event focuses on showcasing the best of Chicago - food, drink, live music, and more make this the standout street festival in the city. Plus, they have a dedicated corner of the fest called Pet Fest which is all about dogs - grooming to support charity, a dog obstacle course & playing area, dog-specific independent vendors and lots of other stuff to keep you occupied all day. Learn more here. 

Explore Libertyville

Libertyville is a quaint, historic town just outside Chicago - perfect for a day trip if you have a car. The shops along their adorable main street are completely dog-friendly. Plus, if you find yourself in the neighbourhood in warmer months, you might catch the Dog Days of Summer, a dog show and festival with obstacle courses, races, vendors and more. 

What dog-friendly activities would you recommend in Chicago? Have you ever travelled with your pup? Tell us on Facebook or share your snaps on Instagram!


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