Pet-Friendly Travel Guide: Chicago
Why travel to the Windy City? With features like Navy Pier, Millennium Park, live blues music, an iconic skyline, and all the deep-dish pizza and hot dogs you could possibly eat, there are plenty of reasons to make your way to Chicago.
There’s good news for your four-legged travel buddies too: the city offers much in the way of pet-friendly attractions, eateries, and accommodations for the whole family – human and otherwise! You’ll find our favorites below.
- Montrose Harbor Dog Beach (Uptown) – You’ll have to leash up for the walk from the parking lot, but once you hit the sand, your pup can roam free. This is the perfect spot for your pooch to splash, get some exercise, and make friends. While your pup is playing, you’ll appreciate the striking views of the skyline to the south and the expanse of Lake Michigan.
- Seadog Cruises (Streeterville) – There’s no better place to view the Chicago skyline than from the waters of Lake Michigan! Bring your pup on board and get ready to feel the wind in your fur… or hair. Or, opt for the tour instead and float down the Chicago River, which winds through the city, for some spectacular views, amazing architecture, and eyebrow-raising historical facts.
- Wiggly Field Dog Park (Wrightwood) – This cleverly named park is the perfect place for your faithful friend to stretch their legs off-leash and socialize with others. With a separate enclosure for smaller dogs, water fountains for thirsty pups, and waste bags stocked and ready, the tree-shaded enclosure is a great place to while away an afternoon in the Windy City.
- The Shops at North Bridge (Magnificent Mile) – This four-level shopping complex spreads out over six blocks of the Magnificent Mile. Offering over fifty stores and restaurants, there’s not much you can’t get here. The pet stations throughout the complex, featuring water bowls and waste bags, mean you and your dog can both shop till you drop.
- Fido To Go (Various locations) – Meet Fido To Go: the first dog and cat treat truck in the nation. Their products are made in the U.S. with all-natural ingredients, and everything is free of corn, gluten, grain, soy, sugar, and preservatives. Treat your best pal to a cookie, chew, or doggy ice cream, and be sure to take home some cat treats for your feline friend as well.
- O’Brien’s Riverwalk Cafe (The Loop) – A must-visit on your Chicago trip, this riverside eatery boasts a scenic patio, fantastic city views, a historic atmosphere, and a variety of continental cuisine. Your dog can hang out on the patio with you while you enjoy your meal, and there’s plenty of people-watching to do, what with the bustle of the riverwalk and the boats drifting by.
- Barrio (River North) – This hip Mexican eatery and cocktail bar features creative takes on south-of-the-border classics in a contemporary artistic setting. The tequila menu is huge, the tacos are on point, and your pup can order off the Bark-io Menu for a special treat all their own. What’s not to love?
- Taureaux Tavern (The Loop) – Luxury is on the menu for both humans and dogs at this chic French restaurant. Take a seat on the covered, all-weather pergola and indulge in a classy cocktail and an order of steak frites, rigatoni alla vodka, or roast chicken thighs, while your four-legged friend chows down on a burger patty or a dish of scrambled eggs.
- Parson’s Chicken and Fish (Logan Square) – If you’ve never had a Negroni Slushy, get over here, stat. Locals swear by it, so who are we to argue? Parson’s is a low-key and casual destination with an awesome menu, ping-pong tables, and one of the best patios for miles around, with plenty of space for you and your pups. It’s busy, fun, and delicious – the oysters and the famous fried chicken come highly recommended.
- The Blackstone Hotel (South Loop) – Standing proudly on Chicago’s Cultural Mile, The Blackstone features sweeping, unobstructed views of Lake Michigan from Navy Pier to Soldier Field. The hotel is located just across Michigan Avenue from some of Chicago’s most iconic attractions for sightseeing and walks, and it also provides you and your pup with easy access to the Lakefront Trail. Dogs under 75 pounds are welcome to stay on the premises, and during the holidays, they offer special luxury packages for pets and their people.
- The Gwen Hotel (River North) – The Gwen believes all guests should be treated to a life of luxury – even those with four legs. The pet-friendly package at this upscale hotel welcomes furry guests with a plush dog bed, pick-up bags, all-natural dog treats, and a one-of-a-kind Chicago-themed dog toy to bring home. Also included in the package is a spa day for your favorite companion, which includes a “pawdicure” and bath at a local groomer. If doggy daycare is needed, the Gwen’s concierge team is happy to coordinate with top-tier, local pet-sitting establishments. You’ll sleep easy, too – The Gwen was named one of the ten best Chicago hotels by Conde Nast, so you can expect nothing but the highest quality accommodations and amenities.
- Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel (New East Side) – Conveniently situated within walking distance from Millennium Park, Grant Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, Navy Pier, and Shedd Aquarium, this award-winning hotel is the perfect home base from which to experience Chi-town culture. All dogs are welcome to stay for no charge, and if you want to show some extra love to your precious pooch, you can book the VIPup Package for a slew of amenities, including toys, food and water dishes, waste bag dispensers, a dog bed, gourmet treats, and even a dog stroller. Plus, you’ll receive a discounted rate on a one-hour photo shoot for your four-legged friend.
- Kimpton Gray (The Loop) – As Chicago’s newest four-diamond hotel, the Gray pulls out all the stops where luxury is concerned. Its opulent atmosphere, smooth elegance, and unbeatable amenities will have you feeling right at home, and the pet refresher station and treats in the lobby are waiting to welcome your canine companion too. The hotel also offers doggy bow ties, designer pet beds, and a concierge guide to nearby dog-sitting and dog-walking services, as well as pet-friendly restaurants, parks, groomers, and boutiques.
- Virgin Hotels Chicago (The Loop) – For a vibrant and energetic Chicago stay, look no further. This boutique hotel is big on surprising touches and thoughtful accommodation in a chic urban setting, including live entertainment, sleek and modern room design, and rooftop dining with unbeatable views of the city lights. Pets of all sizes can stay for free and will be given top-quality beds, food and water dishes, treats, and a custom bandana.
- Hotel InterContinental (Streeterville) – The historic Hotel InterContinental on the Magnificent Mile is housed in a building that dates back to the Roaring Twenties. The building’s charm adds first-class sophistication and grandeur to the overall experience. You’re not the only one who will be treated like royalty: your pet will be greeted with eucalyptus paw wipes, delicious treats, a memory foam bed, food and water bowls, and waste bags. You’ll also receive a map of nearby pet-friendly destinations, as well as recommendations for local dog-sitting services in the event you’d like to escape to the world-class spa, the junior Olympic pool, or the award-winning fine dining options on-site.