Chicago: A Pet Lover’s Paradise

Pets, Cr-homeaway

Pets, Cr-homeaway

From pet-friendly hotels and outdoor dining spots, to off-leash beaches and parks, to special events like “Dog Day” at U.S. Cellular Field (home of the Chicago White Sox) and “Canine Cruises” on the Chicago River, there’s no better place for pet-lovers and their pooches (or other four-legged friends) to enjoy a getaway than Chicago. In fact, Chicago was named the first ever “DogTown USA” by Dog Fancy Magazine in 2005.

Pet-Friendly Hotels

Chicago is home to dozens of pet-friendly hotels, where amenities include pet-setting services, in-room treats, and even “pet packages.” Many allow pets to stay with no additional fees, restrictions on weight or limits on number. Visit  for a complete list of dog-friendly hotels.

Chicago’s four Kimpton Hotels (Hotels Monaco, Burnham, Palomar and Allegro) have a special “Director of Pet Relations” – Dillon, a five-year-old English Bulldog. Pets who stay at the Kimpton Properties are welcomed by name on a lobby activities board and provided bedding and bowls for guest rooms; while their owners have access to a knowledgeable concierge who can offer local resources and information about pet-friendly restaurants, parks, playgrounds, and stores close by, as well as a steady supply of doggy treats and biodegradable waste bags for dog walks. Some hotels can even arrange for in-room pet massages and pet-sitting services.

Dog Parks and Beaches

The Chicago Park District operates 16 off-leash Dog-Friendly Areas (DFAs) throughout the city, including “Grant Park Bark Park” in the heart of downtown and “Wiggly Field” in the Wrigleyville neighborhood. Two of these DFAs are lakefront beaches, at Belmont Harbor and Montrose Harbor on Lake Michigan. (Please note that permits are required to visit Chicago DFAs and can be obtained online with proof of updated rabies vaccination for a small fee).

For a complete list of DFAs, visit

To register your dog in Chicago, visit:

Outdoor Dining

Al fresco dining is a summertime tradition in Chicago, and dogs are welcome at select outdoor cafes throughout the city. A list of dog-friendly restaurants is available. Visit outdoor dining

Special Events

Sightseeing in the city? No need to leave your four-legged friend at home. One of Chicago’s most popular attractions for visitors and residents alike are Chicago River architectural cruises. Mercury Canine Cruise sets sail at 10 am each Sunday in July, August and September, beginning on July 11, 2010. Dog-loving first mates welcome well-behaved and leashed canines aboard for the 90-minute lake and river tour with lively commentary about dog-friendly Chicago. On-board amenities include large bowls of fresh water and a newspaper-lined restroom.

Each year since 1996, the Chicago White Sox host a “Dog Day” at US Cellular Field, where ticketed pets are welcome to come along with their owners. The 2010 Dog Day will take place on Thursday, June 3 against the Texas Rangers (please note: tickets sell out early – be sure to buy in advance.) Can’t make it to dog day? Throughout the season, the White Sox offer a “Pet Check” option where guests may check their pets during the game for a minimal fee.


Chicago is home to dozens of trendy pet-boutiques, bakeries and salons throughout the city, many of which welcome pets. For a list of select options, visit:

Pet Airways

Chicago’s Midway Airport is a destination for Pet Airways, the first pet-only airline specifically designed for the safe and comfortable transportation of pets. On Pet Airways, all pets travel in the main cabin (not the cargo hold) of fully-lit, climate-controlled planes. “Pawsengers” are boarded and de-boarded from planes as quickly as possible, never left in the cold or heat, and depending on transit time, offered toilet facilities, food and water as necessary during stops. Owners drop off and pick-up their pets at a Pet Lounge located within each airport. Other destination cities include New York, Washington D.C, Omaha, Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Ft. Lauderdale and Atlanta.

Visitors and Chicagoans planning to entertain out-of-town guests can receive Chicago brochures, reserve hotel accommodations and receive trip-planning assistance by calling toll-free 1.877.CHICAGO (1.877.244.2246), or visiting Brochures and information on Chicago’s exciting events and activities are also available at the Visitor
Information Centers. The centers are located at Chicago Water Works, 163 East Pearson Street at Michigan Avenue and the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 East Randolph Street. The TTY toll-free number for the hearing impaired is 1.866.710.0294.

The Chicago Office of Tourism, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is the official City agency dedicated to promoting Chicago to domestic and international visitors and to providing innovative visitor programs and services. For more information on visiting Chicago, or to book accommodations, visit or call 1-877-CHICAGO.

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