The number of dogs going on vacation with families has doubled in the last decade. The result? More hotels, restaurants and attractions welcoming dogs.
It’s not unusual for the director of pet relations to greet you and your dog by name upon arrival at Kimpton Hotels (the Allegro, Gray, Monaco and Palomar) in downtown Chicago. Dogs stay at no extra charge, regardless of size, weight or breed.
Pooch perks include pet-bed loaners for your room, food, water bowls, mats and courtesy bags. They’ll also clue you in to dog-friendly restaurants, dog parks and groomers. You can even take your guest dog to the hotel’s nightly wine reception.
For a $75 pet access fee, you can tap into the downtown James Chicago hotel’s partnership with luxury retailer Shinola. That means plush dog beds, colorful leashes and toys. The Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel’s VIPup package includes gourmet treats, a welcome toy, and a dog bed and dishes.
Galena’s Cloran Mansion, a bed-and-breakfast inn, welcomes two dogs of any size to stay at its Antonio’s Cottage for a fee of $25 per stay. Pet parents appreciate the in-room whirlpool. Nearby, Galena Log Cabin Getaway offers four dog-friendly cabins for guests. Kishauwau Country Cabins in Tonica has pet-friendly cabins, too.
1 Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery, Springfield
Dogs dot the patio and enclosed run (with faux fire hydrant), plus they lap water at the outside bar and chew handmade biscuits made with spent brewery grains.
2 Filini, Chicago
The Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel’s restaurant offers B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Dog) on Wednesdays. Humans enjoy happy hour on the patio while pets scarf down a Bad to the Bone burger and slurp Frosty Paws ice cream.
3 Firefly Grill, Effingham
Dog-friendly tables fill the porch, and canine couches ring the fire pit.
4 Nellcôte, Chicago
This West Loop spot pampers pets with Bone Appetit happy hour for dogs and owners on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
5 Chicago Burger Company, Chicago
Dogs relax on the riverfront with free bones and a beef and rice combo.
6 312, Chicago
Dogs eat from their own menu during Waggin’ Weekends. Entrees include chicken pasta and salmon with rice. Peanut butter biscuits and beefsicles await for dessert.
It’s all hounds on deck for Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruise Line Canine Cruise, a 90-minute boat ride on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Learn about city history and architecture with your pet in your lap, in a seat or on the deck. Water bowls and special newspaper-lined dog restrooms are included.
Dogs can also join Shoreline Sightseeing’s Architecture River Tour from Navy Pier, where most outdoor areas are pet-friendly.
Mix and mingle with other dogs and owners along the lakefront at Bark in the Park (May), billed as Chicago’s largest dog party. It takes place at Soldier Field Stadium Green.
Take your dog to the ball game for Bark at the Park at Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the Chicago White Sox. In 2016, the team set a Guinness World Records mark for most dogs at a sporting event, with more than 1,000 canines (and their humans) showing up.
Downstate, pop in with your pup at Urbana’s Sipyard, a hip beer garden and music venue featuring recycled shipping containers inside a graffiti gallery.
At The Grove Memorial Park in Grafton, dig the dog-friendly Music in the Park concerts on Thursday nights.