Chicago was founded in 1833 as a trading post near the mouth of the Chicago River. It quickly grew into a transportation hub and commerce, industry, and culture center. The city played a crucial role in several historical events, such as the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed much of the town but also sparked a rebuilding boom; the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, which showcased Chicago's achievements and innovations; the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, which exposed the racial tensions and inequalities in the city; the Prohibition Era of the 1920s and 1930s, which saw the rise of organized crime and gangsters such as Al Capone; the Chicago Seven Trial of 1969-1970, which involved anti-war activists who were accused of inciting riots during the Democratic National Convention of 1968; and the election of Barack Obama as the first African American president of the US in 2008.
Location & Climate
Chicago is located in Illinois, in the Midwest region of the United States. It lies on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes of North America. The city covers an area of about 234 square miles (606 square kilometers). Its population is about 2.7 million people, making it the third-largest city in the US.
Chicago has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. The summers are hot and humid, with average temperatures ranging from 68°F (20°C) to 84°F (29°C). The winters are cold and snowy, with average temperatures going from 18°F (-8°C) to 35°F (2°C). The spring and fall are mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 39°F (4°C) to 65°F (18°C). The city receives about 36 inches (91 centimeters) of precipitation annually, mainly in rain and snow.
Chicago is nicknamed "The Windy City" not because of its weather but because of its reputation for boasting and bluster.
Chicago is home to the world's first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building, built in 1885 and stands 180 feet (55 meters) tall.
Chicago is also home to the world's most giant free-standing sculpture, Cloud Gate (also known as "The Bean"), which is located in Millennium Park and weighs 110 tons (100 metric tons).
Chicago has more than 200 theaters, including the Goodman Theatre, one of the US's oldest and largest regional theaters.
Chicago has more than 50 museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, which has one of the world's largest collections of impressionist paintings.
Chicago has over 570 parks, including Grant Park (also known as "Chicago's Front Yard"), which hosts festivals and events annually.
Chicago has more than 7,300 restaurants, including Alinea, one of only 14 US restaurants with three Michelin stars.
Chicago has more than 200 breweries, including Goose Island Beer Company, one of the most successful craft breweries in the US.
Chicago has more than 15 miles (24 kilometers) of elevated train tracks (also known as "The Loop"), which provide public transportation around downtown.
Chicago has more than 26 miles (42 kilometers) of lakefront trails (also known as "The Lakefront Path"), which offer scenic views and recreational opportunities for bikers, walkers, and runners.
Chicago is a very walkable and bikeable city, with many sidewalks, bike lanes, and bike-sharing stations. However, you have several other options if you want to travel faster or farther. Here are some of the most common and convenient ways to get around Chicago with your pet:
Driving in Chicago can be challenging, especially during rush hours and busy areas. Parking can also be expensive and scarce. However, suppose you have a car or rent one. In that case, you can enjoy the flexibility and convenience of driving wherever you want. Just follow the traffic rules and regulations, and secure your pet in a crate or a harness. You can also use ride-hailing services such as Uber or Lyft, but be aware that not all drivers accept pets, so you may have to wait longer or pay extra fees.
Chicago has an extensive and efficient rail system operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). The CTA consists of eight color-coded lines that cover most of the city and some of the suburbs. The trains run 24/7 and are relatively cheap and fast. You can use a Ventra card or a contactless payment method to pay for your fare. You can bring your pet on board in a carrier that can fit on your lap or under your seat. You can also use the Metra commuter rail service, which connects Chicago with other cities in Illinois and Wisconsin. The Metra trains run on weekdays and weekends but have less frequent schedules and higher fares than the CTA trains. You can bring your pet on board in a carrier that can fit under your seat or in the overhead rack.
Chicago also has an extensive and efficient bus system operated by the CTA. The CTA has more than 100 bus routes that cover most of the city and some of the suburbs. The buses run 24/7 and are relatively cheap and frequent. You can use a Ventra card or a contactless payment method to pay for your fare. You can bring your pet on board in a carrier that can fit on your lap or under your seat.
Chicago has many taxis you can hail on the street or call by phone or app. The taxis are metered and charge by distance and time. You can bring your pet on board in a carrier or on a leash, but you may have to pay extra fees or tips.
Chicago is bike-friendly, with many bike lanes, bike racks, and bike-sharing stations. You can rent a bike from Divvy, the city's bike-sharing system. Divvy has more than 600 stations and 6,000 bikes that you can use for short trips around the city. You can pay by credit card or app and choose from different plans and prices. You can bring your pet on board in a carrier that can attach to the bike or fit in the basket.
Chicago is a vibrant and diverse city offering something for everyone, especially pet owners who want to explore it with their furry friends. Whether looking for culture, history, nature, or entertainment, you'll find it in one of the many neighborhoods that make up the Windy City. Here are some of the highlights and recommendations for each area.
This is the city's heart, where you'll find iconic landmarks like the Willis Tower, the Millennium Park, and the Art Institute of Chicago. It's also great to enjoy the lakefront views and walk along the Riverwalk with your pet. You'll find plenty of pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, and shops in this area.
Don't miss the chance to see the Cloud Gate sculpture ("The Bean") in Millennium Park, an excellent spot for taking photos with your pet. You can also take a boat tour on the Chicago River or a bike ride along the Lakefront Trail to see the city from different perspectives. For dining options, check out The Purple Pig, which offers Mediterranean-inspired dishes and welcomes pets on its patio.
This is one of the most popular neighborhoods for locals and visitors alike. Its beautiful park spans over 1,200 acres and features a zoo, a conservatory, a nature museum, and a beach. It's a perfect place to relax, have fun with your pet, and explore the charming streets and historic buildings surrounding it.
Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the country's oldest and largest zoos, and is free to enter. You can see over 1,000 animals worldwide and learn about conservation efforts. You can also take your pet to the Montrose Dog Beach, a fenced-off area where dogs can run and play in the sand and water.
This hip and trendy neighborhood attracts artists, musicians, and creative types. It's known for its eclectic mix of boutiques, galleries, cafes, and bars that cater to different tastes and styles. You'll also find some of the city's best street art and murals here. Your pet will love the vibrant and colorful vibe of this area.
Explore the Six Corners intersection, where Milwaukee, Damen, and North avenues meet, and where you'll find some of the best shopping and nightlife in the city. You can also catch a live show at one of the many venues that host local and national acts, such as Subterranean or The Empty Bottle. For dining options, try Big Star, which serves delicious tacos and margaritas and has a dog-friendly patio.
This is the home of the University of Chicago and the former residence of Barack Obama. It's a historic and cultural neighborhood boasting some of the city's finest museums, libraries, and architecture. You'll also find some green spaces and trails to enjoy nature with your pet.
See the Museum of Science and Industry, one of the world's largest science museums with interactive exhibits covering topics like space, robotics, genetics, and more. You can also visit The Oriental Institute, which houses a collection of ancient artifacts from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, and other regions. For dining options, try Medici on 57th. This cozy cafe serves sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and pastries, allowing pets on its outdoor seating.
Things to Do
Whether you want to explore the iconic landmarks, enjoy the cultural attractions, or experience outdoor activities, you can find plenty of pet-friendly options in the Windy City. In this blog post, we will give you some tips and recommendations on making the most of your trip to Chicago with your furry friend.
One of the best ways to get to know Chicago is to visit its many attractions. You can admire the stunning architecture, learn about the history and culture, and have fun with your pet at the same time. Here are some of the attractions that you and your pet can enjoy together:
The Navy Pier
This popular waterfront destination features a Ferris wheel, a carousel, a children's museum, and many shops and restaurants. You can walk along the pier with your leashed pet and enjoy the views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline. Several pet-friendly cruises depart from the dock, such as the Seadog and Mercury Cruises.
The Millennium Park
This is a 24.5-acre park that showcases some of the most iconic public art in Chicago, such as the Cloud Gate (also known as "The Bean"), the Crown Fountain, and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. You can stroll around the park with your leashed pet and photograph these fantastic sculptures. You can also visit the nearby Maggie Daley Park, which has a skating ribbon, a climbing wall, and a playground.
The Lincoln Park Zoo
This is one of the oldest and largest zoos in the country, and it is free to visit. You can see more than 200 species of animals, from lions and tigers to penguins and flamingos. You can bring your leashed pet to the zoo, but you must keep them away from the animal exhibits and respect the other visitors.
Chicago is known for its impressive skyline and its architectural landmarks. You can admire some of the most famous buildings in the world, such as the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), the John Hancock Center, and the Wrigley Building. You can also visit historic sites that shaped Chicago's history, such as the Chicago Water Tower, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Old Town Historic District. You can bring your leashed pet to most of these landmarks, but you may need help to enter some of them. You can check their websites or call ahead to confirm their pet policies.
Museums and cultural institutions
Chicago is a cultural hub boasting some of the world's finest museums and cultural institutions. At these venues, you can learn about art, science, history, and more. Some of the museums and cultural institutions that you can visit with your pet are:
The Art Institute of Chicago
This is one of the country's largest and oldest art museums, and it houses more than 300,000 artworks from various periods and regions. You can see masterpieces by Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, and many others. Bring your leashed pet to the museum's outdoor areas, such as the North and South Gardens.
The Museum of Science and Industry
This is one of the largest science museums in the world, and it features more than 800 exhibits that cover topics such as physics, biology, chemistry, astronomy, and more. You can see a real U-505 submarine, a Boeing 727 airplane, a coal mine replica, and many other fascinating displays. Bring your leashed pet to the museum's outdoor areas, such as the Columbian Basin and the North Lawn.
The Field Museum
This is one of the world's most renowned natural history museums, showcasing more than 40 million specimens and artifacts from various fields of study. You can see dinosaurs, mummies, fossils, gems, and many other outstanding collections. You can bring your leashed pet to the museum's outdoor areas, such as the North Terrace and the South Terrace.
Your Pet and the City
Chicago is a very pet-friendly city with many resources and services for pet owners traveling or living here. Whether you need to find a park, a store, or a clinic for your pet, you can find what you need in this city. Here are some helpful links to help you plan your trip and care for your pet.
Dog Parks in ChicagoBringFido
This website lists some of the best dog parks in Chicago where you can take your pet for exercise and socialization. You'll find detailed information about each park's location, size, amenities, rules, and reviews from other users. Some of the top-rated parks include Wiggly Field Dog Park (which has an agility course), Grant Bark Park (which has a water fountain), and Puptown Dog Park (which has a separate area for small dogs).
Pet Stores in ChicagoPet stores in Chicago for dog leashes, cat collars and more
This website lists some of the best pet stores in Chicago where you can buy food, treats, toys, accessories, and more for your pet. You'll find information about each store's address, hours, products, and services. Some of the best-rated stores include Kriser's Natural Pet (which specializes in natural and organic products) and Tails in the City (which sells luxury and designer items). Jameson Loves Danger (which offers grooming and training).
Pet Clinics in Chicago18 Best Chicago Veterinarians | Expertise.com
This website lists some of the best pet clinics in Chicago where you can get medical care for your pet. You'll find information about each clinic's location, hours, staff, services, and reputation. Some of the best-rated clinics include Blum Animal Hospital (which has been serving the community since 1952), Metropolitan Veterinary Center (which is open 24/7), and Animal Medical Center of Chicago (which has a holistic approach).
Chicago is a beautiful city to visit any time of the year, but there are some things you should consider before you go. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your trip and have a smooth and enjoyable experience with your pet.
Chicago has four distinct seasons, each with its own charm and challenges. Here's what you can expect from each one:
This is a lovely time to see the city bloom and enjoy the mild weather. However, it can also be unpredictable and rainy, so pack layers and an umbrella. You can also expect crowds during events like St. Patrick's Day and the Chicago Flower and Garden Show.
This is the peak season for tourism, as the city offers many festivals, concerts, fireworks, and outdoor activities. However, it can also be hot and humid, so stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. You should also be aware of the traffic and parking issues that come with the high demand.
This is a beautiful time to see the city change colors and enjoy the crisp air. However, it can also be windy and chilly, so bring a jacket and a hat. You can also enjoy cultural events like the Chicago International Film Festival and the Chicago Marathon.
This is a magical time to see the city covered in snow and lights. However, it can also be freezing and snowy, so dress warmly and wear boots. You can also take advantage of indoor attractions like the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum.
Sustainable travel and eco-friendly options
Chicago is a city that cares about the environment and offers many ways for travelers to reduce their impact and support local initiatives. Here are some of the options you can choose from:
You can use public transportation like buses, trains, or bikes to get around the city. You can also use ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft with eco-friendly options like Uber Green or Lyft Green Mode. You can also walk to many places, as Chicago is a very walkable city.
You can stay at hotels with green certifications or practices like recycling, composting, or using renewable energy. Some examples are Hotel Felix, Hotel EMC2, and Kimpton Hotel Monaco.
You can eat at restaurants with local, organic, or sustainable ingredients or vegetarian or vegan options. Some examples are Uncommon Ground, The Chicago Diner, and Lula Cafe.
You can buy products that are made locally, ethically, or eco-friendly from shops that support social or environmental causes. Some examples are Greenheart Shop, Sacred Art, or Wolfbait & B-girls.
Ready to have a pleasant time with your pet?
Now, it's time to take action. Show your pet how much you care by investing time and effort into their grooming routine. And if you're looking for the utmost convenience, book an appointment with Pawgo. Your pet will thank you with wagging tails and endless affection.