Every self-respecting Hollywood fan has heard of Al Capone. His Italian mafia lorded over Chicago in the late twenties of the past century, stirring up quite the ruckus throughout the state. Since then, Chicago has grown, developed and became a major commercial, financial and tourist hub of the United States.
Oddly enough, the origins of the city’s name are not exactly glamorous. During the end of the seventeenth century, native Americans stumbled upon a swampy patch of land on the shores of Lake Michigan. The bog was home to an abundant quantity of wild onion (Checagou), which the natives creatively dubbed the whole area after. Over the years, the bog dissipated, but the name stuck, morphing into what we have now – Chicago!
The city started resembling what it looks like now during the end of the nineteenth century. Initially, the city was built from wood, but during the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 most of the city burned down, leaving more than 90 thousand people without a home. Local legend claims that the main culprit of this disaster was a cow who knocked down a kerosene lamp. Whichever way it happened; the outcome remained the same - locals realized that steel and concrete makes for sturdier building materials. Over the next decade Chicago rebuilt, and even saw to the construction of the world’s first skyscraper in 1885!
A blessing in disguise of the Great Fire was that the city was practically starting over from a blank slate. Streets were carefully planned in a grid pattern, giving city blocks almost identical lengths. The city center, Chicago Loop, or as the locals call it, “The Loop”, became the central business and financial core of Chicago. Maddison Street and State Street, all parts of the Loop, became filled with skyscrapers and folks in suits and ties.
A Dog-Friendly Tourist Guide to Chicago - Routes and Landmarks
Instead of starting your journey at the Chicago Loop, we recommend starting your journey from the beautiful part of Michigan Avenue, located just north of the Loop. The locals call this stretch of greenery “The Magnificent Mile”. Several of the haute couture houses, jewellers, fashionable shops, and breath-taking bookstores dot the avenue.
The buildings on this street all have unique architecture, ensuring you will not get bored looking at the typically stale downtown high-rises of other cities. There was an interesting incident when McDonalds wanted to open a location on Michigan Avenue, causing the local shop owners to petition the company leadership, asking that the future eatery would follow suit and be designed to match the street.
While standing on the street, your eyes will inevitably be drawn to a massive dark building. This 343-meter tall, 100-story structure is the John Hancock Tower. With its slanted sides, it stands out with its unique architecture, almost resembling a pyramid. Due to its size and height, this structure practically becomes a vertical street, filled with shops, parking lots, offices, supermarkets, swimming pools, viewpoints, and residential apartments.
If you are feeling festive and want a bit more liveliness, we recommend heading to Rush Street, located just a block away from North Michigan Avenue. Several cafes with cozy terraces, restaurants with delicious dishes and taverns will greet you and your four-legged friend here. It’s a great place to meet people and make new friends, and gets livelier with the setting of the sun, becoming a social entertainment hub.
The city doesn’t have that many antique buildings, but the few it does are worth the time to visit. One of these is the fantastic white limestone tower, surrounded by sculptures and patterns, located on Chicago Avenue. Constructed in 1869, the tower housed a large water pump, intended to draw the water from the lake. This structure gained notoriety after becoming the sole structure surviving the Great Fire. Presently, the Chicago Water Tower is an important architectural landmark of the city.
Another no-less famous cultural heritage site is the Chicago Theater. A focal point for all types of performers, the theater featured classical plays, musicals, orchestras, magic shows, and comedy specials. Always drawing in crowds, the building became a beloved location over the years. The Chicago Theater is no less popular today than it was half a century ago, and is quite easy to spot on the street, thanks to its massive glowing “Chicago” sign.
If you want to check out one of the biggest fountains in the world, we recommend visiting the Buckingham Fountain. Located in the frontal area of the city, the fountain is the “Gate to the City” of sorts. Resembling a wedding cake, the fountain symbolizes Michigan Lake and the four states that surround it. During the summer months, the fountain awes its spectators with magnificent water spectacles, while getting a Christmas lights facelift during the winter, and hosting a variety of fire shows nearby.
It would be wrong not mention anything about Lake Michigan, while speaking about Chicago. This freshwater lake is one of many lakes that make up the Great Lakes water system. Michigan has reportedly some of the best beaches, comparable to the ones on the Pacific and Atlantic shores. The water in the lake stays relatively warm all year round and is suitable for swimming. This combination of features gives the citizens of Chicago a brilliant opportunity to sunbathe on golden sand one minute and be submerged in the bustle and hustle of a metropolis the next. We strongly recommend visiting one of the shores of the lake with your furry friend!
The next point of interest we are going to recommend is Millennium Park. This oasis of greenery is in central Chicago, with its hallmarks being that of excellent design, well-groomed landscape, and ease of movement. The park is dotted with various sculptures, installations, artworks, and contemporary works of craftsmanship.
Make sure you also visit the Cloud Gate, more commonly known as the “Chicago Bean”. This famous symbol of Chicago is a sculpture that resembled a lentil bean, created from metal sheets that were polished to perfection, creating a mirror finish. Despite the hordes of tourists you are sure to encounter by it, the composition looks interesting and futuristic, so its not something you will want to miss.
After a busy day of adventures, we have compiled a list of some of the most comfortable hotels that would be happy to have you and your furry companion stay at.
Dog-Friendly Hotels in Chicago
This dog-friendly hotel is so massive and all-inclusive that you won’t have to leave its grounds for anything. Massive territory spanning 92 stories is logically and comfortably separated into various zones, allowing you to freely change up your atmosphere and surroundings at moments notice.
All suites of the hotel offer a panoramic view of Lake Michigan, Chicago River, or the city proper. All amenities provided by the hotel are top of the line, designed and implemented to give you the highest level of comfort and satisfaction.
The hotel features a lavish restaurant, a large, enclosed swimming pool with warm water, a lounge area located beside the pool, a fitness center, and a business center.
There will be more than enough space for walks with your four-legged companion. Besides, the hotel is located right beside the Magnificent Mile, with numerous cafes, restaurants, and entertainment hubs at an arm’s reach. There are several famous landmarks situated a walking distance away from the hotel too, namely Tribune Tower and the Chicago Theater.
If you wish to stay at this hotel with your canine companion, make sure his/her weight does not exceed 11 kilograms. There will also be a solitary pet surcharge of $50 for the entire duration of your stay with your pet. Food and water bowls for your companion will be provided by the hotel staff upon request.
The Crowne Plaza Chicago West Loop will awe you with its kind staff, spotless cleanliness, and pleasant lighting, creating the atmosphere of calmness and tranquility.
The suites come with a TV, a fridge, your own bathroom, a work desk, and some coffee/tea necessities.
The city center is a ten-minute walk away, with several restaurants and cafes located in the immediate proximity of the hotel. The Magnificent Mile is only a couple of minutes away by car.
If you plan to stay at the Crowne Plaza with your pet, make sure your companion’s weight does not exceed 13 kilograms, and keep $50 ready, as there will be a solitary pet surcharge for the entire duration of your stay.
If you enjoy being in the center of Chicago, this is the best hotel for you. Everything about the hotel screams “ecofriendly” and calls for relaxation and a pleasant pastime.
The hotel features unique suites, that are all decorated to match the style of the famous Chicago’s World Fair. In your rooms you will have a TV and your own private bathroom with a fancy hygienic kit. A 24-hour fitness center is open on the premises of the hotel.
If you can’t start your morning without a cup of strong coffee or tea, the hotel features a bar that provides the hotel guests with free beverages in the morning.
There is more then enough places to visit around the hotel area. If you want to go on a walk with your four-legged friend, Millennium Park and the Navy Pier are both a brisk 20-minute walk away.
If you wish to stay at the Royal Sonesta Chicago River North with your canine companion, the hotel will collect a solitary pet surcharge of $75 for the entire duration of your stay.
This dog-friendly hotel is located a brisk walking distance from the Magnificent Mile, giving you an excellent home base for the exploration of the city center.
Don’t by shy to try out the hotel’s 24-hour fitness center if you have plenty of energy after your daily adventures.
Every hotel room comes with a work desk, a TV (with premium channels), a private bathroom (with some very cozy bathrobes and slippers) and a hygienic kit. If you feel sore after a day of walking, the hotel features a massage service that can be done in-suite.
There are several noteworthy landmarks around the hotel, notably Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago.
If you wish to stay at the Kinzie Hotel with your canine friend, there will be a solitary pet surcharge of $50. Pet food and water bowls will be provided by the hotel staff upon request.
The busy center of Chicago won’t let any guests of this city get bored. But that may not be something for you. You had your reasons for coming to this city, right? The La Quinta Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown is a great hotel option!
Located several blocks away from Willis Tower, Civic Opera House and the Observation Deck, the hotel features cozy suites, free all-inclusive breakfast with warm food, free Wi-Fi, a TV, a microwave, a fridge, and a work-desk, all at your disposal!
The rooms feature a great view of the megapolis, and for the sporty folks staying at the hotel, a 24-hour fitness center is at your disposal.
If you wish to stay at this hotel with your pet, there will be a daily pet surcharge of $25.
Chicago is a charming American city is full of surprises for its guests to explore. Filled with history and atmosphere of true America, the city beckons you to visit the Magnificent Mile, take a stroll through Millennium Park or visit the Chicago Theater.
Come visit Chicago with your canine companion and you won’t spend a minute regretting your decision!
This article contains affiliate links, we may be rewarded if you make a booking. Thank you for your understanding, advertising allows us to do our work further and collect more useful information about traveling with pets in our articles.