Chi-town, the Windy city, the Second city, home of the Modern Skyscraper, Sports Town. However you want to describe Chicago not much compares to it. Team TripHound decided to spend a short weekend in the historical city and would like to share our experience.
Chicago is home to world championship sports teams, an internationally acclaimed symphony orchestra, renowned architecture and more. The most impressive part of what we discovered about Chicago is that it’s one of the most “dog-friendly” cities in the United States. Chicago ranks at the top of the U.S. in dog parks, dog-friendly restaurants, dog-friendly shopping centers, walk score and of course the dog beaches!
Friday – We stayed at The Guest House Hotel on Clark St. The Guest House is a pet-friendly hotel which provides top of the line amenities. We got settled in the hotel and decided to walk around Andersonville to get a feel for our surroundings. Andersonville is recognized for its diversity, quirky atmosphere and distinctive flavor. The area has quickly become one of the North Side’s popular neighborhoods. Distinctive to Andersonville is a lack of national chains. In fact, the neighborhood’s commercial district is made up almost entirely of independent, locally-owned businesses. Between its specialty bakeries, dynamic bar scene and incredible array of stylish boutiques, Andersonville is a thriving example of colorful urban living. Looking for a bite we stumbled upon a place called Appellation and chose a meat and cheese plate assisted with some nice wine.
It was close to time for our first event of the weekend so we Ubered it down to the United Center. The concert of the evening was Depeche Mode. They put on a great show to a packed house! It’s always fun to experience live entertainment when travelling. Maybe its the feel of you travelling to see a famous act instead of them coming to your town that makes it that much more enjoyable. We headed back to the hotel afterwards to get some good rest for a busy Saturday in store.
Saturday – There are 14 dog rescue organizations in Chicago, around 15 more in the greater Chicago area. We decided to tour and donate to One Tail at a Time. Its an individually owned organization, set up in a cute town home on the cross streets of West Webster Ave and North Wood St. OTAT (One Tail at a TIme) formed in 2008 as a small organization aimed at helping dogs. Over the years, thanks to the dedication of volunteers and donors within the community, the group has grown exponentially. OTAT now runs vaccine clinics, Chicago’s only shelter diversion program, and a bustling adoption program.
After a really nice visit with One Tail at a Time, we decided to walk around and take in some more of the beautiful Chi-town. It was time for a some lunch and we stumbled up a nice corner spot called Distilled located in West Lincoln Park. Distilled calls themselves a Chicago’s favorite whiskey bar is decked out with not just one but two floors of bar, restaurant and event space. Distilled Chicago has the sort of class you’d expect from a Southern pre-Prohibition cocktail bar. Great drink and food!
Unfortunately the Cubs were out of town, but we had to hit Wrigleyville. Wrigleyville is the lively little pocket in the Lakeview neighborhood that sits in the shadows of historic Wrigley Field, the second oldest stadium in baseball and home to the beloved Cubbies. We walked around Wrigley Field filled with shops, bars, restaurants. Locals enjoying a nice day with friends, family and doggies. Lots of pups, having fun enjoying a fantastic day. We found ourselves at Murphy’s Bleachers, a historic landmark, restaurant, bar, social setting. Of course another dog-friendly place.
We headed down to the Millenium Park Arts Festival. Live Music, Art, Food, People everywhere! Then we found the Bean! Good vibes, thousands of people enjoying art, music and great camaraderie.
We decided it was time to choose a place for dinner. Dining downtown in Chicago means you have the pick of the best restaurants. We chose Ditka’s, of course. We’re sports fans, Ditka is a champion, Sports Town, SNL!
Sunday – Our flight wasn’t scheduled until early Sunday evening so we had time experience a little more of the city. We set our sights on the shores of Lake Michigan. What’s labelled a lake is nothing shy of an ocean, 26 miles of sandy beach sitting east of downtown Chicago. We found 1 of 6 Chicago dog beaches called Montrose Dog Beach. Dogs everywhere running free, jumping in the water, chasing each other, loving life. This place was a true delight for dogs and dog lovers alike. In fact there was even a dog food truck!
It was a beautiful Sunday and again found ourselves on foot taking in the last few hours of this great city. We walked from the beach to the city and randomly found another dog-friendly spot. The Reservoir is an upscale pub with New American food, craft beers & sports on TV in a chic wood & leather setting. Again, another place with top notch food, drink and service.
On the whole, Chicago is must for anyone looking for a dog-friendly, historical, cultured, sports town. We were only there 48 hours over 3 days but it felt like a week full of pure entertainment and fulfillment.