Explore the best dog-friendly beaches in Chicago, from Montrose Dog Beach to Moraine Dog Beach, perfect for off-leash play and relaxation.

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Discover Chicago's Best Dog-Friendly Beaches

3 min read

Unleash the fun at Chicago's top dog-friendly beaches! Whether your furry friend loves splashing in the waves or romping in the sand, the Windy City has several perfect spots for a tail-wagging good time.

From the expansive Montrose Dog Beach to the tranquil environs of Moraine Dog Beach, there's a sandy stretch for every pup to enjoy off-leash freedom and fun activities.

Montrose Dog Beach

Location: 601 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL

Montrose Dog Beach is Chicago's premier off-leash dog beach, celebrated for its expansive size and vibrant atmosphere. It's a fenced area, but owners of small dogs should keep a close watch due to potential escape spots. Amenities include a convenient cleanup and wash station to ensure your pup can get cleaned up after a day of fun. Access requires a Dog Friendly Area (DFA) tag.

Open Hours: Year-round, 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Belmont Harbor Dog Beach

Location: Belmont & Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL

Belmont Harbor Dog Beach offers a quieter, smaller setting ideal for dogs that may be overwhelmed by larger crowds at other beaches. The area is fully fenced, providing a safe space for your dog to roam freely. Note that parking is complimentary from Monday to Saturday, and a DFA tag is also required here.

Open Hours: Year-round, 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Foster Avenue Dog Beach

Location: 5200 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL

This popular beach can get crowded in the afternoons, so morning visits are recommended. Foster Avenue Dog Beach features a fenced, off-leash area where dogs can enjoy the waters of Lake Michigan. Nearby, you'll find a DIY dog wash station to clean up your pet after a sandy day.

Gillson Dog Beach

Location: 800 Gillson Park Drive, Wilmette, IL

Gillson Dog Beach is nestled within a popular park and requires a permit for access. It boasts specific off-leash hours and is well-maintained, featuring shallow water perfect for puppies or smaller dogs.

Open Hours: May 27 – June 11: 6 AM – 10:30 PM; June 12 – August 11: Varied hours; August 12 – June 10: 6 AM – 10:30 PM

Moraine Dog Beach

Location: 2501 Sheridan Rd, Highland Park, IL

Located in the scenic area of Highland Park, Moraine Dog Beach offers a tranquil setting for dogs to play off-leash. A membership is required to access this beach, which provides stunning views of Lake Michigan and a peaceful environment for both dogs and owners.

Evanston Dog Beach

Location: 1631 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL

Evanston Dog Beach is known for its tight-knit community vibe and pristine conditions. A membership is required for access, and it's celebrated for being a well-maintained spot where dogs can safely frolic under supervision.

Open Hours: Spring – Fall, 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Tobey Prinz Beach Park

Location: 1050 W. Pratt Ave, Chicago, IL

Situated in Rogers Park, Tobey Prinz Beach Park is a cherished spot for leashed dog walks, especially popular in the morning due to its proximity to local cafes and eateries that feature outdoor seating.

Open Hours: Year-round

Sunrise Park and Beach

Location: 455 Sunrise Drive, Lake Bluff, IL

While a bit of a drive from Chicago, Sunrise Park and Beach offers a dog-friendly area in a serene setting perfect for a day trip. Registration of pets is required to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors.

Open Hours: Seasonal, typically from dawn until dusk

Chicago's array of dog-friendly beaches offers something for every canine and their companions. Whether you're seeking a bustling beach scene at Montrose or a quieter, more controlled environment like Belmont Harbor, these spots provide safe and enjoyable settings for dogs to play and owners to relax.

Remember to check the access requirements such as DFA tags or memberships, and plan your visit to ensure a hassle-free and delightful day out with your best friend.


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