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Top 6 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Chicago, IL: Off-Leash & On-Leash Places to Go

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on April 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

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Top 6 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Chicago, IL: Off-Leash & On-Leash Places to Go

Chicago has many beautiful beaches lined up along its eastern border with Lake Michigan. Many beaches are open to the public and are the perfect destinations to visit on hot and humid summer days.

While Chicago is a relatively dog-friendly city, it has fairly strict policies when it comes to allowing dogs on beaches. The city has two dog beaches, and it doesn’t allow dogs or have designated off-leash hours on its public beaches.

Here’s the latest information on dog beaches that you and your dog can visit in Chicago and the nearby suburbs.

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The Top 6 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Chicago, Illinois

1. Montrose Dog Beach

️ Address: 601 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL
Open Times: Year-round, 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Cost: Free, but Dog Friendly Area (DFA) tag registration is required ($10 for tag)
Off-leash allowed? Yes

  • Largest and most popular dog beach in Chicago
  • Beach is fenced but may not keep in small dogs and escape artists
  • Onsite clean-up and wash station
  • Allows three dogs per person


2. Belmont Harbor Dog Beach

️ Address: Belmont & Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL
Open Times: Year-round, 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Cost: Free, but DFA tag is required
Off-leash allowed? Yes

  • A fully fenced beach
  • Free parking available from Monday – Saturday
  • Quieter and smaller than Montrose Dog Beach
  • Not a lot of shade, so make sure to bring sunscreen, water for you and your dog, and an umbrella


3. Tobey Prinz Beach Park

️ Address: 1050 W. Pratt Ave, Chicago, IL
Open Times: Year-round
Cost: Free
Off-leash allowed? No

  • Dogs are allowed to walk with leash
  • Beach can get crowded so it is best to walk in the mornings
  • Many cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating nearby


4. Evanston Dog Beach

️ Address: 1631 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL
Open Times: Spring – Fall, 5:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Cost: Annual $50 membership fee
Off-leash allowed? Yes
  • Entrance requires completing an application
  • $10 fee for additional dogs
  • Located near a large dog park
  • Location may change as the City of Evanston is working to create a new dog beach


5. Gillson Dog Beach

️ Address: 101 Lake Ave, Wilmette, IL
Open Times: Year-round, 6 AM – 10:30 PM
Cost: Permit required; $43 for residents and $218 for non-residents
Off-leash allowed? Yes

  • Has some shallow areas for puppies and small dogs
  • Fines are expensive, so make sure to follow the rules
  • Off-leash park located nearby
  • Must pay additional fees for additional dogs
  • Must pre-register your vehicle to use the parking lot


6. Moraine Beach

️ Address: 2501 Sheridan Rd, Highland Park, IL
Open Times: April – November
Cost: Membership required; $50 for residents and $150 for non-residents
Off-leash allowed? Yes

  • Parking permit required for vehicles
  • Membership also gives access to dog parks in Highland Park
  • Maximum of two dogs per person
  • Beach is undergoing reconstruction and repair due to damage from heavy rainfall

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Conclusion

Chicago has strict policies for dogs on their beaches and all dog beaches require pre-registration before entering. You can also face some hefty fines for breaking the rules, such as not picking up after your dog or having your dog off leash in certain areas. So, make sure to read up on the beach’s rules and regulations before visiting to ensure that you and your dog have a fun and safe time together at the beach.

See also:


Featured Image Credit: Anette, Pixabay

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