Dog parks here in Chicago are pretty common, but they are always crowded. Even in the middle of a weekday, in crappy weather, there are a bunch of dogs. And I don't know if I'm just overprotective, but I don't trust most of them.
We've been taking Rooney to dog parks his whole life so it's not the idea of it that I'm nervous about, it's the specific dog parks near our house. The dogs are just kind of aggressive and the owners barely pay attention. One time there was a 3-4 year old little kid running through the park with two tennis balls in his hand...madness.
Anyway, before I start sounding like a grumpy chick, I'll get to the good part of this post. Montrose Dog Beach! Yep, the exception to the dog park craziness. It's great because it's really big and open so dogs can stretch their legs and really run. There's enough room to play catch without having every single dog in the park chasing the same ball.
There's more room down the beach, away from the main entrance, to be by yourself with your dog if you prefer. And there are a bunch of trails for running and biking nearby so you can take your pup for a run after playing at the beach. Love it there. It's my favorite choice for a quick way to exercise Rooney.
The best part? It's a super easy drive for us. It's right off of Lake Shore at the Montrose exit so it only takes 10 minutes in the car. Plus, it's beautiful! Sign me up.