Chicago residents and visitors are probably familiar with the Windy City’s Lincoln Park. But did you know that Lincoln Park boasts two dog-friendly areas where your pups can play? Belmont Harbor Dog Beach is a small (.15 acre) area designated for pups and their people.
The park is just one section of many in Chicago’s largest park, taking up just a fraction of the 1,200-acre area. All this to say, when you and your pup are done exploring the lakefront area of Belmont Harbor Dog Beach, there’s plenty more to discover!
We’ve researched the Lincoln Park area and have put together a guide for dog lovers. Spend the day at the park, then check out some of the other fur-friendly attractions in the area.
Before you scroll down to more in-depth answers about, “Belmont Harbor Dog Beach” you can check out these other dog-related articles: Do Bernedoodles Like To Swim? (2023) and 5 Best Dog Parks in Chicago, Illinois! (2023).
Belmont Harbor Dog Beach: The Basics
Belmont Harbor Dog Beach is located within Lincoln Park, the entirety of which is dog-friendly. As with all dog-friendly parks in Chicago, you’ll need a seasonal DFA (Dog Friendly Area) tag for your pup. A DFA tag costs $5 and is available through veterinary offices in Chicago, so you’ll need to plan in advance before you visit Belmont Harbor Dog Beach.
The DFA shows proof of vaccinations and veterinary examination. Passes are valid for the season.
Once you’ve got your DFA tag in hand, head over to 3500 N Lake Shore Drive. You can park in one of the lots nearby, including a deck across the street. Alternatively, utilize the Lincoln Park parking lots and walk to the dog beach. The entrance is closed off with two gates, allowing dogs to remain enclosed while they play.
Note that this is an urban park! Belmont Harbor Dog Beach isn’t large, but there’s ample room for dogs to splash in the shallow water and meet other like-minded pups. Should you and your dog prefer a larger space to explore, Montrose Dog Beach is located within Lincoln Park and is about a 35-minute walk for most people.
Because of the size of the park, you’re likely to run into other dogs and their owners. Of course, not all humans are always on their best behavior — if your dog hasn’t been socialized with other canines then Montrose Dog Beach may offer the expanded personal space you and your dog prefer.
With that in mind, small dogs and dogs who don’t mind others will love exploring the beach. The park is just the right size to keep an eye on your pup without having to run back and forth yourself, and humans are generally good about cleaning up after their pets. Bring your own doggy bag and pooper scooper!
Belmont Harbor Dog Beach Details:
- Location: 3500 N Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois | Belmont & Lake Shore Drive
- Phone Number: 312-742-7726
- Email: [email protected]
- Hours: 6 am to 11 pm
- Vaccination required: Yes
- Leashes required: No
- Breed restrictions: None listed
- Parking: 3440 N Lake Shore Dr.
Belmont Harbor Dog Beach Reviews
Pet owners (and a few people watchers) have varying reviews of Belmont Harbor Dog Beach. As stated previously, it’s important to remember that this is a small, urban park — it was designed to give pups a place to let loose. It’s not a multi-acre plot of land. If you prefer a larger space, Belmont Harbor might not be a good fit for you.
Reviewers note the number of geese at the park. These birds aren’t usually problematic, but if you have a dog that likes to “play” with geese, you’ll want to keep an eye on your baby. Visitors to the park also comment on the many “stray” balls left on the beach. This could be a pro or a con, depending on your perspective!
Lincoln Park is open until 11 pm, and visitors note that Belmont Harbor clears out around 8 in the evening. If you and your dog prefer, you can visit during these hours and have the park almost to yourself.
Belmont Harbor is an active harbor and, as such, accumulates trash on the beach. Visitors have noticed that the dog-parent community pitches in to keep the shore clean, but keep this in mind before you visit the park. Better yet, bring your own trash bag and help clean up while your pup plays!
Finally, amenities are scarce. There are no bathrooms or showers at the park, so you’ll need to take care of any needs outside of the park! There is, however, a bench at the park entrance. This makes for easy emergency shoe care if necessary.
More Fun Ideas While You’re In Chicago
The Windy City has oodles of opportunities for you to spend quality time with your dog. Pet-friendly businesses dot Lake Shore Drive and the area surrounding Lincoln Park. The places listed below advertise a pet-friendly environment, but you’ll want to check ahead for any vaccine requirements or breed restrictions.
First, if you’re staying in Chicago for any length of time, you’ll need to find pet-friendly lodging. From Holiday Inns and Hamptons to boutique hotels with tons of atmosphere, you’ll have plenty of options for you and your pup. Alternatively, you can book an Airbnb that allows pets. Be certain you confirm breed restrictions with the property owner beforehand.
There are a surprisingly high number of pet-friendly dining choices, too! River Shannon is an Irish pub with a dog-welcomed patio. From time to time, River Shannon hosts pup-friendly events, too! Ranalli’s is a pizza joint that loves its canine patrons. Ranalli’s, like River Shannon, hosts events from time to time.
Finally, if you’re just interested in exploring the city with your dog, you’re in luck. Visit Navy Pier with your (leashed) pup. Shop Nordstrom or Apple with your buddy (yes, not just service dogs!), or go on a Ghost Tour with Windy City Ghosts. Whatever you decide to do, we promise you won’t be disappointed!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re planning an off-leash beach day with your dog in the city, you’ll need to stick to either Belmont Harbor Beach or Montrose Beach.
While the beach can feel confined on a busy summer day, if your dog loves the water, it should have ample room to play.
Belmont Harbor Dog Beach does not offer on-site parking, so plan accordingly. Parking in the nearby area can be competitive, particularly during the summer.
Conclusion For “Belmont Harbor Dog Beach”
Belmont Harbor Dog Beach isn’t the biggest dog park in Chicago by any means. Despite its size, this little park provides just the right amount of room for dogs of all sizes to run, play, and socialize. If it’s a large park you’re looking for, Montrose Dog Beach is a walk away.
Take the day to visit Lincoln Park, including the Belmont Harbor Dog Beach, then explore the sights and sounds of the Windy City. Enjoy the rich culture of Chicago with your canine buddy, then relax in one of Chicagoland’s pet-friendly hotels.
If you find this guide, “Belmont Harbor Dog Beach,” helpful, you can check out these other dog-related topics covered by our team at We Love Doodles:
- 13 Best Pet Stores in Chicago!
- Best Dog Bakery in Chicago: Top 6 Picks!
- 4 Best Indoor Dog Parks in Chicago!
You can learn more about Belmont Harbor Dog Beach by watching “Belmont Harbor Dog Beach – Chicago Dog Friendly Area” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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At We Love Doodles, we’re a team of writers, veterinarians, and puppy trainers that love dogs. Our team of qualified experts researches and provides reliable information on a wide range of dog topics. Our reviews are based on customer feedback, hands-on testing, and in-depth analysis. We are fully transparent and honest to our community of dog owners and future owners.