Dog-Friendly Vacationing in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois is famous for being the home of President Abraham Lincoln. If you and your dog are American history fanatics, this is a good place to go! Today, Springfield is a small city of over 100,000 residents. There are a couple Lincoln-related activities that are dog-friendly, along with some nice outdoor activities and doggy daycare.


Lincoln’s Tomb State Historic Site

This monument is situated in the Oak Ridge Cemetary in Springfield. In it are the remains of president Lincoln, his wife and three of his sons. Leashed dogs can go on the grounds of this site, but not in the actual building.


Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site

This park is located in Petersburg, Illinois, which is about 20 miles from Springfield, and it takes up about 700 acres. It is a reconstruction of where President Lincoln spent his early adult life, and is today full of events and performances. Its visiting hours change seasonally. Dogs are allowed throughout the park, trails and camping area so long as they are leashed.

Washington Park

Washington Park is located on the west side of Springfield, and is comprised of 150 acres. There are some historical sites, as well as fields, woods, tennis courts and other facilities. Dogs can go here on leash.

Stuart Park Dog Park

Stuart Park Dog Park consists of two fenced areas where dogs can run around off leash, one for big dogs and one for small dogs. Each area has water, park benches, garbage cans and a picnic shelter.

Dog Daycare

Pampered Pet Center

If you want to explore Springfield by yourself but do not want to leave your dog where you are staying, you can take it to the Pampered Pet Center. They are open 24/7 and have cage-free dog boarding facilities, along with other services for your dog.

Outdoor Restaurants

Maldaner’s Restaurant

Maldaner’s Restaurant is one of Springfield’s finest restaurants, full of seasonal ingredients, a full bar and Mediterranean-inspired foods. Leashed dogs can sit at the outer tables.

Panera Bread

Panera Bread is a chain fancy fast food place that serves assorted artisan breads, along with soups, salads and sandwiches. Dogs are allowed to sit at the outdoor tables.

Dog-Friendly Vacationing in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois

The Champaign/Urbana area of Illinois is a large college community that hosts the University of Illinois campus. The area surrounding it is largely rural, but there are some technology startup companies in the region, so the Champaign/Urbana district is sometimes referred to as the hub of Silicon Prairie. This area has some fun stuff to offer humans and dogs,  such as the campus’ facilities, parks and a winery.


Monticello Railway Museum

This museum is located in Monticello, Illinois. It is open seasonally, from May through October, regardless of the weather. They offer train rides to the public on weekends and holidays during this time.

This institution collects, preserves and exhibits materials and artifacts that revolve around the history of trains. Leashed dogs may go on the trains and throughout the grounds, but cannot go into any of the buildings.

University of Illinois Campus

Located in Urbana, this is a massive campus of over 500 buildings and 16 colleges sprawled out over 7.4 square miles. The grounds are very scenic as well. Leashed dogs are allowed to stroll with you and check out this school.

University of Illinois Arboretum

This campus is home to an impressive living laboratory that takes up 57 acres and hosts a variety of trees, gardens and plants. Fifty cherry trees were just planted here. Leashed dogs are allowed to walk around these gardens with you.

Alto Vineyards

These vineyards of Champaign are located in the foothills of the Shawnee National Forest, pretty close to the University of Illinois campus. Leashed dogs can join you at the outdoor tables.


Urbana Park District Dog Park

This dog park is complete with 10 acres, with a shaded area, a small dog area and an open field. Dog owners can either pay a $6 admission to use it for the day, or can get a yearly membership.

Allerton Park and Retreat Center

This beautiful park is located in Monticello, Illinois. It has over 1,500 acres, complete with formal gardens, outdoor sculptures, natural areas, hiking trails and a Georgian-style mansion. Dogs can join you on the grounds of this park, but must be a on a leash shorter than 6 feet.

Meadowbrook Park

This Urbana park has over 80 acres, full of a tallgrass prairie, gardens, sculptures and walking trails. Leashed dogs are allowed to join you but cannot go into the woods or park buildings.

Outdoor Restaurants

Crane Alley

Crane Alley is a restaurant and bar located in Urbana, and has a fine selection of alcohols and American-style foods like sandwiches and salads. Dogs are allowed at the outside “alley” in the summertime.

Mike and Molly’s

Mike and Molly’s is a bar that only serves drinks and is open after 4:00 PM. Dogs can sit at the outdoor tables.