Fall is just around the corner, which makes September the perfect month to enjoy the great outdoors with man’s best friend. Hiking and jogging are fun outdoor activities that can be enjoyed with your pup, but a day at the dark park presents an even better opportunity for your pooch to interact with other four-legged friends.

I know my own dog Frankie enjoys long walks on the beach and the canine companionship of his female counterparts during his off-leash playtime at the dog park.

Not all dog parks are created equal, so it’s important to do a bit of research before you head out. It’s also wise to review some dog park safety tips to be sure you’re keeping your pretty pooch safe while you’re soaking up the last rays of summer sun. Ready to get started? Here are a few of our favorite dog parks in America:

Montrose Beach – Chicago, IL

Recognized as Chicago’s first legal off-leash dog beach, it remains the only Lake Michigan waterfront experience open to beachgoers and their pets. This popular pet-friendly destination features amenities like concessions, kayaks, volleyball rentals, showers and restrooms. The dog beach itself is free and open to the public, but a DFA dog tag is required for admission. The tag itself will cost you $5, plus a vet visit.

Lake Baldwin Park – Orlando, FL

The name may have changed from Fleet Peeples Park to Lake Baldwin Park, but the popular dog park remains unchanged. Lake Baldwin Park is still a favorite spot in Central Florida and has been recognized as one of the top dog parks in the country. Pups will enjoy the park’s expansive stretch of land and beach, but their humans will probably most appreciate the renovated doggie washes located near the entrance.

Tompkins Square Dog Run – New York, NY

Skyscrapers don’t stop New Yorkers from owning pets in The Big Apple, and responsible pet owners know exercise is a key ingredient to any dog’s happiness and health. Constructed as a community redevelopment initiative in 1990, Tompskins Square Dog Run remains a local favorite today. The Dog Run features several pools and has recently undergone additional renovations – including the installation of a state-of-the-art clay surface.

Dog Wood Park – Jacksonville, FL

Although not a free option on our list, the amenities included in Dog Wood Park make this spot a worthwhile investment for your spoiled pup. The campus features 42 acres of open land, closed space, agility courses, 10 acres of nature trails and Lake Bow Wow, a two-acre swimming lake with fountain. It’s basically an all-inclusive amusement park for dogs. Your pup can thank me later.

Did we feature your favorite dog park? If not, let us know your top picks in the comment section below.