As the weather warms, Chicagoans are out and about soaking up the sun. Follow their lead and explore the many urban parks, hidden gardens and other green spaces throughout the city.
Grant Park is likely your first stop on your quest for all things outdoors. Spanning more than 300 acres in the central business district, this hot spot is also home to plenty of the city’s main attractions: the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium and the impressive Buckingham Fountain.
Within Grand Park is another urban oasis: Millennium Park, which encompasses 25 expansive acres. From Frank Gehry’s dramatically curved outdoor music pavilion to the bean-shaped Cloud Gate installation and the colorful Lurie Garden, this is where modern culture meets Mother Nature. Live events are coming back slowly but the park is open all day with masks and social distancing required.
On the shores of Lake Michigan, Northerly Island Park has a thriving ecosystem within its nearly 120 acres of protected land. A 5-acre body of water juts out from the island and paved pathways are designed for strolling and biking as you observe rolling prairie grasslands, wildlife, and native and migratory birds.
Beyond the major parks, Chicago also harbors a whole collection of garden treasures. The Garden of the Phoenix is one of these jewels, symbolizing the enduring relationship between Japan and the U.S. Found between two lagoons in Jackson Park, this serene space is abundant with blossoms and rock-lined waters.
Enjoy quiet moments of contemplation at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool at the edge of Lincoln Park Zoo. Only open between April and November, this beautifully kept water feature remains an iconic representation of Chicago’s famous Prairie Style of design.
Follow in the footsteps of dedicated birders and you’ll find plenty of hidden gems. The Montrose Bird Sanctuary inside Lincoln Park is one of them. Spread out over 15 acres, this natural space features “The Magic Hedge” which attracts hundreds of species of migrating birds.
Starting out from your prime location by the Riverwalk, Club Quarters Chicago, Wacker at Michigan is your gateway to natural attractions. Just get out and see what these urban green spaces are all about.
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