5 Beautiful Parks in Chicago You Should Visit

5 Beautiful Parks in Chicago You Should Visit
Picture of Riley Londres
Updated: 9 February 2017
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As one of the largest cities in the United States, Chicago has a prominent skyline full of skyscrapers, and amongst those iron buildings and bustling streets are a numerous amount of lush green parks that are perfect for a weekend getaway from the city. Here is a guide to some of the best and most popular parks in Chicago, among locals and visitors alike.

Lincoln Park

Situated along a seven mile stretch of lakefront on Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park is the longest park in Chicago. Within its borders there are a number of sites and places to visit, such as the zoo, the Chicago History Museum and the Nature Museum. During the summer and on the weekends, locals and visitors are free to explore the vast parkland, beaches, and nature reserves, or enjoy the beauty of nature within the confines of the city at the lily pond or the outdoor theatre.

Grant Park

Located in the Loop, Grant Park is a popular attraction and place to explore for locals and visitors alike. The park dates back to the city’s founding, and includes the Art Institute of Chicago and Museum Campus, as well as the beautiful Buckingham Fountains. A well-known section of the park known as Millennium Park (which features the famous Bean sculpture) was created to celebrate the millennium and features several pavilions for performances.

Jackson Park

This 500 acre park is in the south side of Chicago, bordering Lake Michigan, and is famous for being the location of the ‘White City’ at the 1893 World’s Fair. While none of the buildings of the fair remain to this day, visitors to the park can still see the enchanting Japanese garden or spend a day birdwatching along one of the many bird trails that wind through the greenery.

Ping Tom Park

Named after a prominent businessman and civic leader, Ping Tom, this park takes up a 17 acre space in Chicago’s Chinatown. The park is set up to celebrate Chinese culture and the entrance features four 20-foot columns adorned with Chinese dragons. Within the park, there is a pagoda-style pavilion that is beautiful to look at and a fantastic spot to set-up a picnic during warmer weather; there is also a large playground for young children.

Garfield Park

The oldest of Chicago’s west side parks, Garfield Park stretches across 184 acres of greenery. It is designed to be a place for strolling and picnicking – a retreat for the citizens of Chicago from the iron buildings and concrete sidewalks. There are a number of bridges and gardens to explore, as well as a lovely lagoon that was initially created for weekend boating. The park is also the home of the Garfield Park Conservatory, which is considered to be the largest and most impressive conservatory in the United States.

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