Chicago Botanic Garden
Sprawling across 385 acres of pristine land, there is beauty at every turn. With 30 unique gardens, each and every one of your senses will be ignited at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Let your mind wander from the stress of the day and take in the splendor of nature. Find inspiration in the shapes and colors, breathe in the unpolluted air and let yourself be at peace.
Situated along the east side of Burnham harbor, Northerly Island is the perfect quick getaway. Easily accessible by road, what was once a private air strip is now a 40 acre park surrounding a five acre lagoon. Hop on your bike or strap on your running shoes, put on your favorite playlist, and the city will almost seem peaceful for a little while.
Further to the south, you’ll find Promontory Point. Similar to Northerly Island, this lush peninsula is lined with trees and includes an open meadow and biking/running path that is connected to the Lakefront Trail. The park is pet friendly, and even provides a beautifully sculptured memorial featuring a fountain for pets and wildlife alike. Limestone steps leading to the water’s edge provide the perfect sitting place to relieve your stress and soak in the warm sun while listening to the lapping of the soft waves.
Art Institute South Garden
The Art Institute’s South Garden is located on one of the busiest blocks in Chicago, but this strategically placed park provides the perfect urban escape. Sitting beneath the sprawling branches of the majestic hawthorn trees whose branches intertwine, creating a canopy that casts dappled light onto the sidewalk below, almost makes you forget that you’re in a major metropolitan city.
Winter Garden is your go-to cold weather escape. When everything outside is wet and slushy and cold, head up to the 9th floor of the Harold Washington Library. The glass paneled ceiling dome lets sunlight in, warming the space and casting soft light on the lush indoor fauna. The peaceful space offers the perfect setting for quiet contemplation.
Winter Garden, 400 S State St Chicago, IL, USA, 312 747 4300
Rooftop Yoga at J Parker
Sitting atop the Lincoln Hotel, the J Parker Rooftop is a chic and popular outdoor rooftop lounge with sprawling city views once the sun has set. But in the wee morning hours, you’ll find something very special happening in this space: sunrise yoga. Join your fellow 9-5ers in quiet meditation to prepare for taking on the trials of the day. Combinations of breathing exercises, meditation and a series of poses, yoga calms and heals not only the mind, but the body and the spirit as well.
By Ashley Giampoli
Ashley is a 28 year old city girl who resides in Chicago but has set foot on all 7 continents and has an ever-growing bucket list. She is just as comfortable in high heels and mascara as she is camping in Africa. She is an endlessly inspired traveller, writer, photographer, animal lover and explorer. She has learned that life doesn’t always take us down the path we intended, but that’s what makes it a great adventure. Follow her adventures on Instagram @aash_g