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Where To Enjoy Fall Colors In And Around Chicago

Where To Enjoy Fall Colors In And Around Chicago

Picture of Elizabeth Newhart
Updated: 9 February 2017
Fall will be in full swing before we know it, and sometimes it can sneak up on the city-dweller. When you’re surrounded by concrete instead of green space, you miss out on the stunning foliage of autumn. There is always a lot to do in the Windy City but make sure you see in the new season by scheduling time to stop and smell the roses (or trees) in one of these ideal spots in and around Chicago.

Chicago Botanic Garden

A quick drive up to Glencoe is worth it in a big way. The 385 acres of the Chicago Botanic Garden bloom millions of plants every year, making it the best possible place to get lost in the stunning foliage all season long.

Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL, USA, +1 847 835 5440


Chicago Botanic Garden, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Chicago Botanic Garden | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Park Conservatory sits in the center of the neighborhood’s namesake amid 184 acres of pure green space. The conservatory itself occupies two acres and houses eight rooms full of ‘landscape art under glass’ for your browsing pleasure.

Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 746 5100


The Loop

Sometimes you don’t need to go that far to get in touch with nature. As long as you don’t mind a few tourists, you can see plenty of beautiful fall colors throughout all 39 acres of Grant Park. Try the Lurie Garden and the Rose Gardens in particular for the best plant variety.

Grant Park, 337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 742 3918

Red trees in Millennium Park, courtesy of Flickr: BuzzFarmers

Red trees in Millennium Park | BuzzFarmers/Flickr



Leave the city’s hustle and bustle and pop up to the close North suburbs to get into the cozy fall spirit. Walk around Northwestern University or Evanston’s main drag for that small-town feel, and then head to Dawes Park or Ladd Arboretum to get your fill of foliage.

Ladd Arboretum, 2024 McCormick Blvd, Evanston, IL, USA, +1 847 864 5181


Lincoln Park

The neighborhood may be trendy and full of urban charm, but the park alongside Lake Michigan is a quaint nature haven. Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, open 365 days a year, the Lincoln Park Conservatory or the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum for family-friendly fun.

Lincoln Park, 2391 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 742 7736


The Morton Arboretum, courtesy of Flickr: willowbrookhotels

The Morton Arboretum | willowbrookhotels/Flickr

Morton Arboretum

If you’re looking for the ultimate nature immersion during the warm or chilly months, make the trek out to Lisle to visit the Lake County Forest Preserve and Morton Arboretum. It’s full of gardens, bike trails and hiking paths across 1,700 gorgeous, green acres.

Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois 53, Lisle, IL, USA, +1 630 968 0074