8 of Chicago's Most Beautiful Parks | Hotel EMC2

8 of Chicago’s Most Beautiful Parks

Whether you’re looking for a nice spot to picnic or an escape from the city, Chicago has many beautiful parks to choose from. Going to the park is also a great way for you and your family to get fresh air, exercise, and have fun while still social distancing. If you need help deciding which of Chicago’s parks you should visit, here is a list of the best parks in the city. 

Grant Park

Grant Park is the perfect place for a picnic, or even just enjoying some sunshine, since it has many sublime spots to choose from within its 319 acres along Lake Michigan. It is conveniently located near Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, Buckingham Fountain, and Museum Campus. Grant Park is also an iconic location—it was where Barack Obama celebrated winning his presidency in 2008 and where the Chicago Bulls celebrated when they won the 1993 NBA Finals, their third straight championship win. 

Maggie Daley Park

Maggie Daley Park provides entertainment not only for kids, but adults as well. It’s home to one of the best playgrounds in Chicago, with a giant pirate ship play structure, giant slides, rope bridges, and other features. During the summertime, the park has a 40-foot climbing wall, an 18-hole mini-golf course, scooter and rollerblade rentals, and a trampoline bungee jump. If you go to the park in the wintertime, you’ll find their Ice Skating Ribbon where you can rent ice skates and follow a path twice the length of a lap around a traditional ice rink.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is one of the most popular bucket list activities in Chicago. The park’s reflective “bean” sculpture is known for its unique shape, as well as its reflection of the city around it. The park also has other art exhibitions, sculptures, and a 3.5-acre garden. This location is perfect for photographers of all skills to take pictures, from professional to amateur. It’s one of the most iconic parks in Chicago, so make sure you plan this activity into your itinerary so that you can show your friends and family your photos of this famous landmark after your trip.

The 606

The 606 offers a unique pathway that takes you through Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, and Bucktown. It was formerly an elevated railway track, but was renovated in 2015. In total, the pathway is 2.7 miles long, and you can walk, run, or ride bikes on it while enjoying seeing the city from a different perspective.

Humboldt Park

Humboldt Park, located on the West Side of Chicago, totals 197 acres and is home to a large, historic fieldhouse with a fitness center, two gyms and an inland beach with historic lagoons and a boathouse. You can play soccer on an artificial turf field, play baseball, or tennis. There is even a replica of the Chicago Cubs stadium known as “Little Cubs Field.” The park has several playgrounds that were recently renovated as well. Another unique feature of Humboldt Park is the historic stables near Paseo Boricua. This landmark location houses The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, the only museum in the nation that is completely dedicated to the history of Puerto Rican arts and culture—it is currently closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park has something for everyone, including an actual zoo, golf courses, baseball fields, a skate park, and paths for walking, running, or riding bikes. The entire park is about six and a half miles long and goes from Ohio Street Beach to Hollywood Beach. The most famous attraction within the park is the Lincoln Park Zoo, where visitors can experience a 35-acre zoo—one of the oldest zoos in North America—and see 200 unique species from around the world. Visitors can also walk through the zoo’s beautiful gardens, home to more than 1,200 plant species. Along with visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo, you can also go to see the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Lincoln Park Cultural Center. 

Garfield Park

Located on the West Side of Chicago, Garfield Park has a fieldhouse, playground, fitness center, and lagoon. It also provides places for people to play various sports, such as baseball, tennis, and basketball. If sports aren’t your thing, you can meander through the park on one of the many pathways. Another big draw in the park is the Garfield Park Conservatory where you’ll find stunning botanical greenhouses and gardens filled with lush flora.

Jackson Park

Jackson Park is famous for several reasons. It was designed for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 by landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. Another reason Jackson Park is famous is that it will soon be home to the Obama Presidential Library, which will be near Stony Island Avenue and 63rd Street. It’s a massive park, 600 acres in total, and has plenty to do for visitors. Within the park, you’ll be able to play golf, baseball, tennis, basketball, and go to a fitness center and playground. Another exciting attraction within the park is a Japanese-inspired garden called the Garden of the Phoenix, located in the eastern lagoon. 

Planning your visit

If you’re planning to visit one of these parks, make sure that you visit the Chicago Park District’s website for updates on the areas of parks that are closed or open due to the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, the Chicago Park District’s COVID-19 response shares that all playgrounds, pools, some spray features, beaches, and all other areas and facilities east of Lake Shore Drive are closed. Make sure that you also take all necessary health and safety precautions while you are visiting the city’s parks, such as social distancing from others who are not of your household and wearing masks. After you’ve done your research and prepared for your visit, you’ll be ready to experience Chicago’s most beautiful parks. 

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