Runner on River in ChicagoThe Best Spots to Enjoy Fall Colors in Chicago

Autumn is one of the best—and most popular—seasons in Chicago. The city is more than just skyscrapers and cars, there are also many green spaces that transform with bursts of color in the fall. Walking through Chicago in the fall can be a magical experience. If you’re looking for the best spots to enjoy the fall scenery in your new flannel, look no further than this list.

Graceland Cemetery

With Halloween coming up, October is the perfect time to walk through a cemetery. This one just happens to have perfect fall foliage during autumn as well. It’s located in Uptown, at the intersection of Clark Street and Irving Park Road, making it easy to visit. The park features stunning architecture and tall columns—the unique landscape serves as a homage to the important people buried there. 

Surrounding the cemetery are a wide variety of trees that create dazzling pops of color throughout the grounds. Graceland Cemetery’s trees have earned it an arboretum certification, and there have been recent focuses on bringing in even more color. They offer a tree tour with maps to help you enjoy the beauty of a crisp fall walk along the Victorian park with reds, oranges, and yellows overhead.

Promontory Point

Promontory Point is another location where you can find beautiful fall colors every year. Locally known as “The Point,” there is a fall swimming event held right before the autumnal equinox here every year to celebrate the season at Promontory Point. Located in Hyde Park, there are also plenty of birds around to sing their melodies, and it’s even known as a great fishing spot. Nature takes its time at The Point, ready to show off for any seasonal visitors.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park has a variety of beautiful views year round, including a stunning lily pond and an indoor botanical garden. What really stands out in the fall, however, is the stunning fall foliage. When colder weather comes, the lakefront green space takes on a new personality.

One of Lincoln Park’s most popular features is its zoo. Besides the animals, the zoo also has nearby gardens and a sculpture known as the Honeycomb. This sculpture is located on the nature boardwalk, and is surrounded by beautiful views of the city. The design was inspired by a tortoise shell, allowing you to see the bright leaves through the honeycomb design, which makes a perfect backdrop for fall photos. From here you can see both the cityscape and the natural beauty of a perfect fall day. 

Millennium Park

One of the most iconic spots in Chicago—The Bean—is good for more than just photos. During the fall, the tall trees surrounding The Bean are known for their stunning, vibrant red colors. 

One unique feature you can enjoy while at Millennium Park is the cafe located below the sculpture, which serves drinks to keep you warm while you walk through the park. Tourists and locals alike love the stunning fall colors at this location.

Garfield Park Conservatory

Sometimes, you might need a break from the cool fall air but still want to see the gorgeous colors outside. That’s a request that few places can fill, but Garfield Park Conservatory goes above and beyond. Their seasonal displays are always rotating, sure to keep you entertained whether it’s your first time or your hundredth. 

During the fall, there are crimson and gold exhibits to satisfy the seasonal ambiance. There are also several events scheduled during October, such as origami, beekeeping, and terrarium classes so that you can bring autumn home with you.  

The 606

The 606 is an abandoned railroad trail, elevated above the city. It runs through four Chicago neighborhoods including Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, and Humboldt Park, and is just under three miles long. Featuring parks, outlook points, and art, this trail makes for the perfect location to observe Chicago in the fall. The raised trail gives you a great vantage point of the trees changing color during the fall season. You might even be able to catch some live music or see the stars at night.

Plan your fall Chicago trip

As the temperatures continue to drop, the fall colors are there to warm spirits. In Chicago, you’ll find a variety of gorgeous places where you can take in the changing leaves. From parks and trails, to conservatories and cemeteries, there are plenty of spots where you can appreciate the season. 


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