Chicago Travel Guide - Must See Chicago

Chicago Parks & Gardens Guide

The Bean at Millennium Park - Photo Provided by ChicagoPhotoshop.comInfo & Map Locations of Chicago's Top Parks & Gardens
The leaders of Chicago have always placed a high priority on beautiful green spaces to be enjoyed by the public. Dating back to the late 1800's, the land of Grant Park was designated for public use. We have followed that priority ever since, most recently with the completion of Millennium Park in 2004. The gardens, outdoor music venues, pathways and artwork have one thing in common - a place for the local residents and visitors to enjoy their day. A further testament to Chicago's dedication to public access is the Lakefront Trail. This beautiful 18-mile paved stretch along the shores of Lake Michigan is very popular with bike riders, runners, walkers and skaters.

Chicago also features several beach areas along Lake Michigan, perhaps the most popular being Oak Street Beach. The flora enthusiasts will enjoy our world-renowned Chicago Botanic Garden, Garfield Park Conservatory, Osaka Garden, Lincoln Park Conservatory and the suburban Morton Arboretum. We can thank our community leaders for maintaining our city's goal to make Chicago a beautiful cosmopolitan. See our Map of Chicago's Parks & Gardens.

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Guide to Chicago Parks & Gardens

Name Neighborhood Address/City/State/Zip Phone

Chicago Botanic Garden


1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL


The Chicago Botanic Garden, with its world-renowned plant collections and displays, is one of the country's most visited public gardens and a preeminent center for learning and scientific research. The 385-acre Garden features 25 display gardens and four natural areas, uniquely situated on nine islands surrounded by lakes.

Cuneo Mansion & Gardens


1350 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Vernon Hills, IL


Construction on the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens was completed in 1918 and purchased by businessman John Cuneo Sr. in 1937. The mansion, which opened to the public as the Cuneo Museum and Gardens in 1991, houses the Cuneo family collection of fine antiques, paintings by world-famous artists, tapestries, sculptures, silver, and porcelain. This 100-acre estate was donated to Loyola University Chicago in 2009. Docent-guided tours are offered Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Garfield Park Conservatory

Garfield Park

300 North Central Park Avenue, Chicago, IL


Imagine strolling through prehistoric ferns, stepping across trickling waterfalls, and experiencing a botanic haven where your children can play, laugh, and learn. Discover a world under glass, an oasis in the city, where plants are accessible, understandable and most importantly fun! You can tour the Conservatory with a knowledgeable Garfield Park Conservatory Guide (nominal fee) or take a self-guided tour (free).

Grant Park


Michigan Avenue & Madison Street, Chicago, IL


Proudly referred to as Chicago's "front yard," Grant Park is a public park, 319 acres located in Chicago’s central business district in the Loop Community area. Grant Park’s most notable features include Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus. The park contains performance venues, gardens, art work, sporting, and harbor facilities. It hosts public gatherings, and several large annual events.

Jackson Park


6401 S. Stony Island Avenue, Chicago, IL


Located in the Woodlawn community, Jackson Park totals 542.89 acres and features a gymnasium, three multi-purpose rooms, and fitness center. Green features of the park include Wooded Island (which includes the Japanese styled Osaka Garden), Bobolink Meadows, and a vegetable and flower garden. Outside, the park offers three harbors, 63rd St. Beach, basketball/tennis courts, multi-purpose fields, golf course, golf driving range and an artificial turf field.

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Lincoln Park

2400 N. Stockton Drive , Chicago, IL


At the Lincoln Park Conservatory, you will find tropical palms and ancient ferns right in the heart of Lincoln Park. Designed both to showcase exotic plants and grow the thousands of plants needed for use in the parks, the Conservatory offers visitors a tropical experience within its four display houses. Admission is free.

Millennium Park


103 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL


Hosting over 525 free events each year, Millennium Park is an award-winning center for art, music, architecture and landscape design. Since opening in July 2004, the Park has had millions of visitors, making it one of the most popular local, national and international destinations. The result of a unique partnership between the City of Chicago and the philanthropic community, the 24.5-acre park features the work of world-renowned architects, planners, artists and designers.

North Avenue Beach

Lincoln Park

1600 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL


North Avenue Beach is one of Chicago's most popular beaches offering an array of amenities and recreational opportunities for beach goers. Castaways Bar & Grill serves food and drinks and Boucher Brothers rents lounge chairs and umbrellas. You can also rent kayaks and jet skis.

Oak Street Beach

Gold Coast

1000 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL


Oak Street Beach is a popular summer hotspot offering beach goers amenities that include chair rentals, food and beverage options, bike rentals, volleyball rentals, restrooms and a spectacular view of the city skyline. This beach hosts a number of popular amateur and professional volleyball tournaments throughout the summer.

Osaka Garden

Hyde Park

5800 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL


This lovely Japanese styled garden is located on the Wooded Island in the center of the Jackson Park lagoon. The garden was established for the Chicago World's Fair Columbian Exposition by the people of Japan. The site was selected as a calming respite from the busy hustle and bustle of the other World's Fair activities. The island also provides a wonderful place for birdwatching.

The Morton Arboretum


4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL


The Morton Arboretum was founded in 1922 by Morton Salt magnate Joy Morton. Arboretum grounds offer an oasis of magnificently tended trees, 16 miles of hiking trails, 9 miles of roads, and 900 acres of natural areas including the prototypical, restored 100-acre Schulenberg Prairie. Also on the grounds are a Visitor Center and Plant Clinic, The Arboretum Store, Ginkgo Restaurant and Café, four-acre Children’s Garden, one-acre Maze Garden, and a paved walking trail around restored Meadow Lake.

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Map of Chicago Parks & Gardens

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