Nature & parks in Chicago

Top Parks & Nature Attractions in Chicago, IL

Nature & Parks in Chicago

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    Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
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    Highest rated attractions on Tripadvisor, based on traveller reviews.
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What travellers are saying

  • upsi91
    Los Angeles, CA2 contributions
    Its a beautiful park with elaborate gardens, structures, art installations and playground for children as well. One can comfortably spend a few hours relaxing and enjoying the site. The Bean steals the show in the park. Loved it.. Downtown Chicago is fun..
    Written 28 November 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • paul w
    London, UK15 contributions
    Can't belive this place is FREEEEE to visit, it's way better than London Zoo imo, great staff, amazing animals and the enviromets looked really well kept and plenty of space, there is also a really good place to get a Chicago Dog just to keep you going.

    You can give donations which of course we did, amazing place.
    Written 28 November 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • gazzamuppet
    Farnham, UK435 contributions
    Decided to go here on my last day before flying out.
    Gave myself three hours - I think double this is needed as there is so much to see!
    The place is a bit of a warren, so it is sometimes difficult to navigate the place.
    Did a 4D show shich was entertaining and also the Beluga whales spotlight.
    Would have loved more time!
    Written 24 October 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Terve
    Singapore, Singapore39 contributions
    Chicago has a beautiful mix of architecture. Majestic building all around. We took the tour on the boat where they point out all the knowledge regarding those beautiful buildings. One of our favourite tours
    Written 23 November 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Amanda C
    Gold Coast, Australia1,647 contributions
    A fantastic trail area along Lake Michigan.
    I walked from town to the Aquarium and Field Museum over a couple of different days and enjoyed the Autumn leaves blowing everywhere, the Canada Geese that had come to visit and getting out into the fresh air.
    If I'd travelled with friends, I definitely would have hired the bikes and done some additional riding and exploring.
    A great open space area for residents and visitors alike.
    Written 30 October 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Acampbell10
    Detroit, MI38 contributions
    The Conservatory was a wonderful way to spend the morning. The plants/landscapes were so nice to walk through. The staff was very friendly and plants were identified for easy recognition. I Highly recommend visiting for a peaceful 2 hours
    Written 15 October 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Taylor B
    Chicago, IL8,015 contributions
    You can't visit Chicago's Millennium Park without taking an obligatory side trip to Maggie Daley Park, one of the largest and busiest playgrounds in the city. Located at 337 East Randolph Street, bounded by Randolph, Monroe, Columbus and Lake Shore Drive, connected to Millennium Park by the BP Pedestrian Bridge, it is a 25-acre public park in Chicago's Loop. Opened in 2014 and named after the former first lady of the city who died of cancer in 2011, the $60 million venue is situated on land where Daley Bicentennial Plaza previously stood. It was almost entirely remade with multiple new features, including a new field house, a quarter-mile-long ice skating ribbon, rock climbing walls, a dozen tennis courts, picnic groves, three open lawn areas, landscaped gardens and children's playground. Open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, the three-acre Play Garden is perhaps the most popular attraction in the park. Available for children ages 12 and under, it contains six different play areas--The Wave Lawn, The Harbor, The Watering Hole, The Slide Crater, The Enchanted Forest and The Sea. The Sea is an 8,500-square-foot "play loop" that features a large metal play ship. The Enchanted Forest is a 3,590-square-foot network of pathways that also includes a Kaleidoscope or mirror maze. The 12,000-square-foot Slide Center that features two slides. The 1,200-square-foot Watering Hole is an animal-themed play space that features several plastic animals, including a whale. The 2,000-square-foot Harbor features three full-sized play boats. The 16,530-square-foot Wave Lawn cuts a swath through the center of the Play Garden.
    Written 27 November 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Bowmanator22
    Charlotte, NC5,018 contributions
    Ran the loop before sunrise one day. Honestly I must admit that certain parts were too dark to fully take in the view, since I got there at 5:30am. But it was a wonderful run as the sun was coming up.
    Written 22 September 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Angie
    Northfield, OH119 contributions
    Spent the weekend in Chicago with family. This is a hidden gem! Beautiful both inside and out. Best of all its FREE! Check it out!
    Written 16 October 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Grover R
    Pensacola, FL16,956 contributions
    Chicago was very smart to keep its waterfront on the south end of downtown open to the public. I had thought it was created by the great plan for the city after the fire, but no, the park area had been there from the beginning. It has been expanded with fill multiple times.

    It is a great green place surround by skyscrapers. We are fortunate enough to walk it on two different mornings when we were in the city and both times it provided great views of the city. However, the best way to see it may be from the water with the skyscrapers as a back drop. You should do this in the morning from the Aquarium or Planetarium.

    There is a little bit of every thing in the park, fountains and gardens as well as recreational fields and jogging trails. It is a great place to get some exercise and see wonderful views of the city. See my pictures as they are incredible.
    Written 23 November 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • B H
    Arkansas46 contributions
    The bus stop was nearby. To reach the beach, we had to cross the street and use an underpass beneath the highway. There is a wide paved area with two designated lanes for walking or running and two lanes for biking. Pet friendly. There is a “shelf” that we used as a bench. It was nice to sit there instead of in the sand or having to carry a blanket or chair. Many were swimming, but we used the time to relax, listen to waves,and read a book.
    Written 4 August 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Taylor B
    Chicago, IL8,015 contributions
    My wife and I have lived in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood since 1983, a few blocks from North Avenue Beach. But we never have gone swimming in Lake Michigan. Too cold. We prefer the Gulf of Mexico, which rises to 93 degrees in the summer. The water off North Avenue Beach struggles to reach 70 degrees. However, North Avenue Beach, located at 1600 North Lake Shore Drive in Lincoln Park, at the eastern terminus of North Avenue, is one of Chicago's most popular beaches because it is the home of the city's famous Air & Water Show and is a picturesque postcard for Chicago's spectacular skyline. It features a unique beach house that contains 22,000 square feet of space, a sleek, ocean liner-inspired building decked out in blue and white colors and featuring a restaurant that attracts multitudes of swimmers, sunbathers, bikers, runners, walkers and rollerbladers, many of whom stream down the Lakefront Trail. North Avenue Beach will be the show center for the 2022 Chicago Air and Water Show, a traditional event that annually draws 1 million people to the lakefront. The show was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic and was scaled down considerably in 2021. But it will return in full force from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 20-21. And there is no better place to view the festivities than while sitting on North Avenue Beach.
    Written 9 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Martin S
    Cranford, NJ1,530 contributions
    Ohio Street Beach is located at the eastern most end of Ohio Street and is close to Jane Addams Park and Navy Pier.

    It has the same great things the other Beaches do in terms of city views, but is much quieter and is clearly more private than Oak Street, North Avenue, or Fullerton Beach.

    It’s a pleasant change from the mass of humanity at the other places and can serve as a bit of an escape.

    Restaurant nearby.
    Written 4 July 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • yuanwai
    Chicago, IL233 contributions
    A Frank Lloyd Wright inspired garden, in the middle of the city, by the lake. Just a fantastic place to visit and sit around. One of the quintessential part of Chicago!
    Written 6 June 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • kenatravels
    Chicago, IL38 contributions
    Montrose Beach is right by our home so we may be a little biased about how much we love it, but nevertheless it is an incredible beach. Make sure to grab a hot dog and wade in the beautiful waves of Lake Michigan.
    Written 16 August 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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