What are the best parks in Chicago?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Lauren Viera

The mother of all Chicago Parks is Millennium Park, completed in 2004 under Mayor Richard M. Daley, located in the heart of downtown just north of the Art Institute of Chicago. Never mind that it exceeded its budget by about three-fold; today it's one of the most popular destinations in the city, frequented year-round by locals and tourists alike. In the summertime, Chicagoans flock to the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion for free concerts as varied as Chicago's weather: powerhouse classical works performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, of-the-moment indie acts such as She & Him, and world music artists flown in from every continent. Millennium Park was conceived as Chicago's "front yard," and locals love to play in it.

Vast, green Lincoln Park is Chicago's most regal park, home to both the Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park Conservatory, freckled with picturesque lilly ponds and lined with running and cycling paths. Just west of Lake Michigan on the city's North Side, Lincoln Park stretches oblong north and south and is incredibly popular with residents in its eponymous neighborhood to the west, and visitors to its various attractions.

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