What are some of the best outdoor activities in chicago, illinois?

Chicago, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is one of the largest cities in the U.S. UU. Famous for its bold architecture, it has a skyline dotted with skyscrapers like the iconic 1,451-foot John Hancock Center. Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and Tribune Tower, in the Neo-Gothic style.

The city is also famous for its museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, with its notable Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. In the 19th century, the Chicago government chose the phrase urbs in horto (in Latin, city in a garden) as its civic motto. Today, Chicago is home to more than 8,800 acres of green space, including some royal gardens where you can admire native flowers and foliage. Delve into a historic Japanese garden in the middle of Jackson Park, head north to Glencoe to stroll through the sprawling Chicago Botanic Garden, or stay close to home and enjoy the numerous outdoor exhibitions at the Garfield Park Conservatory.

Get super high naturally. You don't have to leave the city limits to enjoy great outdoor climbing options. Connect with your inner child and enjoy skyline views from Maggie Daley Park's 40-foot climbing wall, where climbers of all ages and experience levels can receive classes and even a private sailboat. Or to get a taste of history, try climbing Steelworkers Park, along Lake Michigan, near the Indiana border.

The 30-foot climbing structure is made from the remains of old historic ore walls from an old steel mill. Home to more than 1200 animals, the Lincoln Park Zoo is still one of the last free zoos in the country. There's a lot to see while strolling through the terrain, but some of our favorite spots in the park are the snow monkeys from the Regenstein macaque forest and the African penguins that walk in the Robert and Mayari Pritzker penguin cove. Don't forget to admire the meadow that surrounds the natural waterfront on the way to the zoo.

Our city doesn't have nearby mountains like Seattle or San Francisco, but what the Midwest lacks in terms of elevation it makes up for in natural beauty. Head to the northwest side of town for a walk along the North Branch Trail, head west to tour the suburbs on the Illinois Prairie Path Trail, or cross state lines to visit the beautiful Indiana dunes along Lake Michigan and hike the 30-mile Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine State Forest. You don't have to go far to temporarily escape your urban environment and take a walk in nature. An abandoned railroad line that runs through Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park and Bucktown has been transformed into a 2.7-mile trail, perfect for walkers, runners and cyclists.

The Bloomingdale Trail gives you an aerial view of several neighborhoods and offers plenty of places to sit and relax. You may have to avoid some strollers when the trail gets crowded on warm weekends, but it's a small price to pay for easy access to several parks and local businesses along the trail. Don't you want to spend the afternoon in a museum? You'll find some big (and small) outdoor masterpieces at locations all over the city if you're looking for some of Chicago's best public art. Walk down 16th Street in Pilsen to see a mural procession, find Yoko Ono's Skylanding in Jackson Park's Phoenix Garden, or head to the Loop to see iconic works by Picasso and Calder.

There's more public art in Chicago than you can see in a day, and admission is always free. Street festivals with donations, farmers markets and concerts in the Park District: There are plenty of ways to find local musicians for free this summer. You'll be able to hear some of the biggest names in Millennium Park during its annual summer music series, such as Big Freedia (July 13), Kurt Vile (July 24), Shemekia Copeland (July 31) and a grandstand at the iconic Selena (August 24). Or just stay out of Wrigley Field the night Fall Out Boy plays.

Right in the middle of the bustling epicenter of the Windy City is Millennium Park. With an area of 25 acres, this park is home to public works of art, an ice skating rink during the winter, and a beautiful green space that offers fun activities throughout the year. Enjoy an outdoor movie in the park during the summer, have a picnic while enjoying the annual concerts of major performing arts institutions (such as Broadway In Chicago, the Lyric Opera or the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), or stroll through an art market. No matter what outdoor activity or event you choose, you'll enjoy a magnificent view of the city's magnificent architecture during your stay at the park.

Just outside the city, in the suburb of Glencoe, is a property with 27 unique gardens to explore. The Chicago Botanic Garden is home to an English Welsh garden, a Japanese garden, a rose garden, a sensory garden, and more. It's a great way to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and experience the serenity of nature. In addition, there are a variety of fun events organized throughout the year, such as outdoor fitness classes and a light screen during the winter.

While cities may have a reputation for not offering good walking trails, Chicago has the Lakefront Trail, which is, well, in front of the lake. You'll enjoy incredible views of Lake Michigan while walking, jogging, or biking. This walking trail runs 18 miles along the coast and is a point of interest during the warmer months, especially for residents with bicycles. Once you're up, visit a neighborhood park to rest and relax a bit, or hang out at one of the city's beaches.

Amid happy hours and boutique shopping in the charming northern Lincoln Park neighborhood, you'll find Oz Park, a 14-acre property with a community garden, tennis courts, basketball courts, a playground, and plenty of space to relax. It's the perfect place to take a book and read or prepare a picnic. The park is known for its “Wizard of Oz” theme, as guests can enter the “Emerald Garden” to find statues of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Lion, and of course, Dorothy and Toto. There is also an easy bike circuit in the park if you want to do an outdoor activity in.

Known as Chicago's “lakefront treasure”, a visit to Navy Pier truly has something for everyone. The pier itself stretches for an impressive 3,300 feet and is a great place to stroll outside on a sunny day. See the city from a bird's eye view with an impressive Ferris wheel, dine on a patio or on the roof, or enjoy live music, all with numerous views of the water's edge. A stay in Chicago wouldn't be complete without a walk along Michigan Avenue, one of the city's most notable streets.

On this stretch, you'll find the Magnificent Mile, a truly magnificent shopping and dining district with lots of activities and fun things to do. On a warm-weather day, go to the stores, grab a bite to eat, or visit iconic buildings like the 1,128—foot-tall John Hancock Center. There are a surprising amount of great things to do outside in Chicago. Millennium Park is one of the most emblematic places in Chicago.

It's right on the Loop (the main section of downtown Chicago), close to the Buckingham Fountain and the Art Institute. Millennium Park is more than a green space, it is a concert hall and a cultural center of the city. Lake Michigan is one of Chicago's most prominent features. However, you might want to wait for an especially warm day to arrive to get inside.

The waters of Lake Michigan are notoriously cold. The most lively beaches on Lake Michigan in Chicago are North Avenue Beach and Oak Street Beach. On Oak Street, you can rent loungers. Both beaches have volleyball courts, water sports rentals, bars, and restaurants.

And there are some great activities on Lake Michigan. You can go on a jet ski, which I thought was one of the most unforgettable things to do outdoors in Chicago, or check out this cruise with lunch or dinner on Lake Michigan. The Chicago Botanic Garden is an hour's drive north of the city, but it's worth the trip. It is one of the world's leading conservation institutions, and nearly a million people visit this place every year.

The Chicago Botanic Garden occupies more than 300 acres. It encompasses more than 26 unique gardens and 4 different natural areas. It's a romantic place to bring a date. They also have a spectacular bonsai collection unlike any other on the planet.

Some of the bonsai trees you'll see there have been cared for for more than 100 years. These small trees are twisted and maneuvered in fascinating arrangements. You'll also find exciting classes, workshops, and events at the Chicago Botanic Garden throughout the year. It's a 2.7-mile park and elevated trail that was built on what was once an industrial train line.

Trail 606 runs 2.7 miles from Ashland and Ridgeway, and there are several access points along the way. You can find a map and detailed information here. Millennium Park's South Garden is one of Chicago's best-kept secrets. Most tourists pass by on the sidewalk without even realizing it.

Chicago's lakefront trail is a favorite spot among locals and tourists alike. It covers more than 18 miles from Ardmore Avenue on the north side to 71st Street on the south side of Chicago. .

Ben Arraiol
Ben Arraiol

Passionate internetaholic. Lifelong student. Freelance food fanatic. Food advocate. Lifelong music lover.