Peace and Quiet in the Big City
Chicago is a big and busy city with a lot of energy and personality. But even those who thrive in this setting sometimes just need a place to escape into a quiet oasis. Below are some of those quiet retreats, right in the heart of the city.
Grant Park is a large and impressive public space in the city's central business district. This large park is where you'll find the famous Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum Campus. There are a number of gardens, sport fields, and performances venues found in the park as well.
Printer's Row, Chicago, Illinois
Lincoln Park Conservatory
This impressive Victorian style greenhouse has four separate sections that include the Orchid House, Palm House, Fern Room, and Show House. There's also an outdoor Formal Garden and the English Grandmother's Garden. This is a beautiful conservatory and it's free to the public.
2391 N Stockton Dr, Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL, 60614
Lurie Garden is a 2.5 acre garden in Millennium Park. It has a number of plants including perennials, bulbs, shrubs, and trees. It's also notable for being the location of the world's largest green roof.
Loop, Chicago, Illinois
Garfield Park is a popular city park on the West Side of the city in the Garfield Park neighborhood. It has a number of recreational facilities including baseball, boxing, basketball, tennis, and swimming. There's also a playground and trails for running, walking and bike riding. When the weather isn't cooperating, you can head inside to the Garfield Park Conservatory, which has about 120,000 plants from 600 different species in a 1.6 acre indoor space.
300 N. Central Park Ave., Garfield Park, Chicago, IL, 60624
This is a 600 acre park that sits on the edge of Lake Michigan on the South Side of Chicago. It has a variety of facilities including basketball, tennis courts, and playgrounds. The Osaka Garden is also on the grounds, which is a Japanese style garden that's on an island in the park's east lagoon. There are also several beaches and a running track that visitors can take advantage of.
6401 S Stony Island Ave, South Shore, Chicago, IL, 60637
12th Street Beach
Follow the path from Adler Planetarium to reach this quiet beach. At night there are often bands playing nearby so it's a chill place to spend the evening.
1200 S. Linn White Dr., Northerly Island Park, Chicago, IL, 60605
This 22 acre park offers a number of sports and activities as well as a playground and an impressive Fourth of July fireworks display.
5100 N Leavitt St, Lincoln Square, Chicago, IL, 60625
Foster Beach is a family-friendly beach in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. It's a quieter beach than some of the more popular options, but it's perfect for people with kids or dogs who want to enjoy a picnic, barbecue, or simply hang out by the water. While it's generally a quieter beach, it does get quite busy during the Chicago Full Moon Jam, when fire dancers, musicians, and drummers all come out to perform and celebrate.
5200 N. Lake Shore Dr., Edgewater, Chicago, IL, 60611
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $6 to $200. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $108. A few of the best options are below.
Where to Stay in Chicago