Restaurants In Chicago

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Best Restaurants In River North

The culinary landscape of Chicago is a colorful blend of tastes and traditions. With its famous deep-dish pizza and gourmet hot dogs, this bustling city is a paradise for food lovers. Street food aside, the city boasts several Michelin-starred restaurants that bring you the best fine dining experiences.

Almost every neighborhood in Chicago has top-rated culinary spots, while some others have fabulous hidden gems that offer up the best of local and ethnic cuisines.

Chicago is also known for its many farmers’ markets and local food festivals that draw in food lovers from all over. To complement the amazing food, there are several craft breweries and cocktail bars across the city that offer delicious concoctions.

The best restaurants in the River North neighborhood of Chicago

River North is a chic neighborhood positioned just north of the Chicago River. It is renowned for its lively art scene, high-end dining establishments, and stylish nightspots. Let’s explore some of the best restaurants in the River North area of Chicago.

1. Obelix

Obelix is a fine-dining restaurant on the north side of the Chicago River that’s known for its delicious French-inspired food and romantic ambiance. It’s perfect for date nights or a relaxed evening in town. Some of the popular dishes include Beef Wellington, French Onion Soup, Foie Gras Tacos, Steak Tartare and Baked Alaska. You can also try their impressive selection of wine to complement the delicious French dishes. The seating capacity is moderate, so it’s best to book a table in advance.


Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays – 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm


700 N Sedgwick St

Chicago, IL 60654

River North, Near North Side

2. Avli River North

This Greek-themed restaurant has multiple locations across Chicago, but their River North establishment truly stands out. The expansive space is adorned with beautiful bougainvillea flowers that paint a pretty picture of Santorini. Some of the most famous dishes here include the Chicken Gyro Sandwich, Saganaki, Chicken Souvlaki, Zucchini Chips, Kataifi Prawns, Greek Salad, Lamb Chops, and Grilled Calamari.

Avli is great for big groups that can wine and dine on the big patio, or even the intimate upstairs dining room. The spot is open daily for lunch and dinner – weekend brunch as well!


Monday-Sunday: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm

Happy Hour: Monday – Friday: 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm


702 N Wells St,

Chicago, IL 60654

3. Indienne

The owners of Indienne aimed to blend Indian and Western cuisines in the best way possible – and they’ve definitely succeeded. Indienne is a hit among Indians and locals alike, offering delectable fares to suit any mood. Some of the bestsellers here include the Passionfruit Pani Puri, Egg Curry, Yogurt Chaat, Lamb Chops, Rasmalai, Chicken Malai Tikka, and Duck Keema.

Indienne is a wonderful fine-dining option for those looking to treat themselves on special occasions or a romantic date night.


Monday-Saturday: 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm.


217 W Huron St

Chicago, IL 60654

River North, Near North Side

4. Planta Queen

Of course, we’ve not forgotten the lovely vegan community! Many people across the globe have switched to a vegan diet for multiple reasons – but that doesn’t mean their search for some extraordinary food has to stop. Planta Queen is an establishment in River North that is known for curating some of the best vegan food options in all of Chicago. Diners can relish their many Japanese, Thai, and Chinese vegan food options. Some of the best ones include the Bang Bang Broccoli, Crispy Rice, Spicy Tuna Roll, Dragon Roll, Chili Peanut Noodles, and Truffle Fried Rice. Planta Queen is also known to have some excellent drink options to go alongside your meal.

The place is great for a simple date night or even a fun birthday bash!


Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – 11:30 am to 10:00 pm

Saturday – 11:00 am to 11:00 pm
Sunday – 11:00 am to 10:00 pm


413 N Clark St

Chicago, IL 60654

Near North Side

5. RPM Steak

For the meat lovers out there, RPM Steak is definitely one of the must-visit places in Chicago. Having served some notable personalities like President Obama and Lady Gaga, this establishment is a favorite among locals and celebrities. Famous dishes include the Classic Steak Frites, Petite Filets, Kobe Beef, and the mighty Cowboy Steak – cooked to perfection. RPM is also known to have a commendable wine list as well as a very friendly staff.

Bookings may be difficult to secure, but if you plan ahead, you too can enjoy all the wonderful delicacies RPM Steak has to offer.


Monday – Thursday – 4:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Friday – 4:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Saturday – 3:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Sunday – 3:00 PM – 9:30 PM


66 W Kinzie St

Chicago, IL

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it – some of our best choices for incredible dining experiences in the River North neighborhood of Chicago. Be sure to make bookings and reservations in advance – especially if you’re with a big group. And of course, remember to savor all the amazing delicacies at these hotspots!

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Open House Chicago 2023: 14 architecture sites not to miss

Have you ever walked by a building and thought “I wonder what that looks like inside?” Maybe it’s a vintage building in your neighborhood or that new, glitzy high-rise downtown. Well, now’s your chance to take a peek behind closed doors. Open House Chicago — the city’s free annual architecture festival — is back on Saturday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023.

During this weekend event, you’ll have the opportunity to explore more than 170 unique sites across 20 Chicago neighborhoods, including historic landmarks, architectural marvels, and soaring skyscrapers, some of which are rarely open to the public. Here are just 13 unique and interesting sites to get you started this year.

Edgewater Beach Apartments

Known as the “Pink Palace”, this lakefront gem looks like it’s straight from a Wes Anderson film. The Edgewater Beach Apartments, which began construction in 1918, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to step inside and explore the lobby, arcade, mezzanine, pool terrace, and garden.

Saturday, Oct. 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: closed
This site is not wheelchair accessible. 

Guild Row in Avondale

In the hip Avondale neighborhood, Guild Row is a hybrid co-working space and social club. The riverfront venue will be hosting an Octoberfest event during Open House Chicago weekend with food and beverages available for purchase. The building’s architect will also be onsite and offering tours.

Saturday, Oct. 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: closed
This site is wheelchair accessible.

Tip: Play a few rounds of bowling on the vintage lanes at Avondale Bowl, a nearby Open House Chicago site.

SOS Children’s Villages Illinois in Auburn Gresham

This award-winning building was designed by the acclaimed Studio Gang in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood specifically for SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, a non-profit organization that serves at-risk youth and children in foster care. The main lobby and upstairs event space will be open to visitors.

Saturday, Oct. 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: closed
This site is wheelchair accessible. 

Chicago Printmakers Collaborative in Lincoln Square

Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Founded more than 30 years ago, the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative is the city’s longest-running independent printmaking workshop. Visitors can watch Chicago artists demonstrate etching and screenprinting, and even have the opportunity to make something themselves to take home.

Saturday, Oct. 14: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
This site is wheelchair accessible.

Tip: Head to the nearby KOVAL Distillery tasting room for samples of their specialty spirits during Open House.

Chicago Architecture Center in the Loop

Chicago Architecture Center Skyscraper Gallery, photo by Tom Harris

The home base for Open House Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Center is located in a soaring skyscraper on the downtown riverfront. Exhibits dive into Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, design and development, leading architects, and architectural innovation. All guests will receive free admission to the Center, including all exhibit spaces, throughout the weekend.

Saturday, Oct. 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This site is wheelchair accessible.

Kehrein Center for the Arts in Austin

The Kehrein Center for the Arts is a vital cultural hub in the Austin neighborhood. The space underwent a $5 million renovation to restore the long-shuttered auditorium that was originally built in 1954. Visitors are welcome to take guided or self-guided tours and to stay for a free concert on Saturday evening.

Saturday, Oct. 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
This site is wheelchair accessible.

KAM Isaiah Israel in Hyde Park

KAM Isaiah Israel; photo by Eric Allix Rogers

The oldest Jewish congregation in the Midwest, KAM (Kehilath Anshe Maarav) Isaiah Israel is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year. Come admire the synagogue’s Byzantine-inspired architecture, explore the sanctuary and the more modern chapel, and learn about the congregation’s important role in Jewish history.

Saturday, Oct. 14: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This site is wheelchair accessible.

Tip: Hyde Park is filled with beautiful houses of worship that are welcoming visitors during Open House.

Walt Disney House in Hermosa

Walt Disney House in Chicago, photo courtesy Frank D’Angelo

Built by his father in 1891, this modest house in the Hermosa neighborhood is the birthplace of Walter Elias Disney. Take the rare opportunity to see inside this private residence, with small-group guided tours happening every 45 minutes.

Saturday, Oct. 14: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
This site is not wheelchair accessible.

Tip: In the neighborhood, Right Bee Cider is a cidery located inside the former Schwinn bicycle factory and an official Open House Chicago site.

Buddhist Temple of Chicago in Uptown

Buddhist Temple of Chicago, photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Among the oldest Buddhist temples in Chicago, this unique space was modeled after the Rokkakudo Temple in Kyoto, Japan. Visitors can look forward to a guided tour of the Buddhist Temple of Chicago‘s unique features, along with information on Japanese-American history and Buddhist art.

Saturday, Oct. 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
This site is wheelchair accessible.

Tip: Check out the nearby Haitian American Museum of Chicago, another unique Open House Chicago site.

Kimball Arts Center in Humboldt Park

Kimball Arts Center

This creative hub in Humboldt Park is located next to the popular 606 trail. Check out this season’s Artist-in-Residency work on display in the Kimball Arts Center along with many studios and maker spaces. Guests can also grab coffee by Dayglow and Nordic-inspired food and beer by Orkenoy.

Saturday, Oct. 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This site is wheelchair accessible.

Avalon Regal Theater in Chatham

Avalon Regal Theater; photo by Eric Allix Rogers

Don’t miss the opportunity to tour this stunning Chicago landmark building, normally not open to the public. Boasting an elaborate Moorish Revival interior, the ornate Avalon Regal Theater was originally built in 1927 and has seen famed performers like Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington take the stage. Embark on a self-guided tour to see all the stunning details, like themed mosaics and a bejeweled ceiling. 

Saturday, Oct. 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This site is not wheelchair accessible.

Tip: Afterward, check out Artist on the Nine, which will be set up as a gallery for Open House Chicago visitors.

Chicago Art Department in Pilsen

Chicago Art Department

The Chicago Art Department is an artist-run nonprofit, an integral part of Pilsen’s creative community, that offers studio and gallery space that helps artists grow their craft. During Open House, meet artists in their studio space and peruse exhibits in the main gallery.

Saturday, Oct. 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This site is wheelchair accessible.

Tip: Check out other artistic spaces in the area during Open House Chicago, such as OPEN Center for the Arts in Little Village.

The Forum in Bronzeville

The Forum; photo by Garrett Karp

Narrowly saved from demolition in 2011, The Forum is a storied cultural institution in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood. The space, which has been vacant for 30 years, has hosted leading performers (like Nat King Cole and Muddy Waters), prominent social events, and some of the era’s most important political meetings. Come take a self-guided tour and enjoy musical performances.

Saturday, Oct. 14:  10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This site is not wheelchair accessible.

Tip: After exploring The Forum, head to lunch at Boxville. This colorful retail center and street food market is also an official Open House Chicago site.

Fine Arts Building in the Loop

The Fine Arts Building, one of the nation’s oldest artist communities, will celebrate its 125th anniversary this year. The historic space in the Loop, originally a carriage assembly plant, now houses studios, shops, theaters, and art galleries. Explore all 10 floors, learn about famous past tenants, and admire the stunning interior.

Saturday, Oct. 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This site is wheelchair accessible.

Tip: There are more than 35 Open House Chicago sites in the Loop to explore, so make sure to check out a few more while you’re in the area!

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How to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month in Chicago

National Hispanic Heritage Month is officially here! Every year from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, this month celebrates Hispanic culture and acknowledges the numerous contributions Latinos have made to the world.

Growing up as a first-generation Mexican American, there were several moments in my childhood where I was insecure about my culture. Reflecting on that time, there was a lack of Latino representation across industries. Today, Latinos play a significant role in art, music, sports, food, and beyond. Not only have I embraced and learned more about my Mexican culture in Chicago, but I have also learned the history and traditions of other Latino groups through the many institutions, restaurants, and events available throughout the city.

Here are a few of my recommendations for events and restaurants you can visit to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month in Chicago, including many things you can do year-round.

Hispanic Heritage Month events in Chicago

Canto Latino “Creando Mole”, photo by Elliot Mandel

This month is packed with fun cultural events — including a theatre festival, a ballet performance, and live music — hosted by local museums, cultural institutions, sports teams, and beyond.

Latinx Heritage Month at the Field Museum: From Sept. 15 to Oct.  15, guests can embark on a cultural journey of Latin America through music, dance, and performances from Ballet Folklorico and La Escuelita Bombera de Corazon. Additional activities include bilingual storytime, exhibitions, and stories that showcase Latinx contributions from Chicago to the Amazon rainforest.
Destinos Chicago International Latino Theater Festival: Get ready for a theatrical, cultural experience at Destinos. From Sept. 28 to Nov. 12, this city-wide event will showcase the talent of Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S., and Latin America. Immerse yourself in vibrant stories and perspectives that celebrate the richness of Latino theater.
Chicago Cubs Hispanic Heritage Celebration: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 19. Wrigley will be filled with live music, cultural cuisine options, and special recognitions of Hispanic culture. This year, fans can purchase an exclusive ticket, which includes a special edition Cubs sugar skull bobblehead, with a portion of the proceeds being contributed to the National Museum of Mexican Art.
Hispanic Heritage Night with the White Sox: The Chicago White Sox hosts Hispanic Heritage Night at the ballpark every year. Fans can enjoy Latino music, performances, and food. This year’s celebration takes place on Saturday, Sept. 30. The first 10,000 fans will receive a bobblehead paying tribute to a Day of the Dead cultural icon, La Catrina.

Family Event at the Chicago History Museum: Experience the essence of Latinx Heritage Month at a special Family Event at the Chicago History Museum on Saturday, Sept. 16. The celebration will include interactive activities, community connections, and more.
Lucha Teotl at the Goodman Theatre: Step into the captivating world of Lucha Teotl, where pro-wrestling takes the stage starting Sept. 29 – Oct. 29. This 90-minute bilingual production promises a night of unforgettable theater that dives into the rich heritage of Lucha Libre through a tale about family, honor, tradition, and redemption.
Canto Latino “Creando Mole”: Discover the vibrant rhythms of Mexico’s diverse music styles at Canto Latino: Creando Mole on Saturday, Sept. 30. This outdoor festival in Harrison Park includes live musical performances, food trucks, interactive experiences, and more.
Mexican Independence Day Parade: On Saturday, Sept. 16, experience the Midwest’s largest Mexican Independence Day Parade. Taking place in the heart of Little Village for the first time on Mexican Independence Day, this year’s parade theme, “Tu Mexico, Tu Chicago,” will include floats inspired by each Mexican state, creating a kaleidoscope of traditions along the historic 26th street corridor.
Hispanic Heritage Month at The Morton Arboretum: Enjoy special activities and engaging programs for all ages that shine a spotlight on the vibrant Latino communities of Chicago. Festivities at the Morton Arboretum include the Celebración de los Árboles on Sept. 16 and 17, featuring music, dance,  food, and bilingual tram tours against the backdrop of nature.

Explore more: Discover Latino heritage in Chicago’s neighborhoods

Latino exhibits and museums

National Museum of Mexican Art

One of my favorite ways to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month is by supporting cultural institutions that empower our communities through art, education, and more.

National Museum of Mexican Art: This free museum in Pilsen is bringing back its special Day of the Dead exhibit beginning Sept. 22. Experience this tradition of honoring the lives of lost loved ones through art, photography, and the iconic ofrendas.
National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture: The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture is hosting a pop-up exhibit titled Resistencia Y Libertá that celebrates the community expression of Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba music through fashion.
International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago: The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago is always great to visit and experience Latino culture through various art forms. During Hispanic Heritage Month, the center will host film screenings, live music, dance performances, and more.
Pilsen Arts and Community House: This non-profit art gallery and community center in Pilsen provides art workshops, exhibits, film screenings, book clubs, panel discussions, music performances, and more to help the community engage with the arts across mediums.
UIC Latino Cultural Center: The Latino Cultural Center not only offers free public programs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, but it is also home to the largest indoor mural in Chicago! Experience the mural tour or join a tour of their heritage garden. This month, you can also attend a poetry reading and an open studio event.

Hispanic-owned restaurants and Latino cuisine

One of the best ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month is by supporting Hispanic-owned businesses around Chicago. Here are a few of my favorite restaurants where you can try authentic Latino cuisines.

Tanta: Immerse yourself in the enchanting Peruvian culture at Tanta, located in River North. Enjoy their sensational cebiche platters to their signature house cocktails on their scenic rooftop.
Rojo Gusano: Rojo Gusano in Ravenswood is the perfect spot to enjoy authentic flavors in a cozy, lively atmosphere that feels just like home. Whether you prefer Chilaquiles with a cafecito or a mezcal cocktail with a variety of tacos, their menu has something to offer everyone.
Tzuco: Tzuco, located in the Gold Coast, is a one-of-a-kind dining experience. With an impressive menu selection combining chef Carlos Gaytan’s Mexican roots with French haute cuisine techniques, every dish is a masterpiece.
Azul: Azul, located in Chicago’s Goose Island neighborhood, combines the essence of authentic seafood cuisine with contemporary hospitality. The menu showcases a refined twist on classic mariscos dishes and drinks. Accompanied by views of stunning original ocean-inspired artwork, you’re in for year-round vacation vibes.
Las Tablas: Established in 1991, Las Tablas is a cherished family-owned and operated gem in Lakeview. Each staple dish, such as Colombian-style empanadas, arepas, and churrasco, is made with unique in-house seasoning, making each platter one of a kind.
Takito Kitchen: Takito Kitchen is a modern taqueria in Wicker Park where creativity meets tradition. With a menu that is 100% gluten-free, bursting with unique flavor and fresh ingredients, including handmade tortillas, you will be amazed at their approach to Mexican cuisine.
El Solazo: Located in West Elsdon, El Solazo brings a delightful blend of classic Mexican dishes with an innovative twist. With an exquisite food menu and an extensive selection of agave spirits, prepare to embark on a unique dining journey through the regions of Mexico.

Mi Tierra: For over 30 years, Mi Tierra has been part of the life and heart of Little Village. Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisines, such as their well-known Parrilladas, drinks, and a space designed to transport you to Mexico without leaving Chicago. On the weekends, it becomes a designation for celebrations, offering authentic Mexican mariachis, live music, and bands.
Aztec Dave’s Cantina: Experience the fusion of tradition and innovation at Aztec Dave’s Cantina in the heart of Humboldt Park. Offering mouthwatering favorites such as tacos and burritos made with fresh ingredients and top-quality marinated meats, this food truck and restaurant will transport your taste buds to a new level of satisfaction for Mexican cuisine in Chicago.
Artango Bar & Steakhouse: Step into the enchanting world of Argentina at Artango Bar and Steakhouse. From imported steaks prepared with ancestral techniques to Prohibition-era cocktails and a rare wine selection, the rich cultural heritage of Argentina will come alive before you.
Amaru: Hands down, Amaru is the best place for pan-Latin bites and craft cocktails in Wicker Park. Offering a unique dining experience, Amaru is the definition of culture, history, and passion all in one space. Not to mention their cocktail Holy Water is a true work of art.
Dulce De Leche Cafe: You can never go wrong with crepes for dinner, especially if they are at Dulce de Leche Cafe. This local coffee shop is in Albany Park and serves Latin-American-infused breakfast and lunch items all day long. Also note that their lattes are amazing!
Las Tablas On Lincoln: When craving Columbian food, you can never go wrong with Las Tablas, Chicago’s first Columbian restaurant. Founded in 1991, Las Tablas quickly outgrew its original storefront and now has two locations in Chicago. Las Tablas is the only Colombian steakhouse in the Midwest that serves authentic ajiaco soup. Expect nothing less than delicious.
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Where to see fall colors in and around Chicago

Chicago’s many parks, gardens, and natural areas are gorgeous year-round — but they’re particularly stunning in the fall. That’s when you can see stunning red, orange, and gold foliage that turns the city into a picture-perfect autumn scene. Whether you’re strolling a lakefront park or a charming neighborhood, you’ll find fall colors in every corner of the city.

Here are some of the best spots to see fall colors in and near Chicago:

Lincoln Park

Nestled along the Lake Michigan shoreline, scenic Lincoln Park is a local go-to for fall foliage. Stroll along the Nature Boardwalk at the south of Lincoln Park Zoo, an urban oasis framed with skyline views. Or walk through the manicured gardens outside the Lincoln Park Conservatory before heading to the secluded Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. And the North Pond area, near Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, stays lush all autumn long.

Millennium Park and Lurie Garden

See fall splendor right in the heart of downtown. Chicago’s Millennium Park is bursting with color each fall, from the leaves changing color near Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) to the hidden Lurie Garden teeming with native plant life.

Just south of Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago is framed by two charming courtyards. The North Garden and the South Garden, located along Michigan Avenue, both feature sculptures, fountains, solitude, and breathtaking fall colors.

Jackson Park

One of Chicago’s most historic parks is also one of its most scenic. Nestled on the lakefront edge of the bustling Hyde Park neighborhood, Jackson Park is best known as the site of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Fall is the perfect time to explore the park’s Garden of the Phoenix, an authentic Japanese garden set on a tranquil lagoon.

The Lakefront Trail

Chicago’s Lakefront Trail, which runs 18 miles along the Lake Michigan shoreline, is a scenic stretch that connects some of the city’s most popular green spaces. In autumn, it’s a great way to see much of Chicago’s best foliage. Walk or bike to explore different neighborhoods and see the changing leaves.

Humboldt Park

Humboldt Park in fall

Located in the vibrant Humboldt Park neighborhood, this sprawling park contains scenic lagoons connected by a prairie river, a manicured garden, ball fields, soccer fields, and a stunning boat house. Meander the winding paths or bring a blanket and have a picnic in the grass.

Columbus Park

This historic park in the Austin neighborhood, one of the nation’s only green spaces to be designated a National Historic Landmark, is a magical place in the fall. The foliage around the lagoon and waterfall in Columbus Park turns a vibrant array of colors, especially picturesque with the landmark Columbus Refectory in the background.

Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Park Conservatory is known for its striking greenhouse (dubbed “landscape art under glass”), but the surrounding grounds are just as gorgeous. The 10 acres of outdoor gardens include beautiful themed areas, including the City Garden, Artist’s Garden, Sensory Garden, and more.

Washington Park

This historic park, home to the Dusable Black History Museum and Education Center, is filled with golden hues and vibrant leaves each autumn. Take a walk around the lagoon, admire the Harvest Garden, and snap a photo of the renowned Fountain of Time sculpture by Lorado Taft. The park connects directly to the Midway Plaisance, a scenic route to take between Washington Park and nearby Jackson Park.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Photo courtesy Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is gorgeous in every season — but fall is one of the most popular times to visit. That’s when you can see Chicago Botanic’s 27 gardens, four natural areas, nine islands, and six miles of lake shoreline bursting with autumn splendor. Plus, a fun roster of fall events (like the popular Night of 1,000 Pumpkins) are all the more reason to take the trip out to suburban Glencoe.

Morton Arboretum

Photo courtesy Morton Arboretum
Photo courtesy Morton Arboretum

Can’t get enough of all those autumn leaves? Get your fall fix at Morton Arboretum, a sprawling living museum that’s home to more than 4,000 different types of trees. The Arboretum also offer tons of cool fall events, like the Scarecrow Trail, Cider and Ale Festival, and the Glass Pumpkin Patch.

The 606

An unexpected spot for some excellent leaf-peeping, The 606 is the perfect way to enjoy Chicago’s fall foliage. Not only is the trail itself beautifully landscaped, but the elevated path also offers the perfect vantage point to admire neighborhood parks and boulevards from above.

North Park Village Nature Center

Explore both woodland, wetland, prairie, and more at the North Park Village Nature Center. This sprawling natural oasis in the heart of the North Park neighborhood is an under-the-radar gem, especially around autumn.

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