Visiting Chicago Area - What To See?

Mikey(SoCal-Z10-22/23)February 20, 2006

We are going to be in the Chicago area for several days during the 2nd week in May. This is my first trip. What must-see gardens would you recommend for us to visit? Thanks - Mike

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I can vote for 3 - by car you can get to the Chicago Botanic Garden north of Chicago and they have a website. By train/el you can get to the Garfield Park Conservatory and Gardens (another with website), and if you are without wheels, I'd suggest Millenium Park downtown and the Lincoln Park Conservatory near downtown. The city of Chicago also plants tons and tons of bulbs on the streets in downtown so just walking around is another sort of garden visit, too. Have fun and enjoy your visit!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 7:16AM
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mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)

Hey Mikey,

KecO1 pretty much got it covered. The LP Conservatory is located right next to the Lincoln Park Zoo (most visited park in the country) and you can do both in one day. The LP conservaroty is pretty small and could be walked in 20 mins. I especially second Millenium Park-but of course you have to take a stroll through Grant Park which covers a large portion of our lake front. GP is like Central Park in NY. But with 7300 acres of parkland, 552 parks if you have an idea of what are you'll be in you can get more specific suggestions.

Even just walking around our Down Town area is a garden walk in and of itself.

Here's a link to some garden walks and events in the area.

While Navy Pier is not technically a garden-it's a must see when I have people in town, including a ride on the ferris wheel.

Hope you enjoy the visit.

Here is a link that might be useful: ChicagoParkDistrict Website

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 12:03AM
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Don't forget the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. It's not in Chicago, but about 15-20 miles west of there. Beautiful describes it. All of the others mentioned are also must sees. Too bad you only have a few days. There's a lot to cram in such a short visit. Enjoy yourself.

Here is a link that might be useful: morton arb.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 12:26PM
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thecurious1(z5 Chicago)

Dont forget the Oak Park Conservatory. Its smaller, but has a wonderful assortment of plants and can be accessed by train.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 12:24PM
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If you're going out to the arboretum you might also think about visiting Cantigny. I'd like others opinions on this as I've heard great things about the gardens there but never have seen them myself.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 2:02PM
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stage_rat(5--Indiana Riviera)

I love Cantigny! Last year I visited to see blooming apple trees and spring bulbs, then in August to see all the roses and listen to the 1812 Overture. (And to fight the wasps for the apples on the ground, liberate overripe tomatoes and peppers from the Idea Garden for seed, etc..)

In addition to extensive gardens, there is the Museum for the ? Division and a bunch of tanks. It's an interesting combination.

I also visited the Morton Arboretum during the spring bloom period, and loved the blooming trees and daffodils. I was disappointed to see no tulips. I was glad I'd seen the lovely ones at Cantigny.

I need to try to make it up to the Botanical Gardens in the spring, and see what kind of a show they put on.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 3:34AM
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hostared(Z5, IL)

All of the above Mickey. Chicago is a wonderful city and Mayor Daley makes sure the city is at it's best all season long. Don't forget a jacket the lake front can be chilly at times. Don't forget to walk Mag Mile and besides looking at whats eye level don't forget to look up! The building are an architects dream. When the sun comes up over the lake and hits the buildings it can take your breath away...Enjoy your time here.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 8:49AM
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If you should venture up to the Rockford area there is a wonderful Japenese garden up there.I think it is called Anderson Garden.You can google it to be sure. Susan

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 10:44PM
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. We are looking forward to the trip!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 12:06AM
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hostared(Z5, IL)

One more thing mikey about your trip. If you are traveling by car or renting a car you need to be aware of the expressway construction. One of the main expressway, Dan Ryan is under a major refiguration that will last a couple of years. And when I say major I do mean it. There are alternate routes that are lovely like traveling down Lake Shore Drive. Even some of the feeder expressway leading downtown will be congested...they already are but this may put us all over the edge. So when you are here turn on to the local TV stations for the updates. If you are staying downtown then your good to go with public transpertation or CTA or Train....Just know were your heading first!
Get maps, listen to the radio, AM 780 for updates.
Enjoy your trip it will be worth it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 8:11AM
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CPeters(z5 Chicago)

The above posts are all great recomendations. Here are a couple more -

While its not specifically a garden the Notebaert nature museum is worth checking out if you're around Lincoln Park. Chicago is also doing a lot of green roof projects that are really interesting.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 2:00AM
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If it's warm and the boats are running, don't pass up the chance to take a boat ride. The locks are incredible and so is the view.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 4:37AM
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ChiGardener(z5 Chicago)

Too bad you can't make it to the Flower and Garden Show this weekend at our Navy Pier. I live here and once again I have to miss it. I've never been but this time I have good reason. This is week 36 of pregnancy and at the last Ult. Snd., techy said baby weighed 6.2 lbs! That was about 3 weeks ago!!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 12:13PM
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Sounds like you'll be ready to pop here pretty soon :)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 1:30AM
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