Where to Find Peace and Quiet in Chicago
Lily pools, greenhouses and parks
You thrive on hustling, bustling summer in Chicago. But sometimes you need a break from the block parties/free concerts/art shows/packed sidewalks.
Guess what? There are places to breathe and relax and just be, right around the corner. Escape to these ten quiet urban hideaways (but shhh--keep the volume down).
Ping Tom Memorial Park
In the Loop, the walkways along the Chicago River are action-packed. But there’s a quiet patch along the South Branch in Chinatown--it’s a far more tranquil place to enjoy the city’s manmade waterway from either the shore or a kayak.
1700 S. Wentworth Ave.; 312-225-3121 or chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks
Lakeshore East Park
While families swarm the spectacular playground equipment at Maggie Daley Park on the other side of Randolph Street, this sunken green space amid the towers of the Lakeshore East development remains relatively serene.
450 E. Benton Pl.; 312-742-7529 or chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks
Milton Lee Olive Park
This lakefront sliver is an unlikely but blissfully under-populated oasis with a beautiful view of the city skyline. It’s adjacent to a water-filtration plant and wedged between the nonstop activity of Navy Pier on one side and Ohio Street Beach on the other.
500 N. Lake Shore Dr.; tclf.org
Jackson Park Japanese Garden
Not in a museum kind of mood? Just north of the Museum of Science and Industry, the real discovery in Jackson Park is this Frederick Law Olmsted-designed collection of lagoons, waterfalls, gardens and meandering paths on Wooded Island.
6401 S. Stony Island; chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks
Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens
The adjacent Clarke House is worth a visit for a glimpse into Chicago’s past circa 1836, and the surrounding two-acre oasis of flowers, grasses and fountains outside is the best way to relax in the present-day South Loop.
1801 S. Indiana Ave.; 312-328-0821 or chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks