The Best Public Gardens In Chicago to Enjoy

bests public gardens in chicago

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As much as I love Wisconsin, I like to visit Chicago! Chicago is a city of parks and gardens, a mixture of old and new, community, and city-owned, but all of them are open to the public. I was on a hunt for the best public gardens in Chicago because the weather was perfect!

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When parts of the city were first established, there was a huge demand for public gardens and conservatories to be built. Many of these original gardens, parks, and greenhouses still exist today. Whatever part of the city you are planning to visit, there is a garden worth viewing. You can also choose the garden you want to visit based on what types of gardens you like or the different styles you want to see.

bests public gardens in chicago

Check out these top public gardens in Chicago, which will give you an all-around look at the best the city has to offer.

Best Public Gardens In Chicago

Chicago Botanic Gardens

The Chicago Botanic Gardens are the city’s world-class public garden, a living museum, and a working science center. Chicagoans and tourists can enjoy an entire day outside filled with innovative gardens, antique and heirloom plant varieties, educational growing exhibits, and fun, cultural beds. Twenty-six gardens are spread out over just under 350 acres worth of land in the far north Chicagoland region. It is possible to reach the yards via public transportation, and while garden admission is free, there are parking fees that change with the season.

public gardens in chicago poppy

Lincoln Park Conservatory and Gardens

In the heart of Chicago lies the Lincoln Park Conservatory and Gardens, a glass building filled with exotic plants that were brought to Chicago in the early 1900s. The Conservatory was built to house and preserve the exotics for conservation purposes, but also because people loved spending time in gardens at all times of the year.

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A lot of the plants in the Conservatory are rare plants, very delicate, and have been there since the Conservatory was opened. The entrance is free and self-guided. Some brochures point out the more fascinating and exciting plants in the collection. In the summer, extend your time to the nearby Lily Garden and manicured beds that scatter Lincoln Park.

chicago garden daisies

Lurie Gardens in Chicago

The new Lurie Gardens were added in connection with Millennium Park and are a full five acres. This garden was created for four-season use and recreation. It displays plants that are native to the State of Illinois, brings art and nature together, and combine vertical urban gardening with sculptured walkways. Children love the gardens because they can interact and play in them, rather than strolling through something off-limits to them. Nature lovers like seeing the new gardening ideas and principles that are being used, as well as the garden’s ability to attract birds and butterflies. The garden sits on the East corner of the park, and it is open for anyone and everyone to enjoy year-round.

poppies in a chicago garden

Osaka Garden of Jackson Park

Tucked away into a corner of Jackson Park is another Chicago original, the Japanese Osaka Gardens, a gift to the city of Chicago during the Chicago World’s Fair. This garden is the best place to watch migratory birds head south and back north because they use the lagoons the gardens reside in as a major resting spot. As for the yards themselves, changes and improvements are always being made. The real beauty of the garden only improves with the season. Bridges, ponds, waterfalls, and buildings are all done traditionally, and on most days, you can enjoy viewing the garden all on your own.

Can you think of a great Chicago garden that we missed? Please let us know!

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