CHICAGO – As the weather warms up and the snow melts away, the Chicago area offers a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy. From scenic hikes to stunning gardens, the suburbs surrounding the city have something for everyone. Here are the best outdoor spots to visit in the Chicago area this spring, excluding places inside the city itself.
- Cantigny Park – Located in Wheaton, Cantigny Park is a stunning 500-acre park that offers a variety of outdoor activities. Visitors can explore the lush gardens, take a hike on one of the park’s many trails, or even visit the First Division Museum. The park is particularly beautiful in the spring, with blooming flowers and trees throughout the grounds.
- Morton Arboretum – Located in Lisle, the Morton Arboretum offers 1,700 acres of woodlands, gardens, and prairies to explore. The arboretum is home to a diverse collection of trees and plants, including some of the rarest in the world. In the spring, visitors can see the stunning display of blooming trees and flowers, including 4,000 varieties of trees, shrubs, and plants from around the world.
- Starved Rock State Park – Located about 90 minutes southwest of Chicago in Utica, Starved Rock State Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The park features 13 miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, and stunning views of the Illinois River. In the spring, visitors can see wildflowers in bloom and take in the stunning natural scenery.
- Chain O’Lakes State Park – Located about an hour northwest of Chicago in Spring Grove, Chain O’Lakes State Park is a beautiful destination for boating and fishing enthusiasts. The park features a chain of 15 lakes that are connected by channels, offering plenty of opportunities for water-based activities. Visitors can also take a hike on one of the park’s many trails or relax at one of the park’s beaches.
- Indiana Dunes State Park – Located about an hour east of Chicago in Chesterton, Indiana Dunes State Park offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and miles of sandy beaches. The park features over 16 miles of hiking trails, a nature center, and plenty of opportunities for swimming and sunbathing. In the spring, visitors can see wildflowers in bloom and take in the beauty of the surrounding sand dunes.
No matter what your outdoor interests are, the Chicago area has plenty to offer this spring. From exploring lush gardens to hiking scenic trails, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding suburbs. So pack your hiking boots and sunscreen, and get ready to explore all that the Chicago area has to offer.