We love spending cozy time at home, but we’re fans of outdoor exploration, too. Now that October has arrived, you can look forward to some beautiful fall foliage in and around the Windy City. It’s the perfect season for strolling and taking in the views. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite spots for taking in the fall foliage in Chicago and the surrounding area.
Maple Grove, an 81-acre preserve, features beautiful, walkable trails, tables for picnics, and a picturesque stream, making it an ideal place to escape the city for a while. During the fall season, the area boasts stunning views of maple and oak trees. Pack a picnic and plan to spend the day walking the trails and enjoying the scenery.
You don’t have to leave the city to experience the best of fall. Chicago Botanic Garden offers beautiful autumnal scenes from late summer to the end of October. Peak season occurs during the first two weeks of October, when the trees are at their brightest and boldest. When visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden this fall, begin at the Visitor Center and make your way to East Road, where you can view the native trees and wildflowers in McDonalds Woods, to your left. On the right, you’ll have a stunning view of the Garden’s lakes.
Morton Arboretum is a 1700-acre space filled with more than 4,200 varieties of trees. Visit the site to experience the beautiful dogwoods, sugar maples, and dozens of others glorious, colorful trees at their peak. Morton Arboretum also boasts an award-winning Children’s Garden, so it’s a perfect spot for a family outing. Check their website for upcoming fall festivals and special Halloween events.
Lincoln Park is Chicago’s largest park, so it only makes sense to head there for some pretty fall foliage views. Plan for an afternoon at the Lincoln Park Observatory. Then, take a casual stroll through the park and observe the colorful trees, such as red maple, elm, and ash trees. Bring lunch for a picnic and make a day of it.
LaBagh Woods features over 35 miles of wooded trails, which are perfect for taking in the colors of the season this time of year. You’ll spot trees such as maples, cottonwoods, and oaks along the paths. When you need a break, you can take a rest at one of the convenient picnic tables that can be found in the preserve. Don’t forget to bring your pup along for the hike, too.
Don’t skip this touristy spot — during the fall season, the trees of Millennium Park will put on a show you won’t want to miss. Take a walk and observe the beautiful maples, elms, and other trees before the winter season arrives.
When it comes to fall foliage in Chicago, you can find some colorful landscapes that don’t necessarily feature trees and leaves — they may include shrubs, flowers, or other plants. This next spot is a less obvious option, but still worth exploring. Found within Millennium Park, Lurie Woods consists of two and a half acres of land that show off a stunning autumn scene come fall. Autumnal flowers will be in bloom, and the colors will look extra striking against the Chicago skyline.
We’ve mentioned that the 606 is a great spot for biking in Chicago. This time of year, it’s an ideal place to catch some beautiful fall foliage views. The 606 trails are lined with trees showing off their vibrant colors as you walk, jog, or bike along the path. On the elevated trails, you can take a peak at the colorful trees below you.
Take a stroll of Graceland Cemetery this fall and enjoy views of bold displays of bright leaves on the grounds’ many trees. You’ll also be able to check where some famous architects and other notable figures have been laid to rest. This spot offers some of the most beautiful fall foliage in Chicago.
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