Photo courtesy of Photo by Jamie Bartosch
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

Chicago Lakefront Trail

Type: Attractions, Beaches, Family Friendly, Free Attractions, Great Views, Outdoor Activities - Summer, Outdoor Activities - Winter, Parks, Public Spaces, Romantic, Uniquely Here

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10Best Says

Romantic Things to Do: If you've spent any time in a European city, you know that townsfolk don't park in front of the tv after dinner - they stroll - talking, walking, laughing, getting caught up on the news and hand holding. Since we're Americans, we may feel the need to jog, bike or skate our way along the 18.5-mile lakefront path, but it's beautiful and a lovely way to kindle romance. Expect congestion in the downtown area on summer weekends but it offers unmatched views any time of the year. With the Chicago skyline on one side and Lake Michigan on the other, you'll spy some famous landmarks, including Buckingham Fountain, Navy Pier, Soldier Field, Lincoln Park Zoo and the Adler Planetarium. The gardens and park south of the city, near Northerly Island, add more pastoral elements and dog lovers will want to stop by the beach near Irving Park Road.

Best Attractions & Activities, Free Things to Do: Located east of Lake Shore Drive, the Lakefront Trail is an 18.5 mile linear path that stretches from the far north part of the city to the south side. Neighborhoods dot the path as well as notable cultural landmarks including the Museum of Science and Industry; the Field Museum; Shedd Aquarium; Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum; the Chicago Children's Museum; the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum; Lincoln Park Zoo, and the South Shore Cultural Center. The paved path is very popular among walkers, joggers and bicyclists and it will and does get crowded during warm weekends. Expect to slow down around Navy Pier, one of the most congested points on the trail. The Lakefront Trail Separation project will divide bike and pedestrian paths and is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

Attractions near UIC Pavilion, Attractions near United Center, Sightseeing: The city really comes alive when the weather warms up enough for its residents to hit the Lakefront Path. Located east of Lake Shore Drive, the Lakefront Trail is an 18.5 mile linear path that stretches from the far north part of the city to the south side. Neighborhoods dot the path as well as notable cultural landmarks including the Museum of Science and Industry; the Field Museum of Natural History; Shedd Aquarium; Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum; the Chicago Children's Museum; the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum; Lincoln Park Zoo, and the South Shore Cultural Center. The paved path is very popular among walkers, joggers and bicyclists and it will and does get crowded during the warm weekends. Expect to slow down around Navy Pier, one of the most congested points on the trail. Still, the Lakefront Path is one of Chicago's best and free sightseeing attractions.


Address

W. Ardmore Ave. and N. Sheridan Rd. to E. 71st St. and S. South Shore Dr./US 41 at South Shore Cultural Center
Chicago, IL

(312) 742-7529

Expert Tips by Jacky Runice

Chicago Local Expert

Romantic Things to Do: "For a great skyline view, sit on the rocks at North Avenue, or at a small peninsula between Belmont and Irving Park Road."

Best Attractions & Activities, Free Things to Do: "Metered parking is available at almost all of the parks along the trail."

Best for Romantic Things to Do Because: It's Chicago's beautiful backdrop, it's free and can be a casual, unpretentious date.

Recommended as Best Attractions & Activities Because: The lakefront trail is one of Chicago's best natural attractions, and it's free!

Best for Free Things to Do Because: One of Chicago's best free attractions, the 18.5 mile linear path hugs the lakefront and stretches from one part of the city to the other.

Expert Tips by Megy Karydes

Chicago Local Expert

Attractions near UIC Pavilion, Attractions near United Center, Sightseeing: "Metered parking is available at almost all of the parks along the trail."

Best for Attractions near UIC Pavilion, Attractions near United Center, Sightseeing Because: One of Chicago's best free attractions, the 18.5 mile linear path stretches from one part of the city to the other.