Chicago Botanic Gardens, Chicago
I love the Botanical Gardens! It is absolutely beautiful and soul-soothing. I definitely recommend the Japanese gardens. It is free to go, but if you are driving then you have to pay for parking. There is a bus that goes directly there and there are also bike paths that you can take from Chicago to the gardens.
I'm putting this tip in the Off the Beaten Path section due to it's distance from the city of Chicago, it's about 25 miles to the north of downtown Chicago. The easiest way to get there is by car but if you look at the website provided below there are directions on how to get there using public transportation.
The gardens are free to visit, if you drive there is a parking charge per car. Some of the highlights of the gardens are lovely rose garden, the Japanese garden, the English walled garden and the interactive sensory garden where you can touch and smell different plants. You could easily spend the good part of a day here if you are a flower/plant lover. There are special festivals and activities throughout the year, check the website for more information.
If Glencoe is a little too far for you to go have a look at some flowers, you can also stop by one of the two free conservatories in Chicago, the Garfield Conservatory or the smaller Lincoln Park Conservatory
If you do find yourself with a car up in this area, you might think about combining a day to the Chicago Botanic Gardens with a visit to Ravinia which has evening concerts in the summer months.
For more info and pictures, please go have a look at my Glencoe, Illinois page
Well I have met many women in this way.
I will go to the botanical gardens wearing a rain coat. I will introduce myself and the next thing you know I having sex witha stranger near the Banana tree. It's fun discreet and highly recomended for swinging singles.
Please make sure you always protect your self. *** res[ponsably.
So... the Chicago Botanical Gardens are actually located in Glencoe, which is about 25 miles north of downtown Chicago. This is a great place to come to chill out and enjoy natural surroundings, or to learn about plants and horticulture. There are greenhouses and all kinds of gardens- including English, Japanese (there's a rock garden too), Rose,etc... Bring a camera and walking shoes. (I'll post some pictures soon!)
This a very cool organization that "encompasses three important components: collections, education and research."-CBG website.
There are always events happening, and I think almost anyone can enjoy themselves here. So bring your kids, too.
If you're an traveller on a budget, you can take a 213 Pace bus that can drop you off at the gate about every 40-60 minutes (Monday through Saturday). Or if you get hold of a bike, you can take the bike trail up to Glencoe. You can download a map of the trail on the website listed below.
Cost of admission: Free
Cost of Parking: $10.00 per car (including tax)
Don't forget to check the rates for senior citzens and the like.
The zen garden in the Chicago botanic gardens will balance any undue stress and rid you of your jet lag. Maybe that is a little too grand of a claim but it is a relaxing place to walk and look at some interesting fauna.
It is located in a suburb north of the city. Take 90/94 towards Milwaukee. Exit on Lake-Cook Rd and turn right at the top of the ramp.
Beautiful park located on Chicago's North Side. Lots of flowers, trees in a very park-like setting. There's all kinds of plants in the park. There's even a Japanese garden. And the best thing, the admission is free! (but parking is not free) But it's a great place to spend your weekend.
Drive your bike either to the intersection of Devon and Cullum (North side). You'll see the Forest Preserve parking lot on the N. Side of Cullum just west of Devon. Park there, bike for 20 miles through a lush forest preserve on a well maintained paved path until you get to the garden. You'll know when you get there. It's beautiful.
This is in the Walled English Garden at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Lost in a field of black-eyed susans...