Best parks in Chicago

Written by:
May 2, 2019
Felix Mizioznikov // Shutterstock

Best parks in Chicago

The phrase “a walk in the park” conjures up images of childhood days in green spaces, a quiet place to sit on a bench and enjoy a book, or a brisk hike among woodlands with furry little animals. Now that the spring buds are blooming, it is the perfect time to explore the parks in Chicago. 

Parks are great places to enjoy fun family activities like feeding ducks, enjoying picnics, hiking a trail, or spending time in nature. Fresh air, wildlife, and botanical gardens are often free for the public to enjoy. A plethora of parks have museums, outdoor theaters, zoos, fruit-bearing trees, basketball courts, and pickleball courts. The list of amenities goes on and on.

The United States has a wide variety of parks, with Boston Common taking the title as the oldest city park. Washington D.C.’s National Mall is the most visited city park, and Union Square in San Francisco boasts the most visited city park per acre. 

A study by the National Recreation and Park Agency found that 55% of people visit their local parks to enjoy the benefits of nature. A performance review of the NRPA notes that on average there are 10.1 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents and 2,181 residents per park.

While some city parks occupy almost 1 million acres like Chugach State Park in Alaska and offer hiking and fishing for residents; others—such as Mills End Park in Portland, Ore.—can be measured in inches (452). Some cities are brimming with dog parks, and others feature skateboard parks or community food gardens. 

Where can you go to find the best parks in Chicago? The Stacker team checked out  Foursquare’s algorithm to predict the best parks based on check-ins, rating signals, category matches, and photo trends, with data updated as recently as April 19, 2019. Take a walk through our park guide to find the best park in your neighborhood.

You may also like: Best dive bars in Chicago

1 / 10

#10. Lakeshore East Park

- Address: N. Field Blvd (Benton Pl.), Chicago
- Foursquare rating: 9.1
- See more on Lakeshore East Park

2 / 10

#9. Ping Tom Memorial Park

- Address: 300 W. 19th St. (btwn Lumber St & Wentworth Ave), Chicago
- Foursquare rating: 9.4
- See more on Ping Tom Memorial Park

3 / 10

#8. Wicker Park

- Address: 1425 N. Damen Ave. (btwn Wicker Park Ave. & Schiller St.), Chicago
- Foursquare rating: 9.1
- See more on Wicker Park

4 / 10

#7. Oz Park

- Address: 2021 N. Burling St. (btwn Webster Ave. & Dickens Ave.), Chicago
- Foursquare rating: 9.0
- See more on Oz Park

5 / 10
Alanscottwalker // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Maggie Daley Park

- Address: 337 E. Randolph Dr. (btwn Lake Shore Dr. & Columbus Dr.), Chicago
- Foursquare rating: 9.5
- See more on Maggie Daley Park

6 / 10

#5. Mary Bartelme Park

- Address: 115 S. Sangamon St. (at W. Monroe St.), Chicago
- Foursquare rating: 9.0
- See more on Mary Bartelme Park

7 / 10
LincolnSquareInsider // flickr

#4. Winnemac Park

- Address: 5001 N. Leavitt St. (at W. Argyle St.), Chicago
- Foursquare rating: 9.1
- See more on Winnemac Park

8 / 10
Alanscottwalker // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Lincoln Park

- Address: 5700 N. Lake Shore Dr. (btwn Glenlake Ave. & Grand Ave.), Chicago
- Foursquare rating: 9.4
- See more on Lincoln Park

9 / 10
Chris Oakley // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Grant Park

- Address: 337 E. Randolph Dr. (at Michigan Ave.), Chicago
- Foursquare rating: 9.6
- See more on Grant Park

10 / 10
Petr Steinbauer // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Millennium Park

- Address: 201 E. Randolph St. (btwn Columbus Dr. & Michigan Ave.), Chicago
- Foursquare rating: 9.7
- See more on Millennium Park

Trending Now