Lincoln Park is a seven-mile (11-kilometer) stretch of greenery and museums that covers more than 1,200 acres (485 hectares) along the shore of Lake Michigan. Just north of downtown, the park borders Ardmore Avenue to the north and Ohio Street to the south. There are seven public beaches, a zoo, several museums, landscaped gardens, a conservatory, a pool and a theater. Locals come to play sport or walk, jog and cycle along the park’s many trails. Hire out a tennis court or basketball court or try your hand at archery. Take in a round of golf or bang a few balls down the driving range. You’ll find maps throughout the park to help navigate the grounds.
This park named after Abraham Lincoln was originally a cemetery and some of the gravestones, including a large mausoleum, are still visible today. There are many historic statues dotted around the grounds, including a famous statue of Lincoln by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
In summer head to the beaches along the lakefront, where there are lifeguards on duty and the water is cool but pleasant. Try your hand at fishing year-round, or hire a boat for more fun on the water. During the summer there are outdoor concerts at the Theatre on the Lake (schedule available at the park’s website.
The park was built partly to preserve wildlife within the city, and there are a number of animal sanctuaries. The North Pond Nature Sanctuary is home to birds, turtles, frogs and beavers. The Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary in the north of the park has more than 150 species, while the 15-acre Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary attracts tens of thousands of birds in its woodland and prairie habitat. All have walking trails and viewing platforms open year-round.
Head out into Lincoln Park or one of the other four neighborhoods bordering the park for a wide array of restaurants, bars and shops.