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Spend Springtime on Chicago's Lakefront Path
Explore • Things to Do • Chicago

Spend Springtime on Chicago's Lakefront Path

Top Three Springtime Sights To See Along

Chicago Lakefront

A View Of A Large Body Of Water

Aerial View of the Chicago Lakefront + Paths

Chicago in the spring is a magical time of year when mother nature shakes off her winter slumber and shines a little warmer in the windy city. The famous tulips lining the Mag Mile start to bud, the days start to get longer, and the city truly starts to come to life again with locals and visitors alike navigating the Chicago sidewalks and taking in some long-awaited vitamin D.

So we've put together a one-stop "spring on the lakefront" guide to seeing, doing and navigating everything along the north end of the sprawling waterfront paths. So pack your comfiest of walking shoes, get that camera charged up & ready to snap some vacation memories. And if your travel plans allow it -- bring along your family fur-baby, because not only do we have a gourmet pet room service menu at the Loews Chicago hotel but a slew of pet-friendly amenities to enjoy while in town.

Depending on your interests and schedule for the day we recommend walking North along the path as a good starting point. This would require a half-day of your time or if you're looking to spend more of your schedule at the attractions along the way - a full day works best.

North of Grand Avenue

(Grand Ave. is an east/west running street and is essentially the center of the city - a great starting point near the hotel)

The John Hancock Tower and Skyline

As you head north along the path, this is a great opportunity to take in a closer up view of some of Chicago iconic skyscrapers, like the John Hancock Tower that sits at Delaware Place and can be seen for miles.

The Beaches

  • It may be a little early to take a dip in one of the lakefronts beaches that line the Lakeshore Drive curve along the next mile and a half of the path -- but Oak Street Beach (the first beach you'll reach) offers up stellar views of the Northside of the skyline like the historic Palmolive Building lighthouse that sits atop the tower as a symbolic beacon that shines brightly over the city and Lake Michigan at night.

A Tall Building In A City

View From Oak Street Beach of The John Hancock and Palmolive Building Beacon | Photo Credit: @aman.hathi

  • North Avenue Beach is also quite the hot-spot for volleyball tournaments, sunbathing and everything summer the moment we hit 75 degrees in the city. It's roughly about 1 mile from the start of your walk and a great place to spend the afternoon people watching or playing with Fido in the sand. If you want to capture that ideal panoramic photo of the skyline, this is the spot!

A Group Of People On A Beach In Front Of A Building

View Looking South From North Avenue Beach

Lincoln Park 

It may have a notable ring to its name -- perhaps after an iconic president that donned a tall black hat and a long beard. But it is also home to some of Chicago's best lakefront activities for all walks of life.

A Large Tower In A Park

                                        Sprawling Green-space of Lincoln Park

  • Lincoln Park Zoo  - Open year-round is a great educational retreat that won't break the bank because it's free! This 35-acre zoo is home to some of the world's most unique animals -- from African Penguins to American Toads and everything in between. If you're lucky and in town over one of their events you can join a food truck social or one of the other handful of seasonal activation that they host throughout the year. You could spend all day here!
  • Lincoln Park Conservatory - Another hidden gem accessible from the lakefront path offers up a more tropical retreat. Feel the clean, oxygen-rich air as you meander through hundreds of palms, orchids, and ferns inside a Victorian-Era glass atrium.

A Group Of People Standing On Top Of A Grass Covered Field

                      Lincoln Park Conservatory + Campus

  • Hungry after all that walking? Visit The Lakefront Restaurant home to Theater on the Lake at Fullerton St. This casual dining experience offers up an upscale tavern-like setting and during the warmer months, their Skyline Patio divvying up some great eats with a even more stellar view of the city and lake.

Navy Pier

One of the best places to capture some of the best nighttime skyline photos is at the iconic Navy Pier. This historic piece of Chicago landscape jets out 3300 feet into Lake Michigan – offering some of the most unparalleled views of the Chicago Skyline. In addition to the dozens of attractions and family activities that welcome visitors year-round, the pier is now home to the world’s largest rooftop bar where you can sip on new seasonal crafty cocktails or simply enjoy some people watching with a great backdrop – the Chicago skyline.

A Sunset Over A Body Of Water With A City In The Background

                                             Navy Pier | Photo Credit: @by.bert

Springtime at the Pier

  • Go for a spin on the iconic Ferris Wheel
  • Meander the tranquil Crystal Gardens where the water fountains play leapfrog over winding pathways through a one-acre indoor botanical garden.
  • Sail the open waters on one of the many lakefront cruises that depart from the pier daily.
  •  Make it a date night and catch a show at the Shakespeare Theater on the pier.
  • Bring the little ones for a truly immersive and educational experience at the Children Museum on the Pier
  • Nosh away at one of the dozen unique food vendors and restaurants that line the south side of the pier.

Now that you have the Springtime along the lakefront check-list ready, let's get sightseeing.

See you this spring in Chicago!

A Woman Smiling For The CameraKelly joined the teams at Loews Chicago and Loews Chicago O’Hare in September 2016. A long-time hospitality professional, Kelly is a Chicago native and is thrilled to share her passion for her hometown with guests via this blog and the hotels' social media channels.