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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrLincoln Park is the largest public park in Chicago and is located alongside Lake Michigan. It consists of over 1,200 acres of land that are home to beaches, recreational facilities; playgrounds, landscaped gardens; a zoo, several museums; an archery range, a nature sanctuary; and many other popular attractions. It is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions due to the wide variety of activities it provides for visitors.
HistoryThe oldest part of Lincoln Park was originally used as a cemetery in the 19th century, which was eventually converted into Lake Park in 1860. Five years later, the park was renamed after President Abraham Lincoln , who had recently been assassinated. Over the years, it has expanded along seven miles of Chicago’s lakefront area, and become the home of dozens of popular city attractions, including Lincoln Park Zoo and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum .
AttractionsThere’s something for everyone at Lincoln Park, including beautiful gardens, a family-friendly zoo, museums, public artwork, and sandy beaches by Lake Michigan.
Lincoln Park ZooThe most popular attraction in Lincoln Park is Lincoln Park Zoo, which is open to the public for free. It is home to over 1,000 animals, including penguins, monkeys, gorillas, sea lions, and tigers. In addition, it contains a children’s zoo and a farm exhibit where children can do things like feed cows and pet goats.
Lincoln Park ConservatoryThe Lincoln Park Conservatory showcases fascinating plant species from around the world, including rubber trees, ferns, and tropical plants. Best of all, admission to this beautiful nature exhibit is free.
Chicago History MuseumThe Chicago History Museum is dedicated to the intriguing history of the city of Chicago. One of its most popular exhibits focuses on the Great Chicago Fire , while its most notable historical artifacts include several items related to Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, including his deathbed and the clothing he and his wife wore that fateful evening.
Peggy Notebaert Nature MuseumThis popular nature attraction features dozens of exhibits related to the natural history of Chicago and the surrounding region. You won’t want to miss the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, where you can meet over 75 species of exotic butterflies up close in a greenhouse filled with beautiful flowers, trees, and birds.
Alfred Caldwell Lily PoolMake sure to have your camera ready when you visit the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool , a prime example of the Prairie School architectural style, which was created in the late 19th century to cultivate water lilies. This beautiful attraction is open each year between mid-April and mid-November.
BeachesLincoln Park features 7 different public beaches along Lake Michigan that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and playing beach volleyball in the sweltering summer heat. In the summertime, lifeguards are provided at each of the beaches for public safety. If you’re visiting during the cooler months, the beaches are still well worth a visit due to the spectacular views they provide of the lake.
Recreational FacilitiesIf you have small children, you’ll be happy to know that Lincoln Park has five different playgrounds that are a great place for them to burn off some energy. Lincoln Park also provides facilities for nearly any sport or recreational activity you can think of, including tennis, basketball, football, rugby, baseball, softball, soccer, archery, cricket, volleyball, golf, and horseback riding.
In addition, it has an extensive network of trails for running and cycling, including the popular 18-mile Chicago Lakefront Trail, which connects Lincoln Park to Grant Park, Burnham Park, and Jackson Park. If you’re eager to go boating on Lake Michigan, the park is also home to three harbors with marinas and docking facilities.
Practical InformationThe best way to explore Lincoln Park is on foot or by bike. If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one using Divvy, Chicago’s bike sharing system that has 300 stations throughout the city.
In terms of getting to and from the park, public transportation is often easier and less costly than trying to park a car in the area. Numerous CTA bus services stop in and near Lincoln Park. If you prefer to take the metro, the nearest ‘L’ stops are Fullerton (Red, Brown and Purple Lines), Diversey, Armitage, and Sedgwick (all accessible from the Brown and Purple Lines), depending on which attractions you wish to visit. However, all of these stations are several blocks away from the park, so be prepared to walk for about 15 minutes through the beautiful Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Address: 500-5700 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
Hours: The park is open daily from 6:00 until 23:00.
Similar AttractionsOther notable parks in Chicago include Grant Park and Millennium Park, while nearby attractions include skyscrapers such as the John Hancock Center and the Willis Tower, the Magnificent Mile shopping area, and Navy Pier.
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Author: ehuttner. Last updated: Apr 21, 2015