Chicago Lakefront Path: 36 Miles of Stunning Lake and Skyline Views
The Shedd Aquarium
Another highlight along the path is The Shedd Aquarium. Like The Field Museum, the Shedd is also located in Chicago’s Museum Campus. Frequently regarded as one of the best aquariums in the country, The Shedd also is one of the most popular, perhaps due to its’ ideal location, excellent exhibits, and spectacular shows. I have been to several other aquariums and they do not even come close in terms of exhibits. I particularly like the sea horse; such a unique looking fish. Also, be sure to explore the Wild Reef exhibit, which features a variety of sharks.
The 3rd member of the Museum Campus is the Adler Planetarium, which features excellent space exhibits and amazing shows in its’ dome theaters (The Grainger Sky Theater is the most technologically advanced in the world!).
Exhibits aside, the real highlight of the planetarium is the amazing location. The panoramic views of the Chicago skyline can’t be matched. Even if you are not planning a trip to the planetarium itself, make sure to stop by for some amazing skyline photos.
You will pass right by Soldier Field, home to the Chicago Bears, on your journey along the Lakefront Path. Soldier Field is also located on Chicago’s Museum Campus. Visit the Chicago Bears website for information on purchasing tickets to a game. I have never been to an NFL game, however, it is definitely on my bucket list! I have heard many people say it is better to stay home and watch the game, but I still want to experience watching a game outdoors on a crisp Chicago fall day!
Grant Park is a large public park in Chicago that is home to many festivals and events, especially during the summer months. Inside Grant Park, you will find the Museum Campus (The Field, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium), Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Buckingham Fountain. Many popular annual events such as The Taste of Chicago and the Chicago Marathon are held here.
This beautiful fountain, which stands as one of the largest in the world, is an absolute must-see during your ride. Located conveniently just across the street around the mid-point of the path, the fountain is easily accessible and worth the small break. Be sure to come back at night for the amazing music and light show!
The most notable feature of this section of Grant Park is the amazing Cloud Gate Sculpture. Plenty of unique photo opportunities consisting of taking your own reflection are available by “the bean.” In the summer and fall months, you can take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the sculptures, gardens, and Crown Fountain. During the winter months, make sure to plan an ice skating date at the McCormick Tribune Ice rink!
Oak Street & North Avenue Beach
You will pass by 2 large beaches on the route. I have only visited Oak Street. Both beaches feature fabulous views of the city. Oak Street has big waves, clean sand, volleyball nets, and even a few palm trees! Where else can you find palm trees in Chicago?! This popular Gold coast beach is the hip spot for taking a break on a warm summer’s afternoon.
Navy Pier, located along scenic Lake Michigan, really stands out when riding along the path. Great pictures can be taken at several different points. Stop by one of the many restaurants for a food break or partake in fun attractions such as a Ferris Wheel and miniature golf. The Ferris wheel is an affordable way to take in spectacular views of the city and lake. I highly recommend the ride as a budget friendly photo opportunity!