If you live near Chicago and haven’t been to the Chicago Botanic Garden, or if you’re visiting Chicago and have an extra day in your itinerary, it’s worth the haul up to the north shore to check it out.
I’m not that easy to impress when it comes to natural spaces around Chicago. But I have to admit it, the Botanic Garden is pretty great: three hundred eighty five acres, nine islands, and twenty-six gardens.
There are flowers, of course.
And plants with weird names.
And weird-looking plants.
There’s a huge and productive fruit and veggie garden, with common and uncommon edibles alike.
There’s even a world-class Bonsai display.
The Botanical Garden is located in Glencoe, Illinois. Whether or not you have a car, there are a number of ways to get yourself there. When I was a kid, my family would park the car at Harms Woods and bike the last 9 miles to the garden because it was fun, and because anyone NOT in a car gets in free. (Parking is $25.)
When we took the in-laws for their first visit last Saturday, we needed about four hours to cover most of the garden at a leisurely pace. Pack a picnic, because the cafe is expensive and not so good. Or, work up an appetite and hold off for Prairie Grass Cafe, a few minutes southwest of the garden.