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Perched at the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago is a wonderful city in Illinois brimming with delightful surprises. The city is renowned for its bold architecture and marvellous skyscrapers that draw many tourists from afar. Along with serving delicious hot dogs and offering an incredible jazz music experience, there are many hidden gems in Chicago worth paying a mesmerising visit. These gems are perfect escapes to explore this big city to its best and add a remarkable experience to their travelling diaries. So, pack your bags, and book your tickets because you are heading to unfold secret chapters of Chicago.

10 Hidden Gems In Chicago

Immerse yourself in the exploration of natural beauty and the architectural wonders of Chicago, which offer a perfect escape for the leisure soul in you. Join us on this visual tour, where we will discover wonderful hidden gems in Chicago one by one.

1. Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

A splendid view of Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, one of the best hidden gems in Chicago

Image Credit: shutterstock

As suggested by Alfred Caldwell, Lity Pool is one of the wonderful hidden gems in Chicago designed by Alfred Caldwell. The Pool is situated in Lincoln Park and delights visitors with mesmerising vistas of cascading waterfalls, a wide variety of flora, and meandering stone paths. Furthermore, a perfect place to spend quality time with your close ones amidst the breathtaking scenery of nature. The best time to witness the lily pool in its bloom is during the spring season. Those searching for a perfect escape away from the hustle and bustle of city life are welcome to indulge in nature’s most astonishing surroundings. Moreover, it is an ideal space for meditation and soothing your mind and soul amidst lush greenery.

Location: 125 W Fullerton Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Timings: 7.30 AM to 7.30 PM
Entry Fee: Free

Must Read: Things To Do In Chicago

2. The 606

A mesmerising view of the 606 in Chicago

Image Credit: Victor Grigas for Wikimedia Commons

Counted among the wonderful hidden secrets of Chicago, the 606 is an ultimate destination that grabs the attention of locals and tourists alike. Before, it was an old rail line which was later converted into a 2.7-mile elevated greenway. The place embraces a perfect combination of art, and nature that allows visitors to spend an unforgettable time amidst vibrantly adorned gardens. Although it is just a park, however, its rich tapestry of innovation, art and urban exploration makes it one of the places to visit in Chicago. Moreover, an ideal place to enjoy a perfect nature retreat for your eyes and senses.

Location: 1805 N Ridgeway Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, USA
Timings: 6.00 AM to 11.00 PM
Entry Fee: NA

3. Chicago Riverwalk

A spectacular view of Riverwalk, one of the glorious hidden gems in Chicago

Image Credit: shutterstock

Famous among locals and tourists alike, the Chicago Riverwalk is one of the must-visit Chicago hidden gem that attracts nature lovers. Furthermore, it is an ideal place to go for paddling along the riverside and admire the city’s architectural marvels. Chicago Riverwalk is also famous for offering an incredible sightseeing experience to visitors as you can glide past iconic buildings and many historic bridges. For adventurous souls, guided kayaking tours are also available here where you can quench the adventurous spirit. Moreover, don’t miss to capture the vistas of the astonishing Windy City which is truly a gem of the city. During your trip to Chicago, it is a must to include river kayaking in your itinerary.

Location: 22 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
Timings: 6.00 AM to 11.00 PM
Entry Fee: Free

Suggested Read: Chicago Travel Guide

4. The Secret Mermaid Sculpture

A majestic view of The Secret Mermaid Sculpture in Chicago

Image Credit: Alena Pokorná for Wikimedia Commons

Perched at Oakwood Beach, The Secret Mermaid Sculpture is one of the best-hidden gems in Chicago that await your exploration. This charming bronze statue of a mermaid looking longingly toward the horizon is half submerged in water. Furthermore, an admirable representation of natural beauty and artistic expression, this sculpture surely deserves a place on your itinerary. There is no evidence regarding its origin and discovery which makes it an even more interesting place worth exploring on your next visit here. There are many myths and legends of Lake Michigan that capture the attention of people with curious minds from far and wide. Moreover, the mystery behind the Secret Mermaid Sculpture and the tranquil spot offered by the place makes it one of the most delightful places to visit in Chicago.

Location: Chicago, IL 60653, USA
Timings: Open 24 hours
Entry Fee: NA

5. Harold Washington Library Center’s Winter Garden

A spectacular view of Winter Garden, one of the wonderful hidden gems in Chicago

Image Credit: Deirdread for Wikimedia Commons

When creating a list of hidden gems in Chicago, don’t miss to include the Winter Garden in your list. Nestled in the heart of the Harold Washington Library Center, the garden is truly a paradise that offers a serene escape away from the city’s frenetic pace. Furthermore, to reach the place, go to the top floor of library and let your spirit get an amazing retreat full of architectural surprises. First, you can observe a vast and airy atrium joined with a glass ceiling that leads natural light to fill the oasis. Also, A perfect place where you can spend a wonderful time amidst lush greenery and murmuring water sounds from the fountain. Moreover, visitors can use the seating areas for reading books, working on their laptops or just relaxing their minds and souls.

Location: 400 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
Timings: 9.00 AM to 8.00 PM
Entry Fee: Free

Suggested Read: Chicago Nightlife

6. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

A blissful view of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chicago

Image Credit: shutterstock

Are you looking for some blissful places in Chicago? If yes, then BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is one of the sacred hidden gems in Chicago that is worth paying attention to. Furthermore, this Hindu temple is adorned with admirable traditional Indian architecture and is truly a mesmerising sight to behold. The temple holds a significant place in the heart of locals, tourists and devotees alike. Also, carved with ancient Hindu texts, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir allows visitors to spend a blissful time and participate in the auspicious worship ceremonies of the temple. Moreover, the glorious interiors of the temple as well as breathtaking exterior vistas make this place one of the must-visit places in Chicago.

Location: 1851 Pramukh Swami Maharaj Rd, Bartlett, IL 60103, USA
Timings: 9.00 AM to 7.00 PM
Entry Fee: Free

7. Garfield Park Conservatory

A majestic view of Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the best hidden gems in Chicago

Image Credit: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz for Wikimedia Commons

Don’t miss the free retreat of botanical gardens at Garfield Park Conservatory which is truly one of the hidden gems in Chicago. The park boasts paved walking paths and tropical gardens where you can admire the unexpected surroundings of nature and have a mesmerising time. Furthermore, the prime attraction of the park is “death bloom.” These long plants have grown up to 38 feet in only a few short weeks, nearly reaching the glass roof of the building, and the flower spike gets covered in hundreds of tiny green buds. Also, It has been observed for the last two years. Moreover, the place offers an amazing tropical getaway for nature admirers as well as for photographers.

Location: 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624, USA
Timings: 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM
Entry Fee: Free

Suggested Read: Festivals In Chicago

8. Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary

An amazing view of Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary in Chicago

Image Credit: peterwchen for Wikimedia Commons

For birds and photographers, Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary is no less than a paradise. This place expects tens of thousands of migratory birds in each spring and fall. Visitors can admire the breathtaking vistas of these birds and have an amazing retreat for their eyes and senses. Further, save some time to indulge in the magical greenery of the sanctuary at a centre area which is also hailed as “The Magic Hedge”. Harbouring 150 yards of trees and shrubs, the park is among the best places in Chicago where you can admire the stunning beauty of nature. Moreover, visitors are also welcome to witness the astonishing vistas of the city skyline. Providing a delightful area to enjoy bird-watching to its best, Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary is one of the amazing hidden gems in Chicago worth exploring on your next holiday.

Location: Chicago, IL 60640, United States
Timings: 6.00 AM to 8.00 PM
Entry Fee: NA

Further Read: 5 Cruises In Chicago

From an incredible Winter Garden to Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, many hidden gems in Chicago await your exploration. These jewels not only provide a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life but also add an extraordinary travel experience to your memories. On your next trip to Chicago , don’t miss to unlock these above-mentioned gems by adding them to your itinerary. Happy Travelling!

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Cover Image Source: Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions About Hidden Gems In Chicago

What are the best places to visit in Chicago?

Nestled in the heart of Illinois, Chicago is one of the largest cities in the U.S. which is packed with amazing attractions. These gems are as follows:

  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Millennium Park
  • Field Museum
  • Cloud Gate
  • Riverwalk
  • 360 Chicago

What are some hidden gems restaurants in Chicago?

For a delightful dining experience, here are some best-hidden food gems in Chicago:

  • Billy Goat Tavern
  • Crab Cellar
  • Kendall College Dining Room
  • EL Ideas
  • The Franklin Room
  • High Five Ramen

What is the best time to visit Chicago?

To enjoy the sightseeing to its best and avoid the heavy crowd, the best time to plan your Chicago trip is May, September and October. The pleasant weather of this time will surely melt your heart away and add an extra dose of charm to your trip.

What are the best shopping places in Chicago?

Some of the best shopping places where you can stretch your budget a little are as follows:

  • The shops at North Bridge
  • Water Tower Place
  • Hyde Park Shopping Center
  • Block 37
  • Washington Square Mall

What is the must-try food in Chicago?

The must-try food to have on your plate during your Chicago trip is deep-dish pizza. Along with this, you can also try Hot dogs, Beef Sandwiches, Italian thin-crust Pizza and Malört.

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