“Leaf Peeping” in Chicago: Where to Enjoy Fall Colors in the Windy City

With the official start of Fall just around the corner (on September 23rd), we think it’s safe to say that we’re not the only ones looking forward to leaf peeping season!  That’s right, while some of us are still feeling those summer vibes, it’s almost time for sweater weather, hot cocoa, and cozying up by the fire. Before that, though, it’s time for all of Chicago to head outdoors and enjoy what is sure to be another gorgeous seasonal display of the changing leaves. There’s nothing quite like Chicago fall colors! If you’re looking to capture it all and savor every single stunning moment, here are some of the best places around Chicagoland where you can catch the vibrant display:  

Garfield Park Conservatory

Where:  East Garfield Park

The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of those spots you absolutely can’t miss this season.  This stunning park has over 120,000 plants from over 600 species throughout the expansive property and is one of the largest conservatories in the world.  In addition to the beautiful foliage display, the park houses flower shows that change with each season. 

Morton Arboretum

Where:  Suburbs

Just outside of the city, you can find yourself lost in a magically colorful display at the Morton Arboretum.  It’s a great place to spend a peaceful afternoon surrounded by nature and the property’s 4,200+ types of trees.  Explore the hiking trails that twist and turn through the gardens and wetlands, and relax among the natural beauty. 

Chicago Botanic Garden

Where:  Suburbs

Everyone loves a day spent at Chicago’s Botanic Garden, especially during the Fall season.  Stop into the visitor center and Conservation Science Center to see the beautiful perennials and fruit-bearing shrubs.  Then, walk among the fiery red Japanese Maples as you head outdoors. And, don’t forget to look for the filigreed sumacs.  If you catch them at the right time of the season, they’ll have transformed into a stunning display of red, orange, and green leaves. 

Lincoln Park

Where:  Lincoln Park

The city itself boasts some pretty gorgeous views of the changing leaves this time of year.  Just head over to Lincoln Park for a glimpse of the rainbow display as you walk among the many different types of flora within the Lincoln Park Conservatory.  Enjoy a stroll in the crisp fall air, and turn your eyes toward the red maple, elm, ash, and birch trees. It’s a sight so beautiful, you’ll forget you’re even in the city. 

Millennium Park

Where:  Millennium Park

Millennium Park is a huge hit any time of year but especially during the Fall season.  Locals and visitors alike gather at Millennium Park to view the fall foliage. Just don’t forget your camera!  Trust us, this is one display of rainbow-colored maples, elms, and hawthorns you won’t want to forget as they dance around the city skyline.  


Where:  Loop

For a beautiful Fall stroll, you just can’t beat Chicago’s Riverwalk.  See the city in all of its glory, as it changes with the season. The green spaces and surrounding paths are lined with plants and trees that make for picturesque moments. 

Don’t miss this most anticipated time of year as the seasonal change showcases nature in all of its wonder.  Head outdoors, explore, and enjoy our beautiful city! 

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