Featherdog's Quiet Spots with Water Views

Chicago offers unique and beautiful quiet places to relax, hack portals, and take amazing pictures.  Finding quiet in the city can be a challenging. The list below contains my favorite quiet places with water views.

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Milton Lee Olive Park

511 N Columbus Dr. Chicago, IL 60611

Located just north of Navy Pier and named after the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor, this quiet and unique park offers an amazing view of the Chicago skyline, looking north. When Navy Pier is crowded, this park is normally very quiet. With green space and trees, this park offers a very different environment than Navy Pier.


The best way to access this park is to take the free Navy Pier shuttle from downtown or to bike the lakefront trails that lead to the park.  Note, from walk from the shuttle drop off to the end of the park takes about 20 minutes.  Paid parking is available at Navy Pier and the walk is about 25 minutes.

See more pictures and learn about the park’s history.

 

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Northerly Island

521 S. Linn White Dr. Chicago, IL 60605

Located on the Museum Campus, this quiet park is located on a former airport runway.  Meigs Field, a small airport, operated here from 1948-2003. Then Mayor Daley so loathed this airport that without notice, he had the runway bulldozed in the middle of the night.

You can still see relics of the airport on the Park’s grounds today.  The field house was once the airport’s terminal and the air traffic control tower still stands. This nature preserve is quiet and offers a gorgeous view of the skyline.

Accessing this park is best by car or bike. Make sure to follow the signs to avoid parking in the more expensive museum lots. The field house has ample parking at a cost of $2/hour.

See in pictures how this park was transformed from an airport to a nature preserve.

 

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The Magic Hedge and Montrose Pier Light

4400 N. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60640

Montrose Beach can get hectic.  Get away from the crowds by taking a walk in a wooded bird sanctuary, where over 300 different species of birds have been spotted. From the Magic Hedge, walk out to the Montrose Pier Light.  About a 10 minute walk from the base of the pier to the tip, you can see stunning views of the Chicago skyline.

Montrose Beach offers free and paid parking.  On nice weekend days, finding parking can be a challenge, so arrive early or take a bus.  Note, getting around Montrose Beach requires a significant amount of walking and the Magic Hedge is not accessible by bike.

Learn more about the birds in the Magic Hedge.

 

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Ping Tom Memorial Park

19th Street and Wells Chicago, IL 60616

Located a short walk from the Chinatown restaurants, Ping Tom Memorial Park is unique among Chicago Parks.  It was built on a former rail yard and runs along a section of the Chicago River and is place of calm in the city.  This park features a pagoda-style pavilion, bamboo gardens, and a playground. Walking the the trails of this park is relaxing and a great way to spend some time after eating at one of the delicious restaurants in Chinatown.

This park is accessible by the CTA trains, bike, or water taxi. Note, the official address to this park (1700 S. Wentworth) will take you to the fieldhouse, where there is parking.  To get to the real entrance to the park, go to 19th Street and Wells. The fieldhouse is a 10 minute walk from the interesting part of the park.

Read more about this hidden escape

 

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Promontory Point

5491 S. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60615

The section of the lakefront trail that runs through Hyde Park is one of the quietest parts of the trail and is a short distance from the Museum of Science and Industry.  The Point juts out from the trail and offers a spectacular view of the city. This is the best place to go if you want to access the lakefront trail without the crowds of other sections of the trail.  

This park is accessible by bike.  There is inexpensive street parking along South Shore Drive.  The walk from the the nearest street parking to Promontory Point takes about 10 minutes.