Best Local: Fabulous Flowers in Chicago

Let’s Take A Moment To Thank Those April Showers

Stop and smell the roses. Better yet, reserve a day to surround yourself with floral aromas and colorful, blossoming petals. The places to peer at petunias are abundant in Chicago this time of year. So make more than a rosey pit stop; make a day of it. Those Lake Michigan beaches will be crowded anyway.


If You’re Staying at 400 N. LaSalle:

The Victorian-style glass house that is the Lincoln Park Conservatory (2391 N. Stockton Dr.) has as much beauty in its architecture as it does in its soil. The nostalgic structure was built in the late 1800s, but the real treasures are growing inside. The conservatory comprises the Palm House, Orchid Room, Fern Room and the Show House, but the free tour from an LPC docent can tell you more about that.

Get There: Get on the 156 Bus headed toward Belmont/Sheridan at LaSalle and Kinzie. Get off at Stockton and Fullerton. Commute Time: 20 minutes


If You’re Staying in Buffalo Grove or Des Plaines:

The sun’s not too blistering hot for an outdoor stroll? Looks like Chicago Botanic Gardens (1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe) is your game plan for violet-viewing. Celebrate the Gardens’ 40th anniversary this year by making your way around the 385-acre grounds of this living plant museum. The winding walking trails will prove to be the most beautiful workout ever.

Get There From Riverwalk Place: Drive south down IL-21 S/US-45 S/N. Milwaukee Ave. and turn left on E. Lake Cook Rd. Turn right at Turnbull Woods Ct. Commute Time: 20 minutes


If You’re Staying at The Iroquois Club in Naperville:

Okay, we’re talking about flowers here, but the trees at the Morton Arboretum (4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle) do not deserve to be excluded. The Arboretum has more than 4,100 species of trees across its 1,700 acres. Some of that acreage is nature woodland, some is restored, but other areas are designated more playful purpose, like the Fragrance Garden.

Get There: Take Iroquois Ave. east to Ogden Ave. and take a left. Turn left onto Main St. and left onto Warrenville Rd. Take the first left onto IL-53 S. Commute Time: 10 minutes


If You’re Staying at 215 West (and have extra time on your hands):

It’s hard to get excited about a 45-minute bus ride, that’s true. But when the final destination is the beautiful Japanese-style Osaka Garden (1735 E. Columbia Dr.) in Chicago’s Jackson Park neighborhood, it may become slightly more bearable. The Garden, designed for the World’s Fair in 1933 by the people of Japan, is a peaceful oasis outfitted around a lagoon. Since you took the trip out, you might as well take a few steps north and hit the Museum of Science & Industry too.

Get There: Get on the 6 Bus headed toward 79th/South Shore at State and Washington. Get off at Stony Island & 59th St. Commute Time: 45 minutes


Taking a break to enjoy nature is good for you. It’s easy on the eyes, calming for the mind, and the garden strolls are aggressive in all the right ways on your waistline. You’ll never want to stop smelling the roses. Now that’s real flower power.