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Chicago stands as one of the most important cities in the Midwest, as well as the most heavily populated city in Illinois. Nearly 3 million people call Chicago home, and millions of visitors travel to Chicago yearly to take in the sights.
There are plenty of iconic attractions within the windy city that tourists love to visit, including shopping along Michigan Avenue and getting panoramic views from atop the John Hancock Building and Willis Tower. Aside from taking walks in beautiful Millennium Park and along Navy Pier, a visit to Lincoln Park, one of Chicago’s unique neighborhoods, is a great way to enjoy Chicago the way locals do.
Lincoln Park is a neighborhood just a few minutes north of the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago. This neighborhood has become a favorite for locals and visitors because of its buildings that are rich in history and its many distinct attractions. Much of city was devastated after the 1871 Chicago fire.
After rebuilding, Lincoln Park resurfaced with many magnificent stone and brick buildings and mansions. Taking a stroll through the streets of this neighborhood is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get a sense of the old world charm through architecture. For more outdoor fun, a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo is not to be missed.
Over 1200 animals from 230 different species can be seen in the zoo, which has a stunning backdrop of the Chicago skyline. The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the country, opened in 1868. Children and adults can enjoy seeing anything from kangaroos, zebras, camels, and rhinos within the zoo.
The zoo is open every day throughout the year, and with no charge, it is a budget friendly attraction in the neighborhood. Just steps away from the Lincoln Park Zoo is the Lincoln Park Conservatory. This Victorian glass structure was created in the late 1800’s, the conservatory is an optimal spot to wander through exotic plants and flowers.
The Lincoln Park Conservatory is divided into four different sections, including the Fern Room, Palm House, Orchid Room, and Show House. Visitors can take in the beautiful sights and aromatic smells of orchid varieties and ferns. Tropical plants such as the banana and cacao are housed in the conservatory, while the Show House has changes its display based on the season.
Any visitor can build up an appetite after walking through many of the beautiful outdoor attractions in Lincoln Park. Located just a stone’s throw away from the zoo and conservatory is R.J. Grunts, a favorite restaurant for many locals. Established in 1971, R.J. Grunts has been “Catering to the Neurotic Compensation of Eating” ever since.
The restaurant offers American cuisine, including a soup and salad bar and a dozen different types of hamburgers. Served with homemade cottage fries, a burger platter comes in at around $10. R.J. Grunts is famous for their hand-dipped shakes and malts that come in flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, real peanut butter, or coconut, among other delicious choices.
For those over the age of 21, the restaurant serves “big kids” shakes and malts as well. Visiting Lincoln Park by public transportation is relatively easy. Take a ride on the Red, Brown, or Purple El line, Chicago’s characteristically unique elevated train, to Fullerton. A number of buses go to Lincoln Park as well, including the 9, 22, 36, 73, 74, and 151.
Lincoln Park is a neighborhood not to miss when spending time in Chicago.