Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Chicago
Perhaps one of the Windy City’s best-kept secrets is its immense natural beauty—miles of pristine shoreline, lush public gardens, and sprawling parks. If you’re willing to go for a bit of a drive, you can easily access Cook County’s 70,000 acres of forest preserves, or public gardens like the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Of course, you can also see some of the most striking Chicago fall foliage right here in the heart of the city!
Not sure where to begin? Here are our top picks for leaf-peeping the vibrant fall colors in Chicago.
Downtown Chicago’s Fall Foliage Must-Sees
- Millennium Park – Time your visit to see the fall colors in Chicago bloom around Cloud Gate (“the Bean“).
- The Art Institute of Chicago – Need a break from the bustle of downtown? Slip into the North Garden and the South Garden, two courtyards on either side of the Art Institute.
- Graceland Cemetery – If you’re wondering where to see fall foliage on Chicago’s north side, take a short ride in the red line to Graceland Cemetary. This large historic garden cemetery and arboretum harbors a wide variety of native tree species.
See Gorgeous Fall Colors in These Chicago Parks
- Jackson Park – Curious about where to see fall foliage in Chicago’s south side? Head to the Hyde Park neighborhood, where you’ll find one of the city’s largest and most historically significant parks. For especially vibrant Chicago fall foliage, don’t miss the Japanese strolling garden.
- Humbolt Park – Relax on the grass with a perfect view of fall colors in Chicago’s Humbolt Park, where tranquil lagoons reflect the red and gold foliage of towering trees.
Don’t Miss the Season’s Best Fall Colors in Chicago Gardens & Conservatories
- Chicago Botanic Garden – You’ll be impressed any time of year, but the Chicago Botanic Garden is in top form during the fall. Take a whole day to explore its 27 gardens, six miles of lake shoreline, four natural areas, and nine islands.
- Garfield Park Conservatory – Here, you’ll find 10 acres of outdoor gardens bursting with some of the most beautiful fall colors in Chicago.
- Morton Arboretum – Wondering where to see fall foliage in Chicago without a single car horn to break the mood? Drive out to the Morton Arboretum, where you can learn about Illinois conversation efforts and arboriculture—and enjoy the purest expression of Chicago fall foliage.
- Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool – Located on the shoreline in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, locals know that the lily pool is one of the most romantic hideaways in the whole city—and that’s especially true when the Chicago fall foliage is on full display.
See Chicago Fall Foliage Like Never Before at Skydeck Chicago
It’s hard to beat the fall colors in Chicago from 103 stories up! Book your visit to Chicago’s most famous skyscraper, Willis Tower. We’re happy to help you plan your trip and make the most of your time in the city.