Updated: Oct 6, 2020
If you find yourself with the morning off on the weekend and you're not sure what to do, check out my go-to leisurely routine in Lincoln Park!
Lincoln Park is one of the most well known neighborhoods in the city, and it didn't just happen overnight. Yes, it houses DePaul University. Yes, it has some great boutiques up and down Armitage. Yes, it has restaurants lining Clark Street. But one of my favorite features of this neighborhood is the amount of outdoor space and lake front to the point that it doesn't even feel like a big city any more.
Any time I have the morning off on a Saturday or Sunday, or if I have friends coming into town and I want to have a low key morning walking around, I bring them around and introduce them to the many things that Lincoln Park has to offer!
But first, coffee!
If you're anything like me, coffee isn't just a M-F occurrence, it's a daily ritual. Whenever I have time to walk around I like to start by making a stop at Colectivo on Clark Street. This is by far one of my favorite places to stop for coffee and a bite to eat (hello, pesto veggie wrap!), especially if I have time to sit and take in the morning.
They have one of the biggest and most colorful patios, with a fire pit running all the time. Here's a little insider secret: if you love dogs and feel like you need to get your fix in or maybe you just miss your family's pup, visit the patio and you'll be sure to get some pets in!
If you have a sweet tooth...
If you have a sweet tooth or maybe spent too much time sitting and chatting at Colectivo and worked up a little appetite, across the way and down the street is Firecakes Donuts. This deluxe donut shop is a must see no matter what!
Exploring Chicago's lakefront and parks
Chicago has one of the most beautiful lakefront's, with walking, biking, and running paths, sand volleyball, and miles of beaches. There's tons of spots to sit and chat, enjoy the weather, and people watch! If you followed the list above, you could grab the path at Fullerton and walk south towards downtown enjoying the skyline views.
Another activity to enjoy outside is visiting Lincoln Park Zoo, also accessible off of Fullerton. I could walk for miles around the zoo enjoying the animals and the company.
One of the best perks about the zoo is that it's completely free to enjoy (not to park though, it is still Chicago after all)!
If you don't consider yourself a zoo person but still want to experience nature in the middle of the city, there's a neat little walking path through an area just South of the zoo called the South Pond Nature Walk. You can find it by walking just past the zoo, towards downtown and you'll see tall grass, bridges, and ponds. It's a fun spot to walk around if you want a different vibe than being in the city! Enjoy turtle watching, birds chirping, and the fresh air!
Another special place to visit is the historic Lincoln Park Conservatory and Gardens. You can take a stroll through a luscious indoor pathway surrounded by exotic plants from around the world. You can also enjoy the gorgeous landscaped gardens and green space in front of the conservatory. Take a seat in the grass or on a bench and enjoy the fresh air!