Discovering Chicago’s North Shore, which borders Chicago along Lake Michigan, is an educational and fun cultural experience.
Getting to the North Shore area is also a breeze with city trains stopping there, so hop on board and explore everything this culturally rich and diverse area has to offer.
Tranquility at the Chicago Botanic Garden
One of the first stops I made was to the vast and stunning Chicago Botanic Garden, and to say I was amazed would be an understatement. The sheer variety of gardens, plants and natural areas is truly a sight to behold. The Chicago Botanic Garden covers an area of more than 385 acres including 9 islands, 26 gardens, four natural areas and more than 2,7 million plants. You can traverse the garden on foot or on a guided tram tour.
The Japanese Garden is an incredible place to soak up the pure beauty of nature as you gaze out over the spectacular island or take a stroll down the curving paths. Walk over the arched bridge for an even better view.
The English walled garden was of course another focal point for me. From the moment I entered the fairy-tale garden with the sunlight peeking through the gaps in the beautifully constructed “rooms,” any tension or stress just melted away. I enjoyed sitting at one of the perfectly located benches, watching the pretty fountain flow and the butterflies flying around me.
You also definitely don’t want to miss walking around the Chicago Botanic Garden's Bonsai collection, with close to 200 Bonsai masterpieces situated in two neighboring courtyards to take in and enjoy.
The Japanese Garden in the Chicago Botanic Garden in Illinois
Visiting the Baha’i House of Worship
Taking a scenic drive along the Lake Michigan shoreline on Sheridan Road was a lovely journey as I made my way to the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette. With only eight Baha’i temples in the world, I was excited to visit this one, the only one in the U.S. I have heard they each showcase masterful architecture.
The temple is visually amazing with masterful architecture and intricate carvings, there are symbols integrated into the temple’s columns that feature all of the world’s major religions. Take a walk around the grounds to see the lovely fountains and gardens and enter the auditorium, which is open to people of all faiths for worship.
The beautiful Baha’i House of Worship in Chicago’s North Shore, Illinois
Hope and Education at the Illinois Holocaust Museum
Just five miles west of the Baha’i temple in Skokie, another cultural attraction should definitely be on your list, the Illinois Holocaust Museum. Constructed so the building itself would play a role in telling the story of the Holocaust, visitors enter from the dark half of the building and exit through the light side representing hope and life.
The museum was founded by Holocaust survivors who dedicated themselves to both honouring those who were lost and educating the public in combating hatred and prejudice. The exhibits, videos and artifacts are extremely well preserved and showcased and the room of remembrance profound.
I enjoyed my trip to Chicago’s North Shore immensely and loved soaking up every minute of the varied cultural offerings, as well as the brilliant dining and shopping options that you can also enjoy here. I know you will love it here too, so book your holiday today.
A man takes time to reflect in the Pritzker Hall of Reflection at the Illinois Holocaust Museum