Bordering Chicago along Lake Michigan, the communities of the North Shore seem farther from the bustle of downtown, thanks to abundant green spaces, including the Chicago Botanic Garden.

What to do

In Evanston, Northwestern University's ivied lakefront campus beckons for a stroll. Shakespeare Garden on the university campus shows off plants and trees mentioned in the Bard's works.

Shakespeare Garden
Shakespeare Garden. Photo: Bob Stefko
| Credit: Bob Stefko

Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park features large-scale contemporary works in a beautiful setting.

The Green Bay Trail between Winnetka and Highland Park runs parallel to the Metra commuter rail line, taking cyclists and walkers on a route flanked by restaurants, shops, parks and lovely older homes.

Relax in the sand and water at North Shore beaches, including those in Evanston, Glencoe and Winnetka.

Marvel at the Bahá'í House of Worship in Wilmette, an architectural wonder that welcomes all for meditation.

Bahá’í House of Worship
Bahá'í House of Worship. Photo courtesy of Illinois Office of Tourism

See Evanston's Grosse Point Lighthouse from the Lighthouse Beach.

Grosse Point Lighthouse
Photo courtesy of Grosse Point Lighthouse.

Lose yourself in the 385 acres (about 290 football fields) of gardens and natural areas at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.

Chicago Botanic Garden
Chicago Botanic Garden. Photo courtesy of Illinois Office of Tourism

Visit the zero-depth fountain, lighting and landscaping at Fountain Square in downtown Evanston. Nearby Merrick Rose Garden dazzles with 1,800 roses of 80 varieties.

Let kids play the role of doctor, automobile designer or veterinarian at Kohl Children's Museum in Glenview.

See holograms of survivors telling their stories at Skokie's Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

Where to eat

At Hewn in Evanston, taste artisan breads fermented with wild yeast for richer flavors. Buy a loaf, or try the pastries and sandwiches.

Eat a famous Hackneyburger (a half-pound beef patty) on dark rye at Hackney's on Harms, a Glenview institution since 1939.

Grilled octopus, lamb-and-beef gyros and egg-lemon soup highlight the Greek fare at Avli in Winnetka. Pair your dish with one of 130 Greek wines.

Where to stay

You'll find reliable national-branded properties throughout the North Shore such as Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago North Shore/Skokie, Hyatt House Chicago/Evanston and Hilton Garden Inn Chicago North Shore/Evanston. 

More information: