You don’t have to travel the world to see one of the top botanic gardens in existence. You just need to head out to Glencoe, Illinois, for a visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Better yet, stay at Shady Oaks Bed & Breakfast in Lake Zurich, and you’ll be just 25 minutes away.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is a place you can easily get lost—and love it. Maintained by a staff of thousands, the beautifully maintained space encompasses 385 acres on or around nine islands, with 27 gardens and four natural areas. These include an aquatic garden filled with lilies that appear to have sprung from storybooks; a renowned Bonsai Collection; an evening garden with sweeps of native grasses and flowers; and an English Walled Garden, offering an enchanting display within six distinctive rooms. The Botanic Garden—which is one of just 17 gardens to be accredited by the American Association of Museums—also maintains a Conservation Science Center with nine laboratories and a library containing one of the nation’s best collections of rare botanical books.
A key feature on the grounds is the striking Carillon, whose bells echo across the ponds. One-hour concerts are performed on Monday evenings in the summer. Pre-concert tours and demonstrations are 5:30-6:30 p.m; concerts, 7:00-8:00 p.m. Other summer evening events include: Tuesday’s Music on the Esplanade; Wednesday’s Dancing Sprouts, a musical event for children; and Thursday’s Hot Summer Nights, a lively dance get-together.
The Botanic Garden is massive and it’s hard to experience the entire space in one visit. But if ever there was a place you want to return to, this is it!
Chicago Botanic Garden
100 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. through September 3, 2018 (check website before coming for day-to-day time changes)
Garden View Café, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Admission to the Garden is free
Parking: $25/weekdays, $30/weekends and federal holidays
Another soothing oasis can be found at Shady Oaks Bed & Breakfast. Nestled on the shore of Lake Zurich, the welcoming inn features porches, patios, five luxurious suites, and delicious gourmet breakfasts.
Shady Oaks Bed & Breakfast
15 Lake View Place, Lake Zurich, IL
Shady Oaks Bed & Breakfast is a member of the Illinois Bed and Breakfast Association … a unique lodging experience!