Best Spots for Leaf Peeping Near Chicago

Best Spots for Leaf Peeping Around Chicago

Autumn announces itself with yellows, oranges, reds, and purples and it’s officially here. Take the kids out to explore all the changes autumn brings and enjoy the beautiful foliage at these four spots near Chicago:

Chicago Botanic Garden

With 26 different gardens on over 300 acres, you’re sure to see plenty of autumn foliage at the Chicago Botanic Garden. They even mapped out the perfect fall foliage walk and recommend starting out at the Visitor Center, and walking south on East Road to the Plant Science Center. Take the garden tram to see more than 2 miles of the gardens on the narrated tour.

Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum is the obvious choice for leaf peeping, with more than 4,200 varieties of trees on 1,700 acres. You’ll see reds and purples from sugar maples and dogwoods in the Midwest collection, yellow from the Manchurian ash in the China Collection, and everything in between. Visit the Children’s Garden for activities for the kids, and the Ginkgo Restaurant and Cafe for lunch or dinner.

For a fall color update, you can call the Bloom ‘n Color Hotline at 630-719-7955.

Maple Grove Forest Preserve

Downers Grove is the place to go for really intense colors at the Maple Grove Forest Preserve. Historic Maple Grove has a variety of maple trees creating a canopy of yellows, oranges, and reds. Maple Grove has a mile of walking trails and plenty of room for picnics.

Afterwards, drive a couple miles to enjoy a meal or treat delivered by train at the All Aboard Diner.

LaGrange Road and Swallow Cliff

If you’re looking for a beautiful drive, head south on LaGrange Road southwest of the city (you can get to it from the Stevenson). With Cook County forest preserves lining the road on both sides for miles, you’ll see a beautiful range of colors. There’s a model airplane flying field at 107th and LaGrange so you can stop and watch the planes, or stop for a picnic or hike at any of the forest preserves. Swallow Cliff is a great choice, with plenty of picnic areas, 8 miles of trails, and a 100-foot tall bluff.

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