Trade the Boardroom for Natural Beauty on Chicago’s North Shore

Boardroom walls may be much of what you see during Chi-town business travels, but natural beauty lies just outside on Chicago’s North Shore. Put down the smartphone and step outside between meetings to experience all that this Midwest gem has to offer.

From the pristine shorelines of Lake Michigan to woodsy nature trails, a breath of fresh air awaits you, just a short drive from the Delta Hotels Chicago North Shore Suites.

Peruse the Plants

Drive time from hotel: 25 minutes

Duration: 1 – 3 hours

Things to do in Chicago
Experience zen in the Chicago Botanic Garden and its Bonsai Collection. (Photos: Ten Photos)

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a true living museum, with more than 27 gardens and other natural areas to explore. The peaceful Bonsai Collection is one of the biggest collections of the tiny trees in the country.

Train lovers will revel in the Model Railroad Garden — a miniature replica of key landmarks across the United States. Short on time? Join a tram tour for a 35-minute overview of the 385-acre garden with opportunities to jump off at various spots of interest.

Jaunt through the Grove

Drive time from hotel: 6 minutes

Duration: 30 minutes – 2 hours

Things to do in Chicago
Visit the interpretive center and explore nature trails at The Grove. (Photo: Ten Photos)

Minutes from the hotel is a place where history meets the great outdoors. The Grove is a 145-acre respite where you can explore historic homes interspersed among nature trails.

Paths will take you through wetlands, open prairies and old oak trees. Learn about the plants and animals you may spot on the trail in the Interpretative Center.

This National Historic Landmark is also home to many restored buildings, like an old schoolhouse, a Native American longhouse and the Kennicott house, named for the pioneering physician and horticulturalist Dr. John Kennicott.

Get Lost in the Lagoons

Drive time from hotel: 17 – 19 minutes (depending on trailhead)

Duration: 1 – 3 hours

Things to do in Chicago
Pick up a paddle at Skokie Lagoons. (Photo: Ten Photos)

If you are afforded the luxury of leisure time, Skokie Lagoons is the perfect place to rent a kayak or canoe or break out the fishing rod. You can even take a Sunset Dinner Paddle that includes dinner from local Glenview restaurant, Wild Pita.

If time — or the weather — doesn’t allow it, simply follow the nature trails for a peek at wildlife or just to breathe in fresh air on a brisk walk.

Be Blissful at the Beach

Drive time from hotel: 25 minutes

Duration: 30 minutes – 2 hours

There’s a reason they call it the North Shore: The suburbs along the shore are lucky enough to claim the vast shorelines of Lake Michigan. Take advantage of the serenity at Glencoe Beach, where you can walk the shorelines and decompress for the day.

In need of a workout? Rent a paddleboat or kayak and glide into the sunset. There are plenty of tables for enjoying a picnic dinner, and it’s easy to grab a sandwich or salad from local FoodStuffs, a 10-minute walk from the beach.

Stroll between the Sculptures

Drive time from hotel: 26 minutes

Duration: 30 – 90 minutes

Things to do in Chicago
Take in a dose of art. (Photo: Ten Photos)

After a full day of meetings, it’s nice to stretch your legs and just move. The Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park is the perfect place to do that.

The free park is filled with beautiful sculptures in different mediums made by local, national and international artists. You’ll find people strolling or even going for a run past the works of art.

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