My Kind of Town
A romantic favorite. A 590-acre lake sits within 3700 acres-worth of land. Busse Lake spreads throughout most of the preserve so that, as you come out of the woods, you're almost sure to get a glimpse of water on at least one side. It's truly a great place to glide around without a care in the world. Afterwards, plop down for a picnic or go for a boat ride.
North Branch Bicycle Trail
For a pleasant, flat-pavement ride through some of the more handsome suburbs, the North Branch bicycle trail stays wooded as it parallels the North Branch of the Chicago River. The trail starts working its way north about 15 minutes outside of the city and continues for 20 miles, clear up to the county line. A good, relaxing ride shaded from the sun.
Chicago's Lakefront is like New York's Central Park, good for a quick fix of the outdoors without leaving the city. The Lakefront hugs Lake Michigan'sshoreline for almost the entire stretch of the city. It's packed on warm weekends (most any time the sun shines and it's over 60 degrees). The most popular area starts at Oak Street Beach and continues north to Irving Park. Bike rentals are available at Navy Pier and other places along the Lakefront.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication