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What to do in Lincoln Park, Chicago

Lincoln Park Nature Boardwalk

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park might be the best combination of cozy neighborhood feel and big city attractions in all of Chicago.

Choose a Lincoln Park vacation rental and you can wake up on a quiet residential street but be only blocks from the zoo, the lakeshore, world-class restaurants, and thumping nightlife.

One of our favorite things to do here is to simply stroll through the neighborhood and take it all in – the beautiful gardens, some of the city’s most expensive and elaborate estates, and the vibrancy of the lakefront path and the street side patios on Clark Street.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is located just steps from the lakefront and is open free every day. Plan to spend an afternoon amongst the wildlife, or just make it part of a leisurely stroll through the park. Stop by the Lincoln Park Conservatory while you’re there to check out the amazing plant life, and bring your camera. Lincoln Park offers amazing photo opportunities!

Come holiday season, swing by to check out the amazing zoo lights, when the trees of the zoo are smothered in hundreds of thousands of colorful lights, and admission is free.

In the summer months, Lincoln Park is home to the Green City Market, Chicago’s largest farmer’s market that attracts farmers from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin to sell fresh produce direct to you.

Lincoln Park Shopping

It’s hard to define Lincoln Park, as unlike other neighborhoods, Lincoln Park offers the best of nearly everything the city has to offer – the lakefront, green space, museums, restaurants, nightlife, and of course, shopping.

The Lincoln Park shopping scene is full of eclectic Chicago boutiques, brand outlets, galleries and great resale shops for the bargain hunter. Your best place to start? Just get walking, you can’t go far without finding something great within steps of our Lincoln Park vacation rentals.

Best Lincoln Park Restaurants

There are sooo many we love, but here are six tried and true favorites!

Twin Anchors:  One of our absolute favorites tucked into a residential street in Old Town, where the ribs are so good that Frank Sinatra made it a regular stop.

Rickshaw Republic:  Another favorite. Indonesian street eats in a family-run venue. It’s BYOB, so remember to grab a bottle of wine or a six-pack before you go!

North Pond:  Michelin-starred restaurant located on North Pond in the actual park, this restaurant was at the fore-front of Chicago’s farm-to-table movement and offers one of the best dining views in the city.

Del Seoul:  Crowded and cheap, these are some of the best tacos in the neighborhood.

Perennial Virant:  From award-winning chef Paul Virant, fine dining parkside in the historic Hotel Lincoln.

Alinea:  Always on the list of the best restaurants in the world, Alinea has received 3 Michelin stars (the guide’s highest honor) every year the guide has been published. Bring your wallet (a meal will run at least $250, without beverages) and your appetite for an experience you’ll talk about forever. Oh, and plan in advance - you’ll need to buy a ticket.

Lincoln Park Bars

J. Parker:  Enjoy a cocktail rooftop at the Hotel Lincoln and take in a panoramic view of the lake and skyline.

Barrelhouse Flat:  The bar that brought craft cocktails to Lincoln Park.

DMK Burger Bar:  Amazing burgers and cheese fries doused in Merck’s cheddar cheese (as amazing as it sounds!).

Atlas Brewing Company:  Part of the burgeoning Chicago craft beer scene, Atlas is a great place to try acclaimed local brews and great food on Lincoln Ave.

Lincoln Park Attractions

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond, Lincoln ParkLincoln Park Zoo:  Free every day in the center of Lincoln Park.

Lincoln Park Conservatory:  Free garden near the zoo offers a peaceful, calming experience amidst amazing flora and fauna.

Chicago History Museum:  Become a true insider. Learn about the events and people that made Chicago what it is, and explore outstanding exhibits on photography, eras, and people.

Green City Market:  One of the country’s great farmers markets. Plan a meal in your Lincoln Park rental apartment with your ingredients sourced from Midwestern farmers.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum:  An urban gateway to explore Chicago’s natural environment.

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool:  A hidden gem on the north end of Lincoln Park Zoo, you’ll forget that you’re in the city when you sneak into this "cool, refreshing, clear place of trees and stones and running water.”

Music and Theater in Lincoln Park

Lincoln Hall:  Concert hall hosts emerging bands near Lincoln Park. Tickets range from $10 - $20, with a full bar open till 2 am. Expect a fun-filled night in a cozy, affordable venue not far from your vacation rental apartment.

Kingston Mines:  Chicago’s home for blues, “The Mines” opened in 1968 and hosts music nightly. Blues greats B.B. King and Magic Slim have performed in the duel-staged club that has been named the best blues club in the city. As owner Doc Pellegrino rasps, “hear blues, drink booze, talk loud – You’re among friends!”

Royal George Theatre:  Four distinct stages ranging from an intimate 50-seat to 450 seats for live off-Broadway theatre.

Victory Gardens Biograph:  Live Theatre in the heart of Lincoln Park in a historic venue.


Lincoln Park is just a short train or bus ride to downtown, and public transit in Chicago is excellent. Though the systems are easy to use, using the CTA website or Google Maps for trip planning is always a good idea. Google Maps is very accurate for Chicago Public Transit - it’s what we use.  

A one-way train or bus fare is $2.25 per person.  If you intend to use public transit multiple times throughout your trip, consider an unlimited 3 day or 7 day pass. These are available at any CVS Pharmacy or Walgreens.

Using the CTA Red Line get off at (transfer to the Brown Line at Fullerton):

North and Clybourn:  Steppenwolf, Apple Store, Allinea, Goose Island Brewery

Fullerton:  Lincoln Park, DePaul, Transfer to Brown Line

Chicago: The Gold Coast, Water Tower Place, Hancock Building, and the Magnificent Mile.

Grand:  Navy Pier, Magnificent Mile, Riverwalk, Chicago Riverboat Architecture Tours

Monroe, Jackson:  Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park

Harrison, Jackson, Roosevelt:  Grant Park

Roosevelt:  Museum Campus, including the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Soldier Field

Monroe:  Millenium Park, The Bean, Pritzker Pavillion, Maggie Daley Park

Cermak/ Chinatown:  Chinatown

Sox/ 35th:  U.S. Cellular Field

On the CTA Brown Line get off at (transfer to the Red Line at Belmont or Fullerton):

Quincey/ Wells:  Willis Tower

Adams/Wabash:  Art Institute of Chicago

Madison/Wabash:  Riverwalk, Chicago Architecture Tours, Millenium Park, The Bean, Pritzker Pavillion, Maggie Daley Park

CTA Busses

Busses can be used to access a multitude of the Chicagoland area’s attractions, including Michigan Avenue. Google Maps has accurate directions for using the bus system.


You can usually flag down a cab quickly, but we also love Uber, a simple mobile app you can use to have a cab come right to your door. The app has clear pricing and allows you to split your fare with other riders.


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