Finally, it's photography season! (cue the trumpets!) Time to dust off your lenses and clear off your memory cards. I've spent all winter researching and compiling a list of the places I want to visit this year with my mom (who is a blossoming photographer herself) as a kind of photography/garden bucket list. There are a ton of places in and near Chicago to check out and and many are just a short drive away. There are few a little further away that I haven’t been to yet, like the Rotary Garden in Janesville, Green Bay Botanic Garden, and a few in Indiana that I'm excited to visit. Road Trip!
Here's my list of the best botanic gardens, arboretums, and conservatories in and around the Chicago area as well as few out of state that are a short drive away. If you’ve been to any of these places, let me know what you think. Leave a comment in the section below with a link to some of your photos, I would love to see what you captured.
- Chicago Botanic Garden (Glencoe)
- Lincoln Park Conservatory (Chicago)
- Peggy Notebaert Nature Center (Chicago)
- Garfield Park Conservatory (Chicago)
- Oak Park Conservatory (Oak Park)
- Friendship Park Conservatory (Mount Prospect)
- Osaka Japanese Garden (Chicago)
- Lake Katherine (Palos Heights)
- Morton Arboretum (Lisle)
- Cantigny (Wheaton)
- Lilacia Park (Lombard)
- Wilder Park Conservatory (Elmhurst)
- Starved Rock Start Park. Technically not a botanic garden, but it’s beautiful and very scenic. Well worth the drive!
Rockford area (and beyond)
- Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Garden (Indianapolis)
- White River Garden (Indianapolis Zoo)
- Taltree Arboretum and Garden (Valparaiso)
- Fowllinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory (Fort Wayne)
- Wellfield Botanic Gardens (Elkhart)
- Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (Grand Rapids)
- Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve (Niles)
- Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum (University of Michigan)
- Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory (Detroit)
- The Dow Garden (Midland)
Did I miss any gardens or arboretums that I definitely have to add to my list? Let me know in the comments section below!