Distance from downtown: 5.6 miles Via: Green Line Best for: Parks and plants Go: Daytime
GARFIELD PARK FIELDHOUSE Garfield Park is one of Chicago’s many overlooked crown jewels, and its center gem is the park’s 1928 Spanish Baroque fieldhouse, otherwise known as the Gold Dome. Set within the 184-acre park, designed by William LeBaron Jenney and Jens Jensen, its terracotta columns, ornate details, and interior marble walls are worth a pitstop.
GARFIELD PARK CONSERVATORY Just across Lake Street (and the Green Line) is the Garfield Park Conservatory, another of Jensen’s gift to Chicago. The institution is free to the public and in late June is in bloom inside and out.
INSPIRATION KITCHENS Completed by Wheeler Kearns Architects in 2011, this award-winning socially and environmentally conscious eatery is a must-visit. Sustainable, southern-inspired fare (shrimp and grits, catfish po’boys) is incredibly affordable but doesn’t skimp on flavor.
CENTER FOR GREEN TECHNOLOGY Take a self-guided tour of the first LEED Platinum municipal building in the country (recently certified Platinum again under the Existing Building system), at the end of the beautiful, art-lined Franklin Avenue. Don’t miss the exhibits on the second floor!
RUBY’S (Formerly Edna’s) If you’re in the mood for some real Chicago soul food, Ruby’s is the place to go. Long adored as Edna’s (a favorite hangout of author Alex Kotlowitz’s) the restaurant was reopened after Edna passed away in 2010 with the same biscuits, the same friendly vibe, and the same soul.