Beautiful Grant Park has been called Chicago’s front yard and unofficial gathering place. It is the home of two of the city’s most prized treasures; the Art Institute and Buckingham Fountain. The park is bordered by Lake Michigan on the east, the Museum Campus on the south, and has the magnificent Chicago skyline to the west. Grant Park was actually modeled after the royal gardens of Versailles, France. Most of its 220 acres is reclaimed land, and some of the original landfill was debris from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Wide, beautifully kept lawns and open spaces make up most of Grant Park. But there are also magnificent rose gardens and the country’s largest remaining stand of stately elm trees. The park is criss-crossed with roadways, bicycle paths, and even railway tracks. This park is host to many annual music festivals, including jazz, blues and gospel. One of the most popular outdoor events is the annual Taste of Chicago celebration, held in the first week of July. This is a huge picnic that features food from over seventy restaurants. It closes with a spectacular Fourth of July fireworks display. Budget hotels and discount hotels near Grant Park in Chicago are on or near public transit routes, so visitors should have no problem joining Chicago residents in enjoying this Windy City treasure.
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