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The beautiful Baha’i House of Worship in Chicago’s North Shore, Illinois

Illinois

Chicago’s North Shore: Cultural Wonders Alongside Shopping, Dining and Gardens

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The intricate carvings on the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois

Illinois

Chicago’s North Shore: Cultural Wonders Alongside Shopping, Dining and Gardens

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Walking through the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Chicago’s North Shore

Illinois

Chicago’s North Shore: Cultural Wonders Alongside Shopping, Dining and Gardens

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The Japanese gardens in the Chicago Botanic Garden in Illinois

Illinois

Chicago’s North Shore: Cultural Wonders Alongside Shopping, Dining and Gardens

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Lake and view of the Bell Tower at Chicago Botanic Garden in Chicago, Illinois

Illinois

Chicago’s North Shore: Cultural Wonders Alongside Shopping, Dining and Gardens

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An aerial view of Chicago’s North Shore region in Illinois

Illinois

Chicago’s North Shore: Cultural Wonders Alongside Shopping, Dining and Gardens

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Lake Michigan waterfront in Chicago’s North Shore in Illinois

Illinois

Chicago’s North Shore: Cultural Wonders Alongside Shopping, Dining and Gardens

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  • States:
    Illinois

North Shore should be on your list for the next time you visit Illinois.

There are many truly great places near Chicago, and the North Shore area, just north of the city along the shore of Lake Michigan, is chock full of fascinating cultural landmarks, great shopping, varied dining and beautiful parks and gardens.

The Impressive Baha‘i House of Worship

Drive along Lake Michigan’s scenic shore to the Baha‘i House of Worship in Wilmette, a fascinating cultural site on Chicago’s North Shore. From afar, you can see the temple with its 42-meter-high dome covered in lace-like ornamentation. This house of prayer for the Baha‘i faith is the only one in the U.S. (there are just eight in the world) and the oldest in the world. It’s a place that symbolizes unity – accepting all people from all places regardless of their beliefs. Stroll through the surrounding gardens and fountains, stop at the visitors’ center inside the temple and peek into the big auditorium, which is also beautifully covered in delicate designs and can accommodate more than 1,000 people.

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Illinois Holocaust Museum

If you arrive at the Illinois Holocaust Museum in the evening, you’ll discover that the outside of the building reflects one of the museum’s themes: a journey from darkness to light. The side of the building where you enter is painted in dark colors and is barely lit, whereas on the other side where you exit, the building is painted brightly and well illuminated. Among the many touching exhibits of pictures, paintings and videos that acknowledge the dark times of the Holocaust, you’ll also find places where you can stop and reflect upon what you have seen. The museum was founded by Holocaust survivors who dedicated themselves to both honoring those who were lost and educating the public about combating hatred and prejudice.

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Shopping Opportunities

Chicago’s North Shore is easily accessible via the city’s trains, allowing visitors to take a break from the city with a variety of activities and amusements, including great shopping and dining. A variety of spots on Chicago’s North Shore will more than fulfill your shopping desires, including Westfield Old Orchard, which has some of the biggest and best brands such as Michael Kors, Lululemon, Rolex and Tiffany. Browse the latest fashions at great discounts at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Anthropologie, J.Crew, Zara and Vans.

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Dining on the North Shore

Chicago’s North Shore offers many dining options including casual fare, world-inspired ethnic restaurants and fabulous fine dining. At Westfield Old Orchard mall, indulge in the popular Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen and take a break with a relaxing cup of tea at Teavana. Of course, there is plenty of outstanding food beyond the shopping areas. From bustling, popular pizzerias to vegetarian meals that everyone will savor to incredible sushi, the menus here are flavorful and varied.

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Exploring Parks and Nature

In addition to offering educational and fun cultural experiences, Chicago’s North Shore is a naturally beautiful area. At the vast and stunning Chicago Botanic Garden, find nearly 161 hectares with nine islands, 26 gardens, four natural areas and more than 2.7 million plants. Wander the garden on foot or take a guided tram tour. The Japanese Garden is a peaceful place to soak up the pure beauty of nature. Walk over the arched bridge for even better views.

The English walled garden is another favorite, and don’t miss the Bonsai collection with its nearly 200 Bonsai masterpieces situated in two neighboring courtyards as well as the waterfall garden, where the soothing sounds of a 14-meter-tall waterfall will transport you.

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Evanston’s Beaches

A beach near Chicago? It’s true! Evanston has lakefront beaches that are very popular during the warmer months, from about May to September. Boating, kayaking and fishing are all enjoyed here, not to mention relaxing on the sand and soaking up a gorgeous, sunny day.

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Live music at RiverEdge Park on the Fox River
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Aurora

A group kayaking on the Mississippi River
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Destination

Galena