Garden of the Phoenix


The enchanted Garden of the Phoenix floats in Jackson Park. Birds flit through the sunlight, turtles swim in the lagoons, and stone-cut lanterns dot the exotic landscape, which feels worlds away from the city. Yoko Ono's sculpture Sky Landing – comprised of 12 large steel lotus petals – adds a groovy touch. It's all located on Wooded Island, behind the Museum of Science & Industry.

The easiest way to access the isle is via the Clarence Darrow Bridge, a stone's throw from the museum's south parking lot, but it seems to be perpetually under repair. If it's closed you'll have to walk three-quarters of a mile southeast through the Bobolink Meadow and around the East Lagoon to get to the isle's other bridge. Tranquil footpaths and wading blue herons are your reward.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Chicago attractions

1. Museum of Science & Industry

0.28 MILES

The MSI is the largest science museum in the Western hemisphere and a place to completely geek out. Highlights include a WWII German U-boat nestled in an…

2. Jackson Park

0.52 MILES

This 550-acre, lakefront green space is a gem. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, renowned creator of New York City's Central Park, it comprises bird-rich…

3. Robie House

0.71 MILES

Of the numerous buildings that Frank Lloyd Wright designed around Chicago, none is more famous or influential than Robie House. Because its horizontal…

4. Promontory Point

0.72 MILES

Runners, cyclists, swimmers, dog walkers and Hyde Park residents of all stripes rub shoulders on the Point, a 12-acre artificial peninsula that juts into…

5. Rockefeller Memorial Chapel

0.73 MILES

The building's exterior will send sculpture lovers into paroxysms of joy – the facade bears 24 life-size religious figures and 53 smaller ones, with even…

6. Oriental Institute

0.78 MILES

The University of Chicago's famed archaeologists – Indiana Jones supposedly was based on one – cram their headquarters with antiquities they've unearthed…

7. William Rainey Harper Memorial Library

0.86 MILES

Once inside the building, head to the East Tower's 3rd floor, where the reading room (called the Cathey Learning Center) offers a terrific chill-out spot…

8. Bond Chapel


Built in 1926, the exquisite 150-seat chapel is worth a peek for its harmonious use of architecture, sculpture, woodcarvings and stained glass.