Built on an artificial island for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago’s Osaka Garden is a great place to get away for a bit and just clear your head.
The area was mostly swampland before being transformed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Daniel Burnham into a lagoon and island. It was deliberately created to give people a place to go and rest; a reprieve from the hubbub of the world’s fair.
If you go, keep an eye out for little plastic boxes that the Chicago Park District stocks with flyers helping you identify the various species of trees planted on the island.
You can tell by all the leaves that this photo was taken earlier this year, but I’ve been there in the winter, too, and it’s still worth the trip. Just be sure to bundle up because there’s not much between you and the gales coming off Lake Michigan.