Chicago Sights

Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain

  • Park/Playground

Published 08/31/2015

Fodor's Review

Two of Chicago's greatest treasures reside in Grant Park—the Art Institute and Buckingham Fountain. Bordered by Lake Michigan to the east, a spectacular skyline to the west, and the Museum Campus to the south, the ever-popular park serves as the city's front yard and unofficial gathering place. This pristine open space has walking paths, a stand of stately elm trees, and formal rose gardens, where Loop dwellers and 9-to-5-ers take refuge from the concrete and steel. It also hosts many of the city's largest outdoor events, including the annual Taste of Chicago, a vast picnic featuring foods from more than 70 restaurants.

The park's centerpiece is the gorgeous, tiered Buckingham Fountain (between Columbus and Lake Shore Drs. east of Congress Plaza), which has intricate pink-marble seashell designs, water-spouting fish, and bronze sculptures of sea horses. Built in 1927, it was patterned after one at Versailles but is about twice the size. See the fountain in all its glory between May 1 and October 1, when it's elaborately illuminated at night and sprays colorfully lighted waters. Linger long enough to experience the spectacular display that takes place every hour on the hour, and you'll witness the center jet of water shoot 150 feet into the air.

Sight Information


Chicago, Illinois, USA

Sight Details:

  • Park daily 6 am–11 pm. Fountain Apr.–mid-Oct., daily 8 am–10:45 pm

Published 08/31/2015


What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in Chicago

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss

No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE email communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.