A large city park, planned in 1839, designed, built and dedicated by 1844, Grant Park spreads over 319 acres (1.29 sq. km) of land between the downtown area of Chicago Loop and Lake Michigan. Originally, the park was named Lake Park, and in 1901 it was renamed to honor Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the US (1869 -- 1877).
The vast grounds of the park include Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, Art Institute of Chicago, and Museum Campus -- Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium.
The park grounds look beautiful. The landscape design by architect Edward H. Bennett was done in a beaux arts style of French landscaping principles: the symmetrical space in the park was well defined by paths and plantings. Over time, the park became decorated with various sculptures and installations.
Nowadays, the park is crossed by wide boulevards between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive, there's an underpass to Lake Shore and Lakefront Trail. To get to different parts of the park, pedestrians need to use traffic crossing. For us, the easiest way to explore the park was walking south from Millennium Park on pathways parallel to Michigan Avenue. By the way, the whole circuit of the walking paths in the park is estimated as 4 mi (6.4 km). One can easily spend half the day in this huge urban park!
An interesting feature in Grant Park are commuter trains, that were placed to run through the park under street level, thus making the access to the park easier for public.
Grant Park hosts many annual cultural events -- music festivals, Chicago Jazz Festival, Lollapalooza, and also serves as a neighborhood park for baseball games, tennis, walking, jogging. Currently, the grounds of the Grant Park are going through restoration, but the park is open to pubic. Our visit to Grant Park was very enjoyable, it is a nice place to be on a warm summer day in a large, busy city!