Hyde Park is an eclectic haven of culture and education located on Chicago’s South Side. Thanks to the unique mix of institutions that form the foundation of this diverse community, a wealth of experiences await visitors to this booming neighborhood.
One of the institutions anchoring the diversity of experiences in Hyde Park is the esteemed University of Chicago. In the shadows of the university’s striking Gothic buildings, where future leaders are made, the campus encompasses a treasure trove of notable attractions open for locals and visitors to enjoy. On campus you’ll find the Robie House, a Frank Lloyd Wright creation and UNESCO World Heritage Site, that is open for public tours; the DuSable Museum of African American History, the country’s first institution dedicated to African American history and culture; the award-winning Court Theatre; the free Smart Museum of Art; and the OI (Oriental Institute), one of the world’s leading centers for the study of ancient Near Eastern civilizations, which is also open to public.
The other significant institution residing at the heart of Hyde Park is the Museum of Science and Industry, the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere, which boasts more than 2,000 exhibits — from U-boats and airplanes to coal mines and tornados. Interestingly, the museum is also housed in one of the last remaining buildings from the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, which was held in neighboring Jackson Park.
Jackson Park — a wonderful green space situated just steps away from the Museum of Science and Industry — is home to SKYLANDING, Yoko Ono’s first permanent U.S. public art installation and the sumptuous Osaka Garden, a hidden Japanese garden, featuring waterfalls, footbridges, ponds, and cherry blossom trees, gifted to the city of Chicago during the 1893 World’s Fair.
Lastly, for a glimpse of the more social side of Hyde Park, pull up to Virtue for a sample of upscale American Southern fare, pop into popular Mesler’s Kitchen at the recently completed boutique Sophy Hotel, or spend a few hours at the legendary Hyde Park Records acquainting yourself with the jazz, blues, and gospel history of Chicago.