It’s easy to get to Downtown Evanston. Take Metra or CTA to Downtown Evanston or drive and park in one of the affordable downtown garages to start your North Shore adventure. This route can take a total of 3-4 hours depending on how long you stay at each stop! You will ride along the lakefront, a paved path along a famous rail line, past majestic attractions, cute downtowns with cafes and boutiques for a break and gorgeous homes.
Start Point: Sherman Avenue and Davis Street, Evanston
Offering a unique blend of one-of-kind shops, boutiques, national retailers and diverse restaurants. You’ll find apparel, furnishings, book stores, salons and plenty of places to replenish your thirst and satisfy your appetite. Great breakfast spots and need some bike gear or a tune up? Visit Wheel and Sprocket at 1027 Davis Street. Evanston is a fun place to wander, the walkable downtown is steps from Lake Michigan and home to Northwestern University.
Location: Clark Street and Sheridan Road, Evanston
A Big Ten school and one of the leading universities in the U.S. Its Evanston campus is on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan. Founded in 1851, this renowned educational institution is rich in stunning architecture. More than 150 historically significant and interesting sites on campus are featured in various walking tours, each taking approximately 30 minutes to complete. Highlights include The Arch, University Hall, and The Arts Circle.
Location: 2601 Sheridan Road, Evanston
Built on the shores of Lake Michigan by the United States Government in 1873 as the lead lighthouse marking the approach to Chicago after several shipwrecks demonstrated its need. In 1999, Grosse Point Lighthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service; the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes to carry that status. The Garden Club of Evanston maintains wildflower and butterfly gardens on its property.
Location: 100 Linden Avenue, Wilmette
The Baha'i House of Worship in Wilmette stands as a symbol of unity. It is a sacred space for all people to commune with God. The House of Worship is open daily to all for contemplation, personal prayer and meditation. The building's white walls of lace-like ornamentation and its dome rising 135 feet above the main floor, create a scene of unsurpassed beauty and tranquility. Exquisite gardens and fountains surround the Temple, and directly to the west is a new Welcome Center, where visitors may explore the history and symbolism of this unique structure and watch a brief introductory film. Designated on the National Register of Historic Places.
Elm Street and Hubbard Woods, Winnetka
Two areas along the trail in Winnetka offer special spots for a quick break or a leisurely meal. You can also find a unique bookstore, and special one-of-a-kind shops to return to after your ride.
Park Ave. and Vernon Ave., Glencoe
Home to great food options and specialty retailers. Don’t miss Writer’s Theatre, a premiere Chicago theatre company, now performs in a stunning new theatre center designed by Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects. This architectural masterpiece is the crown jewel of Downtown.
Location: 1000 Lake Cook Road
Ride your bike around the perimeter of the garden! Climb a waterfall garden, discover hidden rooms inside an English Walled Garden, cross bridges spanning sparkling lakes, a Japanese Garden and discover a garden with trains chugging across bridges and trestles. There are 385 acres and 27 gardens of wonder to explore in all seasons. Enjoy seasonal festivals, tours by train or on foot, art exhibitions, and lots of ways for families to learn about the wonders of nature.
Downtown Evanston. Return to your starting point. You can follow the direct trail on the trail map or on your return, stop at any of the spots mentioned above. On your return, you can enjoy a great meal, check in to a hotel and make it an overnight and enjoy all the great things Downtown Evanston offers with hundreds of restaurants, shops and culture found in this urbane university town. For all of your options, visit Downtown Evanston.