Things to Do in Highland Park IL

Highland Park, IL, is a vibrant city with an abundance of activities to offer. Whether you’re interested in nature, history, shopping, dining, or entertainment, this city has something for everyone. Let’s explore why Highland Park IL should be at the top of your travel list.

Exploring the Rich History

Highland Park is rich in history, with landmarks and museums that offer a glimpse into the past. A visit to the Highland Park Historical Society provides a deep dive into the city’s heritage, showcasing exhibits that highlight significant events and figures in the area’s history.

Nature and Parks

One of the highlights of Highland Park is its stunning parks and nature reserves. The Heller Nature Center offers serene walking trails and interactive exhibits, perfect for a day out with family. Another must-visit is Rosewood Beach, where you can enjoy a peaceful day by the water, complete with swimming, picnicking, and nature programs.

Highland Park’s Best Parks

Heller Nature Center

This 97-acre preserve is a haven for nature lovers. With its extensive network of trails, the Heller Nature Center is ideal for hiking and wildlife observation. The centre also offers educational programs for all ages, making it a great spot for family outings.

Rosewood Beach

Nestled along Lake Michigan, Rosewood Beach is a gem in Highland Park. Its pristine sands and clear waters make it a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The beach also features a nature centre, providing educational opportunities about the local ecosystem.

Cultural Attractions

Highland Park boasts a variety of cultural attractions that cater to all interests. The renowned Ravinia Festival is the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, offering a diverse lineup of performances each summer. Additionally, the Highland Park Historical Society offers rich insights into the area’s history.

Shopping in Highland Park

Retail therapy in Highland Park is an experience to remember. Renaissance Place and Port Clinton Square are the main shopping hubs, offering a mix of high-end boutiques and local stores. Whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends or unique gifts, these shopping centres have you covered.

Transportation in Highland Park

Getting around Highland Park is convenient and hassle-free. The Metra Train Service connects the city to Chicago, making it easy for commuters and visitors alike. Additionally, for a more luxurious travel experience, consider using the Highland Limo Service, which offers comfort and style.

Stretch Limo Chicago Experience

For those looking to travel in style, the Stretch Limo Chicago service provides a luxurious and comfortable way to get to and from Highland Park. This service is perfect for special occasions or simply making your trip more memorable.

Dining Experiences

The culinary scene in Highland Park is as diverse as it is delicious. From upscale dining at Abigail’s American Bistro to the casual yet gourmet offerings at Michael’s Grill & Salad Bar, there’s something to satisfy every palate. These establishments are known for their excellent service and delectable menus, making them a must-visit for food lovers.

Entertainment Options

Highland Park doesn’t fall short when it comes to entertainment. The Landmark Renaissance Cinema offers a unique movie-going experience with its selection of indie and mainstream films. For art enthusiasts, The Art Center Highland Park showcases local artists’ work and offers various art classes and workshops.

Highland Park’s Unique Events

Throughout the year, Highland Park hosts a variety of events that bring the community together. The Fourth Fest is a popular celebration featuring fireworks, music, and family-friendly activities. The Port Clinton Art Festival is another highlight, attracting artists and visitors from all over the region.

Outdoor Activities

For those who love the outdoors, Highland Park offers numerous biking and hiking trails. The Skokie Valley Trail is a favourite among cyclists and hikers, providing scenic views and a peaceful environment. These trails are well-maintained and cater to both beginners and experienced adventurers.

Day Trips from Highland Park

If you’re looking to explore beyond Highland Park, there are several fantastic day trip options. The Chicago Botanic Garden is just a short drive away, offering stunning gardens and educational programs. Another great destination is the Illinois Beach State Park, perfect for a day of hiking, swimming, and picnicking.


When it comes to accommodations, Highland Park offers a range of options to suit all preferences. The Courtyard by Marriott provides modern amenities and comfortable rooms, ideal for both business and leisure travellers. For a more luxurious stay, the Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel offers upscale accommodations and exceptional service.

Family-Friendly Activities

Highland Park is a great destination for families, offering a range of activities that kids will love. The Heller Nature Center hosts family programs that are both educational and fun. Another popular spot is the Hidden Creek Aquapark, where children can enjoy water slides and pools.

Educational Experiences

Educational opportunities abound in Highland Park. The Midwest Young Artists Conservatory offers music programs for young talent, fostering a love for the arts. The Highland Park Public Library is another excellent resource, providing a range of programs and activities for all ages.

Local Art Scene

The local art scene in Highland Park is vibrant and thriving. The Art Center Highland Park is a focal point for the arts community, offering exhibitions, classes, and workshops. The North Shore School of Dance provides dance classes for all ages and skill levels, contributing to the cultural richness of the area.

Annual Events

Highland Park’s calendar is packed with annual events that draw crowds from near and far. The Ravinia Festival Season is a highlight, featuring performances by world-renowned artists. The Fourth Fest is another major event, celebrating Independence Day with a bang.

Wellness and Relaxation

For those seeking wellness and relaxation, Highland Park has plenty to offer. Equinox Highland Park is a state-of-the-art fitness centre offering various classes and wellness programs. Bella Medspa provides a range of treatments to help you relax and rejuvenate.

Sports and Recreation

Sports enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Highland Park. The Sunset Valley Golf Club offers a beautiful course for golf lovers, while the Deer Creek Racquet Club provides excellent facilities for tennis and other racquet sports.

Nightlife and Bars

The nightlife in Highland Park is lively and diverse. Norton’s Restaurant is a popular spot for a night out, offering live music and a great atmosphere. Beelow’s Steakhouse is another favourite, known for its delicious food and vibrant bar scene.


Highland Park, IL, is a destination that truly has it all. From its rich history and cultural attractions to its beautiful parks and diverse dining options, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer stay, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Highland Park IL that will make your visit memorable.


What are the best parks to visit in Highland Park IL?

  • The best parks to visit in Highland Park IL include Heller Nature Center and Rosewood Beach, both offering beautiful scenery and various activities.

Where can I find cultural attractions in Highland Park IL?

  • Cultural attractions in Highland Park IL can be found at the Ravinia Festival and the Highland Park Historical Society.

What are some popular shopping spots in Highland Park IL?

  • Popular shopping spots in Highland Park IL include Renaissance Place and Port Clinton Square, offering a mix of boutiques and local stores.

Where can I enjoy fine dining in Highland Park IL?

  • Fine dining in Highland Park IL can be enjoyed at Abigail’s American Bistro and Michael’s Grill & Salad Bar, known for their excellent cuisine and service.

What are some unique events in Highland Park IL?

  • Unique events in Highland Park IL include the Fourth Fest and the Port Clinton Art Festival, which attract visitors from all over.

How can I travel in style to Highland Park IL?

  • You can travel in style to Highland Park IL by using the Highland Limo Service or the Stretch Limo Chicago service, offering luxurious and comfortable transportation.