Park Ridge Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Park Ridge with our comprehensive travel guide. Discover the best places to visit, activities to do, food to try, and cultural experiences to have in this charming Northwest Suburbs village in Chicagoland.

Introduction to Park Ridge

Park Ridge is a charming village located in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. It is known for its beautiful parks, historic landmarks, and unique local culture. With its proximity to downtown Chicago and O’Hare International Airport, Park Ridge makes an ideal destination for travelers looking to experience the best of the Midwest. In this comprehensive travel guide, we’ll share with you the top places to visit, things to do, local food and drinks to try, where to stay, and other essential logistics to help you plan your trip to Park Ridge.

List of Places to Visit in Park Ridge

  • Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places
  • Natural Attractions of Park Ridge: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Park Ridge History Center: This museum showcases the history of the village and the surrounding areas. It features interactive exhibits, artifacts, and photographs that tell the story of Park Ridge from its early days to the present.
  • Iannelli Studios Heritage Center: The Iannelli Studios were once the workplace of sculptor Alfonso Iannelli and his wife Margaret, who were influential artists in the Chicago area in the early 20th century. Now it serves as a museum, displaying their sculptures and memorabilia.
  • Pickwick Theater: This iconic landmark is located in the heart of Park Ridge and is one of the last remaining single-screen theaters in the Chicago area. It features classic architecture and an art-deco interior and plays both new releases and classic films.

Natural Attractions of Park Ridge: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Maine Park: This beautiful park spans over 40 acres and features various amenities such as baseball fields, tennis courts, and playgrounds. It also has a large pond that is perfect for fishing or simply enjoying the scenery.
  • Wildwood Nature Center: This nature center encompasses over 100 acres of woodland, wetland, and prairie habitats. It offers various programs and events for visitors of all ages, including guided hikes and nature-themed workshops.
  • Hinkley Park: This park features a scenic pond, trails for walking or jogging, and a bike path that connects to the larger trail system throughout Park Ridge.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Park Ridge

  • Des Plaines River Trail: This trail runs north-south through Park Ridge and offers scenic views of the Des Plaines River.
  • North Branch Trail: This trail provides an excellent opportunity to explore the forest preserves along the North Branch of the Chicago River.
  • Salt Creek Trail: This trail runs from Brookfield Zoo to the Arboretum and passes through Park Ridge, offering beautiful views of Salt Creek and the surrounding forests.

Best Things to Do in Park Ridge: Activities and Tours

  • Take a historic walking tour of Park Ridge to explore the village’s architecture, landmarks, and notable homes.
  • Visit the Farmer’s Market held every Saturday from May through October at the Park Ridge Metra Train Station.
  • Attend the Park Ridge Fine Arts Concert Series, featuring live music performances in various genres.

Week-Long Itinerary for Park Ridge

  • Day 1: Visit the Park Ridge History Center and take a walking tour of the village’s historic homes and architecture.
  • Day 2: Explore the natural beauty of Park Ridge with a visit to Wildwood Nature Center and a hike along the Des Plaines River Trail.
  • Day 3: Rent a bike and ride along the Salt Creek Trail, stopping to take in the scenic views and explore the surrounding forest preserves.
  • Day 4: Visit the Iannelli Studios Heritage Center and learn about the legacy of Alfonso and Margaret Iannelli.
  • Day 5: Take a leisurely stroll through Maine Park and enjoy a picnic lunch by the pond.
  • Day 6: Attend a live music performance at the Park Ridge Fine Arts Concert Series.
  • Day 7: Spend the day exploring downtown Chicago, conveniently located less than 30 minutes away by train from Park Ridge.

Food and Drink Scene of Park Ridge

Must-Try Dishes

  • Chicago-style hot dogs at Gene & Jude’s
  • Italian beef sandwiches at Johnnie’s Beef
  • Thin-crust pizza at Holt’s
  • Poutine and other Canadian-inspired dishes at Harp & Fiddle

Local Beverages

  • Craft beers at Harp & Fiddle
  • Cocktails at Cafe Orchid, known for their inventive and delicious drinks

Where to Stay in Park Ridge: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • The Park Ridge Marriott
  • The Hampton Inn and Suites
  • The House Cafe, which offers unique guest rooms and a cafe/bar with live music on weekends.

What to Buy in Park Ridge: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Handcrafted items from the Artisan Market at the Farmer’s Market
  • Local beers and spirits from Harp & Fiddle
  • Gifts and souvenirs from the Park Ridge History Center gift shop.

Local Culture and Customs of Park Ridge

Park Ridge has a rich history and culture that is reflected in its architecture, parks, and events. The village is known for its strong community spirit and involvement, as seen in events such as the annual Fourth of July parade and fireworks display. Dress code in Park Ridge is generally casual, but it is always a good idea to check the attire requirements for specific events beforehand.

Best Time to Visit Park Ridge

The best time to visit Park Ridge is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and the outdoor activities and events are in full swing. However, the village’s natural beauty and cultural attractions make it a great destination year-round.

Do’s and Don’ts of Park Ridge


  • Explore the village’s historic landmarks and architecture
  • Try local cuisine and craft beers
  • Attend concerts and events hosted by the village


  • Litter or damage the natural beauty of the parks and trails
  • Play loud music or engage in disruptive behavior

Safety and Health

Safety in Park Ridge

Park Ridge is a safe and welcoming community, with a low crime rate and a strong police presence. However, it is always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions when walking or biking on the trails.

Health in Park Ridge

Park Ridge has several top-rated hospitals and medical centers, including Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Presence Resurrection Medical Center.

Getting to Park Ridge: Transportation Options and Logistics

  • By car: Park Ridge is easily accessible from major highways in the area and is located less than 20 minutes from O’Hare International Airport.
  • By train: The Park Ridge Metra Train Station provides convenient access to downtown Chicago and other nearby destinations.
  • By bus: The Pace bus system operates throughout Park Ridge and connects to other cities and suburbs in the area.

Airports Near Park Ridge

  • O’Hare International Airport
  • Midway International Airport

Bus Stations Near Park Ridge

  • Park Ridge Metra Train Station
  • Cumberland CTA Blue Line Station

Other Options

  • Taxi and ride-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft

How to Get Around in Park Ridge

Park Ridge is easy to navigate on foot, with paved walking and biking paths that connect many of the village’s attractions and parks. There are also several bike rental services available, which is a great way to explore the surrounding forest preserves.

Where to Go Next from Park Ridge: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Downtown Chicago
  • Rosemont Entertainment District
  • Forest Park


With its rich history, natural beauty, and unique local culture, Park Ridge is a must-visit destination in the Midwest. Whether you’re interested in hiking and biking, exploring historic landmarks, or trying delicious local cuisine, Park Ridge has something for everyone. Use this comprehensive travel guide to help plan your trip and make the most of your time in this charming Northwest Suburbs village in Chicagoland.