Jackson Park’s Japanese Garden
Photo: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

Waterfalls, azaleas, and burbling streams—this park-within-a-park near the lakefront in Woodlawn is my own urban Shangri-la. Situated on Wooded Island—which, along with the adjacent Museum of Science and Industry, is one of the few remaining vestiges of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition—the garden exudes pristine tranquility, with prim gravel paths that lead to arched footbridges and wind past cherry trees, Japanese maples, and a Yoko Ono sculpture added in 2016 as a symbol of peace. And it’s all within a pebble’s throw of the placid lagoon where electric boats soundlessly glided during the world’s fair.