Cycle Chicago, Sightseeing Ride, Hyde Park: A Presidential Tour
This bike ride takes you past some of Hyde Park’s most notable landmarks, including President Barrack Obama’s home; the University of Chicago’s Law School, where he taught for several years; and the South Shore Cultural Center, where he and Michelle held their wedding reception. Although short, this ride will give you a feel for the culturally rich yet refreshingly diverse neighborhood that nurtured the Obamas. Keep one eye on the traffic and the other on the beautiful sights that are so plentiful in this, one of Chicago’s most storied and significant communities.
Mostly light traffic along the boulevards, which are designated as bike routes but do not have painted bike lanes. There are, however, a couple of congested spots along the way, and traffic on some of the boulevards can move quickly, so be alert.
CTA #6 Jackson Park Express bus stops at 58th Street and Stony Island Avenue, about four blocks north and east from the start of this ride at Midway Plaisance and Blackstone Avenue.
By car, exit Lake Shore Drive at 57th Street. Follow the exit as it curves west and then south around the Museum of Science and Industry. After about half a mile turn right onto Midway Plaisance at 6000 south on Chicago’s street grid. Drive west two blocks to the intersection with Blackstone Avenue and park. Parking is usually plentiful along Midway Plaisance.
Food and Drink
There is a large selection of restaurants in Hyde Park and plenty of drinking water along the lakefront.
Oriental Institute, Smart Museum of Art, DuSable Museum of African American History, Museum of Science and Industry, Frederick C. Robie House, etc.
From long before Barack Obama moved there, Hyde Park has been a dynamic, culturally endowed and racially integrated community. By some accounts, 1892 was the pivotal year. That’s when Hyde Park, conceived as an exclusive community, was annexed to Chicago; the World’s Columbian Exposition officially began; and the University of Chicago opened its doors. These three forces have played a huge role in defining the character and development of Hyde Park. Over the years, Hyde Park has built on this rich heritage, piling on major academic, scientific, literary, architectural and cultural accomplishments.
All these achievements make the area a great place for a bike ride, providing sights and stories, heritage and tradition. Thus, any ride through Hyde Park is more than a casual spin. You can’t just speed by murals and roundhouses, gargoyles and gardens – from community to Japanese to lakefront - without becoming curious. You can’t bike by places associated with a Rockefeller or a Wright, an Oppenheimer or an Obama, without wanting to learn more.
Thus, this ride is also a tour, albeit an introductory one. Space does not allow us to fill in the details behind the sites, but just seeing some of the more prominent, historical and presidential places in Hyde Park will surely jump start further exploration on your part. The area has an astonishing number of places to see – no, make that experience. You will find Hyde Park intriguing from bookstores to Promontory Point, which many Chicagoans regard as the best place to relax along the lakefront, from coffee shops to museums, from bike paths to the University of Chicago’s picturesque campus.
18.121 km / 11.26 mi
76 m / 249 ft
76 m / 250 ft
183 m / 599 ft