Over the past 170 years, Chicago has played host to a range of royalty from all over the world. One of the more momentous visits was by Queen Elizabeth II on July 26, 1959, when she arrived by yacht for a whirlwind 14-hour tour of the city led by then Mayor Richard J. Daley, Governor William Stratton and other prominent persons. The next time you plan an outing to Chicago's lakefront, visit the historic spot in Grant Park yourself, aptly named "Queen's Landing."
A Historic Visit
The Queen arrived on her yacht Brittania and then took a small boat to a special jetty east of Buckingham Fountain, the area we now named in her honor.
It was quite a trip, as the Queen found time to visit the Museum of Science and Industry, look over the artworks at the Art Institute of Chicago and also make a stop at the Chicago Hilton & Towers, where a cadre of guests joined her to have a series of dishes named after the locks of the newly opened St. Lawrence Seaway. Not a bad day in Chicago, no?
Today guests can stop by Queen's Landing and take in expansive views of Lake Michigan as they watch the joggers, strollers and bicyclists make their way along a field of blue. It’s a low-key place to bring a picnic and relax for a while, and of course, it’s also right next to the stunning Buckingham Fountain (on from April to October).
A visit to Queen’s Landing is a great way to take in a bit of mid-20th century Chicago history while enjoying a longer stroll through Grant Park, and if you’re feeling ambitious, maybe a visit to one of the institutions within the Museum Campus.
From Michigan Avenue in the Loop, between Jackson Drive and Balboa Avenue, Queen's Landing is an easy and scenic walk east toward the lake. Make your way east past Buckingham Fountain to the pedestrian crosswalk at 500 S. Lake Shore Drive, which will lead you to the lake and the spot of the Queen's historic landing.
Extend your trip by visiting some other nearby landmark Chicago spots, including Maggie Daley Park (a must-visit for families!), Millennium Park and the iconic Cloud Gate, and the Art Institute of Chicago, where you can also find great options for a lunch or dinner, including the Terzo Piano restaurant led by award-winning chef Tony Mantuano.
Enjoy your visit!
Q is for Queen's Landing is part of an ongoing series exploring Chicago from A to Z, highlighting a unique Chicago place and theme for each letter of the alphabet. Stay tuned for more entries!