My favorite walk in Chicago begins at the corner of Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue, where the northern end of Millennium Park harbors a bizarre outer-space pod: the reflective sculpture called Cloud Gate. The trek continues down Michigan Avenue past the Art Institute, then winds through Grant Park to the Adler Planetarium — a total distance of about 2 miles. You can enjoy another couple of miles' walk south of the planetarium around Northerly Island — the former Meigs Field airport, now demolished and restored with prairie grass.
Next: A city hike that's surprisingly wild. — Photo by Getty Images
Even on vacation, Americans tend to see the world at 65 mph. But as a walker and constant traveler, I've discovered that our nation's virtually limitless trails offer a new, more leisurely perspective on everything from wild rivers to architectural wonders. Here are six of my favorite places to walk. Some are in the wild, others are in the city (and still others are in the wild in the city!), but all are easy to get to — with rewards you'll reap only on foot.