You don’t have to be a student to appreciate the attractions and ambiance of this celebrated university on the banks of Lake Michigan.
Northwestern University, located outside the town of Evanston and just north of Chicago, is rooted in local history and features an array of attractions. Wander around the historic grounds of the university, enjoying the buzz of an active student population, before stopping by some of its venues and museums.
Explore the grounds of a university that has been running since 1855, when it started with 10 students. It has since grown to encompass 12 faculties, with separate schools in Qatar and Chicago. The neighboring town of Evanston, which grew alongside the university, was named after one of its founders.
Enter the campus through the Weber Arch, the symbolic gateway to the university where freshmen start the year with a marching band procession.
Follow the paths through the leafy grounds to University Hall, a fairy-tale like building that dates back to the founding of the institution.
Other landmarks on the campus include the Deering Library, which is modelled after King’s College in Cambridge, and the Shakespeare Garden, where you will find plants that feature in the Bard’s plays.
Wander around the Arts Circle, a cluster of venues in the south of the campus. The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art hosts a range of temporary exhibitions and film screenings. Its permanent collection includes work by artists such as Andy Warhol and Albrecht Dürer. These sleek modern buildings also host the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, the Josephine Louis Theater and studio spaces for students.
Leave the academic buildings behind and wander down to the lakefront. Students enjoy relaxing on two beaches here to break from their studies. Look south to see the skyline of Chicago in the distance.
Ride a CTA bus or train from Chicago up to Evanston, then wander along to the campus. Alternatively, drive here from Chicago in about 35 minutes and use the parking located around the campus.