Hyde Park Walking Tour - Atlas Obscura

Chicago, Illinois

Hyde Park Walking Tour

Travel through time on this 9-block walking tour, uncovering Bronze Age history all the way through the Atomic Age.

Where can the mysterious wonders of the Ancient Near East, the height of American art and architecture, and the birth place of the atomic age all be found in a few short blocks? The South Side, of course.

Join Atlas Obscura for a history-intensive walking tour of one of Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. Home to the University of Chicago, the South Side enclave is among the most influential and complicated places in the world. In this tour, we'll marvel at its treasures and explore its world-changing history. A short stroll will take us from the stunning collection of ancient artifacts at the Oriental Institute to the soaring architecture of Rockefeller Chapel. We'll also travel up the Midway Plaisance, home to the seedier side of the 1893 World’s Fair.

We'll touch high points of human history, even as we hear the story of its possible destruction. Hyde Park is home to the best of human thought and art, but it is also the birth place of the atomic bomb. We will see the homes of the bomb’s creators, where their work was done. Hear the stories of all that went into its creation, visit the site of the first human-made atomic chain reaction, and visit one of Chicago’s many disused fallout shelters.


  • Meet on the southeast steps of the Lutheran School of Theology.
  • Parking is limited. The departure point is close to the 55th street/Garfield Bus.
  • The event will run rain, shine, or snow.
  • This event is ADA accessible.
  • Wear your walking shoes and bring your cameras!


Email Matt Holmes at matt.holmes@atlasobscura.com.

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.