49. Northerly Island

Location: 1400 South Lynn White Dr.

This little parcel of land has quite a tumultuous past. Part of architect Daniel Burnham's early 20th century “Plan of Chicago” vision for the city, this lakefront park became home to tiny airstrip Meigs Field. Until, that is, the runway was destroyed after post-9/11 fears got the better of then-Mayor Daley, who had the tarmac ripped up in the middle of the night (dubbed the “Midnight Raid”). Now, this 91-acre peninsula (not really an island at all) is a recreation spot for hiking, fishing, and (in the winter) snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing. The terminal and control tower are still there for the time being, until the area is rehabbed to include off-shore reefs and an open-air music pavilion.