Going fishing at a pier
Couple looking at wildlife in a park
Water laping along the shore in a park
Outside Chicago graphic

With over 70,000 acres of forest preserves, parks, shorelines, ziplines, hiking trails, biking trails, kayaking, campsites, and more, Outside Chicago is your go-to destination for discovering all of the great outdoor attractions right here in suburban Cook County.

Our mission

The tourism and hospitality industry plays a vital role in Cook County, and through funding received from the American Rescue Plan Act, Cook County allocated $10 million to support resiliency in this sector—with a focus on suburban Cook County.
Uniting with five convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), Cook County developed Cook County Tourism Alive, which includes investments to:

  • Promote local tourism opportunities in each of the suburban Cook County subregions.
  • Develop Outside Chicago, a program designed to promote the outdoor assets of suburban Cook County.
  • Drive awareness of the career opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector through a campaign called This is Your Wake Up Call.
  • Hold hiring events to meet the needs of the hospitality sector.
  • Participate in a broad regional tourism initiative called Visit Chicagoland.