Driving Directions - Shedd Aquarium

Before you drive, check the Shedd Aquarium traffic alerts page. Shedd will post upcoming concerts and other events nearby that may impact traffic and parking in the area.

Although the entrance to the museum is well off Lake Shore Drive, the address 1200 Lake Shore Drive should work for most GPS systems. If that tries to bring you to a location actually on Lake Shore Drive, try 480 E McFetridge Drive instead, which will put you roughly in front of the Field Museum, very close to Shedd.

See the parking page for the three main options for parking, and when each one is best. Expand the More Information below for information about routes to get you closer to Lake Shore.


Most routes from the south will eventually put you onto Lake Shore Drive, from which you'll turn right onto McFetridge. Routes from the north will put you onto Columbus Ave where you'll turn left onto McFetridge. When coming from the north, there will be two lanes turning left onto McFetridge, and when there's a long line you can sometimes sneak around cars who only think there's one lane (but only if you see a gap behind that second lane). If traffic for that turn is really backed up, you can instead go straight, continuing onto Lake Shore Drive and use the exit for 18th, which is the first exit on the right. Using 18th is a little round-about, but it will get you to the same place and allow you to pass the long lines waiting to turn on McFetridge.

From within Chicago

When coming from within Chicago, the best path will typically be getting over to Lake Shore Drive (when coming from the south) or Columbus Ave (when coming from the north) and following the directions above. If you're on Lake Shore Drive coming from the north, you can either take the Roosevelt exit and then a quick left onto Columbus or just take the next exit for 18th, and go left and around to get to Shedd (the second option may be better on busy days when Columbus and McFetridge can get really backed up).

Coming on Highways from North, South, or Southwest

For almost all highways: 55, 90, or 94 from either direction, the best option is to take I-55, the Stevenson, into Lake Shore Drive, and then Lake Shore Drive north, to turn right on McFetridge. If you're coming from 90 or 94, the exit to get onto 55 is about a mile south of the Loop.

From the West

If you're debating taking I-55 or I-290, lean towards 55 which is a more direct route to Shedd. If I-290 is best, I generally prefer going straight in on 290, which becomes Ida B Wells once it gets downtown. Go straight until Columbus Drive, and take a right there, and then a left onto McFetridge. This route works fairly well unless Grant Park is closed down (for festivals, the marathon, etc), in which case you have to improvise getting south to Roosevelt, which will almost be guaranteed to be packed. From Roosevelt, you'll be able to turn right onto Columbus and then left onto McFetridge. Although this isn't particularly common, it's not exactly rare either. If you're not sure what's going on downtown and you want to avoid the risk, you can take 290 to 94, go south on 94 for about a mile, and then go north on 55, which will take you to Lake Shore Drive. From there, you'll go north on Lake Shore Drive and take a right onto McFetridge.