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It’s not your typical list of things to love, but around here we’ve learned to appreciate and laud the beauty of some of the country’s most well-appointed cemeteries. Many of them are found in Illinois, where we’ve identified 10 for you, each meriting praise in its own, unique way.
From Bronswood to Woodlawn: The Top Cemeteries in Illinois on MemorialPlanning.com
Located west of Chicago in DuPage County, Bronswood lives up to its wooded name. It’s nestled among old-growth stands of trees and gives visitors a sense of calm that often comes from a walk in the woods. That sense is magnified by the lovely central pond with its picturesque twin bridges. In addition to the beautiful historic features of this Oak Brook cemetery, a modern Cremation Nature Trail is being planned.
Click this link to learn more about Bronswood Cemetery.
Floral Lawn Cemetery
Floral Lawn is newer, but classically beautiful nonetheless. Nestled between a cornfield on one side and open land on the other, and located near Pearl Lake, the grounds of Floral Lawn embody the natural landscape and heart of Illinois itself. But the reason this one made the list is the wonderful array of stately marble sculptures that adorn the gravesites across the entire area. They are the work of Dominic Zappia, a well-known sculptor from Italy whose work adorns many public spaces throughout the Midwest.
Click this link to learn more about Floral Lawn Cemetery.
Highland Memorial Park
In some cases, a cemetery makes our list for its beauty or historical importance. In the case of Highland Memorial, it’s all in the name. The park-like surroundings ensure a peaceful visit for anyone who enters. Indeed, the grounds are immaculately tended, creating unmatched beauty in the town of Liberty, where it’s located. The modern chapel mausoleum mirrors classic Illinois architecture styles (Frank Lloyd Wright) with its clean lines and quiet, calm exterior.
Click this link to learn more about Highland Memorial Park.
McHenry County Memorial Park
By Illinois standards, this cemetery is quite new. Established during World War II, it’s located in Woodstock and offers patrons the only indoor mausoleum in McHenry County. Fittingly, there is a section reserved for veterans, although they do not have to be WWII veterans. Even though the grounds are relatively new, there are lots of mature trees.
Click this link to learn more about McHenry County Memorial Park.
Mount Vernon Estates
Trees seem to be a strong indicator of how much we love any given cemetery, and if you’ve ever spent time at a cemetery you’ll understand why. They impart a sense of history, solitude, and introspection. Mount Vernon Estates features a plentiful supply of hardwoods as well as pine trees. The shrubs and flowerbeds are lovingly maintained by groundskeepers who see to it that the entire area is always in beautiful shape for those who visit.
Click this link to learn more about Mount Vernon Estates.
Northshore Garden of Memories
Just north of Chicago you’ll find Northshore Garden of Memories, a multi-denominational property located near the shores of Lake Michigan. We love it for its multicultural bent, along with the gorgeous marble columns near the entrance and lovely stonework throughout.
Click this link to learn more about Northshore Garden of Memories.
Sunset Hill Cemetery
If rolling hills and a spot near the Mississippi River sound ideal to you, then Sunset Hill might be among your favorites. Located in Glen Carbon, it’s just across the river from St. Louis, Missouri. But what really makes this one of the beloved cemeteries in Illinois on MemorialPlanning.com is the Garden of Reflections.
Click this link to learn more about Sunset Hill Cemetery.
Willow Lawn Memorial Park
Here we have something you won’t find everywhere: a cemetery associated with pet cemetery Aarrowood Pet Cemetery. It’s also one of the newer burial grounds on the list, founded in 1961. An appreciation for and recognition of the comfort and love our pets bring us during life is why Willow Lawn makes it onto our list.
Click this link to learn more about Willow Lawn Memorial Park.
Windridge Memorial Park
Here’s another rather new park: just over half a century old, it’s unusual because it’s actually a nature sanctuary (its official name is “Windridge Memorial Park and Nature Sanctuary”). Once a private estate, it’s now known for its progressive ideas about burial. They offer natural burial, which is a growing trend here in the United States.
Click this link to learn more about Windridge Memorial Park.
Woodlawn Memorial Park & Woodlawn Memorial Park II
There aren’t too many cemeteries in Illinois on MemorialPlanning.com that can boast a Forest Preserve on two sides. Woodlawn is aptly named because on the west and north sides, that’s what you’ll find: lots and lots of woods. Other stand-out features include a swan pond and a butterfly garden. We also love the solid bronze lamps. Woodlawn Memorial Park II goes a step further and is bordered on a total of three sides by forest preserve. And as we’ve mentioned before, cemeteries and woods go hand-in-hand.
Click this link to learn more about Woodlawn Memorial Park or Woodlawn Memorial Park II.
By the way, did you know that you can also find the top cemeteries in Illinois on MemorialPlanning.com by using our handy search feature? Use it to expand your search and find cemeteries in other states, too.