Chicago is a city like no other. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or are a local looking to explore your city, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant metropolis. From awe-inspiring architecture to world-class museums, unique restaurants, and more, here are our top 10 picks of things to see and do in Chicago. Get ready to explore!
In Chicago, the Bean is a must-see. The sculpture, also known as Cloud Gate, is an iconic symbol of the city. Located in Millennium Park, the Bean is a great place to take a break from sightseeing and people-watching. Cloud Gate was inspired by a drop of liquid mercury.
The Bean was designed by artist Anish Kapoor and was completed in 2006. It is made of 168 stainless steel plates welded together to form the shape of a bean. The surface of the sculpture is highly reflective and visitors can often be seen taking pictures of themselves and their friends with the Bean in the background.
The Bean has become an important part of Chicago culture, drawing thousands of tourists each year. The sculpture is also a popular spot for locals to take pictures, hang out, or just enjoy the atmosphere.
The Willis Tower
The Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, is a 110-story skyscraper in Chicago. At 1,451 feet (442 m), it is the tallest building in the United States and the Western Hemisphere. The Willis Tower has 108 floors of occupiable space, with the final two being mechanical floors.
The structure is notable for its use of black trusses to support floor slabs, which resulted in extremely efficient use of material and reduced construction costs. The Willis Tower was the first building in the world to use this type of construction.
The building’s west side has a large number of sky decks and observation decks, which are popular tourist attractions. The Skydeck on the 103rd floor is the highest observation deck in North America and offers visitors stunning views of the cityscape. On a clear day, visitors can see up to 50 miles (80 km) away from the deck. The Willis Tower also houses a number of businesses and restaurants, as well as a hotel on its upper floors.
Lake Michigan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chicago. The lakefront is full of activities for visitors to enjoy, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and more. There are also many beautiful parks and beaches along the lake that are perfect for a picnic or a day of exploring.
The lake is known for its diverse wildlife, and visitors often spot many species of birds, fish, and other animals while walking along the shoreline. The lake is also full of interesting historical sites, including lighthouses, old military forts, and even shipwrecks that are visible from the water’s surface.
For those looking to experience the beauty of Lake Michigan without leaving the city limits, there are plenty of options for boat tours and charters that offer spectacular views of the lake and its surroundings.
Visitors can also take advantage of the miles of beaches along the lake, which offer a wide range of activities like beach volleyball and sandcastle building. In addition, the lake is home to many festivals throughout the year that celebrates its beauty and importance to the city.
Buckingham Fountain is one of the most iconic attractions in Chicago. Located in Grant Park, the fountain was built in 1927 and has since become a symbol of the city. Visitors can enjoy the fountain’s spectacular water display, which runs every hour from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm. The fountain is also a popular spot for taking photos, so be sure to bring your camera!
The fountain was designed by Edward H. Bennett and is modeled after the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles in France. It is made of Georgia pink marble, bronze, and granite and stands nearly 80 feet tall. The fountain’s most impressive feature is its dramatic central jet which shoots water up to 150 feet in the air!
The Magnificent Mile is one of Chicago’s most popular tourist destinations. The mile-long stretch of Michigan Avenue is home to many of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Wrigley Building, the John Hancock Center, and the Tribune Tower.
The Magnificent Mile is also a shopper’s paradise, with over 460 stores, including high-end retailers like Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. And no trip to the Magnificent Mile would be complete without taking in the stunning views of Lake Michigan from one of the many vantage points along the street.
Navy Pier is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chicago. It is a 3,300-foot-long pier on Lake Michigan that features a Ferris wheel, an amusement park, a theater, restaurants, and shops. Navy Pier is also home to the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Shakespeare Theater.
The pier was completed in 1916 and opened as a shipping and recreation facility. The pier was originally used by the U.S. Navy as a training center during World War I, hence the name.
Navy Pier has been renovated several times over the years and now hosts frequent events such as concerts, fireworks displays, boat tours, croquet tournaments, dance performances, art exhibitions, and more. It is also a popular spot for sightseeing along the lakefront with views of downtown Chicago and the skyline.
If you’re a baseball fan, visiting Wrigley Field is a must. The home of the Chicago Cubs has been around since 1914 and is one of the most iconic stadiums in all of baseball. Even if you’re not a huge fan, taking a tour of Wrigley Field is still a great way to see one of Chicago’s most famous landmarks.
The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field are a great place to experience the history of baseball and the Cubs. Wrigley has long been known for its rowdy fans, unique traditions like singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch, and its ivy-covered walls. If you’re lucky enough to attend a game, you’ll get to experience it all firsthand.
Wrigley Field is also home to some of the most memorable moments in baseball history, including Ernie Banks’ 500th home run, Steve Bartman’s infamous foul ball incident, and Game 7 of the World Series in 2016. There’s plenty to see and do before and after a game at Wrigley Field too; from checking out the statues honoring past players outside the stadium to exploring one of Chicago’s premier shopping districts along Clark Street nearby.
No trip to Chicago would be complete without a visit to Wrigley Field. Whether you’re there for a game or just for sightseeing, it will surely be an unforgettable experience!
If you’re visiting Chicago, Millennium Park is a must-see. The park is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Bean, Buckingham Fountain, and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
Millennium Park is also a great place to enjoy the outdoors. The park has 25 acres of open space, which includes gardens, walking paths, and a lake. In the summer, the park hosts free concerts and movies.
Whether you’re looking to take in the sights or just relax in the park, Millennium Park is a great destination for all visitors to Chicago.
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the world’s leading art museums, housing a renowned collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. The museum is also home to a vast array of temporary exhibitions, which showcase both emerging and established artists from around the globe.
In addition to its art galleries, the Art Institute of Chicago also features a lively schedule of educational programs, talks, and films. Visitors can take part in guided tours of the museum’s collection or simply explore on their own. The Art Institute of Chicago is an essential stop for anyone interested in art and culture.
There’s no shortage of things to do in Chicago, whether you’re a native or just visiting for a short while. From iconic landmarks like the Willis Tower and Cloud Gate to world-class museums like the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry, there’s something for everyone in the Windy City.
And of course, no trip to Chicago would be complete without sampling some of the city’s famous deep-dish pizza or hot dogs. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s rich history or just want to stuff your face with some good food, you won’t be disappointed with what Chicago has to offer.
One of the best ways to take in the city’s skyline is a visit to 360 Chicago and a ride on TILT, a moving thrill ride that leans riders out of the streets below. This observation deck located at the top of the John Hancock Building features interactive exhibits, breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago, and the new CloudBar for cocktails and more.
The Adler Planetarium is a public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics. It was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler, who wanted to create a place where people could explore and appreciate the night sky.
The planetarium is located on Chicago’s lakefront at the northern tip of Northerly Island and features interactive exhibits, educational programs, and 3D space shows. Its three domed theaters are home to a variety of shows that feature stunning visuals and informative narration about our universe.
The Adler also hosts special events such as telescope viewing nights, lectures from guest speakers, and live music performances. Visitors can also take part in hands-on activities like building their own comets or exploring the mysteries of black holes.
The Adler Planetarium is an excellent place to learn about the universe and explore astronomy in a fun and engaging way. Whether you’re a curious beginner or an experienced astronomer, there’s something for everyone at this storied Chicago institution.
Chicago is a city that offers something for everyone. The top 10 things we’ve highlighted are only the beginning of what you can find in this lively and energetic city. From art galleries to museums, historic sights to unique architectural features, and great food and drinks, Chicago has it all! Take your time exploring everything the Windy City has to offer – it’s sure not to disappoint!