Must see places in Chicago

Chicago is a vibrant city with a rich history, diverse culture, and plenty of attractions to explore. Here are some must-see places in Chicago:

Chicago views downtown
Chicago architecture is the best. The river tour is a great way to see the city! Check here to save 50% off on attractions!

Heart of Downtown

  • Navy Pier: Stretching out into Lake Michigan, Navy Pier offers a variety of attractions. Check out the shops, restaurants, boat tours, and the Centennial Wheel for panoramic views of the city skyline. If you’re here during summer, check out free fire work shows on Wednesdays at 9pm and Saturday at 10pm. Learm more here.
  • Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower): One of the tallest buildings in the world, Willis Tower offers breathtaking views of the city from its Skydeck, located on the 103rd floor. Visitors can step out onto The Ledge, a glass balcony extending from the building, for a thrilling experience. For more views of the city, check out the 360 deck in the John Hancock building for an extra tilt. See what I mean here!
  • The Magnificent Mile: A stretch of North Michigan Avenue known for its shopping, dining, and entertainment options. It includes upscale boutiques, department stores, and iconic landmarks like the historic Chicago Water Tower. Take a moment to check out the public library inside!
  • Chicago Riverwalk: This scenic pedestrian path along the Chicago River offers picturesque views of the city’s architecture. Take advantage of the opportunities for dining, kayaking, and river cruises. My personal favorite is the architecture river tour. After, visit the winery along the water where people park their boats and grab some drinks. Some other eatery spots can be found throughout the city and close to the river.

South of the Heart of Downtown

  • Millennium Park: Home to the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture (affectionately known as “The Bean”), Millennium Park is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. It also features beautiful landscaping, outdoor art, and hosts various events throughout the year. Be sure to walk under it and take pictures with the skyline reflected on the Bean!
  • The Art Institute of Chicago: One of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States The Art Institute has an extensive collection of artwork from around the world. Including famous pieces like Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” and Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.”
  • Chicago Cultural Center: This historic landmark hosts free cultural events, exhibitions, and performances throughout the year. Visitors can admire the building’s stunning architecture, including the world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass dome.
Field Museum at Museum Campus south of downtown
Field Museum at Museum Campus

Chicagoland area

  • Wrigley Field: Don’t worry if you’re not a baseball fan, visiting Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs, is a must-do experience. The historic ballpark, located in the Lakeview neighborhood, offers guided tours and a chance to soak up the atmosphere. You can never go wrong with baseball, hot dogs, and a sunny day.
  • Museum Campus: Located along Lake Michigan, Museum Campus is home to several of Chicago’s top museums. This includes the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium. It’s a great area to spend a day exploring science, history, and nature. I love the aquarium as you can most, if not all it has to offer within a couple hours. I highly recommend catching a dolphin or beluga whale show! Get discounted tickets here!
  • Lincoln Park Zoo: One of the oldest zoos in the United States, Lincoln Park Zoo offers free admission and is home to a wide variety of animals. It’s a perfect destination for families and animal lovers alike. You can’t go wrong spending a lovely Chicago day outside in the Zoo.

Explore the city!

These are a few highlights of what Chicago has to offer and key must see places. The city is known for its vibrant neighborhoods, diverse culinary scene, and numerous festivals and events throughout the year. Be sure to explore beyond the tourist hotspots to discover the true essence of the Windy City. For local spots, check out the neighborhoods Chinatown, Wicker Park, Oak Park, and Little Italy for more must see places.

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