Top 20 Things You Need To See In Chicago!
Renowned for it’s incredible architecture and enriching amenities, Chicago is an amazing city and a great place to plan a weekend adventure! This city vibrates with energy. There’s so much to do and see in Chicago, you’ll have a hard time fitting it all in! Here’s some of the things you’ll want to check out!
1) Willis Tower
Walk ‘The Ledge’ at the Willis Tower. This all-glass balcony (yes, the bottom too) on the 103rd floor extends out 4 feet from the building. You’re standing 1,353 feet in the air and on a clear day, can see 40-50 miles in all directions. By the way, this skyscraper was built to sway up to 3 feet! (Photo above was taken from here)
This pretty park is a beautifully landscaped, wide open space, which separates Lake Michigan from the commercial skyscrapers. You’ll tend to forget you’re in the city! Visit the historic Buckingham Fountain before heading over to the Art Institute of Chicago.
Browse the Art Institute of Chicago which houses more than 300,000 works of art. They have terrific ever-changing exhibits and a huge and impressive collection of fine iconic art. I loved the Monet and Van Gogh collections!
4) Shedd Aquarium
Immerse yourself in the Shedd Aquarium, a National Historic Landmark, considered the largest indoor aquarium in the world. There are currently 6 distinct exhibits, including the Abbott Oceanarium, where you’ll encounter dolphins, beluga whales, sea lions and sea otters. Don’t forget to catch an aquatic show in the Rice Ampitheatre!
Don’t miss Chicago’s most visited attraction, Navy Pier! This 3,300 foot pier has a little bit of everything. Browse the shops and take a ride on the ferris wheel for an awesome view of the city.
6) Magnificent Mile
Shop the Magnificent Mile, an upscale 8 block section of North Michigan Avenue that is brimming with stores, restaurants and nightspots. BTW, the giant Lego store is not just for the kids!
Started from the 1893 Chicago’s World Fair, The Field Museum of Natural History is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. Meet Sue the T-Rex!
8) Ghost Tours
Have a spook-tacular time visiting Chicago’s historical hauntings on a Ghost Tour. Some of the most famous sites brimming with ghosts include the sites of the Eastland Disaster, St. Valentines Day Massacre, and the Chicago Theatre.
9) House of Blues
Grab a bite to eat at Crossroads at the House of Blues. Follow up with live music at the Back Porch Stage.
There’s not so much of an actual theatre district in Chicago, theatre companies just dot the landscape. Chicago’s Shakespeare Theatre is located right on Navy Pier and there’s not a bad seat in the house! Check out an event calendar and be sure to catch a show!
The Lincoln Park Zoo covers 35 acres. This is one of the oldest and one of the few free zoos in the U.S.! Don’t forget to check out the 2 month old baby red pandas!
12) 360 Chicago
For the most interesting view of Chicago, the ‘Tilt’ in the 360 Chicago observatory will let you ‘hang’ out, (facing the ground), 1000 feet over the Miracle Mile. Located on the 93rd floor, this attraction is not for the faint at heart. The Ledge in the Willis Tower or The Tilt on the Miracle Mile, you judge the best view!
13) Soldier Field
Cheer for Da Bears at Soldier Field, home to the Chicago Bears football team! Ticket prices are a little steep at this true American football stadium. It was named as a memorial to American soldiers in 1925, one year after inception as the Grant Park Stadium in 1924. Take note there are huge crowds and it’s highly unlikely you’ll get a taxi at the end of the game. Plan accordingly.
14) Wrigley Field
Catch a live Cubs game at Wrigley Field Stadium. Known for it’s brick outfield wall, covered in ivy. If a ball is caught up in the ivy and the outfielder is looking for it, the ball is considered ‘in play’ and base runners continue! This stadium is a traditional, old school ballpark.
See the World’s largest rooftop greenhouse in Millenium Park. Take a moment for a photo op at Cloud Gate aka ‘The Bean’, dedicated in 2006. This 3 story steel sculpture captures unique and interesting reflections including the Chicago skyline. Join a workout class on the Great Lawn.
16) Adler Planetarium
America’s first planetarium inspires space explorers all over the world and is dedicated to the study of astronomy. Be sure to check out the Adler After Dark Events.
17) Lou Mitchells
Have breakfast at Lou Mitchells’ restaurant. Established in 1923, Lou’s serves the best breakfast on the planet! The line is usually long, but they’ll serve you donuts while you wait!
18) Food Tours
Have you tried a food tour? The Food Planet Food Tour’s in Chicago are great! Whether you’d like to tour Mom & Pop restaurants off the beaten path, tour the Chinatown or the Lincoln Park area… there’s a tour for you.
19) The Lakefront Trail
East of Lake Shore Drive, the Lakefront Trail is a scenic 18 mile running/bike path along the coast of Lake Michigan. This trail connects many of the area beaches and parks.
The Chicago Riverwalk is an open area along the river were you can enjoy the view, rent a kayak or boat or grab a bite to eat. The area is still being expanded to include floating gardens and fishings piers.
Challenge yourself to see how much you can fit into your time there. You won’t be disappointed. Make sure to get a Chicago Go Card for one low discounted price the majority of the attractions you’d like to see in Chicago! Also, check out www.viator.com and www.livingsocial.com for deals in your destination cities.
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