Chicago is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. With its vibrant history, friendly people, and beautiful landscape, there’s never a shortage of things to do when visiting this city. Whether you’re looking for something fun or educational, this list will help you find some of Chicago’s top attractions. Want to book flights check round trip flights for great deals and discounts.
Grant Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago. It is the oldest and most visited of Chicago’s large parks. The park includes many attractions, including Lincoln Park Zoo (formerly known as Lincoln Park Menagerie), Buckingham Fountain, and Cloud Gate (The Bean).
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Grant Park hosts many festivals and concerts. The Taste of Chicago festival is held every July, while Ribfest takes place each summer as well. Music festivals such as Lollapalooza and Pitchfork Music Festival also occur there yearly. Movies Under the Stars occurs at dusk every Thursday night from June through August where families gather to watch movies on a large projector screen under the stars with food concessions available for purchase.
The Field Museum is a natural history museum in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded in 1893 by Marshall Field and has over 26 million artifacts.
The museum’s main building on Chicago’s lakefront houses 40 permanent exhibits including an African veldt diorama that opened in 1921 and includes two real lions. (They’ve been there for about 80 years.) The Field Museum also has an IMAX theater as well as three theaters showing mostly educational films (i.e., no blockbusters).
The Willis Tower Skydeck is the tallest building in the western hemisphere, and it’s also one of the most popular things to do in Chicago. The tower stands 1,450 feet tall, which is almost as tall as two Statues of Liberty stacked on top of each other. It has 103 floors (including its own underground basement), making it the tallest building in North America and the second-tallest structure in all of Chicago after its sister skyscraper, Trump International Hotel & Tower.
The tower was originally named Sears Tower but changed its name when Sears Roebuck sold it to an investment group called London-based Willis Group Holdings PLC. Because that company’s namesake was a former owner of Sears Roebuck—as well as because of how much media attention they gave him—the tower has been informally known by many names over time: “Willis’ Folly,” “Sears’ Folly,” even “Willis’ Monstrosity.” However, because most people still refer to this structure simply as “The Sears Tower” or now simply as “Willis” (or even just “The Skyscraper” since it’s literally taller than everything else around), we’ll keep things simple here by sticking with those same monikers ourselves too!
The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise offers a unique way to see the city and its architecture. You will get to see famous landmarks like the John Hancock Building, Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower), and Cloud Gate (also known as “The Bean”). It also has a great historical component that tells you about the history of Chicago. The tour guides are knowledgeable and will answer any questions you may have about what you are seeing. I highly recommend this tour if you want to learn more about the history of Chicago while seeing some beautiful buildings at the same time!
The Shedd Aquarium is located in the heart of Chicago and is one of the largest aquariums in the world. It is a great place to visit with children, as there are many exhibits and attractions that will be sure to please everyone in your family.
The aquarium features exhibits from all over the world including Australia, South America, Africa, and Asia. Some of its most popular attractions include the Shark Show; Wild Reef Gallery; Waters Of The World Gallery; The Abbott Oceanarium; Amazon Rising; and China’s Three Gorges Reservoir Exhibit.
The Skydeck Ledge at Willis (formerly Sears) Tower is a glass balcony on the 103rd floor of the world’s tallest building, where you can get closer to Chicago’s skyline than anywhere else.
The Skydeck Ledge is open to the public for a small fee and holds about 20 people at a time—you’ll have to wait in line if it’s crowded. But when it comes time to step out onto that narrow platform and look down over 1,353 feet straight down into Chicago, you’ll know it was worth every penny.
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Navy Pier is another tourist attraction that you can visit while in Chicago. It’s located along Lake Michigan, and it has a Ferris wheel, an aquarium, and a theater. There are also many restaurants and shops on the pier where you can grab something to eat or drink before heading out for the day!
The Ferris wheel at Navy Pier offers 360-degree views of Lake Michigan, so if you want to see all of this great city’s attractions from above ground level then this is definitely something to try out!
- Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois.
- Millennium Park is a part of Grant Park, the city’s oldest public park, which was originally called Lake Park and is located next to Lake Michigan on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The park was created as part of an initiative by former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and landscape architect and planner Michael van Valkenburgh.
The Museum of Science and Industry is a great place to visit with your family. It has lots of interactive exhibits that will keep kids entertained for hours. The museum also features many hands-on displays, including a replica coal mine and locomotive, as well as several aircraft. Kids will love seeing the giant Boeing 727 plane hanging from the ceiling right when you walk in!
The museum has several permanent exhibits that illustrate how science, technology, history, and industry work together to shape our world. Learn about transportation inventions such as trains, cars, and airplanes; try out new technologies like VR headsets; or learn about historical events like World War II at this Chicago attraction!
Lincoln Park Zoo is a free zoo located in Lincoln Park. It is the second oldest zoo in the US, having been founded in 1868. The zoo has over 1,100 animals representing 260 species from around the world and covers an area of 80 acres.
The park includes outdoor exhibits such as a prairie dog exhibit, a carousel, boat rentals for Lake Michigan, a conservatory, and even an art gallery that hosts over 100 exhibits annually!
It’s also home to several endangered species including red pandas and snow leopards! There are many fun activities for children too like feeding giraffes or riding on train cars with goats & sheep!
There are so many things to do in Chicago, it’s hard to choose just one. However, if we had to pick the top five places you should visit before you die (or at least before next summer), they would be Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, Willis Tower Skydeck Ledge, Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), and Field Museum. All these places are worth visiting for their own unique reasons; whether it’s the architecture or animals at MSI or just how iconic Willis Tower is as the tallest building in America, each place has its own charm that will keep visitors coming back time after time again! Want to rent a car check the best car rental deals for great deals and discounts.