Whether you have been to Chicago or not, this city has all the offerings you’d expect for first time visitors or repeat Chicago lovers. From world-class food to vibrant nightlife, education to sports, Chicago has a little something for everyone.
The best time to visit “Chi-Town” are in the months of April and May or September through October when the temperatures are warm and hotel rates are reasonable. Many of Chicago’s top festivals take place during these months as well, like the Barbeque festival. The state’s largest BBQ competition, Red, White, and BBQ has live music, vendors, beer tastings, and of course award-winning barbeque.
With so many attractions to visit and see, we have compiled the top 5 must-see & dos in Chicago.
For first timers, Millennium Park is a must! Even for repeat visitors, Millennium Park offers a gorgeous backdrop for an outdoor stroll. Located on 24.5 acres, the most popular sight to see is the Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate, better known as “The Bean.” One of the most unique and interesting sculptures in the world, The Bean invites visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives. It’s the perfect place for “selfies.” Millennium Park also offers Lurie Garden, a popular area within Millennium Park. Lurie Garden is an urban oasis that provides serenity within a big city. Dedicated to eco-friendly botanical landscapes, Lurie Garden offers self-guided tours perfect for a quiet, relaxing day still while being within the heart of the city.
If you’re looking for family-friendly entertainment or an area where grown-ups can let loose too, Navy Pier is the place to go in Chicago. The first thing you’ll spot is a towering Ferris wheel, swing seat ride, and carousel. Spend time practicing your putt at the 18-hole miniature golf course, wander through the Funhouse Maze, or spend a few hours exploring the Children’s Museum. With plenty of hands-on exhibits and activities, parents should have no issue dealing with the “I’m bored” syndrome. For adults, you can catch a show at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, go shopping for souvenirs or apparel, venture out on the water for a dinner cruise, or enjoy a beverage and casual conversation at the popular Landshark Beer Garden.
Chicagoans take their love of sports very seriously. For any Chicago native, Cubs fan, or sports enthusiast looking for a unique experience, head north of the city to see “da Cubs” play. Wrigley Field offers a baseball experience that is unforgettable according to several who have experienced a game. If you’re unable to snag tickets to a game, you can still experience Wrigley Field. For $25 you can take a 70-90 minute tour of the stadium where you will hear stories about the field and famous legends, roam through the bleachers, press box, dugout, and even walk the field as long as it’s not game day. Reviews from the tour describe it as nostalgic, truly a must-see and do in Chicago.
One of Chicago’s most notable attractions is of course its skyline. The best place to view and experience the skyline is 360 Chicago! Towering 1,000 feet over the Magnificent Mile, located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center, 360 Chicago boasts floor to ceiling windows and expansive views of the city. On a clear day you can see 55 miles in any direction. Interactive screens will help you identify popular and different landmarks within Chicago, for a truly unique point of view. For the adventurous type or those that love an adrenaline rush, test out 360 Chicago’s latest attraction, TILT. For a downward facing view of the city, hold onto the handlebars as the observation rooms wall of windows extend outward, tilting you toward North Michigan Avenue. If you prefer to keep your heart at a steadier pace, enjoy snacks or a cup of coffee at the observations café.
Calling all shopaholics! The Magnificent Mile stretches across Michigan Avenue north from the Chicago River boasting big brand-name stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, top-notch eateries, luxury hotels, and architectural masterpieces. For museum goers check out the Chicago Sports Museum, or the Chicago History Museum. The Magnificent Mile is also home to a historic water tower, the longest standing structure on Michigan Avenue. Other structural highlights that are worth mentioning are the Wrigley Building, and Tribune Tower. With so many things to do and see, it’s no wonder it’s called the Magnificent Mile!
As the famous band Chicago once sang; Take me back to Chicago, Chicago, why don’t you take me back, take me back, take me back to Chicago. Repeat visitors understand the song lyrics to this Chicago hit, but for the rookies, if you take part in any of our top 5 must see and dos in Chicago, you will soon understand why many choose to go back to the Windy City.