16 Best Things To Do in Chicago

Chicago, the third-largest city in the United States, is a vibrant metropolis known for its stunning architecture, love for sports, and culinary scene that boasts everything from deep-dish pizza to haute cuisine. Rich in history and culture, the “Windy City” offers an eclectic mix of attractions and activities that cater to all kinds of visitors. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, or an outdoor adventurer, there’s no shortage of things to do in this dynamic city. Let’s explore the 16 best things that Chicago has to offer.

1. Admire the Iconic Skyline at Willis Tower

The tallest building in Chicago, Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) offers stunning views of the city from its observation deck on the 103rd floor. Take a thrilling ride up to the Skydeck and step onto “The Ledge,” a glass balcony that extends out four feet from the building, providing a bird’s eye view of Chicago. It’s the perfect spot for capturing Instagram-worthy photos!

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2. Stroll Along Magnificent Mile

Stretching over one mile along Michigan Avenue, Magnificent Mile is a shopper’s paradise with upscale boutiques, department stores, and luxury retailers like Tiffany & Co., Burberry, and Louis Vuitton. Even if shopping isn’t your thing, the street is lined with impressive architecture and offers street performers and musicians to keep you entertained.

3. Explore The Art Institute of Chicago

Home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, The Art Institute of Chicago is a must-visit for art lovers. With over 300,000 pieces of artwork on display, including works by Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso, it’s no wonder the museum is consistently ranked as one of the top museums in the world.

4. Catch a Show at the Chicago Theatre

Located in the heart of Downtown Chicago, this iconic theatre has been entertaining audiences since 1921. With its grand marquee and iconic “C-H-I-C-A-G-O” sign, Chicago Theatre is a must-visit for any entertainment lover. Catch a Broadway show or enjoy live music performances by some of the biggest names in the industry.

5. Indulge in Deep-Dish Pizza

No trip to Chicago would be complete without trying their famous deep-dish pizza. This hearty and delicious pizza is piled high with cheese, sauce, and toppings, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Stop by Pizzeria Uno or Giordano’s to experience this Chicago staple.

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6. Take in the Views at Navy Pier

This popular tourist spot offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. With attractions like the Centennial Wheel, the Chicago Children’s Museum, and a variety of restaurants and shops, Navy Pier has something for everyone. Don’t forget to stick around for the nightly fireworks display during the summer months.

7. Step Back in Time at Millennium Park

A true urban oasis, Millennium Park is home to iconic landmarks like “The Bean” (Cloud Gate) and Crown Fountain. Take a stroll through the park, relax on the Great Lawn, or catch a free concert at the outdoor Pritzker Pavilion. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

8. Cheer on Chicago’s Sports Teams

Chicago is home to some of the most passionate sports fans in the country. Catch a baseball game at Wrigley Field, home of the beloved Chicago Cubs, or head to Soldier Field to cheer on the Chicago Bears football team. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always a game to watch.

9. Visit The Shedd Aquarium

Explore the wonders of the underwater world at The Shedd Aquarium, one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world. From sharks and dolphins to penguins and sea turtles, the aquarium is home to over 32,000 animals from around the globe. Don’t miss the daily live animal shows and special exhibits.

10. Learn About Chicago’s Architecture

Known for its stunning skyline, Chicago is a haven for architecture enthusiasts. Take a boat tour along the Chicago River or stroll through the downtown area to see iconic buildings like the Tribune Tower, the Rookery Building, and the Chicago Board of Trade. The Chicago Architecture Center also offers walking tours that delve deeper into the city’s architectural history.

11. View Art at the Museum Campus

Located along Lake Michigan, the Museum Campus is home to three of Chicago’s top museums: The Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium. Spend the day exploring ancient artifacts, learning about astronomy, or getting up close and personal with marine life.

12. Shop at the Historic Water Tower Place

Built in 1869, the historic Water Tower is one of Chicago’s most famous landmarks. Today, it houses a shopping center with over 100 stores featuring popular brands like Macy’s, American Girl, and Sephora. Take a break from shopping to admire the beautiful architecture of this iconic building.

13. Experience Chicago’s Music Scene

From blues and jazz to hip-hop and house music, Chicago has a rich musical history that continues to thrive today. Catch a live show at one of the city’s many music venues, such as Buddy Guy’s Legends or the iconic Green Mill Cocktail Lounge. For a unique experience, check out the Chicago Blues Festival or Lollapalooza Music Festival.

14. Discover the City’s Neighborhoods

Chicago is made up of over 77 unique neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character and charm. Venture beyond the downtown area to explore neighborhoods like Wicker Park, Bucktown, and Lincoln Park for trendy boutiques, restaurants, and bars. Don’t forget to try some local cuisine like Chicago-style hot dogs or Italian beef sandwiches.

15. Relax at North Avenue Beach

Escape the city and enjoy some fun in the sun at North Avenue Beach. With its pristine sand and clear blue water, it’s no surprise that this is one of the most popular beaches in Chicago. Rent a bike or stroll along the boardwalk for stunning views of the city skyline. Don’t forget to cool off with a refreshing drink at one of the beachfront bars.

Conclusion

From iconic landmarks and world-class museums to delicious food and vibrant neighborhoods, there’s no shortage of things to do in Chicago. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, this city will always have something new and exciting to offer. So pack your bags and come experience the Windy City for yourself! So why wait? Plan your trip to Chicago now and start exploring all the amazing things this city has to offer. See you in the Windy City!

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