Chicago, Illinois Sights & Attractions
Chicago Sights & Attractions
Chicago can be a great city to visit for a few days. No other place in the United States has this kind of beach waterfront adjacent to a metropolis. Residents and visitors are endulged with all the city amenities, yet can walk a few blocks to the beach. Chicago has a bad reputation but the city core and waterfront was the cleanest and safest of any city I have ever visited. Numerous large parks are located along the shoreline including bike and running trails that go for miles in each direction.
Formerly called the Sears Tower, the Willis Tower had boasted being the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere before the Freedom Tower was built in New York City. The building is 1,400 feet tall and tourists can go to the 103rd floor Skydeck. A bonus is The Ledge, a glass box that protrudes out from the building giving you a look straight down 1,353 feet.
The John Hancock Center holds the best view in town, the Hancock Observatory. Because this building is right next to the beach, the view has an incredible perspective. The observatory is on the 94th floor, just over 1,000 feet in the air.
The number one attraction in Chicago is Navy Pier with numerous shops, restaurants and attractions. Street performers, people watching, the ferris wheel, carousel and photos of the city are popular here. Dinner and other cruises depart from here.
The most famous street for shopping in Chicago is called the Magnificent Mile. It is full of high end shopping, entertainment, restaurants and entertainers.
In the center of Grant Park is Buckingham Fountain, one of the famous landmarks of Chicago. Stroll around the rest of the park for fantastic shots of the city.
Grant Park & Buckingham Fountain
Millennium Park is another centrally located park full of art, activities, and depending on the season, events like concerts and ice skating. The Bean is a icon, located here, as well as Crown Fountain, the Lurie Gardens, Pritzker Pavilion, and the Park Grill.
If you really want to see it all, rent a bike and go north to the zoo nature areas and south to the Alder Planetarium. Self serve bike stations are located all over town.
Rent A Bike
The Art Institute collection is one of the best in the United States, and often wins as best museum in the US. If you are into famous art, this is the place. Art lovers could spend a full day here.
For those that like learning about the solar system and beyond, the Adler Planetarium is both a museum, and a theater. With several different theaters, including a huge domed theater, many different movie choices are always available.
Displays 4.5 billion years of history. Thousands of animals on display, exhibits in culture from around the world, and features the largest and most complete T. rex ever found.
This is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. Explore a WWII German submarine, run in a human hamster wheel, create a 40 foot tornado, and lots more.
The Museum of Science and Industry
With beluga whales to zebra sharks, the Shedd Aquarium has over 32,000 animals from aquatic habitats around the world. It's full of interactive exhibits, movies and displays.
Tours go out in Chicago Harbor while others are on the Chicago River through downtown. Both are very popular and very scenic. The simplest tour would be to just take a Water Taxi from one end of town to the other.
Boat Tours & Water Taxi
Segway tours are very popular here because downtown is so easy to get around. You get to see lots of sights as well as learn how to operate a segway machine.
If you can't get around on foot all day, the city has bus & trolley tours that shuttle you around giving you a history of the city and attractions.
Double Decker & Trolley Tours
View from the Willis Tower
The Field Museum
Willis Tower (Sears Tower)
Art Institute of Chicago
View from the Hancock Center Observatory (360 Chicago)
Sailboat at Navy Pier
At the beach
Hancock Center from shorewalk to the north
Biking north of downtown
View from the Willis Tower
Downtown from the Alder Planetarium
Calders Flamingo sculpture
Chicago River passing through the city