** Long Post Alert **
Chicago is among one of the largest cities in the U.S. It is famous for its bold architecture, has a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Center, Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. The city is also renowned for its museums, shopping and vibrant lifestyle!!
I’ve been to Chicago a couple of times and in today’s post I will be sharing some things to do and see around the city of Chicago. Chicago has a lot to offer and somethings worth seeing might have been missed by me, so definitely Google things to do etc. before planning your trip.
Where to stay:
I would definitely recommend you stay in the heart of the city, namely Downtown. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (151 E Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601) which is walking distance from the Millennium Park, the Navy Pier, the Magnificient Mile as well as the stops for multiple tours like – Hop on Hop off, Architecture tours etc.
In my opinion, you don’t need a rental car if you plan to just explore the main parts of the city of Chicago and are staying somewhere in/around downtown.
Things to see/do (in no particular order):
Since this is not an exhaustive list, I would recommend you to Google things to do/see and make a list according to your own tastes and interests.
– Hop on-Hop off Tour: I feel like this is always one of the easiest way to tour a city! For more details check out their website: Hop On Hop Off Tour
– Architecture Tour: We took a cruise tour, you can also take a bus tour but we enjoyed the cruise twist to it. Here is a link: Cruise Architecture Tour
– Millennium Park: An absolute must visit coz this is where you will see “The Bean”. Millennium Park is a public park, which is bounded by Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, Columbus Drive and East Monroe Drive, features a variety of public art. If you visit in the winter time, the park is the location of the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting.
– The Bean: This structure is actually officially called “Cloud Gate” but nicknamed “The Bean” because of its shape. Cloud Gate is a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, and is located between the Chase Promenade and McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink.
– Magnificent Mile: The Magnificent Mile, sometimes referred to as The Mag Mile, is an upscale section of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. Several of the tallest buildings in the United States, such as the John Hancock Center and the Trump International Hotel and Tower, lie in this district. Landmarks along the Magnificent Mile include Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, the Chicago Water Tower, and the Allerton Hotel.
– Holy Name Cathedral: While walking back from lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe one afternoon, we stumbled upon this absolutely gorgeous looking church and decided to go in to take a look, and it didn’t disappoint!! It was very peaceful and beautiful. In case you are interested, the address is: 730 N Wabash Ave
– John Hancock Center / 360 degree Chicago: Located on the 94th floor of the historic John Hancock Center in the heart of downtown Chicago, 360 CHICAGO offers breathtaking views of the city and Lake Michigan from over 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile. Definitely enjoy a cocktail or coffee at their cafe and bar while watching the sunset. While there, don’t forget to try TILT – an absolutely new, exhilarating one-of-a-kind attraction that literally TILT’s visitors to a 30° angle over Michigan Avenue. Whoa!! Crazy cool if you ask me!!
– Willis Tower: Previously known as Sears Tower, was at time if its completion in 1973, taller than the World Trade Center towers in New York and become the tallest building in the world, a title it held for nearly 25 years. Today, Willis Tower is the second-tallest building in the United States and the 14th-tallest in the world. The observation deck is one of Chicago’s most popular tourist destinations and a one of a kind experience.
– Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park: Buckingham Fountain is a Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park. It is one of the largest fountains in the world. Built in a rococo wedding cake style and inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles, it is meant to allegorically represent Lake Michigan. It operates from April to October, with regular water shows and evening color-light shows. During the winter, the fountain is decorated with festival lights.
– Navy Pier: A fun place to visit for kids and adults alike!! It is located in the Streeterville neighborhood of the Near North Side community area. The Navy Pier currently encompasses more than fifty acres of parks, gardens, shops, restaurants, family attractions and exhibition facilities and is one of the top leisure destination and one of the most visited attractions in the entire Midwestern United States and is Chicago’s number one tourist attraction. If you are looking for more adrenaline rush than just the rides, try the Seadog Speedboat tour for a truly “dripping” with fun experience!!
– Alder Planetarium: To be honest, this is more catered to the kiddos, but the movie presentations are good, do check them out. The Adler Planetarium is a public museum that is dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics. It is located on the northeast tip of Northerly Island at the shore of Lake Michigan and gives you a great view of not just the lake but also the city’s skyline.
– Shedd Aquarium: Again, this one is a must stop especially when traveling with kids!! It was the first inland aquarium with a permanent saltwater fish collection, and you can view thousands of species of fish there.
– Various beaches: Chicago boasts a number of beautiful beaches along the lake shoreline. Check out this link for more information: Chicago Beaches
– The Art Institute of Chicago: Being one of the oldest and largest art museums in the US, this one should be on your list even if you are not into artsy things!
– Deep Dish Pizza: Chicago style!! An absolutely must have 🙂
I haven’t mentioned about food, coz Chicago has a lot to offer in every cuisine, to satisfy everyone’s taste buds!!
So summing up, this T-Shirt that the hubby bought from our trip is a perfect summation of my post:
Go ahead and plan a trip to enjoy Chicago!! It’s a fun city for sure 🙂