Chicago, Illinois is an exciting city to visit, especially in the spring and fall because of the lovely weather. Explore the city’s many museums, architectural wonders, theatrical shows, and great shopping centers. Unforgettable Chicago vacation rentals are available all over the city. Choose a gorgeous property overlooking Lake Michigan, and you might never want to step away from your window. That said, take a look at the top 15 attractions to visit in Chicago.
1. See a Concert at Millennium Park
Millennium Park, in the heart of Chicago, hosts free concerts and annual outdoor festivals. Check out the public art and stroll through the Lurie Garden, and then dine al fresco at the Park Grill.
2. Marvel at the Collection of the Field Museum
The Field Museum, which dates back to 1893, is one of the top natural history museums in the world. Whether you get more excited about Egyptian mummies, frightening dinosaur skeletons, or rare gemstones, you’re likely to find a collection that fascinates you.
3. Walk the Riverwalk
Chicago is well-known as a city with breathtaking architecture, and one of the best ways to view it is by strolling the Riverwalk, which leads you through the heart of the city along the Chicago River. You’ll find plenty of pleasant restaurants to stop at for a bite as you walk. If your vacation takes you to Chicago in mid-March, join the crowds as the river is dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day. You can also take an architectural tour on a riverboat to learn about the buildings you’re seeing.
4. Catch the View from the 94th Floor
Take the elevator up — and up — and up to 360 Chicago at the top of the John Hancock building for a view that lets you see four states and wave to airplanes as they soar by. If you have no fear of heights whatsoever, take the brave step into the Tilt attraction, which extends out from the building at a 30-degree angle and lets you look straight down.
5. Look Up at Spectacular Domes
Chicago’s stunning architecture is beautiful inside and out, so don’t leave your architectural explorations outdoors. Check out the breathtaking Tiffany stained glass dome of the Chicago Cultural Center to see an incredible display. Go on a sunny day to see the brilliant colors in the 30,000 panes of glass. Just a quick stroll away is another stained glass dome worth seeing in the Grand Army of the Republic Hall.
6. Admire Wild Animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo
The Lincoln Park Zoo displays more than 1,000 animals from all over the world, with special events to celebrate holidays. Best of all, this attraction is free, making it a great choice when you’re vacationing with your kids.
7. Visit the Shedd Aquarium
Right next to the Field Museum is the famous Shedd Aquarium, home to water animals as diverse as penguins and piranha. Catch a delightful dolphin show against the backdrop of Lake Michigan, and sing to the baby beluga whales.
8. View the Artistic Giants at the Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the great metropolitan museums in the United States, and whether you prefer Greek sculptures, Japanese prints or modern art, you’ll find worthy exhibits to take in. Look for classic, well-known paintings including Wood’s American Gothic, Hopper’s Nighthawks, and Seurat’s An Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
9. Get Some Laughs at Second City
Chicago is famous for its comedy clubs, where many noted comedy stars got their start, including Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Steve Carell and more. Head to Second City to catch a night of sketch comedy or improv.
10. Catch a Movie at The Music Box Theater
This gorgeous gem of a theater frequently screens movies and then hosts discussions with the directors afterward, so keep your eye on the schedule. You can choose between intriguing documentaries, and the latest art house and Oscar-bound films, with cult classics holding down the midnight slots. Don’t forget to ask for real butter on your popcorn.
11. Head to Navy Pier for Fun
Navy Pier is filled with attractions and fun to entice any visitor to Chicago. Take your kids to the Chicago’s Children’s Museum, or catch a performance at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Enjoy live entertainment at the outdoor stages, or catch a gigantic movie at the IMAX theater. Restaurants and a beer garden are delightful ways to enjoy a bite, and Navy Pier is also the jumping-off point for sightseeing tours on Lake Michigan.
12. Go to a Cubs Game
If you’re visiting Chicago during the summer or early fall, head to Wrigley Field to root for the Cubs, the 2016 World Series champions. You can also take a tour of the stadium at any time of year.
13. Shop at the Magnificent Mile
The stretch of Michigan Avenue between the Chicago River and Lakeshore Drive is one of the premium shopping streets in the world. Whether you’re window shopping or pulling out your credit cards, famous stores like Neiman-Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Lord & Taylor beckon you to check out the latest fashions.
14. Explore the 606
Stroll above the city at the 606, an elevated pathway that connects many parks throughout Chicago. Take a 2.7-mile hike or bike ride, and stop to relax at the parks and check out the public art installations.
15. Take Photos at Buckingham Fountain
Buckingham Fountain sits at the heart of Grant Park, where the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum are also located. This is one of the largest fountains in the world, and it’s often surrounded by art shows and annual festivals.
Ready to go? Check out these amazing Chicago vacation rentals on Tripping.com.