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Best Places To Visit In Chicago

Lake Superior Well With A Name Like That

Best Places to Visit in Chicago

The Midwest isnt all cheddar cheese and arctic tundra there are parts of the Midwest that you wouldnt even recognize. Id bet money that there are even portions that could be mistaken for the French Riviera or maybe even the tropics.

Dont believe me? I present to you Lake Superior, which is one of those Great Lakes that we learned about in 4th-grade geography. It is one of the largest and clearest freshwater lakes in the world, but its greatest merits extend far beyond this fact.

There is so much to do around Lake Superior. You can dive amongst sunken ships, go surfing on windy days, or hang your feet off the edge of a cliff whilst admiring the scenery.

Thanks to their scenic grandeur, Superior, in addition to the other Great Lakes, are undoubtedly some of the best places to visit in the USA. After visiting, you may just forget about seeing destinations like the Carribean or the Mediterranean all-together.

Miami The Place To Go In The Usa For Beaches Clubs And That Party Goodness

Mike McBey

Theres a lot going on in Miami at the moment Im not just talking about the beaches or beautiful people either.

Miami is without a doubt one of the most unique and dynamic cities in the USA. Where else in the nation can you find such a diverse mix of culture, art, industry, and natural attractions.

The beaches in Miami are some of the most famous in the country. The clubs roar all night long and are filled with some of the biggest names in the world. The arts and design scenes in Miami are very prestigious and may even be able to compete with LA or NYC as well.

Lets not forget the Latin connection either. Step into Little Havana or Little Haiti and you will be transported immediately to a different country. Just be sure to have a little Spanish under your belt if you go to one of these because you may not be in North America anymore

Choose the best hostel in Miami using our insider guide!

How To Do Chicago In 4 Days

1. John Hancock Center

Get an overview of the city from the John Hancock Center, the 4th tallest building in Chicago.

5. Lincoln Park Zoo

Visit apes, lions, polar bears, and more for FREE at one of the last free zoos in the country.

6. Gangsters & Ghost Tour

Walk in the footsteps of the most infamous gangster in Chicago, Al Capone, and learn about the spooky history of the Windy City.

7. Anything missing?

Did we miss anything? Let us know about your trip and what else should be on this list!

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Cheer On A Sports Team

No matter what time of year, theres a game going on somewhere!

Be part of the Crosstown Classic, where Northsiders cheer on the Cubs at Wrigley Field and Southsiders root for the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

Baseball not in season? The Blackhawks hit the ice at the United Center fighting for another Stanley Cup!

And who can deny a chance to see the Chicago Bears play at Soldier Field?

Get A Massage At The Chicago Spas

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After walking around the Windy City, theres no better way to relax and unwind than with a couple of hours being pampered at one of Chicagos many well-respected beauty and wellness spas.

For a chance to connect with your partner on a deeper level, consider the couples massage option any tension will be gone, and youll feel like youre walking on a cloud!

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Applaud The Murals At Hubbard Street

While Chicago is known for its impressive array of museums, the murals at Hubbard Street dont get the attention they deserve. Spanning five city blocks around Hubbard Street, the vibrant murals are the result of a project started by the students of Ricardo Alonzo in 1971. The open-air museum is a testament to Chicagos sprightly street art scene and exploring the street art is a must for any list of the best things to do in Chicago.

Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago

David Hilowitz

  • A smaller, but no less impactful art museum than others in the city.
  • Has a permanent collection that showcases Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Alexander Calder.
  • The venues eatery is well worth checking out for the food and the ambiance.

Why its so awesome: This imposing building fits perfectly with the contemporary art that it showcases. It houses a smaller collection thats absolutely fascinating for art lovers and people who are curious about modern art. The restaurant also has a range of startling dishes for brunch, lunch and dinner, so whatever time you go make sure that you check it out!

What to do there: If youre an art lover then youll probably recognize many of the famous names that showcase their art in this museum. But if you dont know as much about contemporary art then its a chance to wander and maybe find some new favorites! Make sure you check out the rotating display as well as the regular one to get the full effects. And grab a snack or a meal at the Marisol restaurant to experience some truly innovative dishes while youre there.

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Navy Pier An Awesome Place To Visit In Chicago For Half A Day

  • A city within the city.
  • Truly one of Chicagos most iconic spots.
  • Theres no end to the activities that you can indulge in here.

Why its so awesome: Navy Pier is one of the most popular spots in the city for tourists and locals alike. It consists of more than 50 acres of lakefront territory and is home to shopping centers, restaurants, gardens and lots of other attractions. This area is like a city within a city, with its own energy and vibe, and you could literally spend days here just seeing what it has to offer.

What to do there: Well, what are you interested in? Some of the most popular options are the river or dinner cruises, where you can take in the city from the water. Theres a 150-foot Ferris wheel that operates year-round as well as fireworks twice a week during the summer. And if you enjoy the theater, then you must go to one of the shows put on at the Chicago Shakespeare theater, which is one of the best in the world and dedicated to groundbreaking productions. And if none of that appeals, you can just wander the area, sightsee and shop!

If you really want to make a statement, you can consider chartering a yacht in Chicago which will take you anywhere you want to go on Lake Michigan and the river for a decent price.

Feed Yourself At The Taste Of Chicago Festival

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Foodies, its time to get excited! Hosted in Grant Park, Taste of Chicago is considered the worlds largest food festival and best of all, the 5-day event is free of charge.

If you happen to be visiting in July, dont miss the chance to sample some of the tastiest treats that the city can muster up.

Even if youre not hungry, the atmosphere and live music are still worth checking out.

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Get Free Access To Popular Attractions

OK. Admittedly purchasing a tourist discount pass isn’t free, in fact, these passes can seem expensive.

However, the all-inclusive tourist passes include most of the city’s popular tourist attractions and tours, including hop-on-hop-off bus tours and boat cruises.

In fact, they usually offer over 80 options to choose from.

The object of these all-inclusive passes is to experience as many things in a day as you have time for.

These passes are sold in increments of days, and the longer the pass the less the daily cost is.

So, if you plan efficiently, you will end up getting free access to several tours and attractions.

The Magnificent Mile/river North/streeterville

Running north along Michigan Avenue from the Loop, just across the Chicago River, the Magnificent Mile , is still Chicagos prime shopping district. Today the strips iconic 1920s skyscrapers such as the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower are interspersed with modern shopping malls and newer towers such as the John Hancock Building . Also here is the Chicago Sports Museum. River North lies on the west side of Mag Mile, now a stylish neighborhood of art galleries, restaurants, and nightclubs set in former warehouses. River North also features theMART, a converted office building full of design showrooms, Eataly Chicago, Holy Name Cathedral, and antique-packed Driehaus Museum. The district on the east side of Mag Mile, lining the Lake Michigan waterfront north of the Loop, is Streeterville, a buzzing enclave comprising high-rise condos, offices, and stores. Its also home to the cutting-edge Museum of Contemporary Art as well as family-friendly Navy Pier a popular landmark crammed with attractions: the 200-foot Centennial Wheel, Chicago Childrens Museum, IMAX Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and several restaurants and caf├ęs. Its also a great place to take a sightseeing cruise or just enjoy the views of Chicagos downtown. Theres even a safe place to swim nearby at Ohio Street Beach.

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The Richard H Driehaus Museum

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum is one of the key attractions in Chicago for design and art.

It is set inside a mansion that dates back to 1883 and features various exhibits related to 19th century and contemporary art, architecture, and beyond.

Before it was a museum, the mansion used for this establishment was nicknamed the Marble Palace.

This was due to the wealth of marble used in its entrance hall, which truly sets the stage for such a marvelous and extravagant location.

The further you go, the more stunning the designs you’ll see. Tiffany Studios lamps, Renaissance Revival furniture, intricate woodwork, silverware, and more are displayed throughout its halls.

Address: 40 E Erie St, Chicago, IL 60611

The Chicago Theatre boasts a bright marquee in yellow and red that you’ll likely recognize as an iconic feature of the city.

That’s why it’s also one of the greatest places to go in Chicago for both entertainment and general tourism.

Located on the northern side of the Loop, the lavish venue for movies and performances has been home to numerous big names and big flicks over the years.

The Chicago Theatre was established in 1921 and has been a host to the likes of Lewis Black, Duke Ellington, and Diana Ross.

It almost fell out of its glory due to mismanagement, but in the 1980s, it was renovated thoroughly and brought back up to its prime elegance.

Address: 175 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

Night Activities Included In Tourist Passes

15 Best Places To Visit In Chicago For Every Traveler!

As we mentioned above in the FREE section, getting a tourist attraction discount pass can save you considerable money, especially when it comes to night activities.

Be sure to read our post comparing the different tourist discount passes.

All passes include night attractions and activities, though some passes have more than others.

In general, tourist passes include at least a few, if not nearly all, of these Top Ten nighttime attractions that stay open daily until at least 9 or 10 pm, if not later.

  • Navy Pier Centennial Wheel & Ride
  • The Escape Game Chicago

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Frontera Grill Topolobampo And Bar Sotano

Rick Bayless restaurants remain landmarks in River North for inventive Mexican cuisine at this four restaurants . Bayless is the Oklahoma-born chef who obsessed over Mexican cuisine, appearing on TV and creating his own grocery food empire. Topolo presents Mexican food in a fine dining atmosphere in a way that wasnt seen often stateside before Bayless opened in 1989. Frontera opened two years prior and provided a more casual dining experience. Bar Sotano is the baby of the group, a basement tavern that serves as kind of an experimental space with pop-ups and creative cocktails. Bayless name often prompts emotional responses when it comes to discussion about cultural appropriation, but theres no question that hes raised appreciation for Mexican food in America.

Woolly Mammoth Antiques And Oddities

Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities

The tables are covered in skulls.

The shelves are stacked with things like human dentures and lamps made out of alligator heads.

The bottles and jars are filled with eggs, skins, animal fetuses and other grotesque knickknacks.

Its focused on death, but in a weird way, its also a celebration of life.

What can make you feel more alive than looking at a stuffed and mounted squirrel?

Drop by Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities if youre looking for unique tourist places in Chicago.

It isnt something that youll find in a travel guide, but its utterly bizarre collection will definitely give you a story or two for when you return home.

Address: 1513 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60640, United States

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Ping Tom Memorial Park

The Rookery Building is an architectural marvel, designed by John Root and Daniel Burnham and remodeled in some portions by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The building, which spans 12 stories, boasts a Queen Anne and Roman Revival appearance, alongside other notable architectural features.

The Rookery Building is one of the best remaining examples of the early era of commercial skyscrapers, built in 1888.

The interior is equally gorgeous, with elegant staircases, ornamental ironwork, and a stunning light court.

Its majestic facade makes it one of the best things to do in Chicago for architecture appreciators.

It’s no wonder that the building is on the National Register of Historic Places – or, specifically, its Rookery is.

Address: 209 S LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60604

Hop Between Chicagos Rooftop Bars

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After soaking in the views from Tonys Rooftop Bar at the Time Out Market, continue the rooftop adventures by hopping around some of Chicagos very best patios and terraces.

Try the Elderflower Collins cocktail and take in the sweeping panoramic vista at Z Bar sample a flight of local beers at the garden-themed Raised or sit around a fire pit at Offshore, the largest rooftop bar in the world.

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Explore The Lakefront Trail In Chicago

The Chicago Lakefront Trail is an 18-mile path on the coast of Lake Michigan. Stretching from 71st Street on the south to Ardmore Street on the north, it is one of the best spots to catch a glimpse of the quintessential Chicago skyline.

Other attractions on the Lakefront Trail include Navy Pier, Lincoln Park, and Soldier Field. It is also the gateway to Chicagos glistening beaches and public parks. Take your time to pause and marvel at the numerous art installations located along the path.

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