Discover The Architecture Of Chicago
The windy city is home to some of the most impressive architectural feats of modern times, including a variety of notable skyscrapers.
Have A Drink At Londonhouse Rooftop Bar
How does sipping a cocktail at a rooftop bar while watching the boats floating on the Chicago river sound to you?
If this is exactly your kind of thing to do then dont miss a visit to the rooftop bar of the citys best-located hotels. The LondonHouse Chicago is a 4-star hotel in a 1920s building facing the iconic Riverwalk. From its tri-level rooftop bar, you can take in stunning views of the Chicago river, Magnificent Mile, and even Lake Michigan while sipping a delicious cocktail.
Explore A Free Museum
There are several museums in Chicago that offer free admission on either a daily basis or at least once a week.
No matter what youre interested in learning about, chances are there is a museum youll enjoy exploring.
Some of the most notable examples include the Chicago Design Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, and many more.
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Visit Chicagos Navy Pier
One of the most well-known attractions in Chicago is the Navy Pier.
It is a highlight of visitors visits to the Lake Michigan shore at any time of year, thanks to Winter Wonderland when it’s cold out and fireworks in the summer.
Here youll find boat tours , the Chicago Childrens Museum, restaurants, and entertainment.
Find out more about how you can spend a few hours at the pier with our post about things to do at the Navy Pier.
Check Out Trippy Paintings Come To Life At Immersive Van Gogh
The stateside premier of this international project continues to wow crowds at Chicagos Germania Club Building with an immersive experience featuring moving images illustrating the works of Vincent Van Gogh. The 600,000-cubic-foot experience includes bright flashing lights set to soundtracks in a historic Gold Coast building. And, ahem, date night packages are available to anyone looking to woo a special art-lover in their lives.
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Take A Stroll Along Chicago Riverwalk
Millennium Park isnt the only great place to enjoy a walk. The iconic Chicago Riverwalk enables you to take a leisurely walk along the picturesque river floating through the city.
At first glance, it may appear as just a normal pedestrian waterfront but the Riverwalk is more than that. You can enjoy drinks in different cool outdoor bars or have lunch in one of the many restaurants along the waterfront. Moreover, you can visit a museum dedicated to the Chicago River or find some pretty awesome outdoor art galleries throughout the trail.
If youre looking for some more adventurous experiences, do a Chicago River kayak tour or any other fun boat tours.
Whether day or night, the Riverwalk is a unique and vibrant place you wont find anywhere else in Chicago. I cant even tell you how often I visited it during my time in the city. The relaxing and fun vibe made me fell in love with this place so much and spending some time there is definitely one of the coolest things to do in Chicago!
Attend A Chicago Bulls Game
Chicago loves its sports teams and there are plenty of games to watch even during winter.
You can watch the Chicago Bears play football at Soldier Field from September till December or the Chicago Bulls play basketball at United Center throughout winter.
For ice hockey, watch out for the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Wolves.
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More Attractions In Chicago
From hang-gliding to diving into a Chicago-style pizza , you will never run out of things to do in Chicago. The Magnificent Mile is an impressive stretch of nearly 500 stores and hundreds of restaurants, so you can easily fill a day here. When weather permits, hit the links at local greens like the Jackson Park Golf Course. From the evening until the wee hours of the morning, night owls can burn plenty of calories on the dancefloors of downtown nightclubs. You should also embark on one of the many Chicago tours, which help you see the city by Segway®, bicycle, boat tour, or foot.
Explore The Hip West Loop Neighborhood
The next place you should check out is probably a bit different than what you expect to find in the city.
Formerly an industrial zone, West Loop is now a popular neighborhood known for its great dining and nightlife scene. Once warehouses, most of the buildings in West Loop are now home to some of Chicagos top restaurants.
Especially Fulton Market is now a popular area for many locals thanks to its hip industrial vibe.
The range of restaurants or cafés is immense and one place I can highly recommend is Sawada Coffee. This edgy coffee bar inside a graffitied building is the perfect address to get a good cup of your daily dose of caffeine. If youre not a coffee drinker, try their special Matcha Latte creation called Military Latte youll love it!
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Spend A Relaxing Evening At Noyane Rooftop Bar
Admittedly, its really hard to beat the LondonHouse rooftop bar and especially the view from up there. However, another awesome one you should visit is Noyane at the rooftop of Conrad Chicago.
It may not be able to keep up with the LondonHouse rooftop views, but the ambiance is at least as good if not better. Youll find modern furnishing, a cozy fire pit, and a large bar area where you can order almost any kind of drink you want. If you get hungry, dont hesitate to try some of the high-class dishes of the Japanese-Peruvian restaurant.
Chicago: Willis Tower Skydeck And The Ledge Ticket
Enjoy an unrivaled view over the city of Chicago on a trip up the city’s Willis Tower. This famous building, once known as the Sears Tower, is not only home to a Skydeck on the 103rd floor, but it also features The Ledge, a series of 4 glass-paneled boxes that extend out from the building’s facade to give visitors a view straight down.As you wind through the ground levels of the Willis Tower, you will be surrounded by museum-quality exhibits highlighting the iconic tower. Learn about Chicago’s rich history and culture through these informative visuals.Watch a video presentation, “Reaching for the Sky,” where you will be briefed on the history of the building and of architecture in Chicago. Then step into your elevator and you will be amazed at how quickly it ascends. As you travel, your multimedia-equipped elevator will inform you about your vertical progress.Upon reaching the 103rd floor, step out onto the Skydeck, which offers views spanning over 50 miles and across 4 states. Then summon your courage to step out onto The Ledge, a glass balcony that hangs over the edge, for vertigo-inducing views 1,353 feet straight down to the city below!Download the Skydeck Mobile App for a free viewfinder which points out many of Chicagos notable landmarks. Learn more about sights like Navy Pier, Wrigley Field, Grant Park, Art Institute of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, and Field Museum of Natural History.
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More Fun Stuff To Do In Chicago
Wherever you go, a classic Chicago experience is waiting for you. Visit any of these nearby attractions, or hop the Brown or Purple line at the Diversey El station for a short and inexpensive trip downtown. The United Center is very easy to get to using the Halsted bus. Dont miss this fun stuff to do in Chicago:
- Lincoln Hall 0.8 miles
- Lincoln Park Conservatory 1 mile
- Wrigley Field / Chicago Cubs 1.2 miles
- Chicago History Museum 1.7 miles
- Second City Improv 1.7 miles
- Aragon Ballroom 2.6 miles
- John Hancock Center 2.9 miles
- Magnificent Mile 2.9 miles
- Water Tower Place 3.1 miles
- Logan Square Murals 3.4 miles
- Willis Tower 4.2 miles
- Navy Pier 4.4 miles
Historic Route 66 Sign
Head to East Adams Street, just off South Michigan Avenue in Downtown Chicago and look up. Youll find a surprising historic monument there which will make a great photo for your Instagram account. Snap a shot with the historic Route 66 sign to get your own personal memento of the iconic highway.
Route 66 is probably the most well-known highway in the world and has been immortalized in films, songs and stories. The original road was almost four thousand miles long and stretched from Chicago right the way across the US to Santa Monica in California. It begins, and ends, in the Loop.
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Watch The Chicago Fire Soccer Team At Soldier Field
Soccer might not be the most popular sport in the US, but its fans are as loud and as passionate as any.
When visiting the Windy City, immerse yourself in that passion by attending a Chicago Fire match at Soldier Field.
If youre looking for a few hours to kill before kickoff, head to the Field Museum right next door.
Looking for more things to do in Chicago? Check out TourScanners full list of tours and activities in Chicago. If you know other cool places to visit in Chicago, do not hesitate to comment below.
Soak In The Skyline From A Lake Michigan Sightseeing Boat Tour
Get off your feet for a while sit back and relax on a boat as the captain takes you down the Chicago River, pointing out the iconic landmarks and delving into the citys rich history along the way.
If youre fed up with the crowds, take the experience to the next level by booking a private, luxury tour on your very own sailboat, or grab a two-person pontoon.
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Making Chicago Your Home
The city does an excellent job of merging different cultures from around the world, and its home to some of the most impressive architectural marvels in the country, which means theres really no shortage of things to do in Downtown Chicago.
If youre looking to take full advantage of all of the things to do in Chicago by becoming a city resident, we can help you find a place that works within your budget. The cost of living in Chicago can be high, but LINEA by Commongives you access to an amazing Chicago neighborhood for an attainable price. We offer private studios, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments with on-site laundry, an indoor pool, fitness center, high-speed WiFi, a community lounge, and more! Plus, living at Common means that you have a built-in sense of community that you wont find elsewhere. Book a tour to find your perfect Chicago home today.
Appreciate The Vocals Of The Lyric Opera Of Chicago
Founded back in 1954, the Lyric Opera of Chicago has been acoustically dazzling its visitors for decades. The music is pitch-perfect, and the theatres foyer is as impressive as any in the city.
While attending any performance promises to be a remarkable showing in and of itself, keen visitors can upgrade their experience by booking a backstage, VIP tour.
Hungry? Dine at the Florian Opera Bistro before the show.
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Mob And Crime Bus Tour
Now their misdeeds are in the distant past, theres no denying the fascination evoked by Chicagos prohibition-era mobsters.
Names like Al Capone, Bugs Moran and Dion Johnny Torrio remain household names.
The city has changed so much in the last century that youd never guess that benign looking neighbourhoods witnessed a bitter war that claimed scores of lives in the 1920s and 30s.
So you have to turn to local historians, and GetYourGuide.com offers a 90-minute Mob and Crime Bus Tour.
This uncovers the dark past of the Windy City, profiling notorious men like Capone and John Dillinger.
Youll visit the site of the Valentines Day Massacre and the Biograph Theatre, where Dillinger was gunned down by FBI agents.
Cheer On A Chicago Sports Team
As weve mentioned before, Chicago is home to several great teams in multiple sports including baseball, basketball, hockey, and football.
No matter which sports your kids love, chances are youll have a chance to take them to a game during your trip to the windy city.
Check this list of sporting events in Chicago to find one that your children will enjoy.
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Unique Things To Do In Downtown Chicago
Known as The Loop, Downtown Chicago is at its most vibrant during the week when it hums with professionals going about their working days. But whereas weekends were once deathly quiet, in recent times the district has come alive out of office hours too. The vast green expanse of Millennium Park, in the heart of downtown, is the scene of some of Chicagos finest outdoor cultural events, including high-profile musicals and art shows, while several new residential towers now house the citys large student population who bring a youthful energy to the area.
A view over the water towards downtown Chicago
Downtown Chicago has a distinctive vibe that sets it apart from anywhere else in the city. If youre planning a visit, we highly recommend that you venture beyond its well-trodden path and explore some of its lesser known nooks and crannies. To help inspire you, weve picked out 7 of the best unique things to see and do here.
Plan your trip
Chicagos downtown district has a huge choice of hotels, ranging from no-frills budget options through to the pinnacle of luxury. So whether youre drawn to The Loop by the mouth-watering food, the pulsating nightlife or the vibrant cultural scene, youre certain to find something that suits your needs. Check out our list of some of the best hotels to be found in downtown Chicago here.
1. Turtle Racing at Big Joes
LOCATION 1818 W Foster Ave HOURS Mon-Fri 1pm-2am Sat 12pm-3am Sun 12pm-2am
2. Merz Apothecary
3. Join a walking Tour
Order A Slice At Vito & Nicks Pizzeria
Contrary to Chicagos deep-dish pizza reputation, Vito & Nicks Pizzeria has been dishing up Cracker Thin Crust Pizza since the 1950s, and theyve yet put a foot wrong.
A visit to this adored eaterie and youll feel like youve stepped back in time into an old-world Chicago dive restaurant.
This isnt luxury nor sophistication, its just darn good pizza.
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