Embrace Your Inner Homer Simpson On An Original Donut Walking Tour
Chicagoans have long adored the donut. Taste the very best the city has to offer with a dedicated desert tour, stopping into a hand-picked selection of the Chicago Loops top donut shops.
The tastings are all included , while vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free options are also available.
For anyone with a sweet tooth, this tour should headline your bucket list of things to do in Chicago.
Have Fun At Adler Planetarium
Situated on the northeast tip of Northerly Island at the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, the Adler Planetarium is public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics founded by Max Adler in 1930. It is Americas first planetarium and is one of the top tourist attractions in Chicago.
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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Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours
Like the Willis Tower Skydeck, Chicago river tours are a great way to pack a whole lot of the city into one event. Choose from multiple tours focused on expert-selected Chicago architecture highlights you can see clearly from the boat. Youll learn about Chicagos unique, daring, and historical architectural pursuits, as well as the people, designs, and innovative architectural ideas behind them. You can be sure youll be getting a solid educational experience too, because all tour guides are either architects, architecture students, or architecture historians.
Marvel At The Acrobatics Of The Chicago Air & Water Show
Onlookers find themselves awe-stricken year after year at the annual Chicago Air & Water Show the most impressive of its kind across the country.
Grab a spot on the beach, tilt your head up to the sky, and hear the roar of the jet engines soaring overhead as military pilots perform astonishing stunts above the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan.
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River And Lake Cruises
Out on Lake Michigan and along the Chicago River you can sit back and give Chicagos cityscape the attention it deserves.
Theres a selection of cruises, from gentle lake tours to exhilarating speedboat rides.
The Classic Lake Tour is a 40-minute sightseeing trip giving you plenty of time to soak up the sights, and with a recorded commentary for interesting titbits.
At the old Navy Training Center on Navy Pier you can jet off on a speedboat for a 75-Minute Architecture Cruise, starting on the lake and heading upriver as far as the Willis Tower.
The Chicago River Architecture Cruise has a more sedate pace, and gives you a clear view of more than 40 listed landmarks, accompanied by live commentary from an expert guide.
Walk The Magnificent Mile
TripSavvy / Cory Giguere
The Magnificent Mile is the part of Michigan Avenue that goes from the river at the south end to Oak Street at the north end. It’s a great place to go shopping and out to eat. Along the walk, you’ll pass the Tribune Tower, the Wrigley Building, and the 100-story John Hancock Center, with a rooftop observation deck with a restaurant.
There’s history too: See the original Water Tower and Pumping Station, two survivors of the Chicago Fire of 1871. These ornate structures are worth a visit.
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Race Against The Clock At An Escape Room
Race against the clock and put your teamwork and puzzle-solving skills to the test with an epic escape room challenge.
Visit The Escape Game and choose from gold hunting, prison breaks, heist mysteries, even rocketing to Mars, all within 60 minutes of non-stop excitement.
Think you have what it takes to bust out? Sign up for one of the most fun things to do in Chicago and find out!
Laugh At The Faces Of Crown Fountain
While far less extravagant than the Buckingham fountain, the Crown Fountain takes the cake in the entertainment department.
Its become famous for its Faces of Chicago element, where anonymous people are projected onto two identical 50-foot towers, appearing as though theyre spitting out a stream of water.
Youll often spot kids running around in the fountain, trying to cool off on those sizzling summer afternoons.
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Feed Yourself At The Taste Of Chicago Festival
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.
Michigan Avenue And The Magnificent Mile
Michigan Avenue is probably one of the most attractive boulevards in America. The city’s famous Magnificent Mile is a section of Michigan Avenue north of the Chicago River, with numerous galleries, boutiques, and luxury shops.
Some of the attractions along here include the John Hancock Center, the Wrigley Building, and the Tribune Tower. Michigan Avenue splits between North and South designations at Madison Street. This district is also known for its theaters, which host touring plays, musicals, and comedy acts.
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Top Tourist Attractions In Chicago
From its towering skyscrapers to the sweeping arc of its expansive lakeshore, theres a feeling of confidence and pride that radiates from the landmark features of Chicago and from the faces of the citys inhabitants as well. The Windy City embodies the values of the American heartland, and a trip to Chicago offer visitors the chance to see what an American city can accomplish through hard work and determination.
There is a wealth of not-to-be-missed tourist attractions in Chicago, many of which offer unique perspectives of the citys memorable skyline. As it is set on the shores of Lake Michigan, the city also has a wonderful waterfront to enjoy with lovely lakeside parks lying alongside an attraction-packed pier. With so many different sides to it and so much things to do in Chicago, the third-largest city in the United States is definitely worth a visit.
Take A Selfie At Cloud Gate
Weve all seen it pop up on our social media feeds a selfie in front of the Bean is a right of passage for any Chicago tourist.
A quick social media most here one of the most popular things to do in Chicago, no doubt.
The giant bean-shaped mirror weighs 110 tons and sits in Millennium Park, the popular lakefront area in Chicagos downtown Loop.
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Take A Gangster Or Ghost Tour & Pub Crawls
Chicagos history of organized crime and bootlegging during Prohibition provides a fun background for interesting tours through the city. Chicago of the 1930s is strongly associated with the mafia, gangsters, and speakeasies to provide alcohol during and after Prohibition.
Take the Chicago Haunted Gangster Pub Tour to explore some of the most famous gangster hangouts and establishments during the Prohibition-era. On the walking tour, you walk through alleys and down basements to explore the creepy past of Al Capone, the most famous gangster in Chicago history.
Alphonse Gabriel Capone became famous during the Prohibition era when he started the Chicago Outfit, also known as the Chicago Mafia. It is part of the American Mafia that originated in the South Side of Chicago. On the Chicago Ghost Tour and Pub Crawls, you will visit the citys most haunted pubs and treated with stories of murdered gangsters, mobsters and ghosts who still hang around.
Enjoy A Great View At The 360 Chicago Observation Deck
Experience the best views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan at 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck, on e of the must-visit tourist attractions in the city. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of Chicago from 1,000 feet above the famed Magnificent Mile. Its observation deck is the home of TILT Chicagos highest thrill ride and BAR 94, 360 CHICAGOs own modern bar and café, where you can chill and enjoy the best views in the city.
Monday Thursday: 9 AM 9 PMFriday and Saturday: 9 AM 11 PMSunday: 9 AM 9 PMLast entry is 1 hour prior to closing
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Go On A Jet Ski Safari On Lake Michigan
If youre searching north of Downtown, head to Jet Ski Chicago by Lincoln Park.
If youre hunting south of Downtown, they check out Chicago Water Sport Rentals at the 31st Street Harbor.
Either way, once youre saddled into a roaring jet ski on the open waters of Lake Michigan, youll be grinning ear to ear.
Rent A Private Luxury Boat
Deep-dish pizza is an undisputed Windy City icon. Why not kill two birds with one stone on a luxury boat tour that includes its own pie?
On this private pontoon, suitable for 2-6 people, youll glide past Goose Island, the Riverwalk, Willis Tower, the Civic Opera House, and plenty more staying far away from the selfie-stick-wielding crowds of tourists.
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The List Of Luxury And Budget Hotels In Chicago
Choosing the right hotel for your stay both on native and foreign land is a heck of a task especially when you are new to a place. So to avoid any inconvenience during your trip, we have covered everything for you. Scroll down below to check out the best hotels both luxury and budget oriented for you to stay in.
Grab Some Ice Cream At Original Rainbow Cone
This longstanding Chicago ice creamery hibernates in the winter, but in the summer theyre teeming with elated customers and ice cream fanatics.
Visit the Original Rainbow Cone, choose from cones, milkshakes, sundaes, or banana splits, then burn off the calories with a pleasant stroll through the parks of Dan Ryan Woods.
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Catch A Performance Of The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
As the Chicago Symphony Orchestra edges its way toward 13 decades of captivating performances, it solidifies its reputation as one of the worlds best.
With brass, percussion, string, and woodwind instruments, coordinated by renowned Italian conductor, Riccardo Muti, its quite literally music to our ears.
Performances regularly take place at the Symphony Center in the Loop area.
See The View From The Willis Tower Skydeck
Until 1996, when the Petronas Towers were built in Kuala Lumpur, the 110 story Sears Tower, now Willis Tower, was the world’s tallest office block. While there are now several taller buildings, the view from here is incredible. On a clear day you can see 40 to 50 miles over four states, and gain a bird’s eye view of Chicago’s impressive architecture.
The Willis Tower took three years to build and was opened to the public in 1974. The building is 1,453 feet tall with an observation area, called the SkyDeck, on the 103rd floor, 1,353 feet above the ground. A glass box with a glass floor, known as the Ledge, juts out from the SkyDeck, where visitors can stand and look directly down at the city below.
If this is your first visit to Chicago, the SkyDeck is a must-do. Buy your Chicago SkyDeck Tickets in advance to experience the Ledge, explore the exhibits, and watch a short video on the history of the building.
Address: 233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois
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Free Things To Do In Chicago
Want to do Chicago on the cheap? There are tons of free museums, cultural attractions, and things to do all over the city. Get a tour from a local, check out cutting-edge exhibits, catch a free classical concert beneath the worlds largest Tiffany dome all for no cost.
Here are 30 free things to do to add to your budget-friendly Chicago itinerary. And dont forget to check out free museum days throughout the year.
Where To Stay In Chicago For Sightseeing
The best sightseeing, shopping, and dining and the most interesting architecture are found in Chicago’s city center, and this is where most visitors will want to stay. The city center encompasses the famous Magnificent Mile and areas of the waterfront, which are particularly popular in summer. Below are some highly rated hotels in convenient locations.
- At the high end of the luxury hotels is The Langham, with a beautiful riverfront location, and close to the Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park, and Navy Pier.
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Get A Birds Eye View On A Helicopter Tour
Take to the skies for an unrivaled perspective of the Windy City. By day, passengers can see the picturesque city in full force by night, the skyline illuminates for a completely different view.
The pilot will point out all of the citys icons as they come into view, while also providing fascinating insights into the history and culture of the city.
Skip The Lines At Au Cheval Restaurant
People wait in line for hours to try Au Chevals famous no-frills cheeseburger, which should tell you just about everything you need to know about this restaurants popularity and quality.
Despite only opening a few years ago, Brendan Sodikoffs diner has quickly found its way into the spotlight.
To avoid the lines, visit during the week, outside of peak lunch and dinner lines.
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Chicago Riverwalk And Lakefront Trail
The Chicago River runs through the heart of the city, parallel to the lakeshore, and is known for its large number of movable bridges. In just two miles, there are 18 bridges, each with the ability to allow large boats to pass.
The McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum treats tourists to an up-close look at the mechanisms of one of the city’s most famous bridges, where you can actually watch the gears work as it moves.
The Riverwalk is home to many dining options and hosts special events throughout the year, and you can also find several river tours and cruises that depart from the Riverwalk.
The fully-paved Lakefront Trail offers beautiful views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan, stretching 18 miles from 71st Street on the South Side to Ardmore Street on the North Side. It is open to pedestrians and people-powered wheels, and is lined by parks, gardens, and recreation areas, as well as beaches. Many of the city’s top attractions are located along the trail, including Navy Pier, Lincoln Park, and Soldier Field.