Chicago is one of the bests tourist destination, and for good reason. With top-tier cultural institutions, friendly locals and some of the best restaurants in the world (perhaps you've heard of Alinea?), this city is an ideal place to vacation. Through the city truly comes alive in the summertime, (most of) its best attractions are available year-round. Whether you’re here for a day, a weekend, a whole week or even more, make the most of your Chicago getaway with these must-do activities.
1. CHICAGO ARQUITECTURAL BOAT TOUR ON THE RIVER
Taking a Chicago architecture cruise down the Chicago River is absolutely one of the best ways to see the city. With incredibly knowledgeable guides and jawdropping buildings at which to gawk, you'll step off the tour boat feeling like you really get Chicago. The Chicago River cuts right through the heart of downtown, so even if you're only around for a day or two, put this activity on your list. Check out the Day and Sunset Tours through several Cruise companies along the River.
2. EXPLORE ALL THE ATTRACTIONS AT MILLENIUM PARK INCLUDING "THE BEAN", CROWN FOUNTAIN AND PRITZKER PAVILION
CLOUD GATE - AKA "THE BEAN" - This piece of public art, is genuinely stunning. Unveiled in 2006 by artist Anish Kapoor, Cloud Gate ("The Bean" is just a nickname) is an enormous work that reflects the Michigan Avenue skyline and Millennium Park.
PRITZKER PAVILION - The centerpiece of Millennium Park is the glamorous Pritzker Pavilion, a bandshell at the north end of the downtown park. It was designed by celebrated contemporary architect Frank Gehry, so even if you don't attend a show there, it's worth checking out the venue. In the summer, the pavilion is home to the Millennium Park Summer Music Series, an eclectic program of completely free concerts. Pack a picnic, kick back, and enjoy the show
THE CROWN FOUNTAIN or FOUNTAIN WITH THE BIG FACES - Designed by JaumePlensa, the Crown Fountain uses numerous design elements including water, light, and glass to create a unique meeting point and reflection space. The surface area of the fountain floor is covered with matte, black granite to create a vast, dark and empty surface. Covering the ground surface is a “water skin,” measuring 1/8th of an inch deep and is spread out across the whole of the pool measuring 232-feet long by 48-feet wide. The pool invites visitors to step on its surface and look at the images of the sky and city reflected back.
3. MUST HAVE A DEEP DISH PIZZA
If you've talked to anyone about visiting Chicago, chances are, you've talked about deep dish pizza. Deep dish is a thick, baked, heavy mess of cheese and tomatoes. And it's asbolutely divine. Chains like Gino's East and Pizano's one of our absolutely favorites in the city!
4. VISIT THE ONE AND ONLY ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO
Chicago is home to one of the most expansive and breathtaking collections of fine art in the world at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Walk in past the museum's two iconic lion statues on the front steps to explore this vast collection, which ranges from ancient Chinese artifacts to modern contemporary work.
You'll recognize such works as Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, Georges Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Ile De La Grande Jatte, Grant Wood's American Gothic, Marc Chagall's America Windows and much, much more.
5. MORE MUSEUMS AT THE MUSEUM CAMPUS
Museum Campus consists of three of the best attractions Chicago has to offer: The Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium. All three are on a peninsula jutting out into Lake Michigan, which offers one of the best possible views of the Chicago skyline. Whether you're a big fan of natural history, aquatic life or outer space—or all three!—you'll be sure to find something to tickle your curiosity at the Museum Campus.
6. GO SHOPPING ON MICHIGAN AVENUE
The Gold Coast's Michigan Avenue is affectionately nicknamed "the Magnificent Mile," thanks to the area's ritzy shopping selection. Stretching from the John Hancock Building to the north and the Chicago River to the south, the Mag Mile boasts an array of boutiques, department stores and luxury shops. Water Tower Place and the shops at 900 North Michigan are solid malls to start your shopping spree.
7. TAKE ME TO OUT TO THE BALL GAMEWhether you care about baseball or not, there's no denying Wrigley Field's historic value. The home of the Chicago Cubs opened in 1914, making it the second-oldest ballpark in the MLB (after Fenway Park). Buy tickets for a game, take a tour of the stadium or just snap a selfie in front of the big red marquee—no visit to Chicago is complete without visiting the stomping grounds of the 2016 World Champions.
8. WALK THE WALK THROUGH CHICAGO RIVER WALK
The Chicago Riverwalk is a downtown waterfront park space and pedestrian trail along the south bank of the Chicago River. This scenic promenade contains restaurants and concessions during the summer months, benches and lookout points, boat rentals and tours, and theater-style seating for performances. Other attractions along the Riverwalk include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza, and the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. Enjoy stunning views of Chicago architecture in the Loop and River North districts on a walk beside the water’s edge. The Chicago Riverwalk runs along historic Wacker Drive from Lake Michigan west to Lake Street, with access at street level from each major intersection.
9. 360 CHICAGO
Formerly known as the John Hancock Observatory, 360 CHICAGO is one of Chicago's most iconic attractions, offering unparalleled sights far above the city streets. From 1,000 feet up on the 94th floor, you can see up to 55 miles out and four states—you'll also catch stellar views of the city's fantastic architecture and Lake Michigan. While you're there, hop in line to experience TILT, a unique attraction that quite literally tilts brave visitors out from the 94th floor.
10. BOOK A PHOTO SESSION WITH ME, YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER IN CHICAGO!
When planning your vacation to the windy city, leave your selfie stick at home and allow me to capture your moments in the Windy City!
I will create a great experience for you and those you love. There's no need to buy keepsakes when together we can create the best souvenirs: MEMORIES!