Of all the cities in the Great Lakes Region, Chicago is by far the most impressive. On Illinois' banks of Lake Michigan, it is considered by many to be one of the last great American cities.
Although this may be a stretch, it doesn't take long to understand the sentiment.
Any way you enter this sprawling metropolis, you are greeted with a stunning skyline. Urban Chicago is known for it's vast amount of varying architecture, and it all blends together nicely. From the glass-laden Chicago School to the Gothic Revival style of the city's monuments to the staggering magnitude of Sears Tower, the engaging, eclectic aesthetic here could not be much more well-honed.
Traverse downtown and you'll experience one of the most walk-friendly, entertaining places in the world. There is everything from elite shopping and dining by day and lively pubs and clubs by night.
The outlying regions are not bad either. If you're overwhelmed by the pace downtown, take the train out to Oak Park or the University of Chicago. There is lots of history and art to be discussed and toured, or you can simply keep it self-guided. While out in this district, make sure to stop by the Robie House, an elite piece of Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie principle, and the Smart Museum of Art.
It will take a long time to take in this northern Illinois gem for all its worth, but it never hurts to try.
Chicago is the Midwest’s premier urban destination. The Windy City offers an amazing variety of opportunities for sightseeing, dining, shopping, culture, sports, recreation and more. You’ll easily fill your schedule, from a long weekend to a couple of weeks, with activities to suit your pleasures. Let’s take a look at popular Chicago attractions.
Jump Into Outdoor Fun
When you visit Chicago, spend a day in Millennium Park enjoying gorgeous gardens and landscapes, avant-garde artwork, the world-class architecture of the surrounding buildings and live events featuring music and dance. Marvel at many of Chicago’s most stylish buildings by taking the Architecture Cruise on the Chicago River. Hit one of the city’s beaches for fun in the sand and surf of Lake Michigan. Walk Navy Pier for eclectic shopping, carnival fun, tasty food, live events and people-watching at its best. Visiting the Lincoln Zoo and Grant Park & Buckingham Fountain are two more winning ways to spend an afternoon in Chi-Town!
Shop the Magnificent Mile
Michigan Avenue north of the Chicago River delivers one of the truly spectacular stretches of shopping found in the world. Nieman Marcus, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor are a few of the better-known shops anchoring the district. Swoop in for an afternoon or make a week of it while staying at one of the Mile’s premium hotels including The Four Seasons and Trump International Hotel. There’s also dining, architectural highlights and the historic Water Tower along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.
Get Smarter in Chicago’s Museums, Galleries and Aquarium
The Field Museum houses one of the finest natural history collections found anywhere. Chicago’s hard-working roots are heralded in the Museum of Science and Industry, while the Art Institute of Chicago is most noted for its galleries that showcase the finest Impressionist and Post-Impressionists painters. There are plenty more styles to peruse, however, with more than 300,000 paintings in the Institute’s permanent collection. If undersea life is your thing, don’t miss the Shedd Aquarium and its 30,000+ creatures spanning fish, amphibians, invertebrates, reptiles, birds and mammals. Penguins, sharks and whales, oh my!
Try These for an Afternoon of Fun
A day game at Wrigley field is something every baseball fan should enjoy at least once in their life. Go early for lunch at one of the neighborhood’s quirky restaurants. Chicago 360 is a hot attraction located 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile. The former John Hancock Observatory has a new feature designed to blow you away—the Tilt! Part of the deck extends outward and tilts downward, so you get a bird’s eye view of the buildings and streets below!
While you’re in Chicago, don’t overlook the fantastic dining and nightlife, live music venues, craft breweries, theaters and other places to have a great time. Plan ahead to make the most of your time in one of the country’s legendary towns.