Looking for some of the best must-see places to visit while you’re in Chicago? Here are ten of the best places to visit in Chicago!
A record-breaking 57.6 million visitors came to Chicago last year. And there’s a good reason why.
Between the history, culture, and amazing food, you’ll never be bored while traveling to Chicago. But how will you narrow down your list and decide what to do while you’re here?
Well, there are some places to visit in Chicago that just can’t be missed.
Do you want to know what they are? Keep reading to discover the top 10 places that need to make it onto your itinerary.
Table of Contents
1. The Chicago River
There’s no denying that Chicago is huge. So, the best way to get your feet wet and learn about various sites is to take a tour down the Chicago River or Lake Michigan.
You can find leisurely tours and heart-pumping speedboat tours, but both will give you the opportunity to learn a little bit about Chicago while pointing out interesting sites that you may want to return to later on in your trip.
2. Millennium Park
You can’t go to Chicago and not see Cloud Gate. Also known as The Bean, this famous statue is nestled in Millennium Park along with tons of other things to do.
You can find free concerts and movie screenings during the warmer months and an ice rink in the winter. If you choose to come during the summer, don’t forget to cool off in Crown Fountain. This interactive art exhibit combines a reflecting pool with a tall video structure, and visitors are welcome to splash around.
3. Wrigley Field
If you’re a baseball fan, you can’t miss the opportunity to catch a game at Wrigley Field. As the second-oldest baseball park in America (just behind Fenway Park in Boston), there is a ton of history in these walls.
Just don’t forget to grab a classic Chicago hot dog during your game to get the full experience.
4. Second City
Are you looking for the perfect place to relax and get a good laugh? Second City is a comedy club that has seen some big names including Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, and Chris Farley before they got their big break.
Some of the most talented and up-and-coming comedians perform sketches here, so you never know who may be the next big star to come out of Second City. Be sure to stay for the encore to enjoy some improv and catch a glimpse of new sketches.
5. North Avenue Beach
The best part of traveling to Chicago is that you can enjoy the city and the beach! There are a few different options to choose from, but North Avenue Beach is the best.
You can cool off in the waters of Lake Michigan, show off your new swimsuit, sunbathe on the sandy beach, or enjoy a refreshing drink from the beachfront bar. If you want to try your hand at something new, you can even rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak.
6. The Willis Tower
The Willis Tower is home to Chicago’s famous glass observatory ledge. That’s right—you can walk into an all-glass box on the tower’s edge.
It’s on the 103rd floor, so this isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you’re brave enough to step onto it, you can see up to four different states! Before you hop on that elevator, be sure to check out the movie to learn more about Willis Tower’s history.
7. The Field Museum
This isn’t just any museum. The Field Museum is absolutely gigantic, complete with a 122-foot long titanosaur skeleton and one of the most expansive collections of mummies in America. You can even see a 3-story recreation of Unis-Ankh’s tomb.
Navy Pier extends 6 city blocks out onto Lake Michigan. Here, you’ll find tons of things to do, including fairground rides, a Funhouse Maze, live music, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. This is also a popular starting point for many Lake Michigan boat tours.
There are weekly fireworks shows during the summer, so be sure to time your visit accordingly. The Crystal Gardens botanical garden gives you the chance to feel like you’re in a tropical paradise while families can keep kids entertained at the Chicago Children’s Museum.
9. Garfield Park Conservatory
Are you looking for a way to escape the city and surround yourself with nature? The Garfield Park Conservatory is the perfect place to do just that.
There are 9 different gardens, ranging from desert to tropical. But the real highlight is the fern room. This tries to replicate what Illinois would have looked like millions of years ago, complete with rocky outcroppings, a lagoon, and plenty of lush vegetation.
The best part is that admission is free and 8 out of the 9 collections are inside, making this the perfect option for cold or rainy days.
10. Chicago Picasso
Did you know that the world-famous Pablo Picasso made a sculpture just for the city of Chicago? Named Chicago Picasso, this piece of art was made in the mid-1960s and stands about 50 feet tall.
This was the first piece of public artwork in Chicago, and it actually inspired some controversy at first since the city previously only had statues dedicated to historical figures. But now it’s a landmark, a popular meeting place for locals, and a site that can’t be missed for art-enthusiasts.
Best Places to Visit in Chicago
Chicago is packed with amazing things to do. So much so, that you may have trouble fitting everything in! But if you need help prioritizing your to-do list, use this guide of the best places to visit in Chicago to help you decide what can’t be missed.
Are you ready to book your trip and visit Chicago? Then check out these packing tips to help you make the most of your space.