Famous for its bold architectural buildings and deep-dish style pizza, the city of Chicago is the place to be. When you travel here, you’ll find that the thriving city is full of life 24/7. From the famous Bean sculpture to the world-famous Skydeck in the Willis Tower, there are many exciting reasons to travel to this dynamic destination. If you’re looking for a perfect Windy City getaway, here’s a guide to the best Chicago attractions and travel experiences you can’t miss:
Get a breathtaking view from Skydeck Chicago
Famously known as the “Sears Tower” before its official renaming in 2009, the Willis Tower is a 108-story skyscraper that will take your breath away once you reach the sky deck. Enjoy a breathtaking view of Chicago on “The Ledge” – a glass box that allows visitors to have a full experience of the tower. During your visit, you can enjoy an exhibit and theater presentation about the history of the Willis Tower before riding the elevator to the Sky Deck on the 103rd floor.
You can get a Fast Pass with your CityPASS Chicago booklet, allowing you to skip the queue! With this VIP admissions pass to 5 iconic Chicago attractions, you can head straight to the action. Get a view of the city 103 storeys up at Willis Tower (Skydeck Chicago), see Egyptian tombs and the world’s largest T-rex fossil at The Field Museum. It also includes admission to the Shedd Aquarium, a choice between the Museum of Science and Industry or 360 Chicago, and a selection between the Adler Planetarium or Art Institute of Chicago. With all the time you’ll save standing in line, you’ll be able to get even more out of your vacation!
Photograph Chicago’s Hidden Beauty
For both amateur and expert photographers, Chicago, with its many picturesque buildings and landmarks, is like a photography playground. While iconic locations and landmarks can be fun to photograph, visiting the lesser-known, off-the-beaten-path areas will enable you to capture the true heart of Chicago. Wonderful street art, unique cityscapes, and neighborhoods full of character will create photographs you’ll want to treasure for a lifetime.
To explore the city and capture its unique character, be sure to check out Tour Through a Lens, a photography tour that takes you on a totally customized urban adventure to give you the true flavor of Chicago. Owner, Teresa, builds each tour based on your personal goals, with her most popular option being her 5-hour long, Half-Day tour. In this tour, she’ll take you on an exciting trip around the city based on your interests, equipment, and pace, while generously sharing her expertise on both photography and the city of Chicago. If you’re looking to see Chicago through a local’s perspective, build knowledge, and capture creative, beautiful memories, this is the tour for you.
Explore a green space: Lincoln Park Conservatory
One of the most stunning Chicago attractions, The Lincoln Park Conservatory is home to the most exotic plant species from around the world. Built during the 1890s, the Victorian-style glass house exemplifies the meaning of ecological restoration and management as the first park conservancy in the city.
It has four display houses: The Palm House, Orchid House, Fern Room, and Show House, which is used for seasonal flower exhibits. There are also outdoor gardens available to the public from May to October and indoor gardens available year-round. Entrance to travel lovers is free year-round with suggested donations. No matter the time of the year, a visit to the park is a wonderful way to unwind and celebrate the best of what nature has to offer.
Iconic art: Cloud Gate
Also known as “The Chicago Bean” or “The Bean”, Cloud Gate is one of the city’s top travel attractions. Built by British artist Anish Kapoor, the stainless steel sculpture captures the essence and beauty of the Chicago skyline through its metallic, reflective surface. Its name comes from the idea that its surface curves and bends its reflection into a gate shape. Located in the center of the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park, the sculpture is a popular favorite amongst many travel lovers and locals, so be sure to visit and take lots of pictures!
Relax at the Navy Pier
Located on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is one of the most visited attractions in the United States. Navy Pier is well-known for its attractions such as the Centennial Wheel, Chicago Children’s Museum, and Crystal Gardens. Along the pier, there are various parks, attractions, shops, and restaurants for you to enjoy. If you happen to be there on a Wednesday or Saturday this summer, end your night with a spectacular fireworks show. There are daily events happening year-round, so there is always something to do when you travel here!
Soak in the vibe of Millenium Park
Large scale contemporary pieces and attractions all over the park make Millenium Park a place for anyone to visit and enjoy. Enjoy a picnic around the area or enjoy some of the public sculptures located nearby when you travel to the city. Some of the park’s prominent features include the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and Lurie Garden. From music festivals, ice skating, to film screenings and so much more, there’s always something to do in the premier green space.
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