This sprawling metropolis in Illinois is one of the most fascinating tourist destinations in America. Nicknamed as the ‘Windy City’, the city lies on the shores of Lake Michigan and is a happy den with numerous diverse range of attractions. There is no lack of things to do in Chicago, Illinois with so many museums, shopping districts, nightlife spots, and eateries to head out to. Whether you are a history geek or an art lover, there are destinations for each and every one of you.
The city’s idyllic location, amazing entertainment scene, and friendly people are some of the few reasons to hit this global city. From exploring its heritage skyscrapers to digging in a jumbo deep-dish pizza and from checking out its multicultural neighborhoods to enjoying a show at the world-class Chicago Theatre – below are some of the hard-to-miss things to do in Chicago, Illinois.
Top-rated And Most Beautiful Things To Do In Chicago, Illinois:
Visit Art Institute Of Chicago:
Locating in downtown Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the finest art museums in the world. With more than 300,000 artworks featuring European, American, Japanese prints, and Asian masterpieces, this museum must intrigue you if you are an admirer of brilliant sculpture works, paintings, drawings, decorative arts, textiles, and photography. Its 19th century French painting and 20th century painting and sculpture collection is a must-mention. The institute boasts a large collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. You can call this museum to be an encyclopedic museum that is aimed at collecting, preserving, and displaying art pieces that give visitors an account of the art and cultural evolution of many continents through the historical periods.
Garfield Park Conservatory:
One of the largest and nicest botanical greenhouse conservations in the nation, Garfield Park Conservatory is a stunning glass structure housing more than 120,000 plants. The conservatory is often referred to as ‘landscape under the glass’ and its collection includes more than 600 plant species from around the world. The plants are on display in eight separate rooms and there are also 12 acres of outdoor gardens which are attractions during summer. Some of the must-mention rooms of the conservatory are the Fern Room and the Desert House.
The conservatory also boasts breathtaking architecture. It has a unique haystack-shaped building and the walls of the buildings are ornate with stratified stonework. There is a beautiful Water Lily Pond inside the conservatory too and is a beautiful collection of cycads and ferns. Heading to this beautiful place is one of the best things to do in Chicago, Illinois.
Embrace A Street Art Tour:
Chasing the art scene in Chicago is not only limited to visiting its art galleries and museums. Being home to some of the best artists in the world, the streets and neighborhoods of the city are teeming with off-beat murals, graffiti corners, and street arts. With a street art tour, visitors can be able to discover stunning street artworks that are behind a building or just around the corner. Many brilliant artists have turned the city into a live gallery and checking out those awe-inspiring works is one of the finest off-beat things to do in Chicago, Illinois.
To have the best view of the Windy City’s skyline, one has to take admission to 360 CHICAGO and ascend up to the observation deck that stands at the 94 stories of the building. 360 CHICAGO is the fourth tallest building in the city. From the observation deck that is at a height of 1000 ft, one can get a wonderful view of the city’s skyline and also Lake Michigan. This building has the fastest elevator in North America that completes the ascend of 1000 feet to the 94th floor in 40 seconds. The tower is also home to TILT, the city’s highest thrill ride.
You may also spend some time checking out the educational exhibits and when you want to relax for some time taking in the view of the city’s skyline, head to the observation deck’s BAR 94.
Visit Brookefield Zoo:
Locating in the Chicago suburb of Brookefield, Brookefield Zoo houses more than 450 species of animals and covers an area of 216 acres. Visiting this beautiful zoo is one of the best things to do in Chicago, Illinois if you have kids in your group. The zoo is the first-ever zoo in America to exhibit giant pandas. Here, you get to see all the animals that include camels, tigers, Siberian tigers, snow leopards, wolves, baboons, dolphins, sea turtles, and more. They have housed all the animals in a very naturistic environment which is truly unique.
Visit Habitat Africa and feed the giraffes. Get to see the unique animals at the Australia House, hang out with monkeys at the Tropic World, and meet the Humboldt penguins and moon jellies at the Living Coast.
Stroll Around Navy Pier:
Opened in 1916 as an amusement area and shipping facility, Chicago’s Navy Pier is called the city’s lakefront treasure. With an eclectic and diverse range of things to do, Navy Pier is Chicago’s one of the top tourist attractions. An all-rounder destination to enjoy events, free public concerts, shopping, dining, and more with your whole family, Navy Pier’s 50 acres of gardens is sure to blow your mind. Apart from these, you also must have heard about the 150 ft Ferris Wheel which is an iconic attraction of the Pier.
Visit the indoor botanical garden, get inside the Chicago Children’s Museum or ride the historic carousel – getting here is a whirlwind experience altogether. Also, the Navy Pier hosts a fireworks display every Wednesday and Saturday night which is visible from the Fullerton beach all the way to the pier. Experiencing this gleeful firework display is surely one of the most fascinating things to do in Chicago, Illinois.
Soak In The Beauty Of Lake Michigan:
Chicago is the city by the lake and the Lake Michigan by which it is located is one of the largest lakes in the world. And that is the reason, the lake feels like a sea with a coastline filled with so many attractions. The beaches that line the lake in Chicago do not even look like lakefront beaches. Tour the beaches of the city from the water while you do standup paddleboarding. Experience jet skis, rent a board, and party, yeah you can do all the fun activities near the lake. Rend a bike and explore the lakefront. Some of the best beaches of Chicago include Foster Beach, North Avenue Beach, Oak Street Beach, and Rainbow Beach Park.
Near the Lake Michigan shoreline, lies the Millenium Park which is most famous for its contemporary art pieces that include the very picturesque ‘The Bean’.
Do Not Miss Out On A Food Tour:
Most famous for its deep-dish pizza, Chicago wins everyone’s mind with a number of other delicacies. Explore the city on your foot or book a grand food tour that will make you visit all the famous eateries of the city and you will get a chance to devour everything from dipped Italian beef sandwiches, a superdawg, Nutella Pocket, cinnamon rolls, various ice creams, nachos to many bakery and confectionary items.
A food tour means you will visit all the authentic local eateries and will get to learn about all the foods you try. Some of the most authentic Chicago food tours are Chicago Favorites Ultimate Food and Walking Tour, Bikes, Bites, and Brews: Chicago’s Signature Dishes Bike Tour, Chicago’s Chinatown Food and Walking Tour, and History and Culture with Chocolate and Popcorn tour. Going for an authentic Chicago food tour is one of the quintessential things to do in Chicago, Illinois.