Visit Chicago: Our Top 12 Top Things to See and Do!
Chicago is the city of Al Capone, skyscrapers and Hot Dogs! Discover in this article our top 12 things to see and do in Chicago!
1. Visit Chicago’s must-see places
The skyscrapers of Chicago
Chicago saw the construction of one of the first buildings in history in 1884. It was the Home Insurance Building that no longer exists. The city of Chicago has been a forerunner in this area for a long time. Notable buildings include the John Hancock Center tower, the Willis Tower and the Monadnock Building, the oldest surviving skyscraper. We will give you more details, a little further.
This pier on the shores of Lake Michigan is popular with locals who come regularly on weekends or at the end of the day. There is an amusement park, cinemas, shops and restaurants but also a botanical garden. It is also the starting point of some boat tour on the lake.
The Magnificent Mile
The Magnificent Mile is the area of Michigan Avenue that is located at the historic Chicago. It is a busy area at night but also during the day where you can go shopping. Do not miss the historic buildings like the Tribune Tower, the Water Tower or the Pumping Station.
The Loop is not to be missed! Easy, I admit. Joking aside, the Chicago Skytrain is a classic. For the price of a ticket, treat yourself to a ride in the business district. Take the brown, pink or orange line. It’s a good way to start your journey to discover Chicago.
2. Explore the Chicago Museums
The Chicago Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium, is the largest aquarium in the world! You will see of course a lot of marine animals but what must be emphasized to live a unique experience is that it is possible to meet some animals such as beluga or penguin. (Price: from 40 USD / person / Website: www.sheddaquarium.org)
Right next to the Sheed Aquarium you will find the Field Museum which is a Natural History Museum. The highlight of the visit is the huge Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton that is more than 12 meters long! The museum develops other themes such as that of ancient Egypt, dinosaurs, ancient America or DNA. (Price: from 22USD / person / Website: www.fieldmuseum.org)
The Art Insitute of Chicago is one of the most renowned museums in the world with its many paintings, but it’s the most prestigious collection of Impressionist art. Know that there are also exhibitions dedicated to contemporary art if this type of art to your preference. Finally, the museum is free on Thursday evening from 17h to 20h. (Price: from 25USD / person / Website: https://www.artic.edu)
3. Enjoy the 5 best views of Chicago
For an unparalleled view of the Chicago Skyline, head to North Avenue Beach. This is an opportunity for you to escape the city and walk from the beach while enjoying a magnificent panorama! In the same vein, the view of Chicago from Lake Michigan and its canals is absolutely gorgeous and unmissable.
The Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower, offers a magnificent view of Chicago, its buildings and lake! Treat yourself to some thrills by walking in a transparent cube suspended in the vacuum to more than 400 meters! Know that there is a “fast past” to avoid queuing but it is of course more expensive. (Price: from 22USD per person / Website: theskydeck.com)
The John Hancock Center is a skyscraper that rises to over 450 meters with an antenna but the observation platform is lower. Around 300 meters. The view is very nice and allows to embrace downtown at a glance but the most of this platform is that it is possible to buy “Sun & Stars” passes that allow you to come twice. One day and one night. Both are worth it so if you have the time we advise you. Especially since there are often a lot fewer people here than at the Willis Tower. (Price: from 20USD / person / Website: https://www.360chicago.com)
Flying over Chicago by helicopter is an extraordinary experience. The city lends itself wonderfully to this experience thanks to its many buildings and its huge lake! Allow at least twenty minutes to enjoy. This flight will leave you with wonderful memories!
4. Strolling and lounging at Millenium Park
Millenium Park is very recent but it was quickly adopted by locals. It must be said that it is very pleasant and that the summer there are many events such as concerts or giant gym classes on the lawn. Tourists come mainly for two attractions that are “Cloud Gate” (also nicknamed “The Bean”) and the Crown Fountain. “The Bean” is a giant bean-shaped sculpture so the surface is a mirror. It is very pleasing to all passing travelers who shrapnel it in all directions. Two steps away, still in the park, there are two multimedia fountains that face each other. It’s the Crown Fountain. We see faces that at times, you never know when, bring water out of their mouths. It pleases a lot children in summer who are waiting for that to go splash water!
5. Attend a Baseball, US Football, Hockey or Basketball Game!
The Americans are sports fans and the people of Chicago are no exception. Whatever the season, there will necessarily be a sports match to go see. Among the most popular are basketball with the legendary Chicago Bulls! But also Baseball with the WhiteSox team, the Hockey whose team is BlackHawks or finally the American football with the Bears! To book your tickets in advance, go to the TicketMaster website. We use this one every time. It’s simple and secure.
6. Treat yourself to thrills in Chicago!
The city of Chicago has been a pioneer in the construction of skyscrapers. Some are among the highest in the world and has observation platforms that will make you shudder! Go to the Willis Tower to enter a glass cube suspended in life at more than 400 meters high. Alternatively, you can also go to the John Hancock Tower Tower which has just released a new attraction! In the same spirit, an automated glass cube leans forward to offer you good feelings of vertigo! This attraction is called the TILT!
In a completely different spirit, go to the Shedd Aquarium to feed the sharks. You will not be clever when you see the animal approaching.
On the Navy Pier, privileged place for locals to walk, there are departures in “jetboat”. Those are very fast boats that make you take a ride on Lake Michigan at full speed. You will have the right to big accelerations, 360 and some splashes. This changes traditional boat tours in Chicago.
Finally, Chicago does not escape the fashion of “Escape Game” where you will solve puzzles to get out of a room in less than one and where you will be locked. There are a lot of choices on the Chicago and the trends are so changeable, it will be necessary to inquire before his departure on the best to do.
7. Navigate the Canals of Chicago or Lake Michigan!
Like Chicago’s riverboats on the Seine, Chicago offers visitors a beautiful boat ride in these canals and then on Lake Michigan. The ride is very nice and offers beautiful views of the city and its skyline. This tour being very appreciated and displaying regularly complete, book in advance. Just go to the foot of the Dusable Bridge Bridge to buy your tickets.
This type of cruise is a must in Chicago but we thought we could necessarily visit this place otherwise! There are kayak tours to stroll through the buildings and even venture on the lake. If you prefer something faster, the Jet Ski is for you. The Jet Ski Chicago company rents and even organizes tours in the heart of Chicago!
8. Visit Chicago differently!
The city of Chicago lends itself well to the theme ride with its rich history and heritage. The most popular themed walks are those on the prohibition of which Al Capone is the mythical “hero” or those on architecture. Do not forget that with New York, Chicago was a pioneer in the construction of skyscrapers! Food tours in Chicago are also popular, but new themes such as movie and series locations or a night tour of the city’s haunted places are also emerging.
9. Enjoy a hot dog or Deep Dish Pizza
The city of Chicago is the world capital of Hot Dog and Deep Dish Pizza. You will have no choice, it will necessarily taste before leaving. For the hot dog the best address is undoubtedly Portillo’s which serves as succulent in a very vintage setting. For the Deep Dish Pizza, you have to go to Uno which according to their website is their invention. It is a pizza very thick and very thick dough.
10. Discover the backstage of the Chicago Aquarium
The Chicago Aquarium is the largest in the world and offers fun attractions to discover. Among these are the guided tours that take you behind the scenes (Behind the scene in English) where we explain the organization of the aquarium and commit to take care of marine animals. But what will delight you the most will probably meet belugas and penguins or even touching rays. It is also possible to do a tour dedicated to sharks and see how they are fed or to slip into the shoes of a coach for half a day. All these activities are of course paid.
11. Go out to Chicago
Chicago offers countless possibilities in terms of outings. First of all, there is live music that you can listen to at Buddy’s Guy’s Legends Bar, Andy’s Jazz Club or the Underground Wonder Bar. In Chicago, it’s the Jazz and the Blues that have the share.
In another style, you can go see a show of the Blue Man Group. This sound and light show is really modern. The music is involved and the show keeps you going from start to finish! In addition, there is no need to speak English because they hardly speak. We had the opportunity to see the Blue Man Group during our visit to Berlin and we loved it! If you prefer the more “classic” shows, head to Chicago Theate for a variety of shows.
12. Buy the City Pass to save money and save time!
The Chicago City Pass is a pass that gives you access to 5 out of 7 museums to choose from (Entrance observation platform at the John Hancock Tower, Observation platform entrance at the Willis Tower, The Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, 360, Art Institute of Chicago, Alder Planetarium and the Museum of Science and Industry). The price is 99 USD instead of approximately 129 USD (according to our estimate) if you buy your tickets individually and if they are “classic”. It already makes you a nice economy. Plus, Chicago City Pass gives you VIP access to museums so you can see more. Let’s not forget also the high-speed lines that will be precious in the most touristic places like the Aquarium or the Willis Tower. In conclusion, this pass brings together the major attractions of the city at a reasonable price and small plus appreciable like the cut-line. Save extra by going to the Art Insitute of Chicago on Thursday nights as it’s free. You will enjoy a “sixth” entry with your Chicago CityPass.
If you are planning to visit Chicago, we invite you to make plans in advance and book your transportation well ahead of time. At WWLIMO Chicago, we offer Limousine Service, Luxury SUV or パーティーバス for bigger groups. Please visit WWLIMOシカゴ または下記フォームよりご予約ください。