Bucket List: Top 12 Best Things to See and Do in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Chicago is well-known for its architecture, cuisine, and mobsters. It’s famed for its museums and cultural treasures, making it a tourist hotspot. Last but not least, Chicago is well-known for its professional sports teams. There’s a spectator sport for every season in the Windy City, no matter what sport you favor. It is ethnically multicultural, with significant Mexican and Polish populations. This urban area’s natural environment is diverse, green, and pleasant, albeit snowy in winter.
This article will take you to tour the city’s top attractions, from those just driving in for a weekend getaway to the most sophisticated tourists. Here are the top 15 Best Things to Do in Chicago.
Experience a memorable day cruise at Chicago Architecture River Cruise
This architecture-focused cruise will get panoramas of Chicago’s most famous structures and insider information from an expert guide. On foot, seeing all of the most important buildings in one visit is a difficult task. Its boats have open-air top decks, full-service bars, climate-controlled lower cabins, and luxurious marble and granite facilities to accommodate 250 passengers. Being onboard will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience.
Enjoy a historical tour of Gangsters and Ghosts Tour in Chicago
Combine a history lesson about Chicago with spooky stories for a fun activity for adults and children. On the Gangsters and Ghosts tour, travel through time to hear about Chicago in the roaring 1920s, when nightclubs in the Loop drew legendary bootleggers and gangsters like Al Capone. With colorful narration from your historian guide, see former gangster hangouts and haunting locations such as Congress Hotel, Palmer House, and Death Alley.
Embrace your creative spirit at BYOB Spray Paint ‘n’ Sip at Studio W.I.P. Chicago
During this hands-on urban art session, you’ll get a unique creative outlet while learning the ins and outs of graffiti and street art. Choose from various class hours and travel to the Chicago studio on your own schedule. Your instructors (including guest artists) will teach you multiple styles and techniques, and you’ll get the opportunity to explore stenciling and spray painting and create your own work of art on canvas to take home at the end of the session.
Explore the Museum of Science and Industry
The Western Hemisphere’s largest science museum! MSI is a must-see in Chicago, as it is housed in the only intact building from the 1893 World’s Fair. You’ll be able to stand in front of a 40-foot tornado, climb aboard a World War II German submarine, run in a human-sized hamster wheel, descend into an Illinois coal mine, tour a fully functional eco-friendly home, board a 727 suspended from the ceiling, and much more! MSI isn’t the kind of place where you can sit quietly and observe. You participate in the fun while also learning.
Admire the landscapes of Chicago at 360 Chicago Observation Deck
360 CHICAGO, located on the 94th story of the John Hancock Center, provides spectacular views of Chicago’s cityscape, the shoreline, and four states. It’s the only spot in Chicago where you can ride TILT, a massive moving platform that tilts tourists over the building’s edge. Relax at BAR 94, where you’ll find local favorites, an extensive drink menu, and front-row seating with 1,000-foot views of the city. Learn more about the Windy City by exploring HD interactive touch screens.
Visit and have fun at the Millenium Park.
Millennium Park is more than just a tourist attraction; it represents the Chicago lifestyle. The Cloud Gate statue (also known as “The Bean”), interactive fountains, peaceful parks, free events, public art, skating rinks, rock climbing, and plenty of green space can all be found on the lakefront campus, which is located in the center of downtown Chicago. Visit Millennium Park to see all it has to offer. It is one of Chicago’s most well-known tourist attractions that you should not miss.
Experience lifelike skydiving at Chicago-Lincoln Park Indoor Skydiving
With this indoor skydiving experience in Chicago, you can experience the adrenaline of skydiving without getting near a plane. Begin with comprehensive training to ensure that you are confident and aware of what to expect. Then, in a highly designed vertical wind tunnel, experience two 60-second ‘free fall’ adventures that feel just like actual skydiving. No prior experience is required, and your instructor will provide you with hands-on assistance as requested.
Take a memorable and delicious food trip at Chicago Favorites Ultimate Food & Walking Tour.
Sample a few of Chicago’s most famous cuisine on a single trip while stopping at local must-see attractions. Instead of wasting valuable vacation time seeking out these foods and highlights on your own, assign the navigating to a tourist guide. Throughout a 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) journey, learn everything you want to know about Chicago’s architectural and culinary history. Upgrade to three pours of local craft beer as part of your tour.
Explore the Lincoln Park Zoo
The zoo’s furry (or scaly) creatures can be seen in their natural habitats: see gorillas in the Regenstein Center for African Apes, hang out with harbor seals in the Kovler Seal Pool. All of the huge mammal species seen here, as well as the zoo’s lack of an entrance fee, were praised by recent visitors. If you’re traveling with children, enroll them in one of the Zoo Camps, where they can learn about wildlife through animal visits and hands-on activities.
Admire the artistic pieces at the Art Institute of Chicago
The vast Art Institute of Chicago houses one of the country’s most spectacular collections of impressionist and post-impressionist art, with over 300,000 works from all over the world in its vast collection. There are paintings from the Byzantine era and paintings from just a few decades ago. The Art Institute’s exhibits include anything from European armor to the Thorne Miniature Rooms, demonstrating interior design and furniture from the late 13th to early 20th centuries in Europe and America. In addition to its permanent collection, the Art Institute sponsors traveling exhibitions that cover several themes and feature a wide range of artists and genres.
Take a walk through the Chicago Riverwalk
It costs nothing to admire the cities of Chicago. Recent visitors remarked that wandering the Riverwalk is a pleasant way to see the city but is not recommended in the wintertime. The urban park is open daily from 6 AM. and is free to enter. From 11 PM. to 11 AM. If you can, go on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, when the river is entirely green. The public walkway is located downtown and runs along the river’s south bank from North State Street to North Lake Shore Drive, with many access locations. Near the attraction, there are a few parking lots and L stations.
Visit the indoor aquarium of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium.
With roughly 32,000 animals, Shedd Aquarium is one of the world’s largest indoor aquariums. You may feel stingrays float beneath your fingers, listen to sea lions bark, and learn about various turtles while you’re here. A visit to Shedd Aquarium will take you through multiple environments, where you’ll see penguins, piranhas, sharks, and beluga whales, among other species. You can also pay extra for specialized programs such as animal encounters, feeding experiences, and behind-the-scenes touring.
Visit the first planetarium in the United States, Adler Planetarium.
Adler provides exceptional perspectives on our solar system. “Our Solar System,” along with “Mission Moon,” “The Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time,” “Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass,” and “Astronomy in Culture,” is one of the museum’s permanent displays. The Doane Observatory boasts the largest public telescope in the Chicago area. It allows visitors to see celestial objects trillions of miles distant, and the Atwood Sphere, which depicts how the night sky looked more than the night sky a century ago, are among its facilities.
Experience a serene day at the Garfield Park Conservatory.
The Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the largest botanical conservatories in the United States, has thousands of plant species in eight indoor gardens and ten acres of outdoor gardens. There is a particular focus on each interior space. The Aroid House comprises variants of its namesake, which are among the most popular houseplants and a place created specifically for the Aroid House by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. The Desert House features cacti and succulents, while the Fern Room features ferns arranged around an indoor lagoon.
Swim and relax at the North Avenue Beach
North Avenue Beach, located in Lincoln Park right on Lake Michigan, is one of Chicago’s most popular swimming locations. The sandy beach features volleyball courts, plenty of room for tourists to relax, and various surrounding activities. It also provides breathtaking views of the downtown skyline. Inside a 22,000-square-foot beach house adjacent to the shore, beachgoers will discover eateries, sports rental firms, bathrooms, and more. According to recent visitors, the beach is a good area for relaxing, riding, and running, but it may get crowded on hot days.
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