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Top Chicago Attractions: There's Something For Everyone

Chicago Skyline

Chicago is a city that truly has it all! Immerse yourself in an array of world-class museums, vibrant comedy clubs, exciting outdoor adventures, and captivating live shows. Perhaps you’d prefer to experience the most exhilarating attractions Chicago has to offer from different perspectives. Catch a baseball game at the iconic Wrigley Field, enjoy family-friendly outdoor fun at Millennium Park, marvel at the stunning skyline from the 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck at sunset, and discover countless other delights.

Explore our curated list of top Chicago attractions that promise to enchant every visitor and make your stay in this mesmerizing city unforgettable.

360 CHICAGO Observation Deck

Family at 360 CHICAGO

Address:

875 N. Michigan Avenue 94th Floor

Hours:

Daily 9 am - 11 pm. The last entry is at 10 pm.

Details:

360 CHICAGO, one of the top attractions in Chicago, is an Observation Deck full of activities located on the 94th floor of the former John Hancock building.

Elevate your Chicago experience with a visit to 360 CHICAGO. This attraction has something for all ages and interests. Enjoy incredible panoramic city views of the city skyline, day or night. For those seeking a thrill, try TILT, one of the world's highest thrill rides. Relax, grab a beverage, and enjoy the views at CloudBar—the all-ages and highest bar in Chicago. View the local art installations, the newly upgraded multimedia concourse, and more. Once you arrive, stay on the Observation Deck as long as you like! Book your 360 CHICAGO ticket today.

Options:

  • General Admission (CloudBar is free with admission)
  • Sip & View Ticket
  • TILT & View Ticket
  • Sip, View & TILT Ticket

The Magnificent Mile

Magnificent Mile Street View

Address:

North Michigan Avenue

Hours:

Daily 9 am - 10 pm

Details:

The Magnificent Mile is Chicago’s famous and premier commercial district. This mile is home to over 450 retailers (including flagship department stores and boutiques), 275 restaurants, entertainment, and attractions. This area includes famous landmarks such as the Chicago Water Tower and the former John Hancock Center, which features the 360 CHICAGO Observation deck.

Visit the "Mag Mile" for a shopping lover's paradise. You can find the most up-to-date fashion trends, innovative technologies, home goods, and more here. You'll literally find something for everyone in your group, plus lots of incentives and premier savings opportunities.

Want to learn about specific things to do on the Mag Mile? Check out this blog post!

Options:

  • Boutiques
  • Flagship department stores
  • Shopping malls
  • Restaurants
  • Attractions

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Address:

1200 S DuSable Lake Shore Drive

Hours:

Daily 9 am - 6 pm

Details:

Embark on a mesmerizing underwater journey at Shedd Aquarium, where over 32,000 marine creatures, from beluga whales and bluegills to stingrays, penguins, and sea otters, await your discovery. Check out the 75-minute guided tour highlighting the aquarium's most extraordinary features. Experience the behind-the-scenes magic as you enjoy prime seating for an Animal Spotlight and converse with an animal care manager. You can also explore the exhibits at your own pace with the Shedd Go app, which allows you to navigate the aquarium effortlessly.

Options:

  • Book ahead & save
  • Chicago Resident discounts
  • Membership for frequent visitors
  • Buy the Chicago CityPASS® and save on attractions, including 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck.

DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center

DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center

Address:

Washington (George) Park, 740 East 56th Place

Hours:

Wed-Sun, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Details:

The DuSable Museum of African American History boasts over 15,000 diverse pieces, including paintings, sculptures, prints, and historical memorabilia. It hosts special exhibitions, workshops, and lectures highlighting artists and historical events. Key exhibitions include Freedom: Origin and Journey, honoring lives dedicated to freedom and equality; The Harold Washington Story, chronicling Chicago's first African American mayor; and South Side Stories, showcasing Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs' artistic and activist legacy.

Options:

Check the admission page to see if you qualify for free admission.

The 606

The 606

Address:

1805 N. Ridgeway Avenue

Hours:

Daily 6 am - 11 pm

Details:

The 606 is an abandoned railway transformed into a 2.7-mile elevated park and trail on Chicago's northwest side. Built on an old industrial train line, the 606 features street-level parks, scenic look-out points, an observatory, and public art. Officially named the Bloomingdale Trail, it derives its name from the numbers in Chicago's zip codes. Spanning Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, and Humboldt Park, the trail is a favorite among walkers, runners, bikers, and families. With bike rentals from Divvy stations and year-round events like community bonfires, the 606 offers something for everyone.

Maggie Daley Park

Maggie Daley Park in Summer

Address:

337 E. Randolph Street

Hours:

Starting at 6 am - 9 pm. Times vary according to the activity.

Details:

During the winter, Maggie Daley Park transforms into a fun winter Ice Skating Ribbon that offers stunning skyline views and a lively ambiance. Lace up your skates (rentals are available) and glide through one of the most unique rink parks. In the summer, the park is the perfect rollerblading destination. The park is brimming with more activities for those who enjoy the outdoors, like a climbing wall, mini golf, tennis, and more. Discover the myriad of attractions at Maggie Daley Park throughout the year.

Options:

  • City of Chicago Summer Programs
  • Tennis
  • Ice skating & rollerblading
  • Climbing wall
  • Fieldhouse and more.

Chicago Architecture Center

Chicago Architecture Center

Address:

111 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 1321

Hours:

Sun - Thu, 9 am - 5 pm
Fri & Sat, 9 am - 7 pm

Details:

The Chicago Architecture Center's riverfront location is nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibition space filled with super-sized models and views of iconic skyscrapers. The Center exhibits focus on Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, housing types, leading architects, and future projects. Among the highlights is the largest scale model of the city, with more than 4,250 miniature buildings, interactive touchscreens, and a cinematic backdrop animating key moments in its history. Alternatively, join a CAC walking tour or River Cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady. Learn the stories behind the buildings and how the CAC inspires people to discover why design matters.

Options:

  • Join the Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise or a walking tour.

Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk

Address:

22 E Wacker Drive

Hours:

Daily 6 am - 11 pm

Details:

The Chicago Riverwalk, located on the south bank of the Chicago River, is a must-visit destination stretching 1.25 miles from Lake Michigan to Lake Street. This award-winning, pedestrian-friendly area offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from intimate coves and breezy cafes to wineries and bars. Visitors can immerse themselves in public art, monuments, and nearby museums or embark on various water excursions, including boat tours and kayaking. The Chicago Riverwalk provides a picturesque backdrop for those who seek culinary delights or cultural enrichment.

Options:

Things to do on or along the Riverwalk:

  • Walking, running and biking
  • Riverboat tours and kayaking
  • Museums near the Riverwalk
  • Public art
  • Restaurants and bars

Historic Pullman Foundation Visitors Center

Historic Pullman Foundation Visitors Center

Address:

1614 E. 113th Street

Hours:

Thu-Sun, 11 am - 3 pm

Details:

In 1880, George M. Pullman established a model industrial town to bolster his luxury railcar business, creating a unique intersection of history, architecture, railroad innovation, urban planning, labor milestones, and civil rights.

The Historic Pullman Foundation now safeguards these historic buildings, documents, and artifacts, acting as the official friends group of Pullman National Historical Park. Visitors, including history aficionados, national park devotees, train enthusiasts, and curious families, can enjoy captivating tours, exhibits, and events at Chicago's inaugural national park.

Griffin Museum of Science + Industry

Griffin Museum of Science + Industry

Address:

5700 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive

Hours:

Daily, 9:30 am - 5:30 pm

Details:

Adventure through a multi-sensory experience at the Griffen Museum of Science and Industry! With its award-winning exhibits, the museum promises to captivate every visitor through immersive experiences, giant-screen films, and engaging events. Don’t miss the groundbreaking exhibit 007 Science: Inventing the World of James Bond, which delves into the science and technology behind the film series' legendary gadgets, vehicles, and stunts. Each exhibit at MSI is designed to ignite curiosity and inspire a passion for learning, making it the perfect destination to explore the world's marvels during your cherished time off.

Options:

See exciting new exhibits always on display

Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium

Address:

1300 S DuSable Lake Shore Drive

Hours:

Daily 9 am - 4 pm

Details:

The Adler Planetarium is a pioneering institution devoted to the wonders of astronomy and astrophysics since 1930. Perched at the northeastern edge of Northerly Island by Lake Michigan, it is considered America's first planetarium. Its core mission is to ignite curiosity and foster a deeper understanding of the cosmos. The Planetarium includes three state-of-the-art theaters, a series of space science exhibits, and a remarkable collection, including the Gemini 12 space capsule and various antique scientific instruments and printed works.

Options:

  • Buy the Chicago CityPASS® and save on attractions, including 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck.

Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center

Address:

78 E. Washington Street

Hours:

Daily 10 am - 5 pm

Details:

The Chicago Cultural Center, inaugurated in 1897, spans an entire city block across Michigan Avenue from Millennium Park in the Chicago Loop Neighborhood. This magnificent architectural gem, managed by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, serves as the city's official reception venue. The Mayor of Chicago has welcomed presidents, royalty, and diplomats here. The center is also accessible to the public, who can admire its grand architecture featuring Tiffany stained glass domes and enjoy over 700 exhibits and humanities programs annually, many of which are entirely free.

Options:

  • Many free exhibits and events

Second City

Second City

Address:

1616 N Wells Street, 2nd Floor

Hours:

Mon-Thu, 10 am - 11 pm
Fri-Sun, 10 am - 12 am

Details:

A visit to Chicago wouldn’t be complete without diving into its iconic comedy scene. Many of America's top comedians launched their careers in the Windy City through improv and sketch comedy. The renowned Second City serves as a breeding ground for some of the biggest stars in the industry. Legendary figures such as John Belushi, Tina Fey, and Steve Carell began their journeys here, leaving an indelible mark on comedy. Attending one of Second City's main stage performances is an absolute must.

Options:

  • Choose from an array of different shows
  • Book a class to learn Improv!

National Museum of Mexican Art

National Museum of Mexican Art

Address:

1852 W. 19th Street

Hours:

Tue-Sun, 10 am - 5 pm

Details:

This sprawling 48,000-square-foot, cutting-edge museum is dedicated to deepening the understanding and appreciation of Mexican art and culture on both sides of the border. The museum boasts an impressive permanent collection of Mexican art, complemented by visual and performing arts programs, top-tier arts education initiatives, and resources for the professional growth of Mexican artists. Check out one of the largest collections of Mexican art in the US (over 22,000 pieces) and cultural programs—including theater, dance, music, and literary events- that celebrate the rich tapestry of Mexican heritage.

Chinatown

Chicago Chinatown

Address:

Cermak Road and Wentworth Avenue

Hours:

24 hours

Details:

Since 1912, this tight-knit community has flourished in Chicago's South Side, spanning Wentworth Avenue and attracting residents and tourists. The neighborhood offers a lively experience with its authentic cuisine, captivating architecture, and numerous shops, cafes, dim sum spots, and teahouses. For a more extensive shopping experience, explore the Chinatown Square outdoor mall. To delve into the rich history, visit the Chinese-American Museum.

Options:

  • Restaurants
  • Shops
  • Teahouses
  • Museum
  • Free guided tours
  • Art gallery
  • Ping Tom Memorial Park

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field

Address:

1060 W. Addison Street

Hours:

See the game and tour schedule.

Details:

Ignite your passion for sports and history by visiting Wrigley Field, a Chicago treasure steeped in over a century of heritage. Whether you catch a game, stroll among the seats and concession stands, or take a full stadium tour, the experience will be captivating. Every Cubs enthusiast, regardless of age, will delight in standing on the same field graced by legendary players, relaxing in the dugouts, and exploring much more.

Options:

  • Ball games
  • Tours
  • Interactive app

Millennium Park

Millenium Park

Address:

The Loop Community Area

Hours:

Daily, 6 am - 11 pm

Details:

Millennium Park is a must-visit attraction in the heart of downtown Chicago, offering diverse activities and sights. The lakefront campus features the iconic Cloud Gate statue, interactive fountains, serene gardens, free events, public art, skating rinks, rock climbing, and expansive green spaces. Don’t miss the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, where a state-of-the-art sound system mimics indoor theater acoustics. Enjoy events like the Summer Music and Film Series on the Great Lawn and visit Lurie Garden, an award-winning botanical masterpiece that provides a peaceful oasis with native plants year-round.

Options:

  • Cloud Gate Statue
  • Jay Pritzker Pavillion
  • The Great Lawn
  • Crown Fountain
  • Lurie Garden
  • Maggie Daley Park
  • McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink
  • Events
  • Restaurants

Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum

Address:

1601 N. Clark Street

Hours:

Tues–Sat, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Sun, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Details:

Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Chicago's history at the Chicago History Museum. There are many stories to uncover, from the city's sports legacy and political milestones to the iconic Union Stockyards and the infamous Great Chicago Fire. Engage with c exhibitions and dynamic programs within the museum's walls, or experience the city's history firsthand through guided tours and special events. Established in 1856, the museum stands as a beacon of knowledge, inspiration, and civic participation, illuminating Chicago's past, present, and future.

Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

Address:

111 S Michigan Avenue

Hours:

Thu-Mon, 11 am - 8 pm
Tue-Wed, Closed

Details:

The Art Institute of Chicago is a world-renowned museum boasting one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. This encyclopedic institution collects, preserves, and exhibits works across all mediums, cultures, and historical periods while hosting unique exhibitions. With over 260,000 pieces of artwork, the museum excels in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, early 20th-century European pieces, contemporary art, Japanese prints, and photography. The Art Institute also offers about forty special exhibitions annually and daily lectures, tours, and performances.

Lakefront Trail

Lakefront Trail

Address:

From Ardmore Ave. on the north to 71st St. on the south, Chicago

Hours:

Open Daily

Details:

One of the hallmark characteristics of Chicago is its iconic setting along the shores of Lake Michigan, encompassing 26 miles of breathtaking coastline. Integral to this waterfront is the Lakefront Trail, a charming pedestrian route extending over 18 miles. This trail provides awe-inspiring vistas of the lake and the city’s skyline. Throughout the year, it attracts walkers, cyclists, and runners alike. The Lakefront Trail seamlessly links numerous lakefront parks, beaches, museums, neighborhoods, and waterfront dining spots, making it a vibrant artery of urban life.

Options:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Biking
  • Rollerblading
  • Skateboarding
  • Parks
  • Restaurants
  • Museums

The Green Mill

The Green Mill

Address:

4802 N Broadway Avenue

Hours:

Daily 4 pm - 1 am

Details:

Celebrating a centennial milestone, the Green Mill Jazz Club is the city's quintessential jazz venue. With its doors first opening in 1907, this establishment has earned the title of the oldest jazz club in the United States. Once a favored spot for the infamous Al Capone, it exudes the charm and secrecy of Prohibition-era speakeasies. Styled after the 1940s, the club offers live performances every night of the week. Even if jazz isn't your usual scene, the club's history and roster of legendary performers and patrons make it a must-visit. True to its roots, it remains a cash-only bar, just as it was in the 1940s.

The Field Museum

The Field Museum

Address:

1400 S Lakeshore Drive

Hours:

Daily 9 am - 5 pm

Details:

The Field Museum of Natural History is the attraction in Chicago offering a treasure trove of wonders to captivate visitors of all tastes. Since its establishment in 1894, the museum has amassed a staggering collection of over 40 million specimens and artifacts from around the globe. The museum's architecture narrates an extraordinary history. With ever-changing exhibits, there's always something new and exciting to discover.

Navy Pier

Navy Pier

Address:

600 E. Grand Avenue

Hours:

Sun-Thu, 11 am - 9 pm
Fri-Sat, 11 am - 10 pm

Details:

Navy Pier spans 50 picturesque acres along the waterfront, offering an array of dining, exhibitions, shops, and entertainment. Revel in the breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline as you ride the 200-foot Ferris wheel, explore the hands-on exhibits at the Chicago Children's Museum, attend a free concert, or embark on a quest to discover art and murals. Thrill-seekers can indulge in exhilarating speedboat tours, while those looking to relax can opt for a serene sightseeing cruise.

Options:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Cultural attractions
  • Rides & games
  • Shopping
  • Public art
  • Fireworks

Whatever Chicago Attractions you choose to visit, your visit will be incredible. For more tips and ideas for enjoying Chicago, follow our blog.

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