Welcome to Chicago
Known by many names including The Windy City, Chi-Town, the Second City, the City of Big Shoulders, and the City That Works, an average of 35 million visitors flock to Chicago each year. And it’s no wonder, as this great city has so very much to offer. This lakefront metropolis of the greater Midwest offers hundreds of attractions, museums, theaters and art galleries, and thousands of restaurants, boutiques and other amazing shopping opportunities. Here are a few of our must-see attractions we suggest you visit while in town:
Best Views. All Around.
Step off of the express elevator onto the 94th floor of the iconic John Hancock building and find yourself in awe of the breathtaking views of the Windy City. From a thousand feet above The Magnificent Mile, 360 Chicago delivers a unique perspective of the surrounding area including Lake Michigan and the sprawling Chicago city skyline, allowing you to take in the sights from a whole new angle. 360 Chicago is a great place to start your visit to Chicago; to get your bearings, to understand the different neighborhoods, and how Michigan Avenue relates to the river and downtown Chicago. There is also wonderful technology that teaches you about the building and the sights you can see, that way you can plan your time in Chicago more effectively.
Chicago’s First Lady Cruises
Set Sail Through History
Immerse yourself in the historic and visually stimulating wonder of Chicago by stepping aboard a cruise along the Chicago River. Enjoy a water level look at the amazing sites of the city while you sit back, relax and soak it all in on a leisurely docent led tour. The illuminating 90-minute tour is led by trained and certified volunteer docents from the Chicago Architecture Foundation and highlights more than 50 architecturally significant buildings and structures dating back to 1898 all the way through the present, including a fair amount of current construction.
An Oasis in the Heart of Chicago
This impressive 24.5-acre park in Chicago’s Loop community is the city’s second-largest tourist attraction, second only to Navy Pier…and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re a local who loves the outdoors and community projects or you are just passing through this great city, be sure to take the time to visit Millennium Park. Snap reflective selfies at “The Bean”, experience the wonder of the fountain, wander the gardens or even catch a show. It’s all an amazing experience not to be missed.
The Second City
50 Years of Funny
In the mood to laugh? The Second City is the world’s premier comedy theater and school of improvisation known as the coveted training ground for a host of famous alumni including none other than John Belushi, Mike Myers, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, John Candy, Catherine O’Hara, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, and Stephen Colbert.
The Second City dazzles audiences with performances seven nights a week on two primary stages: The Mainstage and the E.T.C. stage. Both shows are equally funny, offering sketches addressing local, national and international issues through social and political satire, however the Mainstage show provides a more historical experience while the E.T.C. revue is a smaller, more intimate venue.
Goose Island Wrigleyville Brew Pub
Fun at the Old Ball Park
On your way to or from a game at Wrigley Field? Be sure and stop by a true Northside destination at Goose Island Wrigleyville Brew Pub - THE place in town for pre and post-game food, fun, and, of course, beer! Even if you don’t have a ticket to the game, you can catch the action on any one of the 20 TVs, including three giant projection screens – so there’s no reason to miss a pitch. There’s also live music every Friday and Saturday, and brewery tours and beer tasting happening three times a day on Saturdays. Enjoy a tasting of six current beer selections and even take home a souvenir pint glass. On non-game days, go for brews to go with six packs, 650ml bottles and 64 oz growlers to continue the celebration at home.
Old Town Oil - A Playground for Your Palette
In the heart of Chicago’s historic Old Town neighborhood, is a culinary lover’s dream. Located on North Wells Street in the heart of Chicago’s famed historic district sits Old Town Oil. Best described as a playground for your palette, this quaint little store offers a delightful array of premium olive oils and vinegars from around the world. Wander in and witness a very hands-on culinary experience. Sample, mix, and match premium olive oils and vinegars to find flavors you’ll love, or discover the perfect individual gift or boxed set for your favorite foodie.
The Spice House
Merchants of Exquisite Spices & Seasonings
While in Old Town, make your way to The Spice House to experience the fragrant offerings and witness the mixing of hand-selected and custom-prepared spices and herbs. Offering over 150 blends ground and mixed in house, their spices are imported from various countries with several selections of origin so that subtle variations in taste, scent, texture, and color can be offered. For those who are located outside of the area The Spice House website is the ideal option to browse spices, source gifts, learn about the amazing history and lore of spices, and even share spice and food knowledge in the always-evolving recipe collection.
Wicker Park & Bucktown
Chicago’s Historic Charm
While visiting Chicago, be sure and visit both Wicker Park and Bucktown, two of Chi-Town’s most eclectic and historic neighborhoods. Here you will discover a cool blend of personalities, culture and Midwest charisma that come together to create a very hip experience with an innate sense of international flavor. Look for that special something in one of the area’s many independent boutiques or vintage shops or enjoy the local hospitality, choosing from an array of upscale eateries, cozy lounges, and chic nightclubs. You can also experience the area’s specialty galleries, artists’ lofts and quaint theaters that offer a dynamic arts and entertainment scene.
Discover Chicago for Yourself
Be sure you also enjoy the rides at Navy Pier, dive deep at the Shedd Aquarium, and browse the shops along Michigan Avenue. You can also take in a show or ball game, wander through parks, museums and galleries, catch a guided walking tour, or even stumble upon any number of parades, festivals or other events, depending on the time of year.
Also, ditch the diet and find out first hand what makes Chicago the proclaimed mecca of food. From upscale dining and the molecular-gastronomy movement to chic hole-in-the-wall finds, savor the offerings of amazing eateries dotted throughout the city, all serving up the delightful fare for which Chicago is famous.
By: Kelly Taggart & Kay Harris-Ross