An aerial view of the Chicago’s Lake Michigan shoreline highlighting Grant and Millennium parks
Cityscape view from the Tilt attraction at 360 Chicago atop the John Hancock Building
City skyline behind the “Cloud Gate” sculpture, commonly known as “The Bean,” in Millennium Park
Chicago Gospel Music Festival performance at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park
Sightseeing boat cruises at the downtown Chicago Riverwalk hub near the State Street bridge
City lights twinkling along the Magnificent Mile shopping district in Chicago
The famous Centennial Wheel towering over Navy Pier and Lake Michigan
The sprawling Museum Campus along the Lake Michigan shoreline
Stretching out on the Millennium Park lawn to hear Chicago Blues Festival music
Buckingham Fountain, more than seven meters tall, in the center of Grant Park
A world-class city with international appeal
This cosmopolitan playground is bursting with things to do. Sightseeing options range from Chicago icons like Millennium Park’s sculptures, fountains, gardens and event spaces to awe-inspiring architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, Daniel Burnham and Louis Sullivan. Get above it all on The Ledge, a glass platform on the Skydeck at Willis Tower, or the 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck in the John Hancock Center, where the TILT experience leans you out 300 meters above Michigan Avenue.
Take in the beautiful cityscape with a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk, where you can enjoy a waterside meal, sip a drink or set out on an architecture cruise on the Chicago River. Take the children to Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier and Wrigley Field, three iconic and family-friendly attractions, or rent bikes and pedal along the 29-kilometer Lakefront Trail.
Tour the Neighborhoods
Each of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods offers a distinct experience. Ethnic and immigrant enclaves, such as Chinatown, Little Italy, Avondale, Andersonville, Pilsen and Lincoln Square, reflect the city’s multicultural influences, from German and Polish to Mexican and Chinese. Check out neighborhood bars and live music in Bucktown and Wicker Park. Uptown’s historic theaters, music halls and Art Deco buildings make it a cultural playground. The Loop is Chicago’s bustling downtown district, where you’ll find must-see landmarks and plentiful options for dining, shopping and nightlife.
Monumental Arts and Culture
Chicago is renowned for its cultural offerings with more than 40 museums and a dedicated Museum Campus, home to The Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium. Don't miss the Art Institute of Chicago, containing 300,000 works in its permanent collection, and Museum of Science and Industry, the largest in the Western Hemisphere.
As the only U.S. city with five regional Tony Award-winning theaters – Goodman, Chicago Shakespeare, Lookingglass, Victory Gardens and Steppenwolf – Chicago’s theater scene takes center stage. You can catch shows at more than 200 venues in addition to performances from esteemed companies such as Joffrey Ballet, Lyric Opera and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Top Cuisine, Shopping and Music
Chicago’s culinary scene is filled with star chefs, ethnic eateries and award-winning fine dining, including 25 Michelin-starred eateries. Just as famous are the casual classics like Chicago-style hot dogs and deep-dish pizza. GQ named Chicago the Greatest Drinking City in 2014 for its specialty cocktail bars, historic pubs and more than 65 craft breweries.
Shopping is an equally big deal here. Don’t miss Michigan Avenue’s 13-block stretch, The Magnificent Mile, with more than 300 stores. Explore major department stores, luxury boutiques and the can't-miss, multilevel Water Tower Place mall. If it’s music you’ve come for, you’ll find everything from live music venues to outdoor events like Millennium Park concerts, Lollapalooza and the Chicago Blues Festival. For nightlife, head to the many cocktail lounges, sports bars or dance clubs that dot the entertainment landscape. Opt for tickets to a legendary comedy club, The Second City, where comedians such as Tina Fey, Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert got their start.
The world's first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1885.
Chicago has 77 different neighborhoods.
Historic Route 66 begins in Chicago at Grant Park on Adams Street in front of the Art Institute of Chicago.