Visitors looking for a prototypical Midwest destination filled with an action-packed vacation can plan to spend their vacation in Chicago. Chicago, a melting point of eccentric culture, world-class sports, and an enviable food scene, will surely make your vacations the best. You don’t have to worry about the list of best places to visit in Chicago because we have shortlisted the top 10 best sites you must ensure to stay in Chicago.
It is known to be a vibrant city that offers something for everyone. From renowned museums and art galleries to thrilling amusement rides and impressive architecture, there's never a dull moment in this urban hub. With so many options to explore, start planning your Windy City adventure today!
Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Chicago
Here’s a brief overview of the top 10 places visitors must visit during the Chicago trip.
360 Chicago Observation Deck
Perched over 1,000 feet high on the 94th floor of the former John Hancock Center, 360 Chicago offers breathtaking panoramic views of Chicago. This observation deck is a must-visit attraction from the bustling streets of the Magnificent Mile to the glistening waters of Lake Michigan and the stunning skyline with Willis Tower to the south.
Try TILT, a glass room that tilts 30 degrees over the building's edge, for an adrenaline rush. Be sure to visit during sunset to witness the city's transformation into a twinkling wonderland.
Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile
Michigan Avenue, or the Magnificent Mile, is Chicago's food, fashion, and fun hub. This iconic 13-block stretch runs along the northern waterfront district from Lake Michigan to Oak Street, passing through renowned landmarks and chic boutiques such as the Wrigley Building, John Hancock Center, and Tribune Tower. In addition to high-end shopping and speakeasy pubs, Michigan Avenue offers underground eateries.
Don't miss the opportunity to explore the area's history and culture with a locally-led walking tour or stroll over the DuSable Bridge for a unique perspective of the city.
The Field Museum of Natural History
If you're interested in Earth science, history, and culture, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago is a must-visit destination. With over 40 million specimens and artifacts, ranging from tiny fossils to towering dinosaur skeletons, the museum offers exciting yet educational exhibits covering topics such as ancient Egyptology, geology, botany, and prehistoric evolution.
You can explore everything from mummies to dinosaur fossils and detailed dioramas spanning nearly 4.5 billion years of history.
The Field Museum is an ideal destination for families on vacation as it offers numerous interactive exhibits and hands-on activities to keep both kids and adults engaged.
Located at the southern end of Grant Park, the Museum is conveniently close to other popular tourist spots such as the Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium. Therefore, why not plan a day to explore all of them?
Getting out of the hectic schedule or your life and looking for a better, greener space to calm your mind down? Millennium Park is the most suitable place where you can go and relax. At Millennium Park, not a single moment spent can be dull.
Millennium Park is in the heart of Downtowns and is bordered by Grant Park. It has been spread over an area of approximately 24.53 acres of wonderland. The place was designed in such a way that along with the visitors, even locals can spend quality time over there. It has many attractions, including an outdoor concert venue, an Insta-Worthy fountain, sculptures, gardens, an ice rink, and much more to discover.
Willis Tower Skydeck
Wondering how beautiful Chicago will look from the top? Don’t wonder now you can watch it out. Willis Tower Skydeck is located on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower. Willis Tower Skydeck offers visitors sweeping panoramic views of Chicago and its surroundings.
This place provides tourists with attraction offers and serene views from the 103rd floor of Wilis Tower Skydeck. Once you stand at the tower, you can see for around 40 miles in any direction. However, it can only be possible on a clear day.
Now coming to the ticket prices of the Willis Tower Skydeck then, they are quite affordable. Moreover, there are no long waiting lines you will be delighted to see the times entry at one of the most popular destinations.
Six Flags Great America
Six Flags Great America is the perfect destination for all thrill seekers on Chicago's list of best places. While talking about Six Flags' location, it's approximately 50-minute drive north of Chicago, with everything that thrilling people like to see.
Six Flags Great America has spread its wings on 300 acres of land. Visitors traveling to this destination can expect riveting roller coasters, horror-stricken rides, and refreshing water slides galore. Besides the thrilling and exciting rides, visitors with their families can expect kid-friendly activities too!
This is the must-visit destination of Chicago because there are many world-class rides and rollercoasters, including the iconic American Eagle. Apart from all these thrilling activities, you can expect charming riverboat rides, Buccaneer battles, Columbian carousels, live theatres, and dance shows: visit this place. You will have a blast at this destination, regardless of age.
Chicago Riverwalk is a dedicated place for pedestrians, teeming with shopping, entertainment, and dining. It stretched about 1.25 miles from Lake Michigan to Late Street through the heart of Downtown. Visitors can find one of the finest cafes, hidden wineries, rowdy bars, and quirky boutiques.
If you want to explore Chicago's rich history and cultural landscape, the Chicago Riverwalk is undoubtedly your thing. Apart from the chance of bumping into the shops en route, you can also have a vantage point from which to admire the city’s skyline.
Besides the chance to pop into the shops en route, this charming spot along the city’s scenic waterfront also offers visitors a unique vantage point from which to admire the city’s skyline and, with a walking tour, explore Chicago’s rich history and cultural landscape.
So visitors looking out for a romantic stroll with their partner or two of people-watching, a place to sit and have your coffee, add this waterfront promenade to your list of best places to visit in Chicago.
North Avenue Beach
North Avenue Beach is a must-visit destination in Chicago during summer, offering a perfect escape to bask in the sun. The beach is well-known for its scenic view of the city skyline, providing a picturesque backdrop for sunbathers. Visitors can indulge in beach activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, and volleyball, making it an excellent place for adventure seekers.
There are also several waterside restaurants in the area that serve delicious seafood and refreshing drinks to help you beat the heat. Although the beach can get crowded during peak summer months, there's plenty of sand to accommodate visitors, ensuring a comfortable experience for everyone.
Located in Lincoln Park, North Avenue Beach is situated on Lake Michigan, making it conveniently close to many hiking and biking trails. Visitors can also explore the free-to-enter Lincoln Park Zoo, just a stone's throw away from the beach. Don't forget to pack sunscreen and a good book for a fun-filled day of relaxation in the sun!
Chicago's Buckingham Fountain has been an iconic landmark in Grant Park for almost a century. It is considered one of the biggest fountains in the world and has been featured on numerous postcards over the years. The fountain was built in 1927 to honor the philanthropist Clarence Buckingham and is a major tourist attraction in the city.
Visitors can witness the fountain's impressive water shows lasting for 20 minutes every hour. The fountain's massive basin spans 280 feet in diameter, and its central jet shoots an astounding 15,000 gallons of water per minute up to 150 feet in the air. It's truly an amazing sight that is definitely worth capturing with your camera.
If you're ever in Chicago, be sure not to miss out on visiting this breathtaking landmark that has stood the test of time.
Music Box Theatre
Have you visited Chicago and not seen a film in the Music Box Theatre? Unfortunately, you missed out on one of the most amazing things. But for all the other visitors planning to visit Chicago, The Music Box Theatre is worth visiting once. Misc Box Theatre is the oldest and most loved movie theatre in the Lakeview District of Chicago.
The Theatre began its journey as a single-screen theater showing silent movies, but gradually, with time, it became popular. Not it’s known as one of the city’s most famous attractions. This theatre offers visitors a charming art deco facade and intimate seating. No matter which seat you are sitting in, you will get the best view of the movie scenes.
The theatre is still going strong with a busy schedule with all the new releases and cult classics. Adding to it occasional live stage shows and events are also organized.
Chicago is an exciting city with a diverse culture that appeals to all kinds of travelers. Whether interested in history, food, art, or nature, Chicago has something for everyone. The Magnificent Mile is a popular destination for those who love shopping, dining, and experiencing the city's nightlife. Meanwhile, Navy Pier is a fantastic place for families to enjoy rides, restaurants, and even an IMAX theater overlooking Lake Michigan. If you're a nature lover, you'll find plenty of beautiful parks and gardens to explore, including the Lincoln Park Zoo and Garfield Park Conservatory, home to a breathtaking collection of exotic plants in a glass-enclosed conservatory. Overall, Chicago is an incredible destination for those who want to experience the vibrant energy of an iconic American city.