What to See When Visiting Chicago

by Dan Patterson on 06 July 2012, 10:07AM What to See When Visiting Chicago

After New York, I think Chicago is probably the most interesting and diverse city in the United States. Chicago’s heritage as a center of American progress and culture makes it a great place to visit no matter what you’re interested in—there’s a lot to keep history buffs, foodies, and aspiring artists alike plenty content. Here, you can find world-class theatre and museums, amazing architecture, public parks, shopping, and beaches (on Lake Michigan). For all its metropolitan appeal, however, Chicago has not lost its Midwestern friendliness. Locals are genuine and willing to help point visitors in the right direction.
Convinced that you need to holiday in the Windy City yet? Good. Here are a few of the sights you’ll want to take in on your trip:

Art Institute of Chicago
You can find a variety of museums of all kinds in Chicago, from the Field Museum of Natural History to the Museum of Science and Industry. An absolute must-see for every visitor, however, is the Art Institute of Chicago. This museum contains of one of the world’s greatest collections of art with over 54,000 works.
You can spend a lot of time at the Art Institute—the collection includes everything from famous paintings by European masters to Mesoamerican ceramics. Important works in the collection include Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and Grant Wood’s American Gothic. The Art Institute is also famous for the incredible architecture of the building itself—itwas built in the Beaux-Arts style in the late 19th century, and its western entrance is guarded by two bronze lions.

Wrigley Field
Even if you’re not a Chicago Cubs fan, a visit to Wrigley Field can be a fun and memorable experience. You can take in the sights and sounds of America’s favorite pastime while enjoying one of America’s favorite foods: a Chicago-style hotdog.
If you go to Wrigley, be sure to take a picture in front of the iconic, art deco red main entry marquee. You should also be sure to notice its manually-operated scoreboard—Wrigley Field is one of the last to maintain this classic, hand-turned tradition.

Grant Park
Grant Park is Chicago’s most famous park and is nicknamed, “The City’s Front Yard.” The 319-acre park always has something going on—some of Chicago’s most famous festivals and celebrations take place here including Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza.
The park is also home to Chicago’s most famous icon, the Cloud Gate sculpture, or “The Bean” which is located in the Millenium Park section of Grant Park.This sculpture is a shiny “blob” of metal situated on top of the Park Grill restaurant in the AT&T Plaza. Its shiny surface reflects the sky and city and has to be cleaned twice a day. Admission to both Grant and Millennium Park is free.

The Skydeck
Chicago is considered the birthplace of the skyscraper, and there are many amazingly tall buildings in the city. Chicago’s Willis Tower (known as the Sears Tower until 2009)is the tallest building in the United States and the seventh-tallest freestanding structure in the world:
If you want to experience a truly spectacular view from the top, you’re in luck—the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower features an attraction called Skydeck. Here you can learn more about the tower’s history and take a daring step out onto The Ledge—glass boxes with transparent floors that extend 4.3 feet out from the building over the streets below.

Navy Pier
Navy Pier is the most-visited attraction in Chicago, and for good reason. The 3300-foot long pier is situated on the shoreline of Lake Michigan and offers visitors a variety of fun things to do including promenades, parks, gardens, rides, shows, miniature golf, and tours. Take a ride on Windy, a tall ship that sails around the lake or try one of the dinner cruises to a fun dining experience. If the lake isn’t your thing, you’ll also find overland bike and Segway tours.

Chicago really is the perfect place for a mini-break or a nice long holiday, and this list only scratches the surface of what the city has to offer. What’s your favorite thing to do in the Windy City?

To save money on your trip to Chicago, look tio get a CityPASS, which will let you save 50% on admission to the top city attractions.

Three nights in a 3* Chicago hotel plus flights costs from £599 per person. Click here for information and to book.

For further information on what to see and do in Chicago click here.

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