Best Things To Do In Windy City Chicago
Chicago has all the offerings you'd expect from a major city, world-class museums, vibrant shopping districts and ample nightlife venues. Chicago is a vibrant city filled with art, architecture, culture and food. There is just so much to see and do, from going all the way up the tallest building in America to visiting the beautiful Chicago Cultural Center, or even eating a Chicago-style hotdog. So here’s a list of the top 5 places you should not miss out on while in Chicago.
Art Institute of Chicago
Home to one of the country's most impressive collections of impressionist and post-impressionist art and works from numerous other genres, the expansive Art Institute of Chicago features more than 300,000 works from all over the world in its permanent collection. You'll find pieces created in the Byzantine era, as well as paintings done just a few decades ago. The Art Institute exhibits also include all sorts of intriguing artifacts, from European armor to the Thorne Miniature Rooms, which showcase interior design and furnishings in Europe and America from the late 13th to early 20th centuries. In addition to the permanent collection, the Art Institute hosts traveling exhibitions covering a variety of subjects and showcasing a diverse array of artists and genres.
Chicago Architecture River Cruise
The Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago Line Cruises offer tours throughout the year, if you want to learn more about Chicago's sky-high buildings, tag along on an architecture river cruise. During a river cruise, you'll gain great views and historical insight about well-known structures like The Wrigley Building, the Leo Burnett Building and the Fulton House.
Chicago isn't complete without a stop at Millennium Park. Situated in the Loop just north of the Art Institute of Chicago, this 24.5-acre space is used to showcase cutting-edge art, architecture and landscaping; it also acts as a backdrop for concerts and festivals. Most visitors come to Millennium Park to see the Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate, better known as "The Bean." Designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, the Crown Fountain features two 50-foot towers that face each other at opposite ends of a shallow reflecting pool. The towers' LED screens project the faces of 1,000 different Chicago residents, which are perfectly aligned with spouts so that it appears they are spitting water on passersby. Cloud Gate , created by British artist Anish Kapoor – is a 110-ton bean-shaped sculpture forged from stainless steel. The Bean's elliptical shape reflects the Chicago skyline. You can see a concert at the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, stroll through the Lurie Garden or the Boeing Galleries, or sign up for a Segway tour at the McDonald's Cycle Center. On a gorgeous spring, summer or fall day, grab a blanket and picnic basket to enjoy on the park's grounds.
Shedd Aquarium is one of the world's largest indoor aquariums, housing around 32,000 creatures. While you're here, you can feel stingrays float beneath your fingers, listen to sea lions bark and learn all about a variety of turtles. A visit to Shedd Aquarium will lead you through a cornucopia of habitats, where you'll find additional animals like penguins, piranhas, sharks and beluga whales. Or, for an additional fee, you can participate in specialty experiences like animal encounters, feeding experiences and behind-the-scenes tours.
Any fan of "Saturday Night Live" knows that Chicagoans take their love of sports very seriously. So for a real taste of Chicago culture, head north of the Loop to Wrigley Field to see "da Cubs" play ball. History buffs will also appreciate this sports treasure, which was built in 1914 and holds the honor of being the second-oldest MLB ballpark in the country after Fenway Park in Boston.