Top Things to Do in Downtown / The Loop

THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Downtown / The Loop, Chicago

Top Things to Do in Downtown / The Loop

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  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, number of page views, and user location.
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What travellers are saying

  • Ellen B
    Hortonville, WI1,215 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) is truly world class. We took the opportunity during this visit to Chicago to see the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit of her New York City paintings.

    The permanent collections of the AIC are amazing in and of themselves. We toured the Classic Statuary, the Japanese art collection, and the extensive Impressionist painters exhibit. We enjoyed them immensely, and I recommend them highly.

    The Georgia O’Keefe exhibit is also truly exceptional. (Runs through September 22). I was previously unaware of this component of her body of work. The exhibit is very well curated & presented, with interesting background information. Her NYC paintings are absolutely stunning!

    I definitely recommend seeing it if you’re in town during the exhibit.
    Written 12 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Octavia F
    2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely park area for all. Area also includes water features. Nice cafes. Clean and tidy. Easy to get to. Wheelchair accessible.
    Written 16 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Amy C
    San Antonio, TX5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is one of the most amazing place in Chicago. The view is just breathtaking, It was a beautiful view over the city and the whole experience was so fun! It was good architecture of 70s still everything looks so advance and well planned. I saw beautiful views from top of 103rd floor cool experience.
    Written 9 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Debbie D
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Linda was our docent & she was fabulous! Her knowledge, expertise, and love for the building was evident. We were even able to sneak a peak into two artist’s studios with magnificent views. Everyone we encountered was professional and eager to share a piece of the artistic experience.
    Written 20 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Dean_Amy-2004
    Gettysburg, PA8,389 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The main request of our granddaughter was to see “The Bean”…mission accomplished. An icon easily accessed in the park. Parking is available right at the park; look for Millennium parking underground
    Written 11 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • doctorfoxtrot
    Taguig City, Philippines13,076 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    It is quite a long walk from the starting point ending in the Michigan area where the Trump Hotel stands . Along the way however you see the architecture marvels , several eateries , restaurants and souvenir shops. Also the tendency to people watch can’t be avoided . Must experience in the city .
    Written 20 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Taylor B
    Chicago, IL8,421 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Chicago River is a winding, wandering, wonderful body of water. It flows backward, piercing the heart of Chicago, linking Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. It is a system of rivers and canals with a combined length of 156 miles that runs through downtown Chicago. It is dyed bright green on St. Patrick's Day and is spanned by iconic bridges that open and close to traffic. Today, the main stem of the river flows west from Lake Michigan to Wolf Point, near the Merchandise Mart, where it converges with the North Branch to form the South Branch, which flows southwest and empties into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. The North Branch has its beginnings in the northern suburbs where its three principal tributaries converge -- Skokie River, Rondout and Mettawa -- and continue south through Niles before entering Chicago near the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Devon Avenue. Meanwhile, the South Branch enters the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal at Damen Avenue and flows down the canal through the southwestern suburbs and, in time, into the Des Plaines River between Crest Hill and Lockport, eventually reaching the Gulf of Mexico. Historically, Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, though probably not the first Europeans to visit the area, are the first recorded explorers to have visited the Chicago River in 1673. Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, acknowledged to be the first permanent resident of Chicago, built a farm on the north bank at the mouth of the river in the 1780s. In 1803, Fort Dearborn was constructed on the bank opposite what had been Point du Sable's settlement, on the site of the present day Michigan Avenue Bridge. The first bridge over the river was constructed over the North Branch near present day Kinzie Street in 1832. A second bridge over the South Branch near Randolph Street was added in 1833. Today, the Chicago River is spanned by 38 bridges, down from a peak of 52. To learn about the history of the Chicago River and how the bridges are raised and lowered, visit the five-story, 1,613-square-foot McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum at the southwest bridgehouse of the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Looking for other ways to enjoy the river? Take a lightening fast cruise on the speedy Seadog, which jets off from Navy Pier, speeds along the lakefront, then zips down the river. allowing passengers to see the most famous riverfront buildings, including Tribune Tower, Wrigley Building, Willis Tower, Marina City, Lyric Opera and Merchandise Mart. Take a ride on a fireboat, paddle a kayak, take a guided architectural tour that circles the Loop and glides past the spot where the first settlers to Chicago set up their home base or hail a water taxi to travel via the Chicago River to Chinatown, Navy Pier, the Museum Campus, Willis Tower, Michigan Avenue and Union Station. All in all, there are many exciting ways to explore the Chicago River.
    Written 4 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • DayTrip16983753368
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A little bit of an uncomfortable experience, so it did it’s job and was pretty educational on how torture methods, devices and tools were used in the past. Would recommend!
    Written 14 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • joaniemaria
    Eldridge, IA4,841 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We came to see the Tiffany dome and the cool architecture of the building. It was once the Chicago Public Library. It is quite large inside. You could easily spend an hour or more there. It is not far from Millennium Park. It also has very clean restrooms! There was an art display while we were there on the 4th floor. Best of all it is free. It is a neat, free attraction downtown.
    Written 9 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • doctorfoxtrot
    Taguig City, Philippines13,076 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The water display was quite elegant , extensive and a feast for the eyes . Adding to that was a nice backdrop of the city skyline . Located at Grant Park it was near Maggie and Millenium. Although it can be a tedious walk considering the humidity at that time. Be ready for taking nice photos.
    Written 12 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • sanju_222323
    New Jersey16,270 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aside from Cloud Gate and Buckingham Fountain, The Chicago Theatre's red and yellow marquee is perhaps one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. At the northern edge of the Loop, The Chicago Theatre first opened its doors in 1921 as an extravagant movie theater and performance venue. Between the theater's unmistakable sign and its stunning façade, it's impossible to miss this stunning Chicago landmark.

    the theater has hosted such big names as Duke Ellington, Diana Ross and Prince, in addition to screening blockbuster flicks. The theater's historic appearance enhances the overall experience of catching an event here. Just remember, cameras and video cameras, including those on cell phones, cannot be used during tours or performances.

    It is a few blocks northwest of Millennium Park. Even if you don't have time to check out a show, be sure to pop in or schedule a tour to get a closer look.
    Written 23 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • doctorfoxtrot
    Taguig City, Philippines13,076 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A huge radius encompassing everything. From shops , restaurants, convenience stores , hotels , theaters , historical buildings. Seeing an upward train , it reminds you of typical downtown. Be wary however of occasional sketchy situations at certain areas specifically at night time .
    Written 12 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • doctorfoxtrot
    Taguig City, Philippines13,076 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We went there to watch the musical Six . We are in the theater just in time . Seats are comfortable. The coolness inside felt just right . Spacing was ok it doesn’t feel cramped . Didn’t bring food and water when we came . Anyway the play runs at slightly above 90 minutes there was no break in between. I was aware that video and photography are not allowed inside once the program starts.
    Written 17 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Anuja V
    Toronto, Canada31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This little museum is such a worthwhile stop if you are visiting Chicago! Staff are so friendly and enthusiastic, tickets are reasonably priced, and there is a lot to see, do, and learn. There’s a great kid lit room that’s perfect for kids who might just want a quiet space to read/chill. Lots of interactive exhibits to check out. Kids especially liked the typewriters and the digital mad libs. Free bookmarks for everyone was a nice touch!
    Written 16 March 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • joaniemaria
    Eldridge, IA4,841 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We decided to visit this free attraction near the Rookery building. It was quite interesting. The video is informative and should be required watching for every high school student! See the million dollar cube! Receive a souvenir bag of cash when you visit—shredded of course! Many displays that will help you better understand the Federal Bank. We spent about an hour here. You must show ID to enter and go through security.
    Written 9 July 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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