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The Best of Chicago

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Found this guide helpful

Chicago is one of my favorite places. I fell in love with it many years ago when I went there to see "Wicked". Chicago has a huge range of attractions - so many sites are free or low in cost. I have been there with friends, family, and all by myself!

Good for
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller

18 Places

4 City Tips

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Map

18 Places

Grant Park

Parks

Millennium Park

Historic Walking Areas, Parks, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Chicago’s First Lady Cruises

Boat Tours

Rosebud on Rush

Restaurants

Yolk - Streeterville

Restaurants

Seasons 52

Restaurants

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Gardens

Richard H. Driehaus Museum

Speciality Museums

Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower

Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks

The Magnificent Mile

Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Shedd Aquarium

Aquariums

The Loop

Neighbourhoods

Buckingham Fountain

Fountains, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Chicago Water Taxi

Ferries, Taxis & Shuttles

Garfield Park Conservatory

Historic Sites, Gardens

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Speciality Museums, Natural History Museums, Children's Museums

360 Chicago Observation Deck

Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers

Navy Pier

Piers & Boardwalks, Theme Parks

lisa s's City Tips

  • get a hotel on or near Magnificent Mile
  • visit Lincoln Park Conservatory and Garfield Park Conservatory - free
  • take the water taxi! (from Shedd Aquarium) to Lake Shore Drive
  • take the trains! (doesn't cost much from Magnificent Mile all the way to Garfield Park Conservatory). Do NOT take trains headed to Garfield though - take trains headed to Conservatory..
  • Save
    Grant Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    You must see Buckingham Fountain - best at night!!!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • nice place to go walking and you can walk along pier!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #63 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Park 20/09/2018
    • Nice concept 16/09/2018
    • Grant Park
    Address:
    337 E Randolph St
    Chicago, IL 60601
    Phone:
    +1 312-742-3918
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Millennium Park
    Historic Walking Areas, Parks, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    Don't forget to get a selfie in front of "The Bean"

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • FREE EXERCISE CLASSES HERE DURING WARM MONTHS - CHECK IT OUT!
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A must see 20/09/2018
    • Chicago sure does know how to take care of their parks! 20/09/2018
    • Millennium Park
    Address:
    201 East Randolph Street
    Between Michigan Avenue & Columbus Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60601-6530
    Phone:
    +1 312-742-1168
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Chicago’s First Lady Cruises
    Boat Tours
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    Don't miss out on this! Very interesting tour guide!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • wear layered clothing regardless of weather
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 61 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great Tour of the City's Architecture! 20/09/2018
    • A Definite Must Do!! 20/09/2018
    • Chicago’s First Lady Cruises
    Address:
    112 E Upper Wacker Dr
    Chicago, IL 60601
    Phone:
    +1 847-358-1330
    Hours:
    Sun
    9:00 AM - 7:30 PM
    Mon - Thu
    10:00 AM - 7:30 PM
    Fri
    9:00 AM - 7:30 PM
    Sat
    9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Rosebud on Rush
    Restaurants (Italian)
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    I recommend the eggplant parmesan! eat outside if possible!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • crowded / tables close together - but I met some really nice people that way!
    From the community
    Ranked #125 of 6,322 restaurants in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Delightful Italian restaurant 20/09/2018
    • A great find! 18/09/2018
    • Rosebud on Rush
    Address:
    720 N Rush St
    Chicago, IL 60611-2504
    Phone:
    +1 312-266-6444
    Price range:
    US$31 - US$40
    Hours:
    Sun
    9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Mon - Thu
    11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Fri
    11:00 AM - 12:00 AM
    Sat
    9:00 AM - 12:00 AM
    Other:
  • Save
    Yolk - Streeterville
    Restaurants (American, Cafe)
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    This restaurant has the biggest breakfast selection I have ever seen!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    Tips
    • Blueberry crepes are awesome!!! Good coffee too...........
    From the community
    Ranked #128 of 6,322 restaurants in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Delish Omelet 17/09/2018
    • Great eats, great prices, come early as it gets busy! 04/09/2018
    • Yolk - Streeterville
    Address:
    355 E Ohio St
    Chicago, IL 60611-5452
    Phone:
    +1 312-822-9655
    Price range:
    US$8 - US$18
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    6:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    Sat - Sun
    7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Seasons 52
    Restaurants (American)
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    Yummy filet mignon and garlic mashed potatoes.....very nice atmosphere

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • casual dress or formal
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 restaurants in
    • Great food and service at upscale restaurant 28/06/2016
    • This restaurant has closed permanently 29/04/2016
    • Seasons 52
    Address:
    55 E Grand Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611-5610
    Phone:
    +1 312-832-1752
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
    Fri - Sat
    11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Lincoln Park Conservatory
    Gardens
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    Smaller than Garfield Park Consversatory, but closer to Magnificent Mile than GFC

    Good for
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • I recommend visiting on a nice day so that you can enjoy the outdoor area.
    From the community
    Ranked #40 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Really spectacular 16/09/2018
    • Hidden gem with delicious fish 12/09/2018
    • Lincoln Park Conservatory
    Address:
    2391 N Stockton Dr
    At Stockton Dr.
    Chicago, IL 60614-3419
    Phone:
    +1 312-742-7736
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Richard H. Driehaus Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    This is a hidden gem that many who have visited Chicago are not aware of - very close to Omni Hotel.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • warning - while this is a nice museum - you really only get to see alot on the first floor - the other floors are fairly empty - decide if you think it is worth it to gamble and pay price of ticket to see the beautiful first floor.
    From the community
    Ranked #16 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • a gem 20/09/2018
    • Totally Amazing 18/09/2018
    • Richard H. Driehaus Museum
    Address:
    40 E Erie St
    Chicago, IL 60611-2730
    Phone:
    +1 312-482-8933
    Price range:
    US$20 - US$20
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower
    Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    Nice to get views of the beautiful city - nice to see the pier from above!

    Good for
    • Must See
    Tips
    • a must see if your first time to Chicago
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not that much 20/09/2018
    • Sears/Willis tower 19/09/2018
    • Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower
    Address:
    233 S. Wacker Drive
    Entrance on Jackson Blvd
    Chicago, IL 60606-7147
    Phone:
    +1 312-875-9447
    Price range:
    US$22 - US$22
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 10:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    The Magnificent Mile
    Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    shopping, people-watching, seeing the beautiful flowers - all on the Mile!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • I definitely recommend getting a hotel on Magnificent Mile!
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • It’s Truly Magnificent! 20/09/2018
    • Very nice and pretty with the flowers 20/09/2018
    • The Magnificent Mile
    Address:
    North Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Phone:
    +1 312-409-5560
    Other:
  • Save
    Shedd Aquarium
    Aquariums
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    see this if you love marine animals like I do!!!!!

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • do not go on weekend - entirely too crowded!!!
    From the community
    Ranked #68 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • For the kids 20/09/2018
    • Lots to see.. 20/09/2018
    • Shedd Aquarium
    Address:
    1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
    Chicago, IL 60605-2490
    Phone:
    +1 312-939-2438
    Hours:
    Mon
    9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
    Tue
    9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Wed - Thu
    9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
    Fri - Sun
    9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    The Loop
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    The Loop - trains take you where you want to go - or just walk and enjoy the flowers along the way!

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • get a small Popout Map from Barnes and Noble and you will easily find your way around and know which trains to take to any location!
    From the community
    Ranked #45 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Downtown 20/09/2018
    • A great part of the city 14/09/2018
    • The Loop
    Address:
    701 S State St
    Chicago, IL 60605-2108
    Phone:
    +1 312-427-2787
    Other:
  • Save
    Buckingham Fountain
    Fountains, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    must see! (especially at night). This is a very nice area to go walking - near the pier!

    Good for
    • Must See
    Tips
    • take your camera!!!
    From the community
    Ranked #54 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Better than expected! 20/09/2018
    • This is Cool spot 20/09/2018
    • Buckingham Fountain
    Address:
    Grant Park
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Phone:
    +1 312-742-7529
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Chicago Water Taxi
    Ferries, Taxis & Shuttles
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    inexpensive - I have taken water taxi from Shedd Aquarium to Lake Shore Drive...

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Tips
    • taking taxi just adds to the fun of the trip!
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 40 Transportation in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Tour guide was great 11/09/2018
    • Great views 08/09/2018
    • Chicago Water Taxi
    Address:
    400 N Michigan Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611-4104
    Phone:
    +1 312-337-1446
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    6:45 AM - 9:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Garfield Park Conservatory
    Historic Sites, Gardens
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    since hail storm many years ago - much damage - almost done remodeling I believe

    Good for
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • big Conservatory - wear comfortable shoes!
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Gardens 11/09/2018
    • So hot 08/09/2018
    • Garfield Park Conservatory
    Address:
    300 N Central Park Ave
    Chicago, IL 60624-1996
    Phone:
    +1 312-746-5100
    Hours:
    Wed
    9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Thu - Tue
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
    Speciality Museums, Natural History Museums, Children's Museums
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    See the butterflies! This place is not just for kids - adults will enjoy as well!

    Good for
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • you can take a bus here from Magnificent Mile
    From the community
    Ranked #64 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Aside from butterfly garden, worse than average 25/08/2018
    • Excellent museum with plenty of things for children and adults 06/08/2018
    • The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
    Address:
    2430 N Cannon Dr
    Chicago, IL 60614-2874
    Phone:
    +1 773-755-5100
    Price range:
    US$9 - US$9
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Sat - Sun
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    360 Chicago Observation Deck
    Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    Check out "The Tilt" - look online to see the adventure that awaits you!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrill Seeker
    Tips
    • this is a must see for people visiting Chicago for the first time
    From the community
    Ranked #39 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Stunning views 20/09/2018
    • Great views from the top 20/09/2018
    • 360 Chicago Observation Deck
    Address:
    875 N Michigan Ave
    94th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60611-1803
    Phone:
    +1 312-751-3681
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
    Other:
  • Save
    Navy Pier
    Piers & Boardwalks, Theme Parks
    See more photos
    lisa s Says:

    consider renting a bike or going on one of the Speed Boat tours........or just walk around the pier and see the beautiful sea gulls! Crystal Gardens is a neat place to just sit and relax with a drink - maybe get some pictures!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • wear comfortable walking shoes
    From the community
    Ranked #27 of 711 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fabulous shoreline & lake views 20/09/2018
    • A must see 20/09/2018
    • Navy Pier
    Address:
    600 E Grand Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611-3419
    Phone:
    +1 312-595-7437
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
    Other:
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