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Chicago – America’s Favorite Midwest Destination

Chicago skyline panorama and Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park
Chicago skyline panorama and Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park

Chicago is one of America’s favorite cities for traveling. It’s an iconic city famous for its incredible skyline, Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and rich cultural heritage that you’ll get to experience during your trip.

Visit Chicago to explore the world-class attractions, such as its museums and parks. It’s also a trendy foodie destination where you’ll have plenty of delicious local foods to try, like the famous Chicago-style deep dish pizza. 

Lose yourself in the Windy City streets surrounded by towering skyscrapers or get a view from above it all at the highest observation deck in the US. Chicago has it all, and you’ll find out the best things to do during your trip, where to stay, and more!

Things to Do:

Skydeck Chicago

Chicago’s skyline is filled with skyscrapers, but none as tall as the iconic Willis Tower. The Willis Tower was once the tallest building in the world and boasts the highest observation deck in Chicago. 

The Willis Tower has 110-stories at over 440-meters tall. The Skydeck experience takes tourists up to the 103rd floor for panoramic views of Chicago.

Nearly two million people every year ascend to the top of the tower for the best views in town. You’ll start with a short documentary about the building before climbing into the elevator for an expedited ride to the top. 

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Once the doors open, you’ll be welcomed by a breathtaking view of the city. Be sure to climb into the glass boxes to look straight down or lean on the tilted window section if you’re brave enough.

The Chicago Loop

The Chicago Loop is a must-visit area to see many of the top attractions concentrated in one place. The Loop encompasses Downtown Chicago with lots of hotels, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and sightseeing. You can find yourself immersed in the towering architecture of the Windy City, extending out to the Chicago River Walk.

The Chicago Loop is where you’ll discover landmarks such as the Willis Tower, Millennium Park, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Theatre District. There are always concerts, festivals, and more happening at any time of the day.

It’s easy to get around the Loop thanks to the metro L train circling the entire area. Take a ride on the train for transportation, or to enjoy the views from the railway.

Navy Pier

Visit Navy Pier, the most popular tourist attraction in Chicago. The pier extends into Lake Michigan that welcomes visitors with recreation, fun, and leisure. It’s the perfect place for all ages.

One of the most iconic features of the pier is the amusement park. The Centennial Wheel, a 79-meter tall Ferris wheel, dominates the pier scenery. Take a ride up for great skyline views or looking out into the lake. The amusement attractions also include a roller coaster, carousel, funhouse maze, and more.

Navy Pier has several other attractions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Children’s Museum, and the Crystal Gardens. Events are hosted on the Navy Pier all year round, so you’ll always find something going on during your visit.

Chicago Cruises

Chicago is known for local cruises, giving passengers a chance to experience the incredible architecture and city scenery. You can take many types of tourist cruises in Chicago in Lake Michigan or along the Chicago River.

Lake Michigan runs along Chicago’s eastern shore – it’s a favorite place to go on dinner cruises or enjoy skyline views. You can find the cruises around Navy Pier and ride out into the lake for the best views of Chicago from the water.

The Chicago River runs through Downtown Chicago lined with many of the most iconic skyscrapers along the riverbanks. The Architecture cruise is a tourist favorite for a unique perspective of the towers while learning fascinating facts about them.

Millennium Park

Escape the busy Chicago metropolis to the green spaces of Millennium Park. Located in the Loop district, the urban park offers 24.5-acres of green spaces to enjoy leisure and attractions. The park opened in 204 to commemorate the new millennium and has grown into Chicago’s major tourist destinations.

Millennium Park is most famous for the Cloud Gate art installation, a bean-shaped art piece with a highly reflective surface providing a unique, distorted view of the Chicago Skyline. 

The park is also a frequent destination for outdoor festivals and events. During the summer, you can catch live music at the pavilion; during the winter, it provides an ice skating rink and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony to kick off the holiday season.

Where to Stay in Chicago?

When traveling to Chicago, it’s all about the location to maximize your trip experience. Depending on what you want to do during your trip, you’ll be able to find a suitable place to stay. Chicago is a destination for all types of travelers – sightseeing, foodies, sports fans, family trips, luxury vacation, you name it!

A few of the best places to stay in Chicago include:

The Loop

Magnificent Mile

Gold Coast

The Loop is a top area for first-time visitors to Chicago who want to sightsee all of the top landmarks. It’s in the Downtown district, where you’ll have all of the leading brand hotels and boutique-style for local hospitality. It’s easy to get around, so you’ll be just minutes from your hotel to your favorite attraction.

The Magnificent Mile is a nickname given to a section of Michigan Ave famous for shopping. You’ll have plenty of places to splurge or find some interesting shopping boutiques. It’s also a popular nightlife destination, so you’ll get to see the vibrant nightlife scene.

The Gold Coast is reserved for luxury travelers who want to get an upscale Chicago experience. It’s lined with waterfront hotels on the northern end of the city, named for the golden sand beaches lining the shore.

Best Time to Visit Chicago

Any time you get an opportunity to travel to Chicago, you should take it, regardless of the time of year. You can travel to Chicago in any season and find plenty of things to do to make you fall in love with the city.

Chicago during the summertime is the favorite travel season thanks to the great weather. You’ll have long, sunny days to enjoy spending time in Millennium Park or on the Navy Pier. It’s when you’ll also be able to take advantage of all the rooftop restaurants and bars.

During the wintertime, Chicago is very cold, but it makes up for the weather with fun experiences that you’ll only find during the season. It transforms into a very decorative city with lots of festive holiday lights, ice skating in the park, and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies. 

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