Are you planning a trip to Chicago and wondering what there is to do in the city? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the diverse range of activities and attractions that the vibrant city of Chicago has to offer.
Whether you are a foodie, history buff, art enthusiast, or simply looking for some outdoor fun, Chicago has something for everyone. Read on to discover the must-see sights, delicious food, and exciting activities that await you in the Windy City.
Explore Iconic Landmarks and Attractions
Start your journey by exploring the iconic landmarks and attractions that make Chicago a world-renowned destination. First on the list is the Willis Tower Skydeck, offering breathtaking views of the city from its glass observation deck on the 103rd floor. On a clear day, you can see up to 50 miles in all directions. Don’t forget to take a thrilling walk on “The Ledge,” a glass balcony extending out over the city.
Another must-visit attraction is The Art Institute of Chicago, one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Immerse yourself in a world of masterpieces, including works by famous artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso. The museum’s collection spans centuries and cultures, making it a paradise for art enthusiasts.
To learn about Chicago’s architectural heritage, take a Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. This leisurely boat tour takes you along the Chicago River, allowing you to admire the city’s renowned skyscrapers and learn about their design and history. Marvel at iconic buildings like the Wrigley Building, Trump Tower, and the John Hancock Center.
2024 is the year of the return of major events in Chicago after the pandemic. Don’t miss the chance to catch a Chicago Bulls game at the United Center or enjoy a live performance at the famous Chicago Theatre. Keep an eye on the city’s event calendar for concerts, festivals, and other exciting shows happening during your visit.
Indulge in Chicago’s Food Scene
Chicago is a food lover’s paradise, renowned for its deep-dish pizza, hot dogs, and diverse culinary scene. Treat yourself to a slice of authentic Chicago-style deep-dish pizza at popular spots like Lou Malnati’s, Gino’s East, or Giordano’s. The thick, buttery crust topped with gooey cheese and hearty tomato sauce is a true Chicago experience.
If you’re a hot dog enthusiast, don’t miss the opportunity to try a Chicago-style hot dog. These dogs are a unique combination of flavors and toppings, including yellow mustard, bright green relish, onions, tomato slices, pickle spears, sport peppers, and a sprinkling of celery salt–all served on a poppy seed bun. Head to Portillo’s or Superdawg for this iconic Chicago treat.
But Chicago’s food scene extends far beyond pizza and hot dogs. The city boasts numerous high-end restaurants, ethnic eateries, and vibrant food markets. The Girl and The Goat and Alinea are just two examples of world-class restaurants serving innovative and delicious cuisine. For those looking for a more casual experience, a visit to The Purple Pig or Revolution Brewing is a must.
Don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with a Chicago-style popcorn from Garrett Popcorn Shops or indulge in a classic Italian beef sandwich from Al’s Beef. The food options in Chicago are endless, so be sure to come with an empty stomach and an adventurous palate.
Immerse Yourself in Cultural Experiences
Chicago is a city rich in culture and history. Immerse yourself in its vibrant arts scene by visiting The Museum of Contemporary Art or The Second City, a world-famous improvisational comedy club that has launched the careers of many comedic legends.
If you’re a history buff, a visit to the Chicago History Museum is a must. Delve into the city’s past through engaging exhibits and artifacts, and learn about pivotal moments in Chicago’s history, such as the Great Fire of 1871 and the Prohibition era.
Experience the vibrant music scene in Chicago by taking a trip to the iconic Chicago Blues clubs or catching a live jazz performance at venues like Green Mill Jazz Club. The city’s rich musical heritage is sure to captivate your soul.
Embrace the Outdoors
If you’re seeking outdoor adventures, Chicago won’t disappoint. Explore the 18-mile-long Chicago Lakefront Trail, which offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and connects various parks and neighborhoods along the way. Whether you choose to bike, walk, or run, this scenic trail is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
2024 marks the grand opening of the Chicago Riverwalk‘s final section, extending it to a total of 1.25 miles. Take a leisurely stroll along the river, enjoy the beautiful landscaping, and stop at one of the many riverfront cafes and restaurants for a bite to eat.
If you’re visiting during the summer, make sure to check out one of Chicago’s beaches. North Avenue Beach and Oak Street Beach are popular choices, offering opportunities for swimming, sandy toes, and soaking up the sun. You can even rent a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard to explore the waters of Lake Michigan.
During the winter months, embrace the cold and head to Millennium Park for ice skating, surrounded by the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as “The Bean.” The park transforms into a winter wonderland, and it’s the perfect spot to create lasting memories with friends and family.
With its iconic landmarks, diverse food scene, rich cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures, Chicago has something for everyone. Whether you’re exploring the breathtaking views from the Willis Tower Skydeck, indulging in deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs, immersing yourself in the city’s culture and history, or embracing the outdoors along the lakefront, Chicago will leave you with unforgettable memories.
As you plan your trip to Chicago in 2024, make sure to prioritize the activities and attractions that resonate with your interests the most. Remember to check for any specific guidelines or restrictions related to the pandemic before your visit.