Chicago, aka the Windy City, is an exciting destination that offers a wealth of art, music and architectural experiences. It also boasts a top-notch dining scene and sports culture.
One of the best places to see in Chicago is the 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck, which offers unparalleled views of the city’s jaw-dropping skyline.
1. Cloud Gate
Located in Millennium Park, Cloud Gate is one of the most popular tourist spots in Chicago. It’s also a great place to take Instagram-worthy photos.
Inspired by liquid mercury, the 110-ton elliptical sculpture forged from a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates is designed by internationally acclaimed Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor.
It appears to float over the AT&T Plaza with an extraordinary sense of lightness. Three-quarters of its surface reflects the sky and the clouds above, making it appear as if the Cloud Gate is a mirror that reveals the Chicago cityscape.
The underside of the Cloud Gate presents an omphalos (Greek for ‘navel’), a concave chamber that offers visitors distorted perspectives of themselves. Atelier One, the architects behind this artwork, had to solve several challenges during the design process.
2. Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium is a tourist spot that offers a variety of animals and exhibits that are sure to fascinate all visitors. It is a popular attraction in the city of Chicago and can be crowded on weekends.
Shedd is one of the most well-known aquariums in the United States. Its collection includes marine animals from all over the world, and has a commitment to animal care, conservation, and environment.
The Shedd Aquarium is also a great place to spend time with kids of all ages. With its polar play zone, rockhopper penguin habitat, and underwater viewing galleries, there is plenty to keep the entire family busy.
Shedd Aquarium has several special tours that can help you make the most of your visit. The 75-minute Must See Tour is a great option for first-time visitors. It allows you to experience the best of Shedd and includes an Animal Spotlight, and a chat with an animal care expert.
3. Millennium Park
Located in the heart of Chicago, Millennium Park is the city’s premier cultural destination and one of its most recognizable landmarks. This spectacular gathering spot features a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and public art.
The park’s centerpiece is Jay Pritzker Pavilion, designed by Frank Gehry. It features a proscenium arch, orchestra enclosure for a bandshell and pedestrian bridge that crosses Columbus Drive.
Another popular visitor attraction is Cloud Gate, a stainless steel sculpture that reflects the sky and the skyline. The reflections make this a great place to snap photos.
Jaume Plensa’s Crown Fountain is also a must-see for visitors, especially kids. Its two 50-foot towers contain video displays that flash a thousand different faces of locals in a shallow reflecting pool.
It’s also a fun way to cool off on a hot day. Skating on the park’s ice rink is a popular winter activity.
4. Navy Pier
The iconic Chicago landmark Navy Pier is one of the city’s top tourist spots. The pier is the city’s premier lakefront destination and is home to museums, shopping and dining attractions that are all accessible by boat cruise on Lake Michigan.
The pier also plays host to a number of cultural events, including the Aon summer fireworks, the Pepsi Tall Ships and the Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest. It’s also a popular spot for public art and exhibitions that change with the seasons.
Its 200,000-square foot space is home to a variety of restaurants and businesses. Harry Caray’s Tavern and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company are just a few of the options.
The most recognizable attraction on the pier is the Centennial Wheel, which offers views of the city and Lake Michigan year-round. The enclosed gondolas let visitors enjoy the view in any weather.