In this post, I want to suggest ten attractions one should see when visiting Chicago. The list is in no specific order because people will enjoy some experiences more than others based on their likes and dislikes. Without further ado, here is the top ten must see attractions of Chicago, of course in my opinion after spending the summer there.
1. Visit Millennium and Grant Park
The famous bean of Chicago is a must see architectural design, and the Buckingham Fountain is an extremely large and scenic fountain that can sometimes even get you wet if it is windy enough! These parks can be a nice resting place to walk around or sit down at, and a place to catch your breath from all of the spectacular attractions one could see in Chicago.
2. Try a Chicago Dog!
This hotdog will take you by surprise and make you realize what you have been missing all these years with just using ketchup and mustard. This simple but delicious treat includes a poppy seed bun, fresh tomatoes, diced onions, relish, mustard, salt, hot peppers, and a pickle spear. I have to admit, I was skeptical of this Chicago delicacy at first, but once I tried the hotdog I instantly fell in love. You can find these hotdogs at many restaurants and street/park vendors. I would suggest purchasing from a vendor in Millennium Park (see #1), where they allow you to follow instructions and dress the hotdog yourself!
3. Venture to the Top of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower)
Take an elevator ride up to the 103rd floor of the tallest building in Chicago and the third tallest building in the world! The views of Chicago from the sky deck are breathtaking, and if you are feeling brave enough there is a glass ledge that you can step out onto. Being deathly afraid of heights, I had a terrifying experience in the glass balcony because of being able to see the far drop below me.
4. Go to the Navy Pier
The Navy Pier offers many different activities that will please everyone in the family. There are several places to eat and shop, as well as an amusement park to have loads of fun. Try the Ferris wheel, which offers amazing views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, but watch out, it gets awfully windy the higher you get! Also, the pier offers a fantastic fireworks show over Lake Michigan on certain nights.
5. Attend a Game at Wrigley Field
Watch a major league baseball game at the second oldest active major league baseball stadium. See the hometown Chicago Cubs play at their iconic stadium with ivy covered brick outfield walls. This is a must do for any baseball lover! (See my third blog for more information on Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs)
6. Enjoy a Boat Tour on the Chicago River
Take a picturesque and relaxing boat tour throughout the Chicago River system. I recommend the architectural tour that will show you many interesting aspects of the buildings in Chicago. There are many spots throughout the city where you can start your tour, but I would suggest hopping on a boat at or near the Navy Pier (#4). Get your camera ready because there will be amazing views from all different parts of the river!
7. Walk Around the Magnificent Mile
Stroll through the neighborhood that runs along the Chicago River and parts of Michigan Avenue and Oak Street. Shop at some of the most luxurious stores in the world and view some of the famous buildings and pieces of architecture in Chicago. Definitely make your way to the Tribune Tower, where on the outside of the building there is a collection of rocks and bricks from historically important sites from all around the world. Make sure you wear a comfy pair of shoes because unfortunately it could be a lot of walking.
8. Taste Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Give your taste buds a treat and experience the famous Chicago style pizza. Most restaurants will offer this delicacy, but I would advise Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria (see my fourth blog for more information on Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza). Come hungry because the pizza is awfully filling!
9. Relax at North Avenue or Lakefront Beach
Take a dip in Lake Michigan at one of these beach spots that sit in the shadows of the buildings that are just across the freeway. There are always volleyball games taking place or just take in the sun and get a nice tan! A beach trip can also serve as a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
10. Tour the Art Institute of Chicago Museum
Take some time to walk through the renowned art museum that is the second largest in the United States behind only the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This museum is featured in the recent film The Vow. The couple in the film is married in the museum and then proceeds to run across the bridge connecting Millennium Park (#1) to the museum when the security officer busts their marriage ceremony.