Chicago has become quite the hot spot for tourists, including world-class museums, vibrant shopping districts and ample nightlife venues, just to name a few. If you’re here to learn, plan to spend a fair amount of time in Grant Park: This area is home to such notable institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago and The Field Museum. For a more Windy City-centric education, start your vacation with an architecture river cruise – which can provide background on Chicago’s famous skyscrapers like the Willis Tower and Tribune Tower – before exploring the city’s innovative roots at the Museum of Science and Industry. Just save time for some of the city’s quintessential experiences like catching a game at Wrigley Field and window-shopping along The Magnificent Mile.
Here are our recommendations for the best ways to spend some time in Chi-Town:
5. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city from the Hancock Observatory or save the Observatory fee and have a drink at the Signature Room Lounge on the 96th floor. (Hint: The view from the woman’s bathroom is the best! Sorry guys.)
Here’s the skinny — There are a few options of observation decks in Chicago like the glass floor at at the Chicago SkyDeck, but it costs over $25 just to visit + $10 for the glass leaning experience. We actually prefer the Signature Room because it’s free to enter this beautiful bar, but the price of a cocktail is more. however, one in our party got a non-alcoholic drink for $8 !
The Signature Lounge is just two floors down (96th floor) from the observation deck above. We loved sitting and sipping our drinks though overlooking the entire city of Chicago though instead of wading through tourists. It was beautiful and the fact that a drink was included was worth it.
4. Think former governor Rod Blagojevich and other governors were corrupt? Investigate old gangster hot spots and hit spots as part of a Chicago Gangster Tour and see where Chicago corruption really began!
3. Educate yourself – Check out Chicago’s Museum Campus and all of the great museums Chicago has to offer. Visit the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium. But don’t forget to order your Chicago City Pass before you go to save you time and money. Get all the details each month HERE.
4. Stroll around Millennium Park. See what Chicagoan’s refer to as “the Bean,” play in the interactive Crown Fountain, and visit the nearby Art Institute to view priceless works of art.
5. Enjoy a Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza and then make your way to Kingston Mines to listen to some Sweet Home Chicago Blues.
You could also choose from shopping the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, taking an architectural tour on the Chicago River, visiting historic Wrigley field, or, if you wanted to focus on celebrations, Chicago goes insane for St. Patrick’s Day, including turning the river green and numerous parades.