things to do in chicago

Last Updated on: 9th February 2024, 08:27 am

Welcome to Chicago, a city brimming with endless possibilities and exciting adventures. Whether you’re planning a trip to the Windy City or looking for things to do in Chicago, Illinois, USA, you’ve come to the right place. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, Chicago offers a plethora of experiences that cater to all interests and preferences.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Chicago and discover the countless attractions and activities that await you. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, an art enthusiast, or simply seeking new experiences, Chicago has it all.

Explore the diverse neighborhoods, where you can indulge in culinary delights at world-class restaurants, sample famous deep-dish pizza, or savor the flavors of international cuisines. Take a stroll along the picturesque Riverwalk or embrace the breathtaking skyline views from the iconic Willis Tower Skydeck.

Visit Millennium Park, home to the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, affectionately known as “The Bean.” Marvel at its reflective surface and snap stunning photos as the Chicago skyline reflects in its mirrored exterior. Step into the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the world’s finest art museums, and immerse yourself in masterpieces from renowned artists.

To get a true taste of Chicago’s rich history, embark on a guided tour of the city’s architectural wonders, such as the Willis Tower and the iconic Chicago Theater. Take a stroll down The Magnificent Mile, a shopper’s paradise with an array of high-end boutiques, department stores, and vibrant nightlife.

For sports enthusiasts, catch a game at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, or visit the Museum of Science and Industry to explore interactive exhibits and fascinating displays.

Chicago offers something for everyone, from couples seeking a romantic getaway to families in search of fun-filled activities. With its diverse range of attractions and world-class entertainment, Chicago promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting more.

So, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a more extended trip, Chicago is waiting to be explored. Discover the charm, energy, and excitement of this incredible city, and let Chicago captivate you with its unique blend of history, culture, and warm Midwestern hospitality. Get ready to create lasting memories and embark on an unforgettable journey in the heart of the USA.

Things to Do in Chicago – Popular Experiences

When visiting Chicago, you’ll find a plethora of popular experiences that will give you a close-up look at what this vibrant city has to offer. From captivating architecture tours to immersive historical tours and engaging craft classes, there is no shortage of activities to choose from. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique adventure, Chicago has something for everyone.

Here are some of the best-rated and most-booked experiences in Chicago:

  1. Chicago River Architecture Tour: Embark on a scenic boat tour along the Chicago River and marvel at the city’s iconic architectural gems. From the towering skyscrapers to the beautifully designed bridges, this tour offers a fascinating insight into Chicago’s impressive architecture.
  2. Gangsters and Ghosts Tour: Step back in time and explore the darker side of Chicago’s history. This guided walking tour takes you through the city’s notorious past, highlighting locations associated with gangsters, prohibition-era speakeasies, and haunted sites.
  3. Art Institute of Chicago Exclusive Guided Museum Tour: Immerse yourself in art at one of the world’s greatest museums. This guided tour provides an insightful journey through the Art Institute of Chicago, showcasing renowned masterpieces and offering expert commentary.

These popular experiences cater to different interests and provide a unique glimpse into the essence of Chicago. With their stellar ratings and high booking numbers, you can trust that these activities will make your visit to the Windy City truly memorable.

“The architecture tour was absolutely incredible. The guide was knowledgeable and entertaining, and the views of the city skyline were breathtaking!” – Sarah B.

“The gangsters and ghosts tour was so much fun! Our guide brought the stories to life and gave us an intriguing perspective on Chicago’s intriguing history.” – James H.

So, whether you’re captivated by architectural marvels, enticed by stories of the past, or drawn to artistic masterpieces, Chicago offers the best experiences to satisfy your curiosity and create lasting memories.

Experience Ratings Bookings
Chicago River Architecture Tour 4.8 5500+
Gangsters and Ghosts Tour 4.7 4200+
Art Institute of Chicago Exclusive Guided Museum Tour 4.9 3800+

Explore Chicago’s Attractions and Landmarks

Chicago is home to an array of iconic attractions and landmarks that are worth exploring. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned tourist, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. From world-class museums to architectural wonders and famous sports stadiums, Chicago has it all.

1. The Art Institute of Chicago

Located in Grant Park, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. It houses a vast collection of artworks from different eras and cultures, including European paintings, American art, and contemporary pieces. Don’t miss the opportunity to see famous masterpieces like Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” and Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom.”

2. Millennium Park

Millennium Park is a must-visit destination in Chicago, known for its iconic architecture and outdoor art installations. The park’s centerpiece is the Cloud Gate sculpture, affectionately known as “The Bean” due to its shape. This reflective stainless-steel sculpture has become a symbol of the city and offers stunning photo opportunities from every angle.

3. Museum of Science and Industry

Beyond the downtown area, the Museum of Science and Industry offers a fascinating exploration of scientific discoveries and technological innovations. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits, learn about space exploration, witness live chemistry experiments, and even walk through a real U-505 submarine. It’s a perfect destination for both adults and children.

4. The Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile is a prestigious shopping district in the heart of Chicago. Stretching along North Michigan Avenue, this bustling street is lined with luxury retailers, flagship department stores, exquisite dining options, and impressive architecture. Don’t forget to explore the beautiful water views of the Chicago River while strolling through this famous shopping destination.

5. Wrigley Field

No visit to Chicago would be complete without experiencing the city’s rich sports heritage. Wrigley Field, the historic home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, is a beloved landmark and a must-see for sports enthusiasts. Take a guided tour of the ballpark, immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a game, or simply enjoy the iconic ivy-covered outfield walls.

Chicago offers countless other attractions and landmarks to discover, including Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, and the Buckingham Fountain. Whether you’re fascinated by art, history, architecture, or sports, Chicago has something to captivate every tourist.

So, make sure to plan your visit and explore the diverse and exciting attractions that Chicago has to offer!

Explore Chicago's Attractions and Landmarks

Enjoy Chicago’s Culinary Scene

Chicago is renowned for its diverse and thriving culinary scene. From deep-dish pizza to Chicago-style hot dogs, the city offers a wide range of delicious options. Food lovers can explore the various neighborhoods and try different cuisines, including Italian beef sandwiches, ethnic dishes in global foodie neighborhoods, and steakhouses that serve prime cuts. Don’t forget to indulge in some iconic Chicago popcorn from Garrett Popcorn Shop.

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If you’re visiting Chicago, make sure to experience its delectable food culture. The city has a rich culinary heritage and is known for its mouthwatering dishes. Here are some must-try food experiences in Chicago:

1. Deep-Dish Pizza

When in Chicago, you can’t miss trying the famous deep-dish pizza. Known for its thick, buttery crust and generous toppings, this iconic pizza style is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Head to one of the city’s renowned pizzerias, such as Lou Malnati’s or Giordano’s, for an authentic Chicago-style pizza experience.

2. Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

A visit to Chicago wouldn’t be complete without trying a classic Chicago-style hot dog. Made with an all-beef frankfurter, topped with mustard, onions, sweet pickle relish, tomato wedges, pickled sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt, this unique hot dog creation is a local favorite. Grab one from Portillo’s or Superdawg Drive-In for an authentic taste.

3. Italian Beef Sandwiches

For a hearty and delicious sandwich, try an Italian beef sandwich. Thinly sliced roast beef is piled high on a crusty Italian roll and dipped in savory beef jus for added flavor. Italian beef stands like Al’s Beef and Mr. Beef are famous for their mouthwatering sandwiches and are a must-visit for meat lovers.

4. Global Foodie Neighborhoods

Chicago is a melting pot of cultures, and its diverse neighborhoods offer a wide range of international cuisines. Explore neighborhoods like Chinatown, Greektown, Little Italy, and Pilsen to savor authentic ethnic dishes. From dim sum to gyros to handmade pasta, these neighborhoods will take you on a culinary journey around the world.

5. Steakhouses

Known for its steak, Chicago has no shortage of top-notch steakhouses. Treat yourself to a mouthwatering steak dinner at renowned establishments like Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse or Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf. Enjoy perfectly cooked cuts of prime steak paired with delectable sides and a glass of fine wine.

Chicago’s culinary scene is a paradise for food enthusiasts. Whether you’re craving deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, or exploring global foodie neighborhoods, the city offers an array of options to satisfy your taste buds.

Food Experience Iconic Dish Recommended Restaurants
Deep-Dish Pizza Classic deep-dish pizza with a thick crust and generous toppings Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s
Chicago-Style Hot Dogs All-beef frankfurter with traditional toppings Portillo’s, Superdawg Drive-In
Italian Beef Sandwiches Slices of roast beef on a crusty Italian roll, dipped in savory jus Al’s Beef, Mr. Beef
Global Foodie Neighborhoods Authentic dishes from various international cuisines Chinatown, Greektown, Little Italy, Pilsen
Steakhouses Prime cuts of steak cooked to perfection Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse, Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf

Experience Chicago’s Arts and Entertainment

Chicago, with its thriving theater and music scene, is a hub for arts and entertainment. Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant cultural atmosphere and experience world-class performances and exhibits. Whether you’re a seasoned arts enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable date night activity, Chicago has something special in store for you.

Indulge in Live Performances

One of the must-do activities in Chicago is catching a show at one of the city’s renowned theaters. The Second City, famous for its improv comedy shows, promises laughter and entertainment. Experience the city’s rich jazz heritage at the Green Mill Jazz Club, an iconic venue that has hosted legendary musicians throughout history.

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Explore Museums and Art Galleries

Chicago is home to world-class museums and art galleries that showcase a wide range of artistic expressions. The Art Institute of Chicago, with its extensive collection spanning centuries, offers an enriching experience for art lovers. The Museum of Science and Industry is perfect for those interested in science, technology, and innovation.

Romantic Activities for Couples

For couples looking to create lasting memories in Chicago, there are plenty of romantic activities to enjoy. Treat yourselves to a relaxing couples’ spa treatment, rejuvenating both body and mind. Indulge in a romantic dinner at one of the city’s fine dining establishments, where delectable cuisines and intimate ambiance combine for a truly special evening. And don’t miss out on the opportunity for a romantic date night, be it a moonlit stroll along the shoreline or a cozy evening at a charming wine bar.

With its diverse array of cultural offerings and romantic experiences, Chicago provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable arts and entertainment getaway.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Chicago offers a wide variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s iconic landmarks, immersing yourself in the vibrant arts and entertainment scene, indulging in its culinary delights, or simply taking in the unique charm of the Windy City, there is something for everyone to do in Chicago.

Plan your visit this weekend and make the most of your time in this dynamic city. Take a stroll through Millennium Park, marvel at the stunning architecture on the Chicago River Architecture Tour, or dive into the city’s rich art history at the Art Institute of Chicago. For food enthusiasts, satisfy your taste buds with Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza or try some mouthwatering Chicago-style hot dogs. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the diverse culture and vibrant atmosphere of Chicago.

So, whether you’re a local or a tourist, don’t miss the chance to explore the top things to do in Chicago, Illinois, USA. This weekend, embark on an adventure and create memories that will last a lifetime in the beautiful city of Chicago.

FAQ

What are some popular experiences in Chicago?

Some popular experiences in Chicago include the Chicago River Architecture Tour, the Gangsters and Ghosts Tour, and the Art Institute of Chicago Exclusive Guided Museum Tour.

What are some must-visit attractions and landmarks in Chicago?

Some must-visit attractions and landmarks in Chicago include the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, the Cloud Gate sculpture (also known as “The Bean”), the Museum of Science and Industry, The Magnificent Mile, and Wrigley Field.

What kind of cuisine can I find in Chicago?

In Chicago, you can find a wide range of cuisine, including deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, ethnic dishes in global foodie neighborhoods, and steakhouses serving prime cuts. Don’t forget to try the iconic Chicago popcorn from Garrett Popcorn Shop.

What can I do in Chicago for entertainment?

In Chicago, you can enjoy a thriving theater and music scene. Catch a show at renowned theaters like The Second City or the Green Mill Jazz Club. Explore museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry. For couples, there are plenty of romantic activities, including spa treatments, romantic restaurant dinners, and date nights.