Chicago may often be overshadowed by its larger counterparts New York and Los Angeles, but it is a world-class city that offers visitors a variety of culture, food and entertainment options. Here are a few must-see destinations the next time you find yourself in the Windy City.
Take a Ride on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier
Chicago’s premier waterfront destination may be a tad touristy, but it’s worth going just for the gorgeous view you can get from the top of the 196-foot high Ferris wheel located on site. This entertainment complex also features an 18-hole mini golf course, old fashioned swing ride and is home to the Chicago Children’s Museum.
Go for a night out on the town at the Green Mill
Experience a bit of Chicago history by visiting the iconic Green Mill cocktail lounge. First opened in 1907, they definitely don’t make them like this anymore. In addition to its ties to the Chicago mob scene, this lounge is known for the poetry slams it hosts every Sunday night.
Catch a show at The Second City
From Jim Belushi to Steve Carell to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, many famous comedians got their start performing at Chicago’s legendary Second City comedy club. Take in a revue show or check out an improv night and you might be watching some future household names.
Take a walk through Grant Park
This 319-acre public park is often called “Chicago’s front yard” and features some of the city’s most iconic cultural destinations and landmarks. A walk through the park will feature stops at the Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park, and the Museum Campus, home to the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium. Plus, the park boasts several gardens and floral displays, as well as a variety of public art displays.
Go on the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise
Marvel at the city’s many iconic skyscrapers from the deck of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s River Cruise. In addition to providing stunning views of the city, the 90-minute tour, led by volunteer ‘docents’ provides a fascinating look at Chicago’s history through interpreting more than 50 buildings located along the Chicago River. Take the night cruise to see all the buildings light up in the dark.
Eat an Italian Beef Sandwich at Portillo’s
Chicago might be famous for its deep dish and its hot dogs, but the juicy Italian Beef sandwich found at Portillo’s Hot Dogs is also a local culinary institution. While hot dogs might have been the first item Portillo’s sold, the Italian Beef sandwich is what they’re the most well known for. The good news is that you can find Portillo’s locations across Chicago and its suburbs, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding one near you.
Watch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field
You don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate the history of this 92-year-old home to the Chicago Cubs. Enjoy a hotdog and a beer and take in an afternoon at the old ball game in the second oldest stadium in the major leagues. If you’re visiting when the Cubs are out of town, you can always go on a 1.5-hour tour of the legendary ball park where you can experience views from the bleachers, Cubs dugout, infield, press box, and more.