Important Places to Visit in Chicago, Illinois


Top Things to do in Chicago, IL, USA

Find out what to do in Chicago. Get a list of exciting places to visit in Chicago and learn about many of the activities on this site that you can participate in when arriving from other cities around the US or when vacationing internationally.

Chicago is a city for all seasons. The Windy City is welcoming at any time of the year, with activity and weather possibilities to suit travelers, whatever your vacation preferences! The great multitude of sights and stunning architecture make Chicago one of America’s most vibrant cities. Don’t miss the Loop, the Art Institute, Millennium Park, and a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

A lively, cosmopolitan city that rose out of the prairie, Chicago is America’s third-largest city. Visitors ride the elevators at the Willis (Sears) Tower and the John Hancock Center to get a bird’s eye view or explore Grant Park’s Buckingham Fountain and Art Institute of Chicago, which holds world-class permanent collections and hosts an acclaimed annual exhibition of contemporary works from around the globe.

places to visit in Chicago
places to visit in Chicago

When visiting Chicago, it is essential to plan to know where you want to go and what you want to do. You can make your trip more enjoyable if you prepare to learn about the locations before going to them. You will also want to identify restaurants where you want to eat while on vacation in the city.

The 20 best tourist attractions in Chicago, Illinois

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. The park is home to some of the city’s most inspiring public art, parks, gardens, architecture, and venues for music and performance. In addition, this park is an excellent place for outdoor entertainment. Tourists can enjoy various activities like biking, skating, relaxing on the lawn, or taking a tour of the many attractions.

Millennium Park Chicago
Millennium Park Chicago

The park provides visitors with many options for how they want to spend their time during their visit, including shopping at local shops such as Macy’s or Nordstrom Rack; enjoying live music at one of three arenas; visiting Millennium Park Zoo, or just taking it all in from above on an observation deck overlooking Lake Michigan.

Millennium Park is one of the most visited places in Chicago and features attractions such as Cloud Gate (the Bean), Frank Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Crown Fountain, Lurie Garden, and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing. The park is bounded by Michigan Avenue to the west, Columbus Drive to the east, Randolph Street to the north, and Monroe Street to the south.

Navy Pier Chicago is a great place to go if you’re looking for fun things to do in the Windy City. You can visit the Chicago Navy Pier, get a bit of history about the pier, and see some of its attractions. There are restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.

Navy Pier Chicago
Navy Pier Chicago

The Chicago Navy Pier was built in 1916 as a terminal for Great Lakes boats bringing people into Chicago. The pier is operated by Chicago and is a popular location for tourists visiting Chicago. It has been renovated and expanded, making it an even more popular destination.

There are multiple attractions at Navy Pier Chicago, including The Ferris Wheel, the Chicago Children’s Museum, the Skydeck, and more. In addition, various restaurants and shops along the pier make it easy to find food and souvenirs for friends or family back home.

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field is the second-oldest stadium in the major league, and it’s in one of the most beautiful parts of Chicago. The neighborhood is called Wrigleyville and is home to great bars and restaurants.

You can tour the stadium at any time during operating hours. In addition, there are guided and self-guided tours (the self-guided tours are more detailed). They are fantastic because they include artifacts and memorabilia throughout the stadium’s history. In addition, the stories behind some of the items tie together baseball history and Wrigley Field Chicago.

Wrigley Field Chicago
Wrigley Field Chicago

When you first walk into Wrigley Field, it feels like you’re at a different time. You’ll hear the balls hitting the bats, mixing with vendors hawking their peanuts and hot dogs. You’ll smell the grilled onions on the hot dogs and burgers. Of course, the game will be on, but if you don’t care about that, you can go ahead and enjoy the smell of popcorn made fresh at the stands.

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium Chicago is known for its exhibits of aquatic life and dazzling sea life-themed shows. The Shedd Aquarium is a public aquarium located on Lake Michigan in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Opened in 1930, the Shedd was among the first to establish whale and dolphin shows.

The Shedd Aquarium is not set up just like your typical museum. It is more like a theme park with an indoor amusement park and attractions like boat rides and an IMAX theater with 4D special effects!

Shedd Aquarium Chicago
Shedd Aquarium Chicago

Some great activities include special events like shark feeds, where you can watch divers feed sharks from the bottom of their exhibit. They have even brought back their popular Dolphin Show. This show features a variety of dolphins who perform tricks for the crowds, such as jumping through hoops, dancing, and even painting pictures LIVE.

They’ve got a massive exhibit on the Antarctic and one on the North Pole. They’ve got an underwater tunnel so long that it takes seven minutes to walk through it! And they’ve got a whole exhibit where you can walk underwater and see sharks swimming above your head!

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is a world-renowned art museum that offers visitors a chance to elevate their minds and expand their horizons. The museum is located in the heart of downtown Chicago, with a breathtaking view of Grant Park and Lake Michigan.

The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago

There are many things to do at the Art Institute of Chicago, from seeing the famous impressionist-era paintings to relaxing in one of its outdoor spaces. Many activities are available for children, including several special events geared toward kids’ interests.

A trip to The Art Institute of Chicago would be incomplete without visiting The Thorne Miniature Rooms. These breathtakingly detailed dioramas are designed to replicate interiors from many American and European history periods. A visit to these rooms will drop you into the middle of a Victorian-era dining room, an elegant bedroom, or even an American garage.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo is the perfect place to get out of the house and enjoy an afternoon. They’re open 365 days a year, they have free admission, and they have many incredible things to see.

The zoo is home to over 400 different species of animals and plants. When you visit, you can expect to see monkeys and elephants. You can also see some other fantastic creatures, including a rhinoceros! Did you know that it also has an arboretum? If you visit in the summertime when all the flowers bloom, you’ll see even more cool stuff!

Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo is great for kids of all ages. They offer fun activities for kids who want to learn about the animals and the zoo, including treasure hunts and scavenger hunts. If your kids are interested in conservation or ecology, a particular area is set aside to learn more about how they can help animals at the zoo and in the wild.

To make it easy for you to plan your day at Lincoln Park Zoo, they offer various programs and events, like movie nights on select summer evenings featuring National Geographic educational movies. They also offer many special events throughout

Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry Chicago is an incredible place. It offers many exhibits and activities, from the massive USS Silversides submarine to a collection of airplanes that you can set into the original Ferris wheel. While the museum is filled with lots of cool stuff to see and do, it’s also a great place to experience with your family, friends, or significant other.

museum science and industry chicago
museum science and industry Chicago

The Museum of Science and Industry Chicago (MSI) offers a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits that are sure to keep you entertained. In addition, the museum features hands-on exhibits, including but not limited to: “What’s inside the Tornado?” “Fantastic Forces,” “Bridges,” and “Superstructures.” It also has a planetarium, an IMAX theater, and a recently-added 3D printing lab where visitors can design their creations.

The Museum of Science and Industry Chicago is located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. It’s easily accessible by public transportation, but you’ll probably need a car to see most of the museum.

Skydeck Chicago – Willis Tower

The Skydeck Chicago is a tourist attraction located on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower (formerly and still commonly known as Sears Tower) in Chicago, Illinois. It offers excellent views of the city and Lake Michigan and a glass-bottom platform that extends four feet from the building. Visitors can only reach the observation deck by purchasing tickets online or at one of the ticket offices on the ground floor.

Willis Tower - Skydeck Chicago
Willis Tower – Skydeck Chicago

Visitors who have purchased tickets may enter through the main entrance on the 103rd floor and be guided through a security check. Don’t forget to bring your ID because you’ll need it for verification purposes.

Skydeck Chicago – Willis Tower Chicago is the highest publicly accessible building in North America. From the 103rd floor, you can get a 360-degree view of Chicago. You can see Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, Lake Michigan, and more!

Museum Campus

Museum Campus Chicago is an area in the city that’s home to one of the largest museum complexes in the world, not to mention some of Chicago’s most beautiful parks and gardens.

The area has become known as Museum Campus, thanks to its proximity to the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium, all on a single plot of land along Lake Shore Drive. However, there are plenty more museums and visitor attractions in the area!

museum campus chicago
museum campus Chicago

Here are some places you can check out if you’re visiting Museum Campus Chicago:

The Field Museum

Home to Sue the T-Rex and hundreds of other artifacts from across history. Take an unforgettable walk through time at this incredible museum!

Shedd Aquarium

Over 32,000 fish in this vast aquarium—from dolphins and whales to sharks and rays. Plus, you can see otters playing with each other!

Adler Planetarium

For those who love science fiction or want to learn more about astronomy

Nestled on the southern tip of Chicago, Museum Campus Chicago is a bustling and beautiful outdoor area with much to offer. Comprised of three major attractions, this tiny slice of the city is one of the most visited areas in Illinois.

Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate Chicago is a giant, reflective bean-shaped sculpture located in the heart of Millennium Park. The mirrored exterior reflects the incredible downtown skyline and the surrounding park, making it one of the most stunning spots in the city to take photos.

If you like taking photos, you can take pictures of The Bean from different angles or capture some other fantastic landmarks in the area, like Buckingham Fountain.

Cloud Gate Chicago
Cloud Gate Chicago

Several small gardens and cafes surround the sculpture with tasty food and drinks, so bring your appetite!

Cloud Gate area is one of the city’s most popular attractions; it features sculptures by famous artists such as Anish Kapoor and Jaume Plensa and public art installations like Lurie Garden (Chicago Botanic Garden). There are also many different walking trails around this area.


Chicago is home to many museums and galleries, including the Museum of Science and Industry, where visitors can learn about the history of Chicago and its place in American industry. They can also check out O’Hare International Airport, which provides free daily tours, or visit Millennium Park, where they can check out Cloud Gate (a giant reflective bean) or play sports on one of the many courts.

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois

Don’t forget about their restaurant scene! There are many great restaurants in Chicago; try something new this time to experience all this great city has to offer.

Chicago is a big city with plenty of places to visit, but it can be overwhelming for tourists. If planning a trip to Windy City, use our list to plan your itinerary.

The Magnificent Mile may be great, but there’s no reason not to venture out into some other neighborhoods too: North Center, West Loop, Hyde Park. In addition, you can stroll along Lake Shore Drive and walk through the Lincoln Park Zoo before ending up in Lincoln Square for a nightcap at Rockit Bar & Grill.

Joseph Byrne
Places to Visit