Chicago was recently named to Thrillist’s “Best Cities in the USA to Spend a Weekend,” and the city’s presence on this list is no surprise; it contains some of the most captivating and nationally regarded tourist attractions in the country. These sites range from art showcases to sports history and beyond.
Here are a few more of Chicago’s best tourist attractions.
The John Hancock Center is easily the most iconic part of the Chicago skyline, featuring dual antenna spires and a wide main face. The building is also one of the city’s top tourist attractions thanks to its 95th floor restaurant, observatory (featuring a 360 degree view of the entire city) and a sky lobby featuring America’s highest indoor swimming pool.
One of the most regarded landmarks on the Chicago shoreline, Navy Pier combines carnival-style entertainment with historic sightseeing, providing a key stop on most Chicago tours. Outdoor attractions include the Pepsi Wave Swinger, a carousel, and a series of remote control boats. If you are looking for something more reserved, check out the Chicago Children’s Museum, which features exhibits and activities aimed at both children and adults.
Adler Planetarium is one of Chicago’s most famous public museums (impressive, considering there are many in the city). Named after Chicago business leader Max Adler, the historic structure sits on the shore of Lake Michigan and strives to “inspire exploration and understanding of the universe” within its visitorship. The museum achieves this vision by providing a number of thought provoking exhibits focused on the solar system and the technology used to discover it.
You simply cannot visit Chicago without paying a visit to the Magnificent Mile, the city’s main commercial district. This upscale portion of northern Michigan Avenue features a large number of key Chicago landmarks, including the McGraw-Hill Building, the Allerton Hotel, the Woman’s Athletic Club, and the Olympia Centre. The area is at no shortage for shopping locations either, housing many of the world’s leading retail outlets such as Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys New York.
From a distance it may look like a massive glob of metallic goo, but the Cloud Gate is actually one of the most famous modern public sculptures in the world. The structure was created by Anish Kapoor in 2006 and is located near the Chase Promenade and the McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink. The design was, in fact, inspired by liquid mercury, but it is quite safe to enter, containing a concave chamber that “warps and multiplies reflections.” Cloud Gate stands as the perfect intersection of fun house entertainment and art appreciation.