Chicago has everything you would expect in a city and much more, starting from the lovely parks, world-famous museums, dominating skyscrapers to white sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife. There are so many places to choose from unlike the other destinations and therefore, if you are in a bit of hurry but want to enjoy the essence of the city, here is a list of top 5 places to visit in Chicago when you are there. Don’t forget that if you are from another country and planning a drive then you need to get an IDP on International Driver’s Association.
If possible, try to visit them all or just add some of them to your itinerary. Also, check out the amazing flight deals at Cathay Pacific before booking your flights elsewhere by clicking on this link!
A visit to Chicago is not complete if you miss visiting the Millennium Park. It is located in the Loop community area, downtown Chicago and it is all in one; a beautifully landscaped park with many other attractions within it. The Millennium Park spreads over an area of 24.5 acres, the large space is ideal for a family travelling with kids. A suggestion would be to visit the Millennium Park in the morning hours; have a small stroll and visit the world-famous architectural wonders like the Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate. The Crown Fountain, designed by the architect Jaume Plensa, has two 50 foot towers at the opposite ends with an interactive video display. Sometimes you can see faces of locals spouting water into the shallow pool of the fountain. And yes, you will get wet! The Cloud Gate, which is also called ‘The Bean’ because of its unique bean-shaped structure is what mostly attracts travellers to Millenium Park. It was designed by artist Anish Kapoor, made purely out of stainless steel, it reflects the people passing by it and Chicago’s beautiful skyline.
Another stunning place to be visited at night in Chicago is the Buckingham Fountain. It lies in the heart of Grant Park, and several architects worked together to bring this wedding cake styled fountain into life in 1927. The Buckingham Fountain was inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles, but it is much larger than its original inspiration and thus, it is on the list of the largest fountains in the world! The lead architect of the fountain was Edward H. Bennett, he introduced the wedding cake style and the four sets of seahorses in Art Deco-style were done by architect Marcel Loyau. The best season to visit is between April to November when the water shows are done at its peak, both day and night. If you are there during the day don’t miss the 20-minute water show with the fountain spraying water at a height of 150 ft. At night the Buckingham Fountain becomes colourful and shows run every alternative hour.
North Avenue Beach
If you are a beach lover in Chicago, and cannot resist going to the beach every time you visit a new destination you can head to the North Avenue Beach to have some quality beach time! This is extremely friendly for kids too. North Avenue Beach is located in Lincoln Park and it is the most popular beach in Chicago. Therefore, it can be a little crowded. But the blue waters and the white sandy shores will make you forget about the crowds and enjoy the day to the maximum. You can try swimming here and there is a rule here; visitors are only allowed to swim when there are lifeguards, that is from 11.00 AM to 7.00 PM daily. It also has some other activities for you to try like playing beach volleyball, cycling and running etc. And if you are not that type of a person, just relax on the beach and enjoy the amazing views of the city’s skyline. Or else, you can head to the beachside cafes and restaurants to indulge in the mouthwatering cuisine of Chicago.
The Magnificent Mile
If you are a shopaholic in Chicago, you can head to the ‘The Magnificent Mile’ to shop for almost everything till you drop! The Magnificent Mile is located in a part of Michigan Avenue between Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago River. It is one of the largest shopping destinations in the world with department stores, luxury retail shops and luxury boutiques. You can enjoy shopping with a scenic stroll in some of the well-known department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s. North of the Magnificent Mile, you will find malls with luxury stores for Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Lululemon, Williams-Sonoma, Stuart Weitzman, Pandora, Levi’s, Coach, Chanel, Cartier
Giorgio Armani and more than 40 other shops. In addition to all that, it is also a place with the world’s top eateries and restaurants like Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, The Hilton Hotel and The Drake. You can also see some architectural structures in the Magnificent Mile like the Water Tower Place, Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building.
360 CHICAGO Observation Deck
After visiting the Magnificent Mile, you can head to the John Hancock Center’s observation deck to take a glimpse of Chicago’s skyline. The John Hancock Center is a 100-story skyscraper and today, it is the fifth tallest building to dominate the city. The 360 CHICAGO observation deck is located on the 94th floor of the building and it offers 360 degrees panoramic views of the entire district and surrounding states on a clear day. You can be there in the evening to witness an incredible sunset while enjoying a beer at the BAR 94. Don’t forget to check out the most thrilling ride in Chicago, the 360 CHICAGO’s TILT, which allows you to see the city from an entirely different angle as you step into a glass-like window that slowly tilts from the observation deck right out over the city sky! It is a one of a kind experience but if you think it is too much for you, it is best to stick only to the views you