Chicago: What to do in Chicago? | Chicago Travel Guide | Chicago Attractions Guide

Chicago | Introduction

Chicago is the largest city in the U.S. state of Illinois and the third-largest in the U.S. after New York and Los Angeles. Located east of the Mississippi River, it is one of the most important transportation hubs in the Midwestern U.S. Since the 19th century, Chicago has developed into an important transportation hub and industrial center. Although the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 nearly destroyed the city, it was successfully rebuilt, and in the 20th century, Chicago became a center of American culture and the arts, and after World War II, one of the nation's major commercial and financial centers. To visit Chicago is to prepare for a cultural tour that focuses on architectural appreciation, culinary delights, and a wealth of arts and cultural activities.

What to do in Chicago? | Chicago | Chicago Attractions

Chicago | Transportation

Airport Transportation

Chicago has two airports, the main airport, O'Hare Airport (ORD), is located about 16 miles north of downtown, and the other major airport, Midway Airport, is located about 10 miles south of downtown. Most travelers enter Chicago from ORD. ORD has the option of taking the subway, an Uber/taxi, or a shuttle bus into the city. The Uber/taxi ride is usually about 30-45 minutes and costs $40-50, while the subway can be taken on the Blue Line or Red Line, which takes 45-60 minutes and costs $5. If you don't have a lot of baggage, it's actually quite convenient to take the subway, but we were stuck in traffic during our lunch hour Uber ride, which actually lasted for about an hour.

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Urban Transportation

Chicago is well served by public transportation, making it easy to get to and from downtown attractions by subway or bus. There are six subway lines: Blue, Red, Green, Orange, Brown and Pink. Fares are $2.5 and can be purchased as a one-way, one-day or multi-day ticket. Chicago's transportation vouchers areVentraCard, if you download the Ventra app to your phone you can use your phone to purchase tickets, and the tickets can also be used with Apple Pay and Google Pay, so we actually purchased the seven-day tickets on our phone at the airport and stored them in our phone, which made it very convenient to get to and from the various attractions and restaurants in the shopping area.

Chicago | Accommodation

There are many choices of accommodations in Chicago, and I would recommend the Millennium Park neighborhood, which is close to all the major tourist attractions, and also convenient to find restaurants for meals. Basically, because of the convenience of transportation, a location slightly west of the subway is also a good choice.

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We stayed at two hotels, Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago and Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, both of which were very nice hotels.

Accommodations | Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago

Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago is located a little bit away from Millennium Park, but not too far, at the Monroe subway station, which is quite busy with restaurants and stores. The rooms are clean and spacious, which is very satisfying. The Aire Rooftop Bar on the upper floor of the hotel has a good night view.

Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago Booking Comparison

Accommodations | Fairmont Chicago Millenium Park

The Fairmont is a relatively high class hotel, very close to Millennium Park, and the rooms and facilities are nothing to fault. The first night we stayed here, the room next door was a bit noisy, so after reflecting to the hotel, we were upgraded to a high floor suite with a living room, dining room, and a separate room, with a great view of the city.

Fairmont Chicago Millenium Park Booking Comparison

Chicago Chicago | Attractions

Chicago has many famous attractions. If you look at the map, you will find that most of the attractions are located in the urban area within a short distance from the Lake Michigan shoreline. The attractions along the lakefront can be enjoyed for at least two to three days, with Grant Park to the south and Lincoln Park to the north as the centerpiece of your lodging plans.

Chicago has many museums, art galleries, observation decks, etc. If you want to go to more than two museums and observation decks, you can consider purchasing a CityPASS or Explorer Pass. Choose between Field Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck, Adler Planetarium, Shoreline Sightseeing, and Architecture River Tour. The Explorer Pass has a list of attractions, ranging from two to seven depending on the attraction you want to visit, and visitors can choose from the ticket descriptions.

Attractions | Grant Park

Grant Park is a city park in downtown Chicago, adjacent to Lake Michigan, covering 319 acres and including many other famous attractions, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, Museum Campus with many museums, etc. If you walk along the Lake front trail, you can walk past all the famous attractions. If you follow the Lake front trail along the lake shore, you can walk past all the famous attractions, and the views of the lake from the trail are quite beautiful, with a view of the Chicago skyline. However, the trail is quite long and it takes time to visit the museums, so it is usually recommended to divide the Grant Park attractions into a two to three day itinerary.

Attractions | Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago Art MuseumLocated in the center of Chicago, it is one of the three major art museums in the United States and one of the oldest in the world, built in 1891. The museum has an extremely rich collection of works, especially known for its large number of masterpieces by Impressionist painters, including Monet, Van Gogh, and Renoir. The collection is mainly Western, but also includes artworks from other countries around the world that span thousands of years, making it a must-see art destination in Chicago.

Upon entering the museum, you can get a route map and a brief introduction. Because there are so many collections, the museum management has been kind enough to include a one-hour route in the introduction and mark the most important collections. However, even if we only followed the one-hour route, we still had to go around the whole museum area. In addition, we came across the Cézanne exhibition when we arrived, and we wanted to appreciate it very much, so we ended up playing for the whole afternoon, and we were reluctant to leave until the door was closed.

Incidentally, the Chicago Art Museum is also one of the attractions on Historic Route 66, which starts right across the street from the Chicago Art Museum. If you don't know what Route 66 is, it is a legendary highway in the United States during the Great Depression, connecting Chicago to Santa Monica in Southern California's Los Angeles, and is important to the history of western migration during the Great Depression and World War II.

Attractions | Millenium Park

Millennium Park is a 24.5-acre park in the heart of Chicago. With artwork, fountains, and an open-air concert hall, the park is Chicago's center of public art, and is actually very close to the Chicago Art Museum. The huge silver art installation in the center of the park is one of Chicago's landmarks, designed by British artist Anish Kapoor and made of 168 stainless steel panels. Because of its shape, people usually call it "The Bean", but its official name is "Cloud Gate".

The fountain in Millennium Park is a very special one, called "Crown Fountain". Designed by artist Jaume Plensa, the fountain is flanked by two 14-meter-high glass tile towers displaying the faces of Chicagoans. The design symbolizes the diversity and cultural background of Chicagoans, and is especially beautiful at night. In addition to the beautiful water features, it is also a great place for many visitors to enjoy the water in the summer.

One of the must-see things in Millennium Park during the summer months is the open-air concerts. During the summer months, there are usually free concerts every day, and often more than one on the weekends, which can be enjoyed at Official Website. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will also be performing here. The open-air concert hall is called Jay Pritzker Pavilion, designed by Frank Gehry, with speakers and a canopy to create a unique look. We came to hear Rachmaninoff two days in a row on a weekend, and then a rap show on a weekday. Many people like to have a picnic on the grassy area at the back for the evening performances, and on weekends we even saw a full set of tables, chairs and a candlelit dinner, and I bought a deep dish pizza to enjoy while we ate, which was a great experience.

Attractions | Buckingham Fountain

Located in the heart of Grant Park, the Buckingham Fountain, designed by Edward H. Bennett, is huge and spectacular. Inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles, the fountain is in use from April through October and features a nightly light show.

Museum Campus

The southernmost part of Grant Park is the Museum District, home to the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium.

Museums | Field Museum Natural History Museum

Field MuseumIt is a natural history museum with a large collection of nature-related exhibits such as animals, plants and fossils. If you use a City Pass, you can visit all the special exhibitions, including a 3D movie of your choice. Although it is a natural history museum, there are also exhibitions of other artifacts, such as the Egyptian Exhibition and the Forest Ecology Exhibition.

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The jewel of the exhibit is Sue the T-Rex, the world's most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil, measuring 12 meters long. Also on display is Maximo, the fossil of Titanosour, a new dinosaur species discovered in 2010 and the largest known dinosaur, larger than brontosaurus.

Museums | Chicago Aquarium Shedd Aquarium

The Chicago Aquarium features marine life from around the world, including sharks, dolphins, sea lions and sea turtles. The aquarium's Marine Theater hosts a different show every day, featuring a cute little white whale.

Attractions | Navy Pier

The Navy Pier has an eye-catching 50-meter tall Ferris wheel, which can be seen from the lakefront in Grant Park, and when it is lit up at night, it makes the whole Navy Pier look very beautiful. The most recommended way to get to Navy Pier is to take the Water Taxi from Museum Campus, which gives you a great view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.

The Navy Pier is full of entertainment, restaurants and stores, and even has a pier theater, miniature golf course and more, making it a great place for the whole family.

Scenery | Oak St Beach

Northeast of downtown, amongst the high-rise buildings, Oak Street Beach is a beautiful sandy beach that is only about 200 meters long. You can get close to the crystal clear water of the lake and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the beach and Chicago downtown buildings at the same time. If it were not for the short length of the beach, people playing volleyball, lying on beach chairs and under umbrellas would think they were at the beach.

Attractions | Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is a large park on Chicago's northern lakefront, covering approximately 1,208 acres. The park has a zoo, greenhouse, nature museum and several beaches. Although this park is big, it is not as extensive as Grant Park, so we only spent one afternoon walking through it. The Nature board walk here is very suitable for walking, and there is a small farm in the park, which gives the city kids a chance to get close to the farm animals in the neighborhood.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is a free zoo in the park, and the variety of species is quite rich for a zoo in the city. In fact, this is one of the oldest zoos in the United States, dating back to 1868.

Attractions | Old town Chicago

Chicago's Old Town district is not far from Lincoln Park, if you go to Lincoln Park, you can walk directly across the street, or you can take the Brown line to Sedgwick station. there are many small stores near the station, and it's quite atmospheric. Chicago's old town has a variety of architectural styles, including Victorian, Italian and modern. We walked all the way to the landmark St Michael Catholic Church.

Attractions | Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile is a mile-long shopping street in downtown Chicago and is one of the city's most popular attractions. It is called the Magnificent Mile because of the many upscale boutiques, luxury hotels and famous restaurants that line the street. But the best part of the Magnificent Mile is the architecture and the cityscape. There are many famous skyscrapers such as the John Hancock Center and the Wrigley Building, which are spectacular.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money, stop by Starbucks Reserve on the Magnificent Mile. This is the largest Starbucks in the U.S., bigger than the flagship store in Seattle. There is a dining area on the top floor where you can sit and watch the crowds on the Magnificent Mile while sipping your coffee.

Attractions | Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk is a trail along the south bank of the Chicago River, about 2 kilometers long, there are a lot of restaurants and stores on the riverwalk, and it is also a very beautiful angle to view Chicago buildings from the river.

Although the surrounding area is full of high-rise buildings, there are many people paddling canoes and sightseeing boats on the river, which is very relaxing. Passing through the bridges and canals, you feel like you are walking through a modern version of the Venice Canal.

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the buildings around you, you can join the River Cruise. Sail slowly on the Chicago River and listen to your guide explain the history of Chicago and its famous buildings such as the Willis Tower, the John Hancock Center and the Wentworth Building.

Observation Deck | Skydeck Chicago

Skydeck Chicago is located on the top floor of the Willis Tower, a great location for views of downtown Chicago, and is included in the Chicago CityPass, so there are plenty of tourists. the most special feature of Skydeck is the specially designed glass observation deck (Ledge), which hangs from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower at 1,353 feet (412 meters). 412 meters). When you walk into this observation deck, there are no obstacles around, and you can see the city of Chicago as if you are floating in the air at the height of the 103rd floor, which is very exciting. We arrived just before sunset, so we could see the night view from daytime.

Observation Deck | 360 Chicago

360 Chicago is another well-known high-rise observation deck in Chicago, located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center in downtown Chicago. Unlike the Skydeck angle, the view from here is much clearer with a view of the lakefront. The panoramic viewing room, Tilt, hangs from the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center at a height of 1,000 feet (305 m).

Attractions | Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago MCA Chicago

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is a museum specializing in modern art with a rich and diverse collection of exhibits. The museum's exhibits include paintings, sculpture, photography, video and new media.

Attractions | Chicago French Market

The Chicago French Market is an indoor market located in downtown Chicago near the Ogilvie Transportation Center and the Randolph/Washington CTA station. There are many booths and stores for food, crafts and other goods. The main feature is its variety of food stalls, including Parisian-style restaurants, delis, bakeries, dessert stores, cafes and more. The food is varied and includes French, Italian, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Location | Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, was built in 1914 and is one of the oldest baseball stadiums in the United States. If time permits, catch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, a distinctive architectural style of Romantic and Neoclassical architecture and a landmark in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Chicago | Food

Chicago is also a foodie city with many famous restaurants and is also known for its affordable food such as Chicago-style hot dogs and Chicago Pizza. See alsoThe following articlesThe

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