Along the coast of Lake Michigan in Illinois, Chicago impresses visitors with standout cultural offerings, awe-inspiring architecture and a host of authentic, urban attractions.
There are countless highlights to discover, from famed city parks and eclectic neighborhoods, to some of the tallest skyscrapers in the USA. Check out these classic Chicago attractions that capture the beauty, history and cultural style of the city.
Local Flavor at Navy Pier
There is hardly a more unique landmark in Chicago’s skyline than the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier. The first version of this Ferris wheel was constructed in the 1800s. Since then a wheel has always stood in this place as a treasured piece of the city’s history. The Centennial Wheel is the most recent incarnation, taking visitors to a soaring 60-meter-high view of the city and Chicago Harbor. The wheel is anchored by the iconic Navy Pier, so you’re only steps away from special programming, cool local attractions such as the Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass, The Crystal Gardens and dozens of restaurants (hint: Order the deep dish pizza. It’s a Chicago staple). There’s culture all around here – in both the activities and the attention to detail. It really lives up to its title as the People’s Pier.
The view of Chicago and the Centennial Wheel from Navy Pier
Dive in at Shedd Aquarium
Right on the Chicago lakefront, find a world of underwater discovery at Shedd Aquarium, where you can visit 32,000 aquatic animals from all over the globe. Stroll from the lakes of Africa to the rivers of the Amazon and the coastal beauty of the Pacific Northwest; so many of the planet’s aquatic regions are represented here. The Caribbean Reef exhibit is a must-see, with more than 340,000 liters of water and so many colorful fishes. It’s also home to Nickel, the aquarium’s flagship green sea turtle. Shedd’s galleries really immerse you in the different habitats – you can even touch the animals at certain exhibits.
A green sea turtle diving underwater at Shedd Aquarium
Bird’s-Eye View at 360 CHICAGO
Chicago is the birthplace of the skyscraper, which really set the bar for the city’s amazing skyline. See it in all its glory at 360 CHICAGO, where you can lift your spirits and your perspective at one of the city’s premier observation decks. Located 300 meters above Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile in the iconic John Hancock Center, the deck offers views that are true to its name – 360 degrees of city skyline and Lake Michigan. The deck also houses the thrilling TILT experience, an enclosed moving platform that literally tilts you out and over the edge of the building. Grab a bite to eat or a drink at the onsite Architect’s Corner Café and Bar, and stick around for sunset to watch the city turn from day to night. It offers a classic and unforgettable image of Chicago.
Family experiencing the thrilling TILT experience at 360 Chicago