Chicago is a city rich in history, architecture, and culture. Founded in 1833, the city rapidly grew into a major transportation hub, thanks to its strategic location on the Great Lakes. Today, Chicago is home to more than 2.7 million people, making it the third-largest city in the United States. The city is also home to some of America’s most iconic buildings, including the Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center.
With its towering skyscrapers, world-class museums, and gorgeous parks, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in the Windy City. If you’re planning a trip to Chicago, be sure to add these 10 stunning sights to your itinerary!
1. The Willis Tower:
The Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, is a skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois. At 1,451 feet (442 m), it is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the second-tallest in the world.
The Willis Tower has 103 stories and was built in 1973. It has Skydeck on the 103rd floor that offers visitors views of Chicago and beyond. The Willis Tower also has an antenna that transmits television and radio signals throughout the city.
In 2009, the Willis Tower was renamed to its current name after Willis Group Holdings purchased the building. The Willis Tower is one of Chicago’s most popular tourist destinations. Over one million people visit the Skydeck each year.
2. The Art Institute of Chicago:
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the world’s leading art museums, housing an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs.
Founded in 1879, the museum has been collecting and exhibiting art for over 140 years. Today, the Art Institute’s collection includes works by some of the most renowned artists in history, including Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, and Pablo Picasso.
In addition to its famous permanent collection, the Art Institute also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
Whether you’re a longtime fan of the arts or just getting started, a visit to the Art Institute is sure to be a memorable experience.
3. Millennium Park:
Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois.
It is one of the most visited parks in the United States and features a variety of attractions, including the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the Cloud Gate sculpture, and the Crown Fountain.
The park also offers a wide range of activities, including concerts, exhibitions, and educational programs.
Millennium Park is an immensely popular destination for both locals and visitors alike. In addition to its many attractions, the park provides a much-needed green space in the heart of a bustling metropolis.
Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or an exciting activity, Millennium Park is sure to have something for you.
4. Navy Pier:
Navy Pier is a 3,300-foot-long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan.
It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city, with millions of visitors each year. The pier was originally built in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility.
Today, it is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions, including an Ferris wheel, a carousel, and an IMAX theater.
Navy Pier is also a popular venue for special events, such as concerts and festivals. In addition to its many activities and attractions, Navy Pier offers incredible views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.
Whether you’re looking for a day of fun or a place to enjoy the city’s magnificent skyline, Navy Pier is the perfect destination.
5. The Magnificent Mile:
The Magnificent Mile is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chicago.
The mile-long stretch of Michigan Avenue is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower.
Visitors can shop at high-end retailers, dine at world-class restaurants, and admire the stunning architecture.
The Magnificent Mile is also home to a number of hotels, making it the perfect place to stay for visitors exploring Chicago.
6. Buckingham Fountain:
The Buckingham Fountain is a large fountain located in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.
The fountain was dedicated in 1927 to Kate Buckingham in honor of her deceased brother, Clarence Buckingham. The Buckingham Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world, and it is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago.
The fountain has three basins, and it shoots water up to 150 feet into the air. The fountain is illuminated with over 7,000 lights, and it usually operates from April to October.
Visitors can take a boat ride around the fountain, or they can simply enjoy the view from the shore.
Either way, Buckingham Fountain is an impressive sight that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
7. The John Hancock Center:
The John Hancock Center is a 100-story tall skyscraper located in Chicago, Illinois.
The building was designed by architect Bruce Graham and engineer Fazlur Khan, and it was completed in 1969.
The John Hancock Center is one of the tallest buildings in the world, and it is home to a number of businesses and organizations. The building’s observation deck, located on the 94th floor, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago.
The John Hancock Center is also home to the headquarters of the Chicago Fire Department.
The building’s unique design and its place in the skyline make it one of the most recognizable buildings in the world.
8. Wrigley Field:
Wrigley Field is a historic baseball stadium located on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois.
The stadium opened in 1914 and is currently the home of the Chicago Cubs. Wrigley Field is famed for its ivy-covered brick outfield wall and its manual scoreboard, as well as its passionate and loyal fans.
The stadium has also been host to numerous other events, including NFL football games, concerts, and even bullfights.
Today, Wrigley Field is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chicago, and it continues to be an iconic symbol of America’s pastime.
9. Shedd Aquarium:
The Shedd Aquarium is a public aquarium in Chicago, Illinois.
One of the largest columned buildings in the world when it opened in 1930, it houses some 32,000 animals. Live shows and demonstrations are conducted throughout the day.
Shark Feeding is particularly popular with visitors. The aquarium is located on Chicago’s lakefront, next to Lake Michigan. It receives over two million visitors each year.
The mission of the Shedd Aquarium is to educate and inspire people to respect the living world by promoting an understanding of aquatic habitats and animal behavior.
10. Lincoln Park Zoo:
The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the United States, and it is also one of the few zoos that is free to the public.
The zoo was founded in 1868, and it originally consisted of just a few animals that were donated by local citizens. Today, the zoo is home to over 1,200 animals from across the globe, and it receives more than 3 million visitors each year.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is an important part of Chicago’s history, and it provides a unique opportunity for people to learn about the animal kingdom.
From the top of the Willis Tower to the shores of Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago is filled with incredible sights.
While it would be impossible to see everything the city has to offer in just one visit, these ten attractions are a great place to start.
From world-famous museums to iconic skyscrapers, there’s something for everyone in the Windy City.
So whether you’re looking for a taste of history or a taste of adventure, be sure to add these must-see sights to your Chicago itinerary.