Warmer weather has finally arrived in Chicago, which means there’s no better time to pay a visit. From award-winning museums, to historic landmarks — Chicago is rich in cultural attractions! Not to mention, booking a Hop On, Hop Off Tour makes seeing the best the city has to offer as easy as those Windy City breezes.
Whether you’re visiting for the first time or the tenth, we’ve created a guide of our favorite spots to make for an unforgettable stay.
360 Chicago Observation Deck
Located 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile in the iconic John Hancock Building, 360 CHICAGO offers breathtaking views of the skyline and out over Lake Michigan. If that’s not enough, 360 CHICAGO is also home to TILT – Chicago’s highest thrill ride – a moving platform that literally tilts you out over the city from the 94th floor! If you don’t fancy yourself a thrill seeker, enjoy a beverage at the modern cafe and bar while enjoying best views the city has to offer. 360 CHICAGO is the perfect place to spend an unforgettable afternoon!
Lincoln Park Zoo
We’d be lion if we said we didn’t love Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in America! Get up close and personal with lions, tigers and gorillas! See animals both slithery and strange in the small mammal and reptile house, and don’t miss the big guys, like hippos, giraffes and rhinos in the Regenstein African Journey. Plus, the kids will love the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo and Farm-in-the-Zoo exhibits. It’s a full day of fun and imagination, and admission to the zoo is FREE!
Chicago’s parks are some of the most beautiful in the country, and Millennium Park is in a class of its own. Experience concert-hall quality sound al fresco at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, browse over 240 varieties of perennials at The Lurie Garden, and take a photo at the world famous “Bean” sculpture. If you’re lucky to be in town when the weather is hot, children can’t resist splashing in Crown Fountain, featuring two 50-foot towers with video images of Chicagoans “spitting” jets of water.
Chicago is known worldwide for the quality of its museums, so hop off your trolley tour at Museum Campus to experience these cultural gems for yourself!
Step right up to The Field Museum where you can meet Sue, the T. rex in the main hall! From learning about dinosaurs, to discovering what DNA can tell us about life on earth, this award-winning museum has a lot to offer.
Next, take a trip to Shedd Aquarium where you can watch dolphins play in the Abbott Oceanarium, get wild with animals from the rainforest in Amazon Rising, and waddle like a penguin in the Penguin Playscape! Grab the kiddos and prepare for a whale of a good time!
Finally, blast into outer space at The Adler Planetarium and learn all about the history and mysteries of our universe! Test your ideas in the Community Design Lab, learn about what a planet is, and get lost in the cosmic wonders.
If you’re looking for tons of family fun all in one place, Navy Pier is the place to be. Spend the afternoon stocking up on souvenirs when you shop along the Pier, explore the Chicago Children’s Museum, or let the kids climb an interactive wall at Pier Park. Round out the day with a ride on Centennial Wheel for a breathtaking view of the skyline, plus a great photo op for the family.
The Art Institute of Chicago
You may recognize those famous statues standing guard outside The Art Institute of Chicago, but did you know this world-class art museum also has the country’s best collection of impressionist art? Take in hundreds of paintings, drawings and sculptures, spanning from ancient times to contemporary artists. Witness famous works you’ve only seen on the Internet like Nighthawks, and don’t miss the astounding Modern Wing, with paintings from contemporary masters.
Skydeck at Willis Tower
It wouldn’t be a proper Chicago visit without a trip to the Skydeck on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower! Capture breaktaking 360-degree views, and step out on the Ledge that sits 1,353 feet above the ground if you dare. Not only will you see the entirety of Chicago, on a clear day you can see as far as Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Swing batter, batter swing! Take a trip to historic Wrigley Field on Chicago’s north side for a Cubbies game. Dating back to 1914, the venerable, ivy-covered home of the Chicago Cubs is the nation’s second-oldest ballpark. If you’re looking for a local experience, die-hard fans opt for seats in the bleachers, while you can also treat yourself to a luxurious box seat and enjoy the game from behind home plate. Be sure to grab a Chicago dog and some peanuts to snack on! You can even take a tour of the field during the season!
Whether you’re in Chicago for a week, or just the weekend, there’s plenty of fun to be had! While there’s no way we could list all the incredible things this city has to offer, you’ll get a taste of just how great life can be in the Windy City when you hit up some of the hot spots above. Leave the stress of getting around town behind and book your spot on our Hop On, Hop Off Tour!