The 15 Things You Must Do When Traveling To Chicago

The Windy City is one of the most unique places in the entire United States. Possessing a culture chock-full of virtually anything, it’s certainly considered one of the crown jewels within North America.

Here are 15 things you can enjoy whilst in Chicago:

1. Museums

There are a multitude of fantastic museums all throughout the city. The Field Museum has exhibits dating back over 100 years. The Museum of Contemporary Art has a vast collection of modern art – and is considered one of the best in the country. The Art Institute of Chicago has more than 300,00 artworks from all over the globe. One could spend an entire day bouncing from place to place.

2. Deep-Dish Pizza

If there’s one flagship food emanating from this city, it’s deep-dish pizza. You’ll find literally hundreds of restaurants serving the delicacy. The two most popular are Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s – although many swear by Pequod’s. A tip: Save some room before eating. Two slices will be plenty – and will feel as if you’ve just inhaled two dense bricks of hearty, cheesy goodness.

3. Eat In General

If you’re on a diet, don’t come to Chicago. The food is AMAZING here. There are world-renowned steakhouses littered throughout the city. The Italian food is next-level compared to any other city not named New York, and the portions are more than generous. You simply will not go hungry eating here. Make sure you get ample exercise to work off the copious amounts of food you will inevitably consume.

4. Walk Through The Gold Coast Neighborhood

Considered one of the oldest and wealthiest neighborhoods in the entire city, the Gold Coast area is simply beautiful. Oprah was a former resident – and for good reason. These picturesque brownstones are exquisitely built. Only a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan, this is a wonderful place to walk off all of the yummy food you’ve devoured earlier in the day.

5. Rent Bikes And Ride Alongside Lake Michigan

During the summertime, this is arguably the top thing to do in Chicago. The sparkling water is dotted with tons of boats – and those individuals basking in the sun they haven’t seen for months. Having a leisurely bike ride along the water is certainly something worth doing – if simply for the views alone.

6. Go To A Cubs Game

Attending a Cubs game is unlike any other sporting event you’ll ever go to. For one, Wrigley Field is iconic – and one of the oldest venues in all of American sports. Secondly, there’s a tangible friendliness in the stands. It’s a communal feel one can’t fully describe. The atmosphere is great, and even if you aren’t a baseball fan, you will adopt the Cubs as your team.

7. Architecture Boat Tour

Chicago’s skyline is stunning – as is its vast array of skyscrapers. The architecture boat tour will take you on the Chicago River for up to two hours. A guide will explain the history behind each and every building. It’s a nice way to get off of your feet (if you’ve been walking a bunch), and you can get some tremendous photo opportunities. For less than $30, this activity is a steal.

8. Hancock Tower View

This activity is great, especially because it’s free. There’s a gigantic elevator, which takes people to the 95th floor of the Hancock Tower. Called ‘The Signature Room,’ you’ll find a restaurant/bar with 360-degree views of the entire city. Looking out one direction, you’ll see the entire skyline. A shot of the Navy Pier and Lake Michigan sits at another angle. This is definitely a must-see – especially at night.

9. Wrigleyville Bar Hopping

Sitting right outside of the famed stadium, this young neighborhood is always sufficient for a good night out. There are tons of bars lining the main street adjacent to the stadium. The prices are relatively cheap, and there’s a very laid-back vibe across the board. For those coming from Los Angeles or New York, it’s a nice change.

10. Millennium Park

This area is a great spot to traverse on foot. The famous bean sculpture can be found here. There’s also a great amphitheatre to walk up and take a look at. Aesthetically, it’s one of the prettiest places in all of Chicago – with tons of trees and flower arrangements. It’s also right across from the city’s best breakfast spot: Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe.

11. Shedd Aquarium

Nestled right next to other museums, the Shedd Aquarium is one of the most impressive facilities you’ll see. It was first opened 75 years ago. Not only does it hold an eclectic mix of sealife and amphibians, but it also hosts fun shows in an exhibition arena area featuring otters, dolphins, and other animals.

12. Lincoln Park

Much like Millennium Park, Lincoln Park is a great place to enjoy a serene, peaceful environment outdoors. It has bike and running paths, sporting fields, a conservatory, and a zoo. It sits right next to the lakeshore… and certainly won’t disappoint when it comes to aesthetics.

13. A Stroll Down Michigan Avenue

Arguably the most famous street in Chicago, it’s a tourist haven – with a litany of hotels, shops, and restaurants. It truly is the bustling epicenter of tourism, especially the north end of the street. As you venture further towards the river, you’ll get a glimpse into Chicago’s history – with a number of skyscrapers standing for upwards of 80 years. The views towards the river’s end are marvelous. One could spend an hour snapping photos of the Chicago River sitting right in front of gargantuan-like buildings.

14. Double-Decker Bus Tour

Throughout the city, you’ll see drop-off/pick-up spots for a red double-decker bus. The tour stretches all day. You’re able to get off at a number of spots – with the bus slated to come around every hour. Not only will this tour offer you information on the downtown area, but it will also take you to other parts of the city – such as Chinatown and Little Italy. It’s a nice way to take in Chicago without having to walk around or take a cab.

15. Navy Pier

Sitting on Lake Michigan, it’s akin to Santa Monica Pier in California. You’ll have your traditional fair food, along with arcade games and rides. The Ferris wheel can be seen from miles away – especially when lit up at night. This is a great place to take a family with small children.