The city of Chicago has always been one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. Sure, the Windy City can get a little cold during the winter months, and Lake Michigan doesn’t help the cause, but the many historical landmarks and world-renowned museums that are located in downtown make it a must-see for tourists. Personally, I’ve been to Chicago more times than I can remember, so many of my experiences can get jumbled together; however, there are some places that you will never forget. Here are my top spots in Chicago.
Not going to lie, I’m a pretty low-maintenance individual that does not often eat at extravagant restaurants. Nevertheless, there are plenty of 5-star places for those of you who love to wine and dine on vacation. For me, a Chicago-style hot dog from Portillo’s or a deep-dish slice of pizza from Lou Malnati’s is 5-star. Regardless, you won’t have to go far to find something delicious in Chi-town.
9. Magnificent Mile
Again, I’m not much of a shopper, but the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue is unlike any shopping strip I’ve ever seen. This downtown center is an 8-block stretch of about 460 stores, nearly 300 restaurants, and upwards of 60 hotels. You can shop anywhere from luxury boutiques to multi-story mega malls. Being that I’m not someone who spends much time trying things on, my favorite part of this wonderful neighborhood is its cultural landmarks. The Historic Water Tower and Pumping Station are some of the oldest structures in the city, as they serve as reminders of the rebirth following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
8. Navy Pier
There is plenty to do at Navy Pier. It is another entertainment district full of restaurants, shopping, and rides. The Ferris wheel is my favorite part about the entire place. It takes you up about 200 feet, so you can see everything that the city has to offer. Navy Pier stretches six city blocks from downtown to Lake Michigan, with an outdoor boardwalk that extends into the lake to create some beautiful views.
7. Grant Park
Grant Park is considered “Chicago’s front yard,” and while it serves as home to a number of other attractions on this list, it deserved its own slot. My fixation with this place is due to the amount of championship parades and rallies that I’ve attended here. In the last seven years, there has been three Chicago Blackhawks titles and a Chicago Cubs title, all of which were celebrated in Grant Park.
It was impossible for me to single out one specific building to place on this list, so I simply added a section called architecture. Chicago is known for its unbelievable skyscrapers that create a skyline unlike any other in the States. Some of the most notable pieces of the skyline are the Willis Tower and John Hancock Building.