My Guide to All Things Chicago
Do a free walking tour
This North America trip ignited my love for free walking tours. I did them everywhere: Boston, Charleston and of course, Chicago. I did the Loop & Millennium Park Tour and learned so much about Chicago's history. The city's architecture is also equal parts historic and beautiful.
Stroll down the Magnificent Mile
You can't visit Chicago without seeing the Magnificent Mile. It's an upscale section of Michigan Avenue that stretches from the Chicago River to Oak Street. I just window shopped, as it's home to luxury department stores and all the designer boutiques. But you will also find a Hershey's store here, where I might have treated myself to a mini cupcake. The next few Chicago attractions are located near/on the Magnificent Mile - how convenient.
Visit Navy Pier
One of the best things to do in Chicago is to visit Navy Pier. A lot is going on over there. It's home to an IMAX Theatre, the Chicago Children's Museum, the Centennial Wheel, daily cruises, restaurants and so much more. Personally, I loved the photos you can capture of the city skyline from Navy Pier.
Take all the photos at Millennium Park
Millennium Park is where you will find Cloud Gate a.k.a The Bean a.k.a perhaps the most Instagrammable location in Chicago? Wikipedia tells me it's the number one tourist attraction in the Midwest - there you go! 25 million people visit Millennium Park annually and you should most definitely be one of them. Besides capturing cool photos at The Bean, other things to do in the park include catching a show at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and visiting Crown Fountain, which is a public art/video sculpture. While in the area, don't miss Buckingham Fountain and its hourly water shows either.
Head to the skies
Two of the top attractions in Chicago are the Willis Tower and the John Hancock building. Willis Tower is the second tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Down below are corporate offices, while up in the sky is Skydeck and The Ledge. The latter is a glass floor viewing platform on the 103rd floor. Purchase tickets for the Skydeck here. Meanwhile, there's the 360 Chicago Observation Deck in the John Hancock building. Not to be outdone, it has TILT!, which is exactly what it sounds like. You "tilt" out over the Magnificent Mile from 1000 feet in the air. No biggie. Here's a link to 360 Chicago tickets, so you can skip the lines.
Visit the Art Institute of Chicago
Trying to figure out what to do in Chicago on a rainy day? Head inside and check out the Art Institute of Chicago, which is home to one of the world's largest French impressionist art collections. Tickets aren't cheap, so I'd suggest this activity is only for those that love art. Another option is the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Visit Garfield Park Conservatory
Visiting Garfield Park Conservatory is another great thing to do on a rainy or cold day in Chicago. It's home to eight indoor display gardens and features a tropical temperature year-round. There's also 10 acres of outdoor gardens, plus a children's play area. The best part is, it's free!
Check out the Field Museums
The Field Museum is one of the world's largest natural history museums. Inside, check out the Ancient Egypt exhibition, say hi to Maximo the Titanosaur, take the kids to the Science Hub and see the Birds of America.