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Chicago travel guide - what to see in Windy City

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Cloud Gate or The Bean Cloud Gate or The Bean

Location: East of Michigan avenue: between Washington and Madison streets.
Construction: 2004 - 2006
Chicago Cloud Gate is located in Millennium Park and has a nickname “The Bean” because of its look-alike shape. Welded stainless steel sculpture is unique and popular because of its reflective abilities. It reflects the city helping tourists to make perfect shots of Chicago and its skyscrapers.

buckingham fountain night view Buckingham Fountain

Location: Grand Park; west of Lake Shore Drive; between Jackson drive and Balbo Avenue.
Chicago Buckingham fountain is located in Grant Park near the Lake Michigan and is one of the largest fountains in the world. The fountain is very famous historic landmark not only Chicago but the whole United States. Buckingham Fountain was a point from which historic route 66 began and run 2,451 miles (3,945 kilometers) all the way to Los Angeles.
This already gorgeous rococo styled structure is decorated with color lights to make the fountain equally beautiful during the day time and night with its evening light shows.

adler-planetarium Adler Planetarium

Location: Northerly Island, East side of Museum Campus.
Address: 1300 Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
Built: 1930
The Planetarium is famous for its immersive sky shows, star parties. Adults and children can use loaner telescopes to watch stars and planets closer and learn through play about them.
Man-made Northerly Island is a perfect place for relaxation. It has beautiful park with spectacular view on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier and Chicago skyscrapers.

harold-washington-library-center Harold Washington Library Center

Location: between Van Buren St. and Congress Pkwy (North/South); between S Plymouth Ct. and S State St. (West/East).
Address: 400 S State St, Chicago, IL, 60605.
Approximately 756,640 ft2 (70,294 m2) building built with red bricks has four Entrance/Exits on streets from all four sides.
Harold Washington library a main Chicago public library and has huge collections of books, magazines, and videos. Library provides free story times for children and other events for kids and adults. It has free WI FI internet connection.

Crown Fountain with video Crown Fountain

Location: Millennium Park
Built in: 2004
Pair of glass brick towers is famous for their high 50 feet (15.2 m) tall waterfalls, spouts of water, and displayed videos. It operates from May to October. Adults and children take their bathing suits and come to the place to have lots of fun with the fountain water. Those people who want to take a picture close to the glass tower, but do not want to get too much wet taking photos under umbrellas. It is a common gathering place for residents, Chicago visitors and photographers.

Shedd Aquarium outside view Shedd Aquarium

Location: North side of Museum Campus
Address: 1200 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL, 60605
Opened in: 1929
Chicago Shedd aquarium is one of the perfect places to see and learn about the aquatic world. Visitors can enjoy lots of different shows, exhibitions, and animals like otters, octopuses, whales, dolphins, penguins, lizards, rays, sea jellies, turtles, sharks, and various collections of fishes.

Grant Park Grant Park

Location: Southeast side of Loop and Museum Campus.
Grant Park is Chicago’s famous “front yard”. Most visited parts of the park are as follows: Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park, and the Museum Campus (Shedd aquarium). The Park is unique because of its fabulous gardens, art works. 319 acres (129 ha) of park area serves for many large public events and festivals.

Chicago Cultural Center interior view Chicago Cultural Center

Location: Between Michigan Avenue and Garland Ct (East/West) and between Randolph and Washington streets (North/South)
Address: 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL, 60602.
Built in: 1893
Chicago Cultural Center is one of the most visited all year-round places in Chicago due to its architectural beauty, art works, and convenient location. The stunning building is home to various art exhibitions and family events (weddings). It is also popular and busy public gathering place because of its free films, lectures, music, dance, and theater events.

Soldier Field Soldier Field

Location: Museum Campus, East of Lake Shore Drive, between McFetrige Dr and Waldron Dr.
Address: 1410 S Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
Soldier Field is the NFL stadium and home for Chicago Bears, one of the 32 professional American football teams. It is unalike other stadiums because it serves as a memorial to soldiers who have died in wars. Fully renovated in 2003 stadium has fountains and sculptures. Soldier Field is easy accessible by public transportation and it is a great place to visit not only during NFL season but year round.

Boats on Navy Pier Navy Pier

Location: Streeterville neighborhood.
Address: 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
Chicago Navy Pier is internationally attractive stopping place for tourists. It is one of the busiest and crowded places in Chicago because of its various entertainment events, shopping, dining, and cruises. There are lots of different kinds of children attractions. Visitors can take boat rides on the Lake Michigan or just observe big and small ships on the Lake. This place is famous for its frequent fireworks, Children Museum, IMAX Theatre, Shakespeare Theater, and roller coasters.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Location: Millennium Park
Address: 201 E. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601
Known as Pritzker Music Pavilion is located in Chicago Millennium Park. This is a huge free open area theater where symphony orchestra, chorus, music festivals, and other performing arts are pretty often events. Local and foreign visitors come to see the place and enjoy the concerts. There are many regular seats near the stage and Great Lawn where people can seat on the grass and listen to the music.

Boeing Galleries Boeing Galleries

Location: Millennium Park
The North and South Boeing Galleries are located on both sides of Cloud Gate (AT@T Plaza) in Chicago Loop. The places are an open-air galleries designed to accommodate exhibitions of visual arts and sculptures.

Crystal Gardens Navy Pier Crystal Gardens

Location: Navy Pier
The Garden is located at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois. It is an indoor palm court which creates feeling of tropical seating. It is attractive and famous for its dancing 'leap-frog' fountains. The Garden serves also as a place to hold some corporate events and private parties including wedding ceremonies.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lincoln Park Zoo

Location: Lincoln Park; West of Lake Shore Drive; between Fullerton Avenue and North Avenue.
Opened in 1868, Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the U.S. It is home for many different kinds of animals, birds, and vegetation. Admission is free.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater Navy Pier Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Location: Navy Pier
Address: 800 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
Chicago Shakespeare Theater is famous all year-round theater complex. It presents hundreds of its own performances and hosts other touring productions.

Lincoln Park Conservatory Lincoln Park Conservatory

Location: Lincoln Park, on the cornet of Fullerton Avenue and Stockton Drive.
Address: 2391 North Stockton Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
Botanic gardens inside conservatory are unique because of their tropical palms and ancient ferns. It is admission free and designed both to showcase exotic plants and grow the thousands of plants needed for use in the parks. It is home to the annual flower shows.

Chicago Children’s Museum on navy Pier Chicago Children’s Museum

Location: Navy Pier
Address: 700 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
Children and parents love the Museum because there are so much different things to learn and explore for both. Young and active visitors might be interesting to drive a firetruck, climb on a ship or a treehouse, while to other would be more fun to learn how to construct a building or invent a flying machine. There are various and exciting activities for every child.

Goodman Theatre Goodman Theatre

Location: North side of Loop
Address: 170 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60601
The Theatre is famous for its history, artists, programs, and performances both classic and contemporary.

Navy Pier's Ferris Wheel Ferris Wheel

Location: Navy Pier
Navy Pier’s Ferris wheel is 150 feet (45.7 meters) high. It is not exceptionally tall structure, but from it visitors are able to observe magnificent views on Navy Pier itself, Lake Michigan, nearby harbors, and downtown of Chicago.

Field Museum of Natural History Field Museum of Natural History

Location: Museum Campus
Address: 1400 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
Built in: 1921
It is known for its large collection of dinosaur skeletons. Field Museum contain millions of specimens and it is one of the best places not only passively watch exhibitions, but learn about anthropology and human evolution.

Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre

Location: North side of Loop
Address: 24 West Randolph Street, Chicago, IL, 60601
It is predominantly a movie house. However, live performances and concerts are also frequent events in the theatre.

Chicago Theatre Chicago Theatre

Location: North side of Loop; Southeast of State and Lake streets intersections.
Address: 175 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60601
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, Chicago Theatre is one of the best places to see performing arts, magic shows, music concerts or comedies in Chicago.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Location: Northeast side of Lincoln Park neighborhood
Address: 2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a nice quite place a few hundred yards from Lake Michigan. Outdoor nature trails and indoor exhibits are great to explore all year round. It is a great place to visit with children.

Chicago History Museum Chicago History Museum

Location: Lincoln Park
Address: 1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
Chicago History Museum is one of the best places to discover the history of Windy City. The museum offer variety of activities for kids and host many events including wedding ceremonies.
The place is famous for its rich and various exhibition collections, films, and rare artifacts of vivid Chicago’s history and the history of United States.

Moody Church Moody Church

Location: Lincoln Park
Address: 1635 W. LaSalle Dr Chicago, IL 60614
Religious places to visit in Chicago. The historic Protestant church – Moody Church.
It is a place to learn, understand, and apply the Bible in your life. They offer seminars, luncheons with guest speakers, bible studies, and various classes for men, women, parents, and marriage related.

U.S. Cellular Field U.S. Cellular Field

Location: Armour Square neighborhood just off Dan Ryan Expressway on 35th street.
Address: 333 West 35th Street Chicago, IL 60616
For those who like baseball, Chicago US Cellular Field (Comiskey Park) is one of must see places in the U.S. The stadium is large ballpark and home for Chicago White Sox, a Major League Baseball team. Visitors come to the place to enjoy watching baseball games and cheer for their favorite team. U.S. Cellular Field is wheelchair accessible.

Museum of Science and Industry Museum of Science and Industry

Location: Hyde Park
Address: 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60637
The Museum of Science and Industry is the busy place for people of all ages. It is informing, entertaining, and inspiring place where visitors can explore, learn, and even have hands on experience on such subjects as agriculture, environment, physics, biology, geology, social studies, chemistry, health, space, energy, industry, and technology. All year-round the museum displays various exhibits, has live-science demonstrations, and hosts many events. Omnimax Theater located inside the museum.

Chicago Water Tower Chicago Water Tower

Location: Near North Side neighborhood
Address: 806 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
Chicago Water Tower was built in castle-like style. The building is decorated with many lights which make it especially beautiful at night. It used to be a house for drawing water from the Lake Michigan and has pumping machinery inside of the structure. Nowadays it serves as art gallery.

Tribune Tower Tribune Tower

Location: River North neighborhood
Address: 435 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60611
The Tribune Tower is a neo-Gothic skyscraper. The historical building is the home of the Chicago Tribune newspaper.

Merchandise Mart Merchandise Mart

Location: Near North Side
Address: 22 Merchandise Mart Plaza, 60654 Chicago, Illinois 60654
It is a commercial building which centralized many resale businesses. It is home for many restaurants and high-end boutiques.

Willis Tower Willis Tower

Location: West side of Chicago Loop
Address: 233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606
It is the tallest building in Chicago and second tallest in the United States. 108-story, 1,451 foot (442 meters) high Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is a center of business, tourism, and culture. Skydeck on 103rd floor gathers thousands of visitors to take in the amazing views of the Windy City.

Chicago Auto Show in McCormick Place McCormick Place

Location: Near South Side
Address: 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60616
The complex is the home for many events including famous and one of the largest auto shows in the world - Chicago Auto Show. McCormick Place is huge and has four separate buildings which are interconnected.

United Center United Center

Location: Near West Side
Address: 1901 West Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60612
United Center is a home for Chicago Bulls, one of the 30 professional basketball teams, member of National Basketball Association (NBA) and Chicago Blackhawks, one of the thirty professional ice hockey teams, member of National Hockey League (NHL). The arena has few statues of greatest sport players including Michael Jordan. The stadium also hosts many other shows, sport and entertainment events.

Carriage ride on Magnificent Mile Magnificent Mile

Location: North section of Michigan Avenue from Chicago River to Oak Street; Near North Side.
It is the largest and the best Chicago shopping district. Among the numerous stores and boutiques, there are lots of different restaurants, museums, and hotels.

Northern end of Rush Street Northern end of Rush Street

Location: Near North Side
The street is the part of wealthiest neighborhoods in the U.S. On the street located many bars, restaurants, hotels, and spas. Northern end of Rush Street which goes diagonally from Chicago Avenue on Southeast to Cedar Street on Northwest is famous for its nightlife.

Chicago Chinatown Chinatown

It is one of many Chicago ethnic neighborhoods. In the area they have their national stores, beauty salons, banks, law offices, restaurants, and schools. The place is attractive to visitors and tourist because of its unique architecture and landmarks.

View on John Hancock Center from Lincoln Park John Hancock Center

Location: Near North Side
Address: 875 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611
It is 100-story tall skyscraper. Even though it is not the tallest buildings in Chicago, but it is till has magnificent view from its deck. The building is home for many business, restaurants, and condominiums.

Trump International Hotel and Tower Trump International Hotel and Tower

Location: River North
Address: 401 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611
Trump International Hotel and Tower is one of tallest in Chicago glass building. It is the home for 339-room five-star hotel, condominiums, a parking garage, a retail space, a five-star restaurant. It has gorgeous views on downtown of Chicago, the Lake Michigan, and Chicago River. In addition, the building is close to the Magnificent Mile and Chicago Riverwalk.

Divvy bikes station in Chicago Loop Explore Chicago riding Divvy bike

Since parking in downtown of Chicago might be extremely expensive, many visitors opt to explore the city by bike. You can rent Divvy bike from many convenient locations throughout the town and return it at any station.

Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art

Location: Near North Side
Address: 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611
The museum include collections of art works from 1945 (end of World War II) to the present. Visitors come to enjoy various painting, sculptures, photography, and video works.

Frederick C. Robie House Frederick C. Robie House

Location: Hyde Park
Address: 5757 South Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60637
The house has very vivid history of from its designing to survival. It is one of examples of Frank Lloyd Wrights’ Prairie style of architecture.

Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago

Location: Near North Side
Address: 126 East Chestnut Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611
It is a Gothic Revival building. The Church is very attended because of its regular public worship, music and art events, concerts, dramatic presentations, fine arts, and sacred art exhibitions.

Children’s Garden in Museum Campus Children’s Garden

Location: Museum Campus
Children’s Garden is located in between Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and Soldier Field. It is nice and quiet place for children to have fun in the middle of Museum Campus.

Newberry Library Newberry Library

Location: Near North Side
Address: 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, Illinois 60610
Even though the Newberry is a private library, but it is still free and open to the public. The building preserves various collections of maps and books from the late Middle Ages to modern times. The library hosts many exhibits, events, and concerts. In addition, it offers lectures, classes, teacher programs, and seminars on various topics.

Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist Seventeenth Church of Christ

Location: Chicago Loop
Address: 55 East Upper Wacked Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60601
The building was designed in a modern style. It does not have any windows. The only sun light comes through skylights. The Church is the place for worship services, events, and Christian Science Reading Room.

Trolley tours in Chicago  Trolley tours in Chicago

Chicago Trolley Tours are exciting and informative journey any Chicago visitors definitely should consider to take. The Windy City Tour offers to explore many famous Chicago places including Chicago's first-rate museums, shows and city attractions.

Night view on Chicago from Montrose harbor Montrose Harbor

Location: Eastern end of Montrose Avenue
The harbor is beautiful and fun place for those who have a boat or want to rent one. From Montrose Harbor you will have spectacular views on the Lake Michigan, Navy Pier and Chicago Skyscrapers.

CTA Blue Line train in Chicago Explore Chicago Public transportation

Public transportation is pretty good in Chicago. There are many subways, Metra, and bus stations all over the city. In rush hours it is better to take subway or Metra to get to the airport than any other transportation. For example, in rush hours it might take over 1.5 hours to get from the Loop to O’Hare Airport by car while Blue Line will get you there in about 40 minutes for the price close to 20x cheaper compare to taking a cab.

Brookfield Zoo Brookfield Zoo

Location: Brookfield, Illinois. Western suburbs of Chicago.
Address: 8400 W 31st Street, Brookfield, Illinois 60513
Brookfield Zoo is the home for many species of animals, birds, and reptiles. You will be amazed watching funny and romantic kissing parrots or have sort of tense feeling when meeting rhinoceros. In addition, there are lots of attractions and shows for kids of any age.

Taxi on Michigan Avenue in Chicago Taxi in Chicago

Chicago taxi services might outrage your expectations. Sometimes you may have feeling that there are more cabs in downtown than pedestrians or any other vehicles on streets. That’s why there is no need to worry about getting into the cab or even ordering one. You can just stop the taxi on a street in no time at all.

rockefeller chapel university of chicago University of Chicago

Location: Hyde Park
Address: 5801 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60637
University of Chicago is one of the best educational institutions in the world. Many university’s buildings which are located on 211 acres (85 ha) campus built in Gothic style and looks like castle.

Boat tour on Chicago River Chicago River Cruises

Taking boat tour on Chicago River is a great way to observe stunning architecture of Chicago.

Waterfall in Chicago Botanic Garden Chicago Botanic Garden

Location: North suburbs of Chicago
Address: 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, Illinois 60022
The most beautiful and majestic place in Chicago area is Chicago Botanic Garden which is the home for thousands of species of trees, shrubs, and vegetation. The staff of the Garden doing really amazing thing of keeping the place in such organized, fabulous, and clean condition regardless of welcoming so many visitors each day. The garden is proud to have returning guests and members because the place might be different each time they come. Except gorgeous indoor and outdoor gardens, Chicago Botanic Garden is a place for many events, concerts, and attractions.

Water Taxi on the Lake Michigan Water Taxi on the Lake Michigan

Instead of walking or taking a cab from Navy Pier to Museum Campus try Water Taxi on Lake Michigan. It is always fun trip and view from the boat on city skyline is spectacular.

DuSable Museum of African American History DuSable Museum of African American History

Location: Washington Park
Address: 740 East 56th Place, Chicago, Illinois 60637
The Museum is the first which was dedicated to African American history, culture, and art. It is the home for numerous collections of artifacts, books, magazines, photographs, and art works.