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Sightseeing in Chicago is as fun for locals trying to feel like tourists, as it is for tourists trying to feel like locals. The exciting city's top attractions include beautiful city parks, rich museums, towering skyscrapers and fun sightseeing spots.
Sightseeing in Chicago
Millenium Park | The Loop
The 24.5-acre park is a treasure cove of iconic design and sculpting. Within the park, you'll find a number of Chicago's top sightseeing attractions, like Frank Gehry's Pritzker Pavilion, and the serpentine bridge. Don't be ashamed to make a wish by Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain, just skip the penny tossing, the ever-changing display of local's faces seemingly spewing out water will keep you both baffled and amused. Also, visit the Lurie Garden's year-round flower display.
Cloud Gate (a.k.a. “The Bean in Chicago”) | Millenium Park
Famous enough to get its own spot here, the 110-ton sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor is one of Chicago's top attractions. Loved by locals and tourists alike, the resplendent surface and particular shape of Cloud Gate seemingly spawns an infinite retinue of transient reflections as throngs of visitors stroll by endlessly.
Navy Pier | Near North Side
Little ways off North Side neighborhood sits one the more easily recognizable sightseeing spots in Chicago. The iconic Pier hosts a seasonal round of live entertainment at the Chicago Children's Museum, along with housing a vintage swing ride, an 18-hole mini golf, an IMAX theater, and a 150-foot-high Ferris Wheel. And while it may not be the most locally transited spot, the array of activities and sightseeing boat tour options make it a fun spot to while away the day.
Licoln Park Zoo | Licoln Park
Although we also recommend seeing the actual park, the popular zoo is the real attraction. With over 1,200 animals to see and learn of, this is one of the oldest and few remaining free zoos in the United States. Be sure to check out the Kovler Lion House and the Regenstein Center for African Apes, both which promise and eye-opening experience.
North Avenue Beach | Licoln Park
To kill two birds with one stone, take advantage of a warm day and plan your zoo visit with a stop at Chicago's most popular beach. Visit the ocean liner-inspired beach house, and soak up the sun enjoying some of the many activities available, like kayak rentals, jet skis, and beach volleyball. The beach has easy access to lockers and bathrooms too, so you can start early and plan for a day's worth of action.
Willis Tower Skydeck | The Loop
Occupying two city blocks and rising 1,454 feet above ground, this is the second tallest building in the United States. Visit the Skydeck on the 103rd floor for a sweeping city view that spans as far as 50 miles out. You'll also get a chance to learn about the city's many landmarks and, if you're up for it, crawl into The Ledge, a glass cube structure suspended 1,353 feet off the ground.
Garfield Park Conservatory | East Garfield Park
A feat of architectural innovation, the famous conservatory opened in 1908 and is, to this day, one of the largest in the world. Featuring around 120,000 plants and about 600 species within its 1.6 acres span, the Garfield Park Conservatory is as beautiful as it is stunning. The Fern Room is perhaps its most impressive section and features a "prairie waterfall" that is well worth seeing. Beautiful flower shows premier here to welcome the change of seasons four times a year, check out the calendar ahead of visiting and you might be lucky to attend one.