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10 Places in Chicago to Visit: the Most Popular Chicago Tourist Attractions

April 20, 2022
By
Liz Arnold

With the perfect balance of calming lakefront beaches and bustling cityscapes, a unique quality drives many to explore Chicago and all it has to offer. From all the culture a city brings with museums of all kinds and busy city streets, to beaches and parks, there’s no limit to the iconic Chicago landmarks visitors need to check out.

With endless lists featuring the best places to visit in Chicago, our team at Infinity Transportation has seen it all. With unique expertise in the third-largest city, our group bus transportation company has explored all the Chicago tourist areas. After seeing it all, we’ve narrowed down the top 10 Chicago attractions you need to see on your next visit. Let’s dive right in!

The Art Institute of Chicago

First on the list of the top tourist attractions in Chicago that is certainly worth checking out is the Art Institute of Chicago.

This world-class museum featured thousands of works of art spanning decades and even centuries. With a variety of paintings, photographs, sculptures, prints, textiles, architectural drawings, and more, there’s a little something to please everyone’s artistic eye.

Known for its unique collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings, there are numerous paintings to see from the likes of Claude Monet, Georges Saurat, and Renoir. Whether you are an art fanatic or not, these are works that should certainly be on your bucket list.

To visit The Art Institute of Chicago, head over to 111 South Michigan Avenue.

Millennium Park

Another of the Chicago main attractions is Millenium Park. Part of the larger Grant Park, Millennium Park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. Surrounded by a bustling cityscape, Millennium Park features a large sculpture, Cloud Gate, which is also commonly referred to by locals as “the bean.” This mirrored, stainless steel surface attracts tourists from all over, reflecting the city’s surroundings onto its unique shape.

Another attraction at Millennium Park is the Crown Fountain. This unique modern art piece features images of Chicago citizens in which water flows from their mouths to spray passersby. This is where you can find many Chicago families on a hot summer day.

To visit Millennium Park, route your Google Maps to 201 East Randolph Street.

Tourist attractions in chicago

North Avenue Beach

For a more nature-focused, beach getaway, head over to North Avenue Beach. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago, as it balances the busy city life with the slower pace that comes with swimming and sunbathing. Lying along Lake Michigan with skyscrapers in the backdrop is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

Along the beach, you will also find many Chicagoans taking advantage of other outdoor activities. From running and cycling to rollerblading along the beach and games of volleyball, plus some outdoor bars and restaurants, there’s a lot that can be done along the lakefront in warmer months.

Maggie Daley Park

Wondering “where should I go in Chicago?” Likely, many will recommend checking out Maggie Daley Park, and we agree!

This is another scenic spot in the loop that’s connected to the previously mentioned Millennium Park. Featuring everything from playgrounds, to picnic areas and beautiful green spaces, Maggie Daley Park is a great family-friendly spot to visit while you’re downtown.

For kids, this park area has some elements to keep them happy and occupied. Maggie Daley Park incorporates six different play areas, including an animal-themed watering hole and walkways of the enchanted forest, all within the heart of the city. Book a bus for your family trip today!

Navy Pier

Navy Pier, which first opened in the city back in 1916, is another of the best stops in Chicago to visit places. A hybrid combination of shopping, restaurants, concert venues, gardens, and parks, this has long been one of the most iconic Chicago things to do.

For those visiting, you can expect to find an impressive 150 ft Ferris wheel, as well as a 3D Imax Theater, performances at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and a Crystal Garden. Plus, the Chicago Children’s Museum is conveniently located here, too, making it the perfect place to stop with children. Navy Pier Park may become the best choice for your school trips. Book a bus today and organize an unforgettable weekend for your class!

Lincoln Park Zoo

Did you know there’s a zoo nestled in the city? Lincoln Park Zoo is home to an incredible range of animals, from penguins to tigers. Just a bit north of the loop, both locals and tourists enjoy this free zoo with a ton of animals and ecosystems to explore.

Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the U.S. and was founded back in 1868, and now features over 1,100 animals within its gates. Whether you’re obsessed with polar bears or curious about gorillas, you can see it all at this iconic Chicago zoo.

Best places to visit in Chicago

Museum of Science and Industry

There are tons of good places to visit in Chicago, and that includes an endless number of museums. Another one of our favorite museums is the Museum of Science and Industry, which was founded back in 1933 and is truly one of Chicago’s most impressive spots.

What makes this museum so special is that it’s not just for viewing. It has a hands-on exhibit that allows visitors to interact with the exhibits. Plus, it features both permanent and changing exhibits, so no matter how many times you stop in, you can see something new.

Shedd Aquarium

Also located on the Museum Campus is the John G. Shedd Aquarium. Different from other museums in the area, the Shedd Aquarium is focused on sea life and features over 1,500 species at its museum, including 32,500 fish, birds, insects, and amphibians.

This museum is exciting for everyone of all ages to check out and features different themed areas, like the Caribbean Reef and “Amazon Rising.” Beyond fish, you can also see beluga whales and dolphins - one of the most enticing elements that make this one of the best tourist attractions in Chicago.

The Buckingham Fountain

While visiting Grant Park, be sure to check out the Buckingham Fountain. This is one of the top iconic Chicago things to see due to its Beaux Arts-style design. The architect, Edward Bennett, modeled the fountain after the Latona Fountain in Versailles, giving this Chicago attraction a grand, elegant appeal.

The fountain features four water-spouting sea horse statues representing the states that border Lake Michigan, while the fountain pool itself is said to symbolize the lake. Due to its beauty, the fountain has been featured in a range of TV shows and draws the attention of both tourists and locals alike.

Chicago main attractions

Field Museum of Natural History

Last, but most certainly not least on the list of top 10 Chicago attractions is the Field Museum of Natural History. Founded back in 1893, this museum features both biological and anthropological collections. At this museum, you can find 20 million artifacts and specimens from all sorts of disciplines, including geology, zoology, anthropology, and botany.

One of the biggest attractions at this museum is the display of Ancient Egypt, as well as Sue, an immense, complete tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. Plus, the museum features multiple rotating exhibits throughout the year to make frequent visits worth wild.

Conclusion

From art museums and sea life attractions to bustling beaches and stately structures, there is no shortage of good places to visit in Chicago. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly destination or one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago for everyone of all ages, our list has you covered.

Not ready to explore Chicago on your own? No problem, that’s what our expert guides at Infinity Transportation are for. If you want to see all Chicago has to offer with a group, get a quote for a charter bus online today, and get ready to take in all that Chicago has to offer.

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