We Know: 10 Best Things to See in Chicago
The Windy City has a little bit of something for everyone. Ten things every visitor should make a point to see in Chicago include:
1. Check out Chicago's rich architectural heritage by way of a Chicago Architecture Tour on the river.
The Chicago Architectural Foundation (224 S. Michigan Avenue; 312.922.3432) offers docent-led tours aboard the Chicago First Lady or the Chicago Little Lady. Tickets run about $27 for adults and $25 for children over five, seniors, and students, Purchase tickets at the Foundation office or before you board at the dock (Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive).
2. Shop until you drop on the Magnificent Mile.
The Magnificent Mile is home to over 400 internationally-renowned shops and boutiques. It is located on North Michigan Avenue between the Chicago River Bridge and Oak Street and is easily accessible by car, trolley, taxi, or bus.
3. Enjoy a drink at the Signature Lounge atop the John Hancock Building.
Located on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Building (875 N. Michigan Avenue; 312.787.7230) overlooking the Magnificent Mile, the Signature Lounge is an upscale bar offering breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline.
4. Enjoy 5,000 years of art history at the Art Institute.
The Art Institute (111 S. Michigan Avenue, 312.443.3600) contains one of the world's finest art collections, with pieces covering the media spectrum. Tickets cost $9 for adults and $7 for children under 5,seniors, and students. The Art Institute is open daily.
5. Visit Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.
When Clarence Buckingham passed away, his daughter Kate sought to honor her father with a memorial. At the center of Grant Park (East of Michigan Avenue, at Congress Parkway) sits the 1927 Beaux-arts style memorial. A nightly colored light show is offered free to the public.
6. Catch a Cub's game at Wrigley Field.
Wrigley Field (1060 W. Addison Street; 773.404.CUBS) is home to the famed Cubs, who haven't won a World Series championship since 1908. It is the second oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. Tickets run between $14 to $50 per game.
7. Take the family to Navy Pier.
Navy Pier (600 E. Grand, on Lake Michigan; 800.595-PIER) is Chicago's number one tourist destination. This 3000-foot long pier was built during World War I and used in World War II to train the navy. Today, it is an entertainment megaplex complete with glass-enclosed garden, carnival rides, and food court.
8. Take a self-guided tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio.
Influential architect Frank Lloyd Wright lived and worked at his home studio, located in Oak Park (951 Chicago Avenue; 708.848.1976). The studio is open daily, and tickets for the studio are $9 for adults, and $7 for kids and seniors. A combined self-guided tour of the studio and the historic district costs $15 for adults and $11 for kids and seniors.
9. Indulge your children at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
The Lincoln Park Zoo (2200 North Cannon Drive; ) is the nation's oldest zoo (founded in 1868) and indisputably the best bargain for parents in the United States. The zoo is free to the public and opens daily from 9AM until 6PM.
10. Don't leave without tasting famous Chicago pizza.
Places like Lou Malnati's (439 N. Wells Street; 312.828.9800) sport the real deal, while the pizza pot pie can be found steps away from the zoo at the Oven Grinder (2121 N. Clark Street; 773.248.2570).