Best Tourist Attractions in Chicago
The Windy City, located inland in the Midwest, is vying for the title of the best American tourist destination. Every year, approximately 57.6 million tourists visit Chicago, and with such a diverse range of attractions, there is an itinerary suitable for each and every one of them.
Art lovers, rejoice; foodies, rejoice; and history buffs, rejoice — there truly is something for everyone in this sprawling Illinois metropolis — you’ll be spoiled for fun things to do in Chicago.
1 Medieval Torture Museum
Want to take a lighter look at the torture process in the Middle Ages? This is the subject of a museum in Chicago. Explore over a hundred gruesome tools and devices from human history’s darkest epochs. If you dare, witness multiple executions and pain-inducing techniques demonstrated with historic torture mechanisms. The museum is not suitable for children under the age of 18. No one will be admitted unless accompanied by an adult! Visitors can use a ghost hunting app to detect the spirits of tortured victims who roam the museum.
2 360 Chicago Observation Deck
The 360 Chicago Observation Deck, located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center, provides spectacular views of the city’s crowded skyline (including the Willis Tower) and the shimmering lake Michigan below. All four neighbouring states are visible from the 1,030-foot-high viewing platform (Indians, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan). Step outside onto the exciting tilting platform (TILT), then relax at the bar and enjoy the sunset.
3 Jack’s Big City Ranch
This summer, the country comes to town! Jack’s Big City Ranch offers the most immersive cowboy experience in Chicago. Put on your cowboy hat and get ready for a night of axe throwing, go-kart racing, and mini golf. Dare to ride the mechanical bull and become a rodeo star! Jack’s has something for everyone in the family. Check out this completely outdoor themed ranch, complete with food, drinks, music, and plenty of photo ops. Create your own package deals by combining admission tickets, drinks, games, and photo opportunities — even cowboy hats!
4 Street art tour
Illinois’ largest city is brimming with urban art; get off the beaten path with a tour that avoids the crowds and instead explores the underground and backstreets. Guides not only take you to the best murals in town, but they also explain their meanings and histories. If the thought of all that walking makes you thirsty, choose one of the options that includes a stop at a craft brewery or allows you to BYOB. When it comes to choosing between all the things to do in Chicago, Instagrammers should prioritise this!
5 Field Museum Of Natural History
This Chicago landmark is frequently referred to as one of the world’s greatest natural history museums, thanks to its collection of over 40 million artefacts. The massive museum features immersive exhibits that span over 4.6 billion years of natural history, with sections dedicated to ancient Egypt, the Chinese Qing Dynasty, the dinosaur era, and beyond. Children will enjoy digging for dinosaur bones at the Crown Family PlayLab.
6 The Art Institute of Chicago
Step inside the second-largest museum in North America (behind only the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York). With over 260,000 artefacts ranging from Post-Impressionist paintings to experimental photography and everything in between, it’s no surprise that the Art Institute of Chicago is TripAdvisor’s top attraction. The ‘Un-Highlights’ tour offers a contradictory approach to art (as well as the opportunity to break the rules and eat in the museum).
7 Adler Planetarium
The Adler Planetarium, the first of its kind in North America, provides an unparalleled insight into the worlds of space and astronomy. An extensive list of artefacts includes old telescopes, moon rocks, a Gemini capsule, and even a section on the moon landing rover. Similarly, the interactive exhibits and live stargazing shows are unparalleled. The planetarium is located on the northeast tip of Northerly Island, which has the best land-based panoramic view of the city’s skyline.
8 Chicago Food Tour
Chicago may be known for its deep-dish pizza, but the Windy City also has a number of local delicacies. Try them all as you walk around the city, eating Chicago-style hot dogs, dipped Italian beef sandwiches, a classic deep-dish slice, and treats from tea merchants, confectioners, and bakeries. These locally-led tours take you off the beaten path, away from tourist traps and chain restaurants, and exclusively through the doors of beloved and authentic local eateries.
9 The Chicago Theatre
Aside from seeing a show at the world-famous Chicago Theatre, visitors can go behind the scenes and explore the grand history and intricate architecture of this iconic entertainment venue. Step onto the stage, tour the rehearsal space, admire the ceilings, and more, all with the assistance of an expert guide. The theatre is conveniently located near numerous bars and restaurants, making it easy to plan an evening outing.
10 Tommy Gun’s Garage
A night of glamour, history, laughs, and intrigue awaits at Tommy Gun’s Garage as long as you remember the entry password. You’ll be transported back to the roaring 20s as soon as you step through that front (armoured) door. While the food is delicious, the entertainment is unquestionably the selling point. The evening is filled with song, dance, comedy, and even audience participation.
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