Chicago is a city that is the cultural center of the Midwest. In the Windy City, visitors can see spectacular works of art, eat fabulous food, absorb some Midwest culture, and have lots of fun along the way. All of the above reasons make Chicago the best weekend getaway in the Midwest. There are so many wonderful places to visit in America’s third largest city, it may be tough to choose the top 10 places to visit in Chicago for 2021.
The Top 10 Places To Visit in Chicago
Window Shop Along the Magnificent Mile
When shoppers visit Chicago, they make a bee line to the Magnificent Mile. The shopping mecca of the Midwest is located on Michigan Avenue between Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago River. On the mile, you can browse in luxury retail outlets such as Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. While you make your way along the shops and restaurants, take a look up. You will be amazed when you see the spectacular architecture that Chicago is known for including Tribune Tower, the Wrigley Building and the Historic Water Tower.
Visit ‘Chicago’s Front Yard’ Grant Park
Spend some time enjoying this 319- acre spread of green space with the urban backdrop. Grant Park is where Chicagoans love to play and relax. The park is located right in downtown and has many walking paths, gardens and even a few baseball diamonds. The world famous Buckingham Fountain is located in the heart of the park. This fountain is one of the largest in the world and features 20 minute choreographed water jet displays that are accompanied by lights and music at nighttime.
Ride the Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier
Navy Pier is a hub of fun for all ages in downtown Chicago. The pier is a big city amusement park that extends out onto Lake Michigan. See the world famous Chicago skyline from the top of the 196 foot tall Ferris wheel. You can also play 18 holes of miniature golf right on the pier. The kids will love the Chicago Children’s Museum, which has many hands on exhibits such as firetrucks and treehouses. For adults, Navy Pier has the Miller Lite Beer Garden and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater for entertainment.
Sun Yourself at North Avenue Beach
Go and spend some quality time at this popular swimming spot on Lake Michigan. Besides sunbathing and swimming, North Avenue Beach has other recreational facilities available. These include volleyball courts and paths for walking and running. While at the beach don’t forget to visit the 22,000 square foot beach house which features shops, restaurants and sports equipment rental outlets.
See Cutting Edge Art at Millennium Park
Millennium Park is a can’t miss destination on any visit to Chicago. This area located in the Loop, is a nearly 25 acre space that showcases outstanding works of art, architecture and landscaping. The highlights at Millennium Park include Cloud Gate, also known as ‘ The Bean’, the Crown Fountain and the Pritzker Pavilion, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. Visitors can also walk through Lurie Garden or explore the contemporary sculpture at Boeing Galleries.
Visit the T-Rex Sue at The Field Museum
The Field Museum of Natural History dates back to 1893, when it hosted exhibits for that year’s World’s Fair. The collections at the Field Museum include an Ancient Egypt exhibit, taxidermy exhibits and Native American artifacts. The museum’s most famous exhibit is Sue, a 40 foot long tyrannosaurus skeleton that is a hit with all ages.
View Priceless Works at the Art Institute of Chicago
Come and see the fine art masterpieces of Monet, Van Gogh, Seurat, Matisse and many more at the Art Institute of Chicago. Besides the classics, the museum also features artifacts from all over the world in its permanent collection that has over 30,000 different works. The museum also hosts many special exhibitions and events year round. The museum is open to the public on Mondays and Thursdays through Sundays from 11 AM to 6 PM and closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
See the Spectacular Skyline of Chicago
If you want a jaw dropping view of Chi-town, visit the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. Up on the 94th floor of the former John Hancock Center you can take in the view of the city’s eclectic skyscrapers, the Magnificent Mile and the massive Lake Michigan. Those that are not afraid of heights can take a ride on the TILT, a wild thrilling ride that tilts so riders can get a view of the streets that are 1,030 feet below!
Ride on the 606
The 606 is one of the premier recreational spots in Chicago. A former elevated railway track called the Bloomington Line is now the 606, a park with 2.7 miles of trails that are perfect for cycling, running or walking. Established in 2015, this formerly abandoned area of the city has been transformed into an urban oasis filled with many trees, gardens and flower beds. Don’t forget to admire the fabulous skyline while you recreate at the 606.
Enjoy a River Cruise
Spend some time strolling the Riverwalk at the iconic Chicago River. Along the walk, you can view gorgeous art displays or explore the public gardens. Visitors can take a cruise from the Chicago River and learn the history of some of the city’s most famous landmarks. After your tour, the Riverwalk has many dining options available including Beat Kitchen on the Riverwalk and Chicago Brewhouse, plus many more.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com