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Chicago includes one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It has hosted major events such as the 1908 World’s Fair and, more recently, the NATO 2012 Summit. Chicago has so many amazing places to visit that it is hard to pinpoint what should be on your list. This article will help you decide and give you five sites perfect for tourists who have time and want a little adventure before they reach their destination!
1) Shedd Aquarium
For marine life lovers who want to learn more about the aquatic world without stepping off dry land. As one of only five National Aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Shedd has jumped leaps ahead as one of America’s premier aquariums. Take the sightseeing tour and get up close and personal with sea creatures like beluga whales, penguins, sea otters, and hundreds of other species. Or check out their daily programming or seasonal exhibits to learn more about some aquatic world wonders. The Shedd Aquarium is open daily at 9 AM, so budget your day to fit in a visit.
2) John Hancock Center
Those who want to take in the magnificent views of Chicago without taking off into the skies should visit the John Hancock Center. This 68-story skyscraper has been the city’s tallest building since its completion in 1970. Therefore, you can grab a drink or bite at the Signature Room on the 95th floor, where you can enjoy one of the most spectacular and unobstructed panoramic views of Chicago. Or book a room at SKY and check out all this high-rise hotel offers.
3) Millennium Park
Millennium Park is ideal for culture lovers who want to get away from it all in nature without leaving Chicago’s downtown area. The park is located right behind the Museum Campus, just west of Grant Park and across from Lake Michigan. The site was designed by landscape architect and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frederick H. Meyer and was built with the best of Chicago’s architecture in mind. The park features a large reflecting pool, Seven Foot Stone (a replica of Stonehenge), the Arts Foundation Center for the Arts, Cloud Gate (a famous public art piece by artist Anish Kapoor), and Gold Coast Plaza and Museum Campus buildings.
4) Navy Pier
For dreamers who want to take in the waterfront views without leaving their seats at Navy Pier. The permanently moored structure is the third-longest pier in the world and attracts more than 11 million visitors yearly. It’s home to family-friendly attractions like the Chicago Children’s Museum and a shark exhibit. But be sure to check out its concerts and festivals, which are scheduled throughout the year.
5) The 606
Nature lovers who plan for a getaway event while staying in Chicago can visit the 606 trail. This 2.7-mile-long elevated trail creates a greenway through four Chicago neighborhoods, making it one of a kind in the national park system. It was created by the Chicago Department of Transportation and will be completed by 2021. The trail features a park with many native trees, wetlands, wildlife habitats, green spaces, trails, bike paths, and bridges.
Since Chicago is an exciting and vibrant city with so many things to do, you might spend a great deal of time deciding where to go. Luckily, Chicago offers plenty of tourist attractions, from significant museums and cultural landmarks to historical parks and hidden gems.