The windy city of Chicago is well known for its numerous cultural attractions, interesting architecture, and excellent shopping. Chicago has a worldwide reputation as a focal point for 20th-century art by artists like Chagall, Picasso, Dubuffet, and Mirõ; as well as architecture by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan. It is also a sporting hub for American football with the Chicago Bears, baseball’s Chicago White Sox, basketball’s Chicago Bulls. Last but not least, Chicago is known for its beautiful coastline and pristine beaches.
Here are some of the most popular attractions in Chicago, Illinois
Art Institute of Chicago
The diverse collection of artworks in this world-class museum spans thousands of years and includes a variety of media such as paintings, sculptures, prints, textiles, photography, architectural drawings, decorative artwork, and many more. Built-in 1893 for the World Columbian Exposition, the main building was designed by Shepley, Coolidge, and Rutan in the beaux-arts style. Several buildings were added over the years to form the 400,000 square feet building of today. The museum holds a collection of impressionist as well as post-impressionist paintings including the 1884 ‘A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte’ by Georges Seurat, the 1879 ‘Acrobats at the Cirque Fernando’ by Renoir, and numerous famous paintings by Monet.
Located within the larger Grant Park area, it has sculpture centerpiece named “Cloudgate” with a polished stainless steel surface that is said to have been inspired by mercury. The mirror-like surface reflects its surroundings, the sky, and people walking by. Another attraction is the “Crown Fountain” with a fascinating modern interpretation of ancient gargoyles with water pouring from their mouths. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion is an outdoor concert venue that regularly puts on performances and the Lurie Garden is open all year round.
The Navy Pier
Opened as a shipping facility in 1916, this amusement area has become Chicago’s most popular tourist attraction made up of 50 acres of attractions, gardens, shops, concert venues, parks, and restaurants. You can ride on the 150 feet Ferris Wheel or historic carousel, visit the 3D Imax theater, or watch classics being performed at the Chicago Shakespeare theater. There is a Children’s Museum for the younger ones and an indoor one-acre, six-story botanical garden in the Crystal Gardens. Cruise ships can be seen leaving from the pier on various sightseeing excursions year-round festivities are hosted like the annual Chicago festival that takes place in August.
The Chicago Riverwalk and Lakefront Trail
The Chicago river that runs through the heart of the city is known for its 18 movable bridges within a stretch of just two miles, each with the capability of allowing large boats to move past. At the Chicago River Museum and the McCormick Bridgehouse visitors can get a closer look at the mechanics of some of these bridges and several cruises and river tours depart regularly from the Riverwalk. The fully-paved Lakefront Trail stretches 18 miles from south to north and is lined by parks, recreation areas, gardens, and even beaches. Many of Chicago’s attractions like the Navy Pier, Soldier Field, and Lincoln Park are located along this trail.