The Beautiful City of Chicago

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Chicago is among the biggest tourist destinations. At attractions around every corner, from high-flying observatories to Millennium Park where art and music mix with lots of room to play, you'll find fun every day of the year.Explore amazing Navy Pier, and discover the thrilling rides, activities, dining, shopping, museums, and cityscape views that make it the top destination in the Midwest.

Top attractions in Chicago

1. Millennium Park

This 24.5-acre park features Frank Gehry's Pritzker Pavilion and serpentine bridge; sculptor Anish Kapoor's 110-ton Cloud Gate and Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain, with its ever-changing array of locals' faces spewing water every five minutes in the summer months. The Lurie Garden wows with year-round flower displays and monthly garden walks.

2.  Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is a world-class museum with hundreds of thousands of artworks. The diverse collection spans thousands of years and includes pieces from a variety of media including painting, prints, photography, sculpture, decorative arts, textiles, architectural drawings and more.

3. 360 Chicago

Formerly known as the John Hancock Observatory, 360 Chicago offers dining, sights and an interactive tour far above the city streets. From 1,000 feet up on the 94th floor, you can see up to 55 miles out and four states—you'll feel as if you're along for the ride as you watch airplanes whiz by. A recent addition is the Tilt attraction, which allows visitors to step onto an enclosed platform that extends from the building at a 30-degree angle.

4 Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile

Michigan Avenue is probably one of the most attractive boulevards in America. The city's famous Magnificent Mile is a section of Michigan Avenue north of the Chicago River, with numerous galleries, boutiques, and luxury shops. Some of the attractions along here include the John Hancock Center, the Wrigley Building, and the Tribune Tower.

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5. Garfield Park Conservatory

It is also described as “landscape art under glass” when it opened in 1908, the conservatory, while being one of the largest in the world, also boasts revolutionary architecture. About 120,000 plants representing some 600 species occupy the conservatory’s 1.6 acres, and four times a year flower shows premiere to herald the change in seasons.

6. The Second City

Even if you know nothing about improv, chances are you've heard of Second City. This is the place that put both sketches and improvised comedy on the map while launching the careers of many distinguished comics including Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Chris Farley, John Belushi, Joan Rivers, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell. Mainstage revues are occasionally stodgy, but most shows are still top-notch.

7. Lincoln Park Zoo

See some 1,200 animals, from apes to zebras, at the oldest and one of only a few free zoos left in the country. It is small, only 35 acres, but attractions like the Kovler Lion House and the Regenstein Center for African Apes pack a big punch. The newest feature: The Regenstein Macaque Forest, where snow monkeys swing through trees and relax in a hot tub.

8. The Field Museum

Founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, this massive natural history museum still packs ’em in with more than 30 permanent exhibitions covering 300,000 square feet. Inside the permanent displays, you can see glowering dinos, marvel at ancient artifacts from a royal Egyptian tomb, check out artifacts in the Cyrus Tang Hall of China or take a stroll through the newly rehabbed Halls of Gems and Jade.

9. Navy Pier

The Navy Pier originally opened in 1916 as an amusement area and shipping facility but is now one of Chicago's most popular tourist attractions. Today, the Navy Pier is made up of 50 acres of gardens, attractions, shops, restaurants, concert venues, and parks. There are a 150 ft Ferris wheel and a historic carousel in Navy Pier Park. Visitors can also watch a film at the 3D Imax Theater, watch actors perform the classics at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, or visit Crystal Gardens, a one-acre, six-story, indoor botanical garden.

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10. Lyric Opera of Chicago

The Lyric Opera of Chicago offers a full opera season, from October to March, with well-known classics. It began in 1954 and is today world-renowned.

11. The 606

A formerly abandoned stretch of elevated railway track that runs through Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park and Bucktown has found new life as the 606. Named after the first three digits of every Chicago zip code, the 2.7-mile path provides a quick way to travel east and west on the North Side, connecting several parks and public art installations. Prepare to dodge strollers, bicycles, and residents out for a very slow jog on this popular throughway

12. Museum of Science and Industry

If you’re into exhibits loaded with interactive bells and whistles, this expansive Hyde Park locale is your ticket. The museum’s focus is broad, with permanent displays that include the popular mirror maze in the "Numbers in Nature" exhibit, the whiz-bang "Science Storms," plus the old faves: a restored U-505 German submarine, a simulated coal mine, and a vintage diesel-electric train

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13. Shedd Aquarium

Anchoring the aquatic offerings at this 75-year-old institution are enduring favorites such as piranhas, frogs and snakes of the Amazon; rays, turtles and moray eel of the Caribbean; frightening predator sharks and, the most storied of them all, a 100-plus-year-old Australian lungfish believed to be the longest-living fish in any aquarium in the world.

14. Chicago History Museum

Not so long ago this vibrant museum was the stodgy ol' Chicago Historical Society, which let you cull through thousands of archived photographs and curio. Well, that library still exists, but joining it are several permanent and temporary exhibits, the largest of which is "Chicago: Crossroads of America," a treasure trove of historical objects, including a chunk of the original Fort Dearborn. Other exhibits include “Sensing Chicago” and revolving displays showing off one of the world's largest costume collections

15. John Hancock Center

The John Hancock Center stands 1,125 ft high and is easy to recognize by its dark metallic-looking exterior and cross-braced steel design which runs up the outside of the building. As well, two 345 ft high telecommunications aerials project up from the roof. Visitors can enjoy the views from the 94th-floor observatory.

Chicago, the "Windy City" as it is often called, lies along the shores of Lake Michigan. It is known for its vibrant arts scene, numerous cultural attractions, excellent shopping, and interesting architecture. It is a must visit place in the world having an amazing art history.