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Best Things To Do in Chicago

Chicago has all the offerings you'd expect from a major city: world-class museums, vibrant shopping districts and ample nightlife venues, just to name a few. If you're here to learn, plan to spend a fair amount of time in Grant Park: This area is home to such notable institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum. For a more Windy City-centric education, start your vacation with an architecture cruise — which can provide background on Chicago's famous skyscrapers, like the Willis Tower — before exploring the city's innovative roots at the Museum of Science and Industry. Just save time for some of the city's quintessential experiences, like catching a game at Wrigley Field and window-shopping along the Magnificent Mile.

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How We Rank Things to Do
#1
Millennium Park Free attraction
Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: A first-time visit to Chicago isn't complete without a stop at Millennium Park. Sitting to the north of the ... read more»

#2
Grant Park & Buckingham Fountain Free attraction
Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: Often referred to as "Chicago's front yard," Grant Park is a large swath of green space bordering the eastern ... read more»

#3
The Field Museum
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: This extensive natural history musem occupies half an acre of Grant Park's Museum Campus and houses extensive exhibits showcasing ... read more»

#4
Wrigley Field
Sports, Tours | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Any fan of "Saturday Night Live" knows that Chicagoans take their love of sports very seriously. So for a real ... read more»

#5
Art Institute of Chicago
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Home to one of the country's most impressive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art (as well as works from ... read more»

#6
Willis Tower Skydeck
Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: More than 1 million people make their way to the Willis Tower Skydeck each year, and it's easy to ... read more»

#7
Chicago Architecture Cruise
Sightseeing, Tours | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: A visit to 360 CHICAGO or the Willis Tower Skydeck will give you a good overview of the city's ... read more»

#8
The Magnificent Mile Free attraction
Shopping, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: If you can feel your credit card burning a hole through your wallet, make your way to the Magnificent Mile ... read more»

#9
360 CHICAGO
Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: One of Chicago's most notable attractions is its skyline, and one of the best places to experience it is ... read more»

#10
Museum of Science and Industry
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Chicago's extensive Museum of Science and Industry pays tribute to the city's innovative roots, showcasing more than 35 ... read more»

#11
Navy Pier Free attraction
Amusement Parks | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Extending out onto Lake Michigan, Navy Pier offers plenty in the way of family-friendly entertainment. The first think you'll ... read more»

#12
Lincoln Park Zoo Free attraction
Zoos and Aquariums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Referred to by many as one of Chicago's most beloved treasures, the Lincoln Park Zoo (named for its location ... read more»

#13
Chicago Theatre
Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Tours | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Aside from Cloud Gate and Buckingham Fountain, the Chicago Theatre's red and yellow marquee is perhaps one of the ... read more»

#14
Shedd Aquarium
Zoos and Aquariums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: The John G. Shedd Aquarium is one of the world's largest indoor aquariums, housing around 32,000 aquatic creatures ... read more»

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