Published on August 30th, 2011 | by Flight Centre Staff3
Our Top 5 Must-See’s in Chicago
With our recent flash sale to Chicago, it’s no secret that we love the Windy City. Chicago is the major metropolis of America’s heartland, with three million people hustling and bustling in the city of skyscrapers that appears to rise straight out of the waters of Lake Michigan, in northern Illinois. From strolling the parks, to visiting some iconic buildings, we’ve put together five of our favourite must-see’s:
1. Millennium Park
Millennium Park is one of Chicago’s most popular destinations and is seen by Chicagoans as the crowning glory of their city. The award-winning park is famous for its innovative architecture and landscape design, featuring the work of several prominent artists, architects and designers. The park’s most outstanding feature is the state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which seats more than 4,000 people and hosts regular concerts. Another fascinating piece of architecture is the polished stainless steel Cloud Gate, shaped like a 66-foot (20m) long bean with a 12-foot (4m) high archway. Other interesting features include the Crown Fountain, the Lurie Garden, BP Bridge, and the Millennium Monument. Visitors can also enjoy changing exhibitions, local art works, and ice skating in winter.
2. Sears Tower (Willis Tower)
‘You haven’t seen Chicago until you’ve seen it from the Skydeck’ is what many visitors will hear from locals and other tourists in the city. The iconic Sears Tower was renamed on 16 July 2009 to the ‘Willis Tower’, and located on its 103rd floor the Skydeck is 1,353 feet (412m) above street level and one of Chicago’s most famous tourist attractions. Elevators whisk visitors up to the observation deck where the views stretch out across the city and Lake Michigan, and as far as neighbouring states on a clear day. Inside, there are some interesting, interactive exhibits and computer information terminals for a tour of the city’s landmarks. The Willis Tower, standing at 110 stories high, is the tallest building in North America and one of the tallest in the world.
3. Magnificent Mile
This stretch of Michigan Avenue in Chicago that runs from Chicago River to Oak Street is known as the Magnificent Mile. Famed for its nightlife, it also served as the main thoroughfare between Chicago’s Loop business district and the Gold Coast. Visitors will love discovering everything the Magnificent Mile has to offer, from over 460 exclusive stores and boutiques to over 200 restaurants such as Spago, there is also fabulous architecture to be admired on a boat or trolley tour, including the Wrigley Building and the John Hancock Center. Indulge in a deep dish pizza, stroll past media houses like the Chicago Tribunenewspaper, stop to enjoy the local street performers, or watch the ambience of the Magnificent Mile change with the seasons where everything from tulips and lush gardens to weekly fireworks displays
4. Navy Pier
Situated on the lakefront, Navy Pier has developed into one of the city’s main tourist destinations, offering year-round attractions, events and entertainment for the whole family. Navy Pier encompasses acres of parks and gardens, shops, restaurants, and numerous attractions and rides, as well as serving as an embarkation point for tour and excursion boats. Its 150ft (46m) Ferris wheel attracts more than eight million people annually; other main attractions include an IMAX theatre, Chicago’s Children’s Museum, and the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows. Other special attractions are offered throughout the year
5. Shedd Aquarium
One of Chicago’s best known attractions the Shedd, which opened in 1930, remains the world’s largest indoor aquarium. The octagonal marble building houses more than 8,000 river, lake and sea creatures. The main attraction is the Caribbean Coral Reef exhibit and other marine habitat exhibits like a recreation of the Amazon basin and a ‘Seahorse Symphony’. The aquarium also features an indoor saltwater Oceanarium housing marine mammals where dolphin shows are scheduled daily
Looking for more information about Chicago? Check out our travel guide or call one of our Flight Centre agents at -1-866-502-4605 for more info on hotels and tours. Have any Chicago must-see’s? Let us know in the comment section below! Cheers and happy travels!