Here are the top places to visit in Chicago, Illinois. The selection is made using the FavRiver scoring system which takes into account the most relevant metrics and expert reviews.
Last update : Jun 12, 2019
6Art Institute of Chicago
"The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879 and located in Chicago's Grant Park, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Recognized for its curatorial efforts and popularity among visitors, the museum hosts approximately 1.5 million guests annually. Its collection, stewarded by 11 curatorial departments, is encyclopedic, and includes iconic works such as Georges Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Pablo Picasso's The Old Guitarist, Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, and Grant Wood's American Gothic. Its permanent collection of nearly 300,000 works of art is augmented by more than 30 special exhibitions mounted yearly that illuminate aspects of the collection and present cutting-edge curatorial and scientific research. As a research institution, the Art Institute also has a conservation and conservation science department, five conservation laboratories, and one of the largest art history and architecture libraries in the country—the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries. The growth of the collection has warranted several additions to the museum's original 1893 building, which was constructed for the World's Columbian Exposition of the same year. The most recent expansion, the Modern Wing designed by Renzo Piano, opened in 2009 and increased the museum's footprint to nearly one million square feet, making it the second-largest art museum in the United States, after the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Art Institute is associated with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a leading art school, making it one of the few remaining unified arts institutions in the United States."
7John Hancock Center / 360 Chicago Observation Deck
"875 North Michigan Avenue, built as and still commonly referred to as the John Hancock Center, is a 100-story, 1,128-foot supertall skyscraper located in Chicago, Illinois. Located in the Magnificent Mile district, its name was changed to 875 North Michigan Avenue on February 12, 2018. It was constructed under the supervision of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, with chief designer Bruce Graham and structural engineer Fazlur Khan. When the building topped out on May 6, 1968, it was the second-tallest building in the world and the tallest outside New York City. It is currently the fourth-tallest building in Chicago and the ninth-tallest in the United States, after One World Trade Center, the Willis Tower, 432 Park Avenue, the Trump Tower Chicago, the Empire State Building, the Bank of America Tower, 30 Hudson Yards and the Aon Center. When measured to the top of its antenna masts, it stands at 1,500 feet (457 m). The building is home to several offices and restaurants, as well as about 700 condominiums. It also contains the third-highest residence in the world, after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Trump Tower in Chicago. The building was named for John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, a developer and original tenant of the building. In 2018, John Hancock Insurance requested that its name be removed and the owner is seeking another naming rights deal.From the 95th floor restaurant, diners can look out at Chicago and Lake Michigan. The observatory (360 Chicago), which competes with the Willis Tower's Skydeck, has a 360° view of the city, up to four states, and a distance of over 80 miles (130 km). 360 Chicago is home to TILT, a moving platform that leans visitors over the edge of the skyscraper to a 30-degree angle, a full bar with local selections, Chicago's only open-air SkyWalk, and also features free interactive high definition touch screens in six languages. The 44th-floor sky lobby features America's highest indoor swimming pool."
8Navy Pier
"Navy Pier is a 3,300-foot-long (1,010 m) pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It is located in the Streeterville neighborhood of the Near North Side community area. The Navy Pier currently encompasses more than fifty acres of parks, gardens, shops, restaurants, family attractions and exhibition facilities and is one of the top destinations in the Midwestern United States ("Midwest"), drawing nearly two million visitors annually. It is one of the most visited attractions in the entire Midwest and is Chicago's number one tourist attraction."
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9Field Museum of Natural History
"The Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH), also known as The Field Museum, is a natural history museum in Chicago, and is one of the largest such museums in the world. The museum maintains its status as a premier natural-history museum through the size and quality of its educational and scientific programs, as well as due to its extensive scientific-specimen and artifact collections. The diverse, high-quality permanent exhibitions, which attract up to two million visitors annually, range from the earliest fossils to past and current cultures from around the world to interactive programming demonstrating today's urgent conservation needs. The museum is named in honor of its first major benefactor, the department-store magnate Marshall Field. The museum and its collections originated from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and the artifacts displayed at the fair.The museum maintains a temporary exhibition program of traveling shows as well as in-house produced topical exhibitions. The professional staff maintains collections of over 24 million specimens and objects that provide the basis for the museum’s scientific-research programs. These collections include the full range of existing biodiversity, gems, meteorites, fossils, and rich anthropological collections and cultural artifacts from around the globe. The museum's library, which contains over 275,000 books, journals, and photo archives focused on biological systematics, evolutionary biology, geology, archaeology, ethnology and material culture, supports the museum’s academic-research faculty and exhibit development. The academic faculty and scientific staff engage in field expeditions, in biodiversity and cultural research on every continent, in local and foreign student training, and in stewardship of the rich specimen and artifact collections. They work in close collaboration with public programming exhibitions and education initiatives."
10Millennium Park
"Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago in Illinois operated by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and managed by MB Real Estate. The park was originally intended to celebrate the third millennium and is a prominent civic center near the city's Lake Michigan shoreline that covers a 24.5-acre (99,000 m2) section of northwestern Grant Park. The area was previously occupied by parkland, Illinois Central rail yards, and parking lots. The park, which is bounded by Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, Columbus Drive and East Monroe Drive, features a variety of public art. As of 2009, Millennium Park trailed only Navy Pier as a Chicago tourist attraction and by 2017 it had become the number one tourist attraction in the Midwestern United States. In 2015, the park became the location of the city's annual Christmas tree lighting. Planning of the park began in October 1997. Construction began in October 1998, and Millennium Park was opened in a ceremony on July 16, 2004, four years behind schedule. The three-day opening celebrations were attended by some 300,000 people and included an inaugural concert by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. The park has received awards for its accessibility and green design. Millennium Park has free admission, and features the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Cloud Gate, the Crown Fountain, the Lurie Garden, and various other attractions. The park is connected by the BP Pedestrian Bridge and the Nichols Bridgeway to other parts of Grant Park. Because the park sits atop a parking garage and the commuter rail Millennium Station, it is considered the world's largest rooftop garden. Some observers consider Millennium Park the city's most important project since the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. It far exceeded its originally proposed budget of $150 million. The final cost of $475 million was borne by Chicago taxpayers and private donors. The city paid $270 million; private donors paid the rest, and assumed roughly half of the financial responsibility for the cost overruns. The construction delays and cost overruns were attributed to poor planning, many design changes, and cronyism. Many critics have praised the completed park. In 2017, Millennium Park was the top tourist destination in Chicago and the Midwest, and placed among the top ten in the United States with 25 million annual visitors."
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