Visitors are in for a pleasant surprise with the number of tourist attractions in Chicago, including numerous annual festivals and activities taking place throughout the city, as well as the array of attractions in downtown Chicago.
Chicago has a long and interesting history, which has played a significant role in its development. Visitors who are interested in the city's history will be able to take advantage of the many historic Chicago attractions that tell the story of the city's past.
Culture, performing arts, wildlife, and the environment are important issues here, and examples of the Chicago attractions that reflect the focus on education, interactive exhibits, and nature are available at locations in the city. At the Brookfield Zoo and the Lincoln Park Zoo wildlife, rehabilitation, public awareness, and education are highlighted.
Through a variety of music styles played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, diverse sounds ranging from classic to modern are heard; while at the Chicago Botanic Garden, flora and fauna in natural settings are the focus. Exhibits of art, artifacts, drawings, and models take visitors on a trip through history at the Chicago History Museum, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Cultural Center, Children's Museum, and the Garfield Park Conservatory.
Along with experiencing the many modern Chicago attractions, there are also areas providing a look at places with a longer history, such as the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, and Union Station; these locations are just two of the places that have a significant role in the city's background. A stroll through the Riverwalk Gateway is a prime example of Chicago sightseeing at its best, as visitors will see a pictorial history created on 28 panels lining the wall of the underground walk. The panels are hand-crafted and depict the history of Chicago and the river.
Several areas that are perfect for sightseeing are also great tourist attractions in Chicago. Soldier Field, home to the Chicago Bears, began as Grant Park Field. The name of the field was changed to Soldier Field in honor of those serving in the military during World War I and continues to retain the name with sculpture, statue, and memorial waterfall commemorating military men and women.
Three favorite locations that are good for sightseeing and relaxation but also perfect tourist attractions in Chicago are the Oak Street Beach, North Avenue Beach, and Ohio Street Beach. Each has a nice sandy area right along Lake Michigan and provides uninterrupted views of the city's skyline. Visiting the beaches is one of the many fun things to do with kids during a trip to Chicago.
Additional tourist attractions in Chicago include the Sears Tower Skydeck, John Hancock Center, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Field Museum. The Adler Planetarium provides a look at the stars, and the Shedd Aquarium allows visitors an up-close view of exotic marine life. The Hancock Observatory, which is one of the most popular attractions in downtown Chicago, provides visitors with magnificent views of the city from 1,000 feet. The House of Blues features music at its best throughout the year, and the annual Air and Water Show with its thrilling aerial shows is also a popular attraction. Six Flags Great America is a theme park perfect for family entertainment with plenty of rides, attractions, and shows.
The array of attractions in downtown Chicago and elsewhere easily will keep visitors entertained. For shopping, nightlife, and dining, the Magnificent Mile has it all. In Grant Park, music festivals and food fests are scheduled throughout the year. Millennium Park, located inside Grant Park, features statues, fountains, and a unique waterfall. Navy Pier has plenty of family action with miniature golf, a carousel, an IMAX Theater and a 150-foot Ferris wheel. For live musicals and shows, Drury Lane Theatre has performances throughout the year, and for a step back in time, consider having lunch at the Walnut Room at Macy's, which originally opened in 1907.