12 Chicago Cultural “Musts”

We polled the concierge community and got an insiders take on all of the “must-do” places to visit or revisit.  

Edward Hopper. American, 1882-1967 Nighthawks, 1942 Friends of American Art Collection, Art Institute of Chicago.
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Delve Into History

For the architecture buff, Lynn Nealis, an independent concierge, recommends Chicago Line Cruises. Known for its lake and river cruises, Chicago Line provides in-depth information on Chicago, its history, and its stunning architecture. Their docents have near-encyclopedic knowledge of the city and love to share fun facts and tips about the unique architecture.

Head Out on the Lake

For the thrill seeker, Judson Corrie, concierge at the Waldorf Astoria, loves taking his friends and family on a Seadog ride. “The 30-minute Seadog Extreme Thrill Ride has everything I want,” says Corrie. “A true appreciation of summer weather, a chance to get whipped around on Lake Michigan, and a reason to dry off after and sip on a frozen boozy concoction from Margaritaville Bar & Grill.”

Picture Perfect

Want to take an epic selfie? Then these spots are perfect for you! Trevor John-Charles, concierge at theMART, recommends the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier. You can experience incredible views of the city and Lake Michigan from nearly 200 feet in the air. Mark Kraemer, concierge at the Hotel Palomar, loves sending guests to Skydeck at the Willis Tower to stand on The Ledge and admire the view. Check out the city from a different angle (literally) when you visit 360 Chicago and Tilt! Jasmin Gaston, concierge manager at The Shops at North Bridge, loves the view from up there both day and night. No matter which destination you choose your pictures are sure to be worth more than a thousand words.

Get Cultured

For the history and art lovers out there, Chicago has no shortage of places to visit. Ann Van Damme, concierge with A World Class Concierge Service, recommends the Chicago History Museum as a place to learn about the city and how it became what we know it as today. The Art Institute of Chicago is an iconic spot to visit or revisit. Take your picture in front of the beloved lions, visit their new Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist exhibit (through Sept. 10), or just bask in the many different forms of art housed in this museum that was voted the No. 1 museum in the U.S. and in the world, by TripAdvisor’s Travelers Choice awards. Just a short trip from the Art Institute you’ll find the Museum Campus,  home to three of the city’s best cultural institutions:  the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum. Brianna Connell, concierge at 71 S. Wacker., says that it’s too hard to choose between them so it’s in your best interest to hit all three if you can.

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