If you are looking to make the trip to Chicago, your number one destination in the city is probably downtown. That is where mostly everything is – the attractions, the best restaurants, the landmarks, the buildings, everything. But how to keep track of it all? Concierge Preferred has you covered.
Things to do in Downtown Chicago
Chicago Architecture Tours. The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers many types of tours showcasing Chicago’s best buildings. The CAF has walking tours of historic buildings in the North and South Loop, Chicago’s modern skyscrapers, and downtown buildings with an art deco design, among others. They also have bus and boat tours, showing different parts of the city.
The Field Museum. Located in probably the most southern region of downtown, the Field Museum is a big draw. It has some famous permanent exhibits, like Sue the dinosaur (the largest, most complete T Rex skeleton ever discovered), the hall of gems, a DNA discovery center and a 3-D theater, but it also rotates exhibits in.
John G. Shedd Aquarium. The Shedd Aquarium has fish and marine mammals galore. Come see interactive exhibits and presentations the Aquatic Show, Waters of the World and the Caribbean Reef, and see penguins, sea lions, cownose rays, green anacondas and moon jellies.
Seadog Lake and River Tours. You can take a nice, peaceful tour of the shoreline, lock system and Chicago river with a 75-minute Seadog Architecture tour that shows visitors all of Chicago’s most famous buildings, and tells factoids like how the Chicago River was reversed. Or, you could try Seadog’s 30-minute Extreme Thrill Ride, riding a jet-propelled baot that reaches speeds up to 45 mph and completes 180-360° turns.
The Chicago Theatre. The city’s quintessential theater hosts concerts, musical acts, plays, stand-up comedians and more – and eclectic mix of entertainers, from Sinbad to Duran Duran to a Christmas Story Musical regularly come to the theater. The building itself is a big attraction, too. The theater opened in 1921 and built in French Baroque style. The Chicago Theatre is well known for its luxurious lobby and iconic “CHICAGO” marquee out front.
Buckingham Fountain. Built in 1927, this fountain in Grant Park is one of the largest in the world. The fountain runs daily from April to October, and every hour on the hour for 20 minutes the fountain produces a water display and the center jet shoots 150 feet into the air. Four seahorses in the fountain represent the four states bordering Lake Michigan, and 134 jets pump the fountain’s 1.5 million gallon water capacity.
Willis Tower/Skydeck Chicago. See the best view of Chicago from 103 stories in the air. In addition to interactive displays and videos where guests can learn the history of the building, daytime viewers can see stunning views of the North Side, South Side, West Side, some suburbs, and Lake Michigan. At night, viewers see dots of street and building lights everywhere. The Willis Tower also has a Ledge, where visitors can step out onto a piece of thick glass, allowing them to look down to the street below.
Morton’s The Steakhouse. Although Morton’s has over 70 locations worldwide, the first steakhouse was based in Chicago. The original location, at 1050 N. State St., known for its upscale atmosphere, cooking awards, prime steaks and fresh seafood.