in Chicago is synonymous with the Loop. The Loop refers
to a core of primarily commercial, governmental, and cultural
buildings contained within a looping of elevated train
tracks in the center city,
downtown Chicago extends beyond the Loop and is bounded
by the Chicago River to the north and west, by Michigan
Avenue to the east, and by Roosevelt Avenue to the south.
The North Side
Michigan Avenue is known as the Magnificent Mile, from
the bridge spanning the Chicago River to its northern
tip at Oak Street. Many of the city's best hotels, shops,
and restaurants are to be found on and around elegant
North Michigan Avenue.
Old Town West of LaSalle Street, principally on North
Wells Street between Division Street and North Avenue,
is the residential district of Old Town, with some of
the city's best-preserved historic homes.
large Chinese neighborhood is full of popular restaurants,
nightclubs, and shops displaying Asian wares.
most popular residential neighborhood is home to two major
museums and one of the nation's oldest zoos. The area
also contains many of Chicago's most popular nightclubs,
restaurants, retail stores, and off-Loop theaters, including
the nationally acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
Wrigleyville is the name given to the neighborhood in
the vicinity of Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.
Loop was Chicago's original "Gold Coast" in
the late 19th century, with Prairie Avenue (now an historic
district) as its most exclusive address. Cermak Road (where
Chinatown begins), and from Lake Shore Drive west to the
south branch of the Chicago River is one of the fast-growing
residential neighborhoods in the city.
Planetarium and Astronomy Museum
1300 South Lake Shore Drive
The first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, Adler
has hands-on and historical exhibits as well as sky shows.
Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday,
Friday; 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Masterpieces from Monet and Degas are housed in a vast,
world-class collection that also features African, American-Indian
and Asian works, decorative arts and sculpture, photography,
prints, textiles, and contemporary American painting.
Free lectures are open to the public on Tuesday evenings.
Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture
6500 South Pulaski Road
Dedicated to the preservation of Lithuanian art, history,
customs, and traditions, Balzekas also has a Children's
Museum of Immigrant History.
First Avenue and 31st Street
14 miles west of the Loop, it is accessible by Metra.
A number of large
Includes dolphin shows.
Buckingham Fountain, Chicago
landmark is considered one of America's finest fountains
due to its Beaux-Arts-style design, finely wrought bronze
sculpture, and innovative use of technology.
Burnham Skate Park
31st Street and Lake Shore Drive
is free; the park is closed in winter.
This 20,000-square-foot park for skateboarders and in-line
skaters features benches, curbs, rails, and smooth, curved
metal surfacing for protection.
700 East Grand Avenue
Located on Navy Pier.
exhibits encourage children to look, touch, and explore.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Address: 224 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission to enter
More than 40 different architectural tours, varying in
Clarke House Museum
Address: 1827 South Indiana Avenue
Chicago's oldest surviving building, and the only place
to see how an early Chicago family lived.
Chicago Botanical Gardens
100 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
Admission charged per car.
8 a.m. to sunset daily
Whatever your taste in gardens, you will find it here.
The 385-acre property includes a suitably romantic English
Garden, a thoughtful Japanese paradise, and indoor greenhouses
that duplicate the atmosphere of the desert as well as
the rainforest. A 45-foot waterfall cascades through the
Waterfall Garden and the pools in quiet areas. A visit
to the Chicago Botanical Gardens is a learning experience
as well. Courses and lectures are almost always available,
and a walk through the Endangered Species Garden teaches
about preservation of plant species.
Chicago Public Library
Harold Washington Library Center
400 South State Street
The world's largest public library has more than two million
shelved volumes available to the public.
Chicago Cultural Center
E. Washington St., Chicago
312/346-3278 or 312/744-6630
ornamental details abound in this building, including
sparkling mosaic tiles, sculptured ceilings, inscribed
literary quotations, and a sweeping white Carrara marble
Preston Bradley Hall, on the third floor has the world's
largest Tiffany stained-glass dome. Another magnificent
stained-glass dome is on the second floor in the GAR rotunda.
The structure was constructed in 1897 to serve a dual
purpose. The Randolph Street and Washington Street sides
are different for this reason One was the entrance to
the city's central library, and the other to the Grand
Army of the Republic museum. The Cultural Center houses
public spaces, with free concerts and performances of
all kinds, including live music every weekday at 1 in
the Randolph Café.
W. Madison St., Chicago
the Chicago River from the Civic Opera House, the functions
of commuter train station and office building unite. The
center combines a boxlike office tower with glass half-cylinders
rising from the lower levels. Horizontal and vertical
bands of mirrored and smoked glass alternate up the building
for a ribbon effect. It looks very much like the grand
old European railroad stations. The gates to the tracks
are elevated above street level to allow traffic to proceed
east and west via underpasses.
by Washington, Randolph, Dearborn, and Clark Sts., Chicago
for the late mayor Richard J. Daley, the father of the
current holder of the office, this boldly plain high-rise
is the headquarters of the Cook County court system, but
it also draws visitors' attention because of what stands
outside: a sculpture by Picasso. Known simply as "The
Picasso."DuSable Museum of African-American
740 East 56th Place
The DuSable Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation,
and interpretation of the history and culture of Africans
and Americans of African descent. The museum sponsors
a film series, jazz and blues concerts, and film and theater
events geared to children.
The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Field is Chicago's crowning museum of natural history,
with exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to African
culture to gems and minerals. Visitors can observe as
geologists work on a million-year-old fossilized dinosaur,
painstakingly removing its bones from the rock and assembling
them for display. The "Life Over Time" display
documents the changing weather patterns that contributed
to the formation of the earth's environment, and other
exhibits explore the various cultures of the world's population.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation
Address: 951 Chicago Avenue, Oak Park
This building served as both the Wright family residence
and Wright's studio around the turn of the century.
Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust
Chicago Avenue, Oak Park 60302
Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust operates two historic
house museums: The Robie House in Hyde Park and the Frank
Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park. The Frank Lloyd
Wright Home and Studio was the architectural laboratory
for the architect. The Preservation Trust offers guided
architectural tours of these buildings daily, along with
special educational programs for youth and adults.
S. Woodlawn St., Chicago 60637
House represents the culmination of Wright's renowned
work in the revolutionary architectural genre known as
the Prairie Style. This spectacular structure features
174 exquisite art glass windows and doors. Tours offered
daily, as well as public programs and special events-all
of which focus on Wright's legendary creativity.
S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago 60616
House Museum is a National Historic Landmark, designed
by Henry Hobson Richardson and built in 1887. Guided tours
of Glessner House and the neighboring Clarke House Museum
are available, Wednesday-Sunday at noon, 1 and 2pm. Museum
programming examines the architecture, art, history and
culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
through lectures, discussions, performance events and
in 1844, this park covers 319 acres along Lake Michigan
and is home to the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium,
the Field Museum and the Art Institute.
The Hancock Observatory
875 N. Michigan Avenue
John Hancock Center, Chicago
9 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily
It's not the tallest building in Chicago, but the 100-story
Hancock Tower is worth a visit for its magnificent cityscapes
and the interesting interactive exhibits on its 94th floor.
Visitors take a speedy elevator ride to the observation
level, where "Soundscope" viewers give a narrated
account (in one of four languages) of what you're seeing
through the telescope. Adults will enjoy the Signature
Lounge, a 96th-floor watering hole with a lakeside view.
Washington Library Center
S. State St., Chicago
center's holdings include the Chicago Blues Archives,
the Jazz/Blues/Gospel Hall of Fame, and the Balaban and
Hull House Museum
800 S. Halsted Street, Chicago
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday; 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, Jane Addams
did what no one before her had thought to do. She moved
into one of Chicago's tenement neighborhoods and opened
a "settlement house" to help meet the economic
and social needs of her neighbors and to encourage their
involvement in improving their own community. During the
height of its activity, Hull House included a library,
gymnasium, theater and an art gallery. The museum, snuggled
in the heart of the University of Illinois-Chicago, consists
of two of the original 13 buildings, one an Arts and Crafts-style
dining hall built in 1905.
Hyde Park, Chicago
neighborhood, located south of the downtown area, is best
known for being the home to the University of Chicago.
G. Shedd Aquarium
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Hours: June-August, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; September
through May, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
to the Shedd Aquarium should be sure to stop by around
feeding time to watch divers distribute dinner to the
various eels, rays, sea turtles and fish that make its
Tropical Coral Reef home. Nearly 8,000 aquatic animals
- fresh and salt-water alike - are part of the Shedd's
collection, and nearly 2 million visitors make the journey
to the world's largest indoor aquarium each year.
Kohl Children's Museum
165 Green Bay Road
Children ages 1—8 can touch and explore the exhibits
and participate in planned daily activities.
Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 N. Clark Street, Chicago
Admission charged per car.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
The oldest zoo in the country, Lincoln Park Zoo is still
free to visitors. But its greatest asset is its vast collection
- 1,200 animals - and its dedication to teaching conservation
and protection of wildlife. The zoo's Lester E. Fisher
Great Ape House is considered one of the finest gorilla
exhibits in the world. Other visitor favorites include
the Sea Lion Pool, the Bird House (where feathered friends
surround their homo sapiens visitors) and the Penguin
and Seabird House. And of course, there are plenty of
elephants, giraffes and rhinos
North Michigan Avenue, Chicago
A mecca for shoppers, Magnificent Mile runs along North
Michigan Avenue to Lincoln Park and rivals Rodeo Drive
and Worth Avenue for world-class shopping and restaurants.
Comforting names like The Gap accompany upscale Armani
on the list of 60 well-known retail establishments to
line this spending paradise. Three shopping malls are
also nearby, and each is worthy of the Magnificent Mile's
high-class shopping reputation, and magnificent restaurants
and five-star hotels.
in downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue between Randolph
and Monroe Streets, the 24.5-acre park is an unprecedented
center for world-class art, music, architecture and landscape
design, where you can experience everything from interactive
public art and ice skating to al fresco dining and free
classical music presentations by the Grant Park Orchestra
and Chorus. Among the park’s prominent features
is the dazzling Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated
outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States,
designed by Frank Gehry, one of the world’s greatest
living architects. A pedestrian bridge, also designed
by Mr. Gehry and spanning Columbus Drive, provides access
to the pavilion, acts as an acoustical barrier between
the audience and traffic noise, and links Millennium Park
to the rest of Chicago's lakefront park system.
park also is home to one of the world’s largest
outdoor sculptures by the British artist Anish Kapoor;
the tradition-setting Lurie Garden designed by the team
of Kathryn Gustafson, Piet Oudolf, and Robert Israel;
and the Crown Fountain designed by Spanish artist Jaume
Mexican Fine Arts Center
1852 West 19th Street
Exhibits on traditional and contemporary Mexican art range
in medium from prints and drawings to papier-mâché
and from ceramics to historically significant photographs.
Every autumn the museum hosts the city's most visited
Day of the Dead exhibit.
Museum of Broadcast Communications,
Avenue at Washington Street
(in the Chicago Cultural Center)
Building tours are offered Tuesday-Saturday at 1:15 PM.
Mon.-Wed. 10-7, Thurs. 10-9, Fri. 10-6, Sat. 10-5, Sun.
MBC examines popular culture and contem-porary American
history through the sights and sounds of television and
radio. Featured are hands-on exhibits, broadcasting memorabilia,
and a public archives collection of more than 60,000 radio
and television programs and commercials.
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue
The MCA exhibits painting, sculpture, photography, video
and film, and performance created since 1945. It includes
a terraced sculpture garden and has a great view of Lake
Museum of Contemporary Photography
600 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission, The permanent collection focuses on American
photography produced since 1959.
Museum of Science and Industry
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
More than 800 exhibits and 2,000 interactive units include
a display exploring the inner workings of the brain, an
exhibit of a captured German U-boat, and a trip down a
replica coal mine. There is also an Omnimax movie dome.
Museum of Surgical Science
1524 North Lake Shore Drive
Admission charged. free Tuesdays
With its collection of 7,000 surgery-related objects,
manuscripts, and artworks, this museum shows the discoveries
and failures that have shaped modern surgery.
Vietnam Veterans Art Museum
1801 South Indiana Avenue
Art of 115 men and women who served in Vietnam.
600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago
Hours: November to May, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; May to October,
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Stretching more than a half-mile (3000 feet) into Lake
Michigan, the Navy Pier is a popular attraction for guests
and locals alike. The pier area welcomes more than 5 million
visitors who come to ride its 150-foot Ferris wheel and
old-fashioned carousel, see an IMAX movie, take sightseeing
and dinner cruises or stroll its lovely lakefront location.
Its concert dome, Skyline Stage, seats 1,500 and presents
performances from May through October. The 170,000-square
foot festival hall hosts several distinguished annual
events, and a six-story glass atrium contains Crystal
Gardens, the pier's one-acre enclosed botanical garden.
Oak Street Beach, Chicago
place for water sports and biking.
233 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago
October-February, 9 AM - 10PM daily; March-September,
9AM – 11PM daily.
The tallest building in North America and still one of
the tallest in the world, the Sears Tower soars 110 stories
to 1,454 feet. Completed in 1973, the tower was built
by 12,000 workers in fierce Chicago winds, which became
a more significant challenge the higher the structure
rose. The newly opened Skydeck on the 103rd floor offers
80-mile views on a clear day. It also presents a number
of educational exhibits on Chicago history, the Great
Chicago Fire and the city's founding fathers and mothers.
Spertus Museum (Institute of Jewish Studies)
618 South Michigan Avenue
Spertus Museum welcomes students from all backgrounds
to its galleries, using its collections to introduce basic
themes in Jewish religion and culture.
Swedish American Museum Center
N. Clark Street
museum aims to preserve the Midwest's rich Swedish heritage
by collecting, interpreting, and displaying materials
related to Swedish-American history.
Terra Museum of American Art
664 North Michigan Avenue
Free for students with valid ID
Ukrainian National Museum
N. Oakley Boulevard
Tribune Tower, Chicago
neo-gothic tower's signature is the exterior collection
of stones from other famous edifices, like the Parthenon,
St. Peter's Basilica, Notre Dame, the White House and
most recently, the Berlin Wall.
University of Chicago
South Ellis Avenue
public attractions include museums (Oriental Institute
and Smart Museum of Art), galleries, and a Frank Lloyd
Wright home (Robie House). It also is the site of the
magnificent limestone edifice, Regenstein Library, which
features over 7 million volumes in addition to priceless
archives. The Rockefeller Memorial Chapel is a mini cathedral
with memorable stained glass windows, a 92-bell carillon
and a 10,000 pipe organ.
Wrigley Building, Chicago
white, terra-cotta landmark was built in 1922 as headquarters
for the Wrigley chewing gum company.
Wrigley Field, Chicago
of America's smallest, oldest, and best-loved ballparks,
Wrigley is home to the Chicago Cubs