Filled with some of America’s best museums, parks and art, Downtown Chicago is a tourist’s playground. Downtown, sometimes called the Chicago Loop, shows visitors Chicagoan hospitality and attractions. Stroll along the lakefront, go shopping, learn about art, history and culture or relax in the area’s famous restaurants.
No matter the weather, Downtown Chicago’s incredible collection of museums offers unlimited ways to spend an afternoon. Visit the Art Institute of Chicago’s renowned Impressionist collection and stand in awe before Edward Hopper’s famous painting Nighthawks.
Gape at Sue, the large Tyrannosaurus rex at the Field Museum of Natural History. See piranhas, turtles, otters and seals at the Shedd Aquarium or fly high on Navy Pier’s 196-foot (50-meter) Ferris wheel. Get even higher at the Willis Tower Skydeck, a whopping 1,475 feet (450 meters) in the air.
Spend time outside in the area’s manicured public parks, featuring diverse gardens and public art. Watch the spectacular light show at Buckingham Fountain, an art deco construction that is one of the biggest fountains in America. Take Chicago’s classic tourist selfie in front of the reflective curves of Cloud Gate, “the Bean,” near the shores of Lake Michigan.
Shop, dine or stroll along the Magnificent Mile, a commercial district popular with tourists and locals. Catch a Chicago Bears game at Soldier Field or play on Grant Park’s fields.
Downtown Chicago is located on Chicago’s eastern border, along Lake Michigan. Drive here in 45 minutes from Chicago O’Hare International Airport, which serves various locations throughout the region and the world. Downtown Chicago is the most frequented part of the city and is quite safe. Parking can be expensive and difficult to find, so walking is best for exploring this bustling district.
At the end of a long day of museums and touring, nothing can beat a picnic under the Frank Gehry-designed arches of Millennium Park as the sun sets behind Chicago’s iconic skyline.