As the United States’ third most populous city, Chicago is a delightful wonderland with its glittering lights and joyous atmosphere. Chicago’s top sights bustle with activity, from sightseeing in Lincoln Park Zoo to playing at Navy Pier. Immerse yourself in the vibrant theater scene, explore museums and galleries of every variety, and take in sensational performances ranging from live music, comedy, dance, and opera. Some of the live-music genres, which are part of the city’s cultural heritage, include Chicago blues, Chicago soul, jazz, and gospel.
The front lobby of the Hotel InterContinental leads guests directly onto Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, a bustling corridor of commerce and activity that serves as the main thoroughfare between the Loop business district and the Gold Coast. This prime location serves as the perfect stepping-off point for any first-time visitor or returning traveler and provides easy access to the full range of Chicago cuisine, shopping, culture, history, entertainment, and night-life – much of which can be found within walking distance of the hotel doors!
The Art Institute of Chicago (18 min. walk): Explore thousands of artworks by visionary artists including Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock, and Salvador Dali.
The Chicago Theatre (12 min. walk): At seven stories tall, occupying half a city block, and with a towering neon marquee, it’s almost impossible to miss the Chicago Theatre – and why should you? Playing host to concerts, musicals, plays, stand-up comedy and more, this venue is a staple of Chicago entertainment.
Navy Pier (16 min. walk): A true Chicago landmark, Navy Pier is home to over fifty acres of culture and entertainment. Sample the full range of the city’s culinary tradition, catch a show at the Shakespeare Theatre, and take a ride on the instantly-recognizable Ferris wheel. And once the sun goes down, enjoy a fireworks show every Wednesday and Saturday night!
John Hancock Building (11 min. walk): A 360-degree observation deck offers unparalleled views of Chicago and Lake Michigan from 1000 feet above the Magnificent Mile.
Millennium Park (13 min. walk): Home to the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture (you might know it as “The Bean”), this 25-acre park features a stunning collection of public art, an open-air concert pavilion that fits 11,000 visitors, and an expanse of green space worthy of Chicago’s motto: Urbs in Horto – “City in a Garden.”
Chicago Riverwalk (5 min. walk): Cafes and wineries, brewhouses and beer gardens – the banks of the Chicago River are lined with opportunities to relax on an outdoor patio while enjoying a meal and a drink. Start from the riverfront Apple Store on Michigan Avenue and follow this scenic pathway from the bustle of downtown to the stunning shores of Lake Michigan.
Lakefront Trail (15 min. walk): This 18-mile paved pathway is perfect for walking, jogging, biking, roller skating, and rollerblading – it traverses many of Chicago’s historic neighborhoods and landmarks, including the Lincoln Park Zoo to the north and the Museum of Science and Industry to the south.
Architecture River Cruise: A 90-minute river tour partnered with the Chicago Architecture Center features indoor and outdoor seating, a full-service bar and highly-trained tour guides to explain the sights, styles and stories of Chicago’s riverfront architecture.
Segway Tours: Glide along the Chicago Lakefront and Museum Campus as part of a guided tour, or take a nighttime trip to see the Navy Pier fireworks and stunning Buckingham Fountain.
Chicago Dining: Can’t-Miss Classics and Upscale Experiences
The Original Billy Goat Tavern (430 N. Michigan Ave, Lower Level): Home of the Cheezborger, inspiration for the famous SNL skit.
Portillo’s (100 W. Ontario St.): Follow a Chicago hot dog or Italian beef sandwich with a heaping slice of chocolate cake.
Frontera Grill & Topolobampo (445 N. Clark St.): Visit Chef Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill for the city’s most popular Mexican cuisine, or walk next door to experience his Michelin Star-rated tasting menu at Topolobampo.
Acadia (1639 S. Wabash Ave): A Michelin Two Star-rated restaurant with a menu inspired by the state of Maine.