Chicago is America’s third most populous city and is the de facto capital of the Midwest. The city is composed of numerous neighborhoods, each worthy of a visit separately. If you are like the atypical visitor to the windy city, then time is of the essence for you. In that case you will want to find those attractions that simply should not be missed. To that end we offer to you several of Chicago’s finest destinations.

Millennium Park

One of Chicago’s newest attractions is Millennium Park. The park is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, but there is so much more than urban parkland that defines this destination.

The park is prized for its state of the art collection of architecture and landscape design along with its many cultural programs. Crown fountain is an integral part of Millennium Park. It represents an interactive work of public art and video sculpture, and features cascading water jets that operate from May to October, as weather permits.

Lurie Garden, an ice rink, the Harris Theater and Wrigley Square are also found in or adjacent to the 24.5-acre Millennium Park. People watching alone makes this park a great place to visit!

Wrigley Field

You do not need to be a Chicago Cubs fan to appreciate Wrigley Field. It is one of the oldest as well as one of the smallest major league baseball parks, but it has a charm all of its own.

Attending a game is one way to appreciate Wrigley Field. Also available are behind the scenes tours that showcase more than 100 years of Wrigley history.

Guided tours can be taken on game days as well as on non-game days from March through October. Personalized VIP tours are also available, for a significant fee of course.

The Art Institute of Chicago

Few art museums rival the Art Institute of Chicago, a classical Renaissance structure guarded by a pair of bronze lions at its entrance. The Institute features many permanent and temporary exhibits including Asian, American and African art. Also featured are: renaissance, contemporary, European painting and sculpture, Indian art of the Americas, textiles, modern art, photography, and numerous prints and drawings.

Important pieces on display include the works of Georges Seurat, Edward Hopper, Georges Braque and Mary Cassat, just to name a few. The museum receives approximately two million visitors each year and is accessible via public transit including bus and subway lines. Parking is available on site too. And if you are an Illinois resident, the Thursday night admission is free to you.

Michigan Avenue

What Fifth Avenue is to New York, Michigan Avenue is to Chicago. It is the main downtown thoroughfare for the city and includes the Magnificent Mile, chock-full of every type of store that you can think of.

Restaurants, boutiques, landmark buildings, and so much more can be found along this important stretch of Chicago. Michigan Avenue is price as much as for its sightseeing opportunities as well as for shopping. Where a comfortable pair of walking shoes and plan to navigate the area on foot.

Garfield Park Conservatory

Fans of historic conservatories will not be disappointed when visiting the Garfield Park Conservatory located in one of Chicago’s largest parks. The conservatory takes up 4.5 acres of the 184-acre Garfield Park.

The conservatory is frequently referred as, “landscape art under glass” and features numerous plant specimens from around the world. That collection includes some cycads that our nearly as old as America.

Chicago Happenings

There are, of course, many other places to visit while you are in Chicago. For children, a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo is a must. Established in 1868 this 35 acre zoo remains one of the last free admission zoos in the United States.

For stunning views of the city, a visit to Skydeck Chicago is in order. Other family-friendly destinations include the Chicago Line Cruises, the Chicago Children’s Museum, and the John Hancock Observatory. Grant Park, Symphony Center, Cloud Gate and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater are other attractions to consider.

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