With an abundance of art galleries, museums, high-rises, parks, zoos and more, Chicago is a cultural hub that offers inspiring attractions. The city is famously known as the birthplace of the skyscraper and is home to the world’s largest dinosaur, as well as a botanical conservatory brimming with thousands of plants.
Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is a world class museum with hundreds of thousands of artworks. The diverse collection spans thousands of years and includes pieces from a variety of media including painting, prints, photography, sculpture, decorative arts, textiles, architectural drawings and more. The Institute is known for its collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings including Georges Seurat’s 1884 A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte.
The fountain, constructed out of gorgeous pink Georgia marble, was donated to the city by Kate Buckingham, a grand patroness of the arts. It is Chicago’s centerpiece along the Lake Michigan shore. While beautiful, the real attraction of the fountain is the computer-controlled water, light, and music show that takes place every hour. It’s a dazzling display that makes for a fantastic photo opportunity and a picture perfect background .
Located in the John Hancock Center office building, 360 Chicago is an observation deck on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building, easy to recognize by its dark metallic looking exterior and cross-braced steel design, which runs up the outside of the building. The large glass-walled observation deck has views that look out over Chicago’s skyline and beyond. More adventurous tourists will love the deck’s newest feature, “Tilt,” which gives visitors a unique view from more than 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile.
Located in the same lakeshore Museum Campus as the Field Museum, the John G. Shedd Aquarium is home to more than 1,500 species of sea life, including 32,500 fish, as well as an array of birds, insects and amphibians. Completed in 1930, the aquarium gets more than two million visitors each year, making it one of the most-visited aquarium in the United States. Exhibits are organized in themed areas such as the “Caribbean Reef” and the award-winning “Amazon Rising.”
Chicago water tower
Designed by architect William Boyington, the 47 meter (154 foot) tall turreted Chicago Water Tower once played a critical role in the city’s water system. In 1871, a fire that began in a barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O’Leary quickly spread and destroyed the city’s entire business district. One of the few surviving structures of the infamous Great Chicago Fire, the Chicago Water Tower is a symbol of the city’s resilience. Today, the beautiful limestone structure is home to the City Gallery, which exhibits works by local artists and photographers.