Chicago

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Chicago - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

Sort by: 21 Recommendations {{numTotalPoiResults}} {{ (numTotalPoiResults===1)?'Recommendation':'Recommendations' }} 0 Recommendations
CLEAR ALL Area Search CLEAR ALL
Loading...
Loading...
  • 1. DuSable Museum of African American History

    Hyde Park

    Sitting alongside the lagoons of Washington Park, the DuSable Museum, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, offers an evocative exploration of the African American experience. The most...

    Sitting alongside the lagoons of Washington Park, the DuSable Museum, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, offers an evocative exploration of the African American experience. The most moving display is about slavery—rusted shackles used on slave ships are among the poignant and disturbing artifacts. The museum also has a significant art collection. Rotating exhibits showcase African American milestones, achievements, and contributions.

    740 E. 56th Pl., Chicago, Illinois, 60637, USA
    773-947–0600

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $10, Closed Mon. and Tues., Advance tickets required
  • 2. Farnsworth House

    This 1951 minimalist dwelling by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe sits just down the Fox River from Aurora. Constructed of steel, wood, and travertine marble,...

    This 1951 minimalist dwelling by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe sits just down the Fox River from Aurora. Constructed of steel, wood, and travertine marble, it appears to nearly float against a backdrop of serene river views and woodland landscapes. Now operated as a museum by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Farnsworth House may only be seen by guided tour (advance reservations are required). Note that the house is a half-mile walk from the visitor center.

    14520 River Rd., Plano, Illinois, 60545, USA
    630-552–0052

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $25, purchase at least 24 hrs in advance, Closed Mon. and Tues. Apr.-Nov. Closed weekdays in winter
  • 3. Frederick C. Robie House

    Hyde Park

    Named one of the 10 most significant buildings of the 20th century by the American Institute of Architects, the 9,063-square-foot Robie House (1910) is long...

    Named one of the 10 most significant buildings of the 20th century by the American Institute of Architects, the 9,063-square-foot Robie House (1910) is long and low. Massive overhangs shoot out from the low-pitched roof, and windows run along the facade in a glittering stretch. Inside, Wright's "open plan" echoes the great outdoors, as one space flows into another, while sunlight streaming through decorative leaded windows bathes the rooms in patterns. The original dining room had a table with lanterns at each corner, giving the illusion that the table itself was a separate room. Other Wright innovations include a three-car garage (now the gift shop), an intercom, and a central vacuum-cleaner system. Check the website for tour options. It's a good idea to make reservations in advance.

    5757 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, Illinois, 60637, USA
    312-994–4000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Tours from $20, Closed Tues.-Wed.
    View Tours and Activities
  • 4. Museum of Science and Industry

    Hyde Park

    The MSI is one of the most-visited sites in Chicago, and for good reason. The sprawling space has 14 acres of exhibit space on three...

    The MSI is one of the most-visited sites in Chicago, and for good reason. The sprawling space has 14 acres of exhibit space on three floors, with new exhibits added constantly. The museum's high-tech interior is hidden by a Classical Revival exterior, designed in 1892 by D.H. Burnham & Company to house the Palace of Fine Arts for the World's Columbian Exposition. Beautifully landscaped Jackson Park and its peaceful, Japanese-style Osaka Garden are behind the museum.

    5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, Illinois, 60637, USA
    773-684–1414

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $22
    View Tours and Activities
  • 5. Smart Museum of Art

    Hyde Park

    If you want to see masterpieces but don't want to spend a long day wandering around one of the major art museums, the Smart may...

    If you want to see masterpieces but don't want to spend a long day wandering around one of the major art museums, the Smart may be just your speed. Its diverse exhibition program features art from around the globe.

    5550 S. Greenwood Ave., Chicago, Illinois, 60637, USA
    773-702–0200

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon.
  • Recommended Fodor’s Video

  • 6. University of Chicago

    Hyde Park

    Intellectuals come to the University of Chicago to breathe in the rarified air: after all, the faculty, former faculty, and alumni of this esteemed institution...

    Intellectuals come to the University of Chicago to breathe in the rarified air: after all, the faculty, former faculty, and alumni of this esteemed institution have won more Nobel prizes than any school in the country—94 in total, awarded in every field, including President Obama's 2009 Peace Prize. History buffs and art lovers are drawn by the Oriental Institute, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, and Smart Museum of Art, while the University's professional theater company Court Theatre stages new and classic works. Architecture aficionados won’t be disappointed either. The dominant building here, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, is a neo-Gothic beauty complete with glorious stained-glass windows, a vaulted ceiling, 72-bell carillon (the single largest musical instrument ever built), and 207-foot-high stone tower. In sharp contrast, the Booth School of Business is very modern looking; its horizontal accents imitate the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House (1910), located directly across the street. Mid-century buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen, as well as contemporary award-winners by MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, postmodernist Helmut Jahn, and husband-and-wife duo Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, are also worth seeking out. Self-guided tours of campus highlights points of interest and public art on campus can be found at visit.uchicago.edu/campus-guides. 

    1101 E. 58th St., Chicago, Illinois, 60637, USA
    773-702–1234
    View Tours and Activities
  • 7. Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Co

    This hop-on, hop-off ride takes visitors to many downtown and Loop highlights and allows you the flexibility to stop at attractions that catch your fancy....

    This hop-on, hop-off ride takes visitors to many downtown and Loop highlights and allows you the flexibility to stop at attractions that catch your fancy.

    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    773-648–5000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $39
  • 8. Hyde Park Historical Society

    Hyde Park

    To get a good overview of the neighborhood, contact the Hyde Park Historical Society, which sponsors lectures and tours. The society is housed in a...

    To get a good overview of the neighborhood, contact the Hyde Park Historical Society, which sponsors lectures and tours. The society is housed in a building that once served as a waiting room for cable cars. The organization documents, preserves, and educates the public about the history of Hyde Park Township, which stretches from the north at E. 39th to E. 138th Streets on the south, and between Lake Michigan on the east and S. State Street on the west.

    5529 S. Lake Park Ave., Chicago, Illinois, 60637, USA
    773-493–1893

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed weekdays
  • 9. Isadore H. Heller House

    Hyde Park

    When he designed this house in 1896, Frank Lloyd Wright was still moving toward the mature Prairie style achieved in the Robie House 13 years...

    When he designed this house in 1896, Frank Lloyd Wright was still moving toward the mature Prairie style achieved in the Robie House 13 years later. As was common with Wright's designs, Heller House is entered from the side. But rather than being long and low, this one has three floors, the uppermost one of which comes complete with pillars and sculptured nymphs. The building is not open to the public.

    5132 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, Illinois, 60637, USA
  • 10. Jackson Park

    Hyde Park

    This Hyde Park gem was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (co-designer of New York City's Central Park) for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. It...

    This Hyde Park gem was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (co-designer of New York City's Central Park) for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. It has lagoons, a Japanese garden (named Osaka Garden, for Chicago's sister city) with authentic Japanese statuary, and the Wooded Island, a nature retreat with wildlife and 300 species of birds. Its 63rd Street Beach is a popular summer destination, and the state-of-the-art fitness center means there's entertainment rain or shine.

    Chicago, Illinois, 60637, USA
    773-256–0903
    View Tours and Activities
  • 11. Oriental Institute Museum

    Hyde Park

    This gem began with artifacts collected by University of Chicago archaeologists in the early 20th century (one is rumored to have been the model for...

    This gem began with artifacts collected by University of Chicago archaeologists in the early 20th century (one is rumored to have been the model for Indiana Jones) and has expanded into an interesting, informative museum with a jaw-dropping array of artifacts from the ancient Middle East. With the largest collection of such antiquities in the United States, you'll see amulets, mummies, limestone reliefs, gold jewelry, ivories, pottery, and bronzes from the 8th millennium BC through the 13th century AD. A 17-foot-tall statue of King Tut was excavated from the ruins of a temple in western Thebes in 1930.

    1155 E. 58th St., Chicago, Illinois, 60637, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Suggested admission $10, Closed Mon., Advance reservations required
  • 12. Promontory Point

    Hyde Park

    It’s tough to top the view of Chicago's skyline from the Point—a scenic, man-made peninsula, which projects into Lake Michigan. Opened in 1937 as part...

    It’s tough to top the view of Chicago's skyline from the Point—a scenic, man-made peninsula, which projects into Lake Michigan. Opened in 1937 as part of Burnham Park, this 40-acre peninsula, which was originally called 55th Street Promontory, is entered via a tunnel underneath Lake Shore Drive at 55th Street or the Lakefront Trail. The fawn-shape David Wallach Memorial Fountain is located near the tunnel. The park's field house is a popular wedding venue, so you may catch a glimpse of a beaming bride during your visit.

    5491 S. Shore Dr., Chicago, Illinois, 60615, USA
    312-742–5369

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 13. Saint Gabriel Catholic Church

    Canaryville

    A tower, arched doorways, and a large round window form bold masses on the exterior of this church, designed in 1887 by Daniel Burnham and...

    A tower, arched doorways, and a large round window form bold masses on the exterior of this church, designed in 1887 by Daniel Burnham and John Root. The Romanesque interior, with vaulted arches, gives a feeling of breadth and spaciousness. The parish was organized to serve Irish workers at the nearby Union Stock Yards. Take Interstate 94 south from the Loop (43rd Street exit), or take Bus 8 to Halsted and 45th streets and walk east on 45th Street for a few blocks.

    4500 S. Wallace St., Chicago, Illinois, 60609, USA
    773-268–9595
  • 14. South Shore Cultural Center

    Hyde Park

    Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this opulent clubhouse on Lake Michigan is one of the last remaining Mediterranean resort–style buildings in the...

    Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this opulent clubhouse on Lake Michigan is one of the last remaining Mediterranean resort–style buildings in the Midwest. The posh country club looks like something out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. It boasts meeting rooms, horse stables, a 9-hole golf course, beach, and an art gallery. With magnificent crystal chandeliers, balconies, pillars, and a vaulted ceiling, its ballrooms and grand lobby wow visitors, including President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who chose the center for their wedding reception. Referred to by many as the "Gem of the Southside," it is also the home of the South Shore Cultural School of the Arts.

    7059 S. Shore Dr., Chicago, Illinois, 60649, USA
    773-256–0149

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 15. The Promontory

    Hyde Park

    The tan brick building, designed by Mies van der Rohe and completed in 1949, was named for nearby Promontory Point, which juts out into the...

    The tan brick building, designed by Mies van der Rohe and completed in 1949, was named for nearby Promontory Point, which juts out into the lake. Mies's first residential high-rise exemplifies the postwar trend toward a clean, simple style. Even from street level, the Lake Michigan views here are breathtaking. Note the skylines and belching smokestacks of Gary and Hammond, Indiana, to the southeast.

    5530–5532 S. Shore Dr., Chicago, Illinois, 60637, USA
    773-493–5599
  • 16. Untouchable Tours: Chicago's Original Gangster Tour

    Your guides, in character as Prohibition era goons, take you on a bus tour through Chicago's checkered mafia past. Though the kitsch factor is high,...

    Your guides, in character as Prohibition era goons, take you on a bus tour through Chicago's checkered mafia past. Though the kitsch factor is high, the tours are stuffed with history and will take you to neighborhoods you might otherwise miss.

    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    773-881–1195

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $35
  • 17. Wendella

    See the city at dusk on the Chicago at Sunset tour. There's also a river architecture tour and a combined river and lake tour....

    See the city at dusk on the Chicago at Sunset tour. There's also a river architecture tour and a combined river and lake tour.

    400 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois, 60611, USA
    312-337–1446

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: starting at $29
  • 18. Chicago Neighborhood Tours

    Tour–Sight
    Closed Permanently

    Get out of downtown to experience Chicago the way the locals do. Combining bus rides and walking, these guided trips introduce visitors to the...

    Get out of downtown to experience Chicago the way the locals do. Combining bus rides and walking, these guided trips introduce visitors to the history and cultures that have contributed to the city's diverse, vibrant communities.

    , USA
    312-742–1190

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $30–$55
  • 19. Chicago ShopWalk

    Tour–Sight
    Closed Permanently

    Chicago ShopWalk. Shop 'til you drop on one of these specialized trips focusing on local designers and boutiques. Personalized itineraries...

    Chicago ShopWalk. Shop 'til you drop on one of these specialized trips focusing on local designers and boutiques. Personalized itineraries are available.

    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    773-255–7866
  • 20. Chicago Water Works Visitor Center

    River North
    Closed Permanently

    The pumping station also houses a visitor center....

    The pumping station also houses a visitor center.

    163 E. Pearson St., Chicago, Illinois, 60611, USA
    312-744–2400

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Jan2 – Mar 15: Sun – Sat 10 am – 5 pm; Mar 16 – May 26: Sun 10 am – 5 pm, Mon – Sat 9:30 am – 6pm; May 27 – Sept 2: Sun 10 am – 6 pm, Mon – Thurs 9:00 am – 7 pm, Fri – Sat 9:00 am – 6pm; Holidays: 10 am – 4 pm (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year\'s Day)

No sights Results

Please try a broader search, or expore these popular suggestions:

There are no results for {{ strDestName }} Sights in the searched map area with the above filters. Please try a different area on the map, or broaden your search with these popular suggestions:

Recommended Fodor’s Video