Things to Do in Chicago

Places of Interest | Areas of Interest | Sports | Nearby Places to Dine | Farther Afield—Beyond Chicago

Have fun in Chicago during your stay in the Windy City. Springtime in Chicago means blooming flowers and a lively lakefront. Temperatures really start to warm up with April typically in the 50’s °F (10-15°C) and May up to around 70°F (21°C).

Distances are approximate. Use caution if walking and check routes prior to starting your trip.  Routes may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths.

Places of Interest

Millennium Park
201 E. Randolph St., (0.5 miles)
Millennium Park is an award-winning center for art, music, architecture and landscape design. Its prominent features are the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion; the interactive Crown Fountain; the contemporary Lurie Garden; and the popular Cloud Gate sculpture.

Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Ave., (1.7 miles)
Historic Navy Pier is Chicago’s lakefront playground with over 50 acres of parks, shops, restaurants, entertainment and attractions. Navy Pier is the Midwest’s #1 attractions with more than 8 million visitors a year. Enjoy a ride on the Ferris Wheel, musical carousel, Wave Swinger and miniature golf course. Visit the Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theater or the Navy Pier IMAX Theatre. Take a ride on a tour boat or dining cruise ship.

Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave., (0.2 miles)
No trip to Chicago is complete without a visit to the Art Institute. Consistently rated among the world’s top museums by TripAdvisor travelers, the Art Institute of Chicago is home to the greatest collection of Impressionist paintings outside of Paris, including works by Monet, Renoir, Seurat, and Van Gogh. The museum is open daily 10:30–5:00; Thursdays 10:30–8:00.

Shedd Aquarium
1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., (2.1 miles)
At Shedd Aquarium, animals connect you to the living world, inspiring you to make a difference. From whales to snails, tarantulas to turtles, you’ll meet 32,500 creatures from aquatic habitats around the world.

The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., (1.6 miles)
One of America’s premier natural history museums, the Field Museum’s “Live over Time” exhibit now houses “Sue,” the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered.

Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S Lake Shore Dr., (7.5 miles)
The Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. Housed in the only remaining building from the 1893 World’s Fair, MSI is a Chicago must-see!

Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., (2.1 miles)
The Adler Planetarium—America’s First Planetarium—is more than a museum; it is a laboratory, a classroom, and a community exploring the Universe together. Each year, over 550,000 visitors experience the museum’s interactive exhibitions, live planetarium shows, hands-on, minds-on STEM education programs, and world-class collections.

Skydeck Chicago
233 S. Wacker Dr., (0.7 miles)
The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago is at Your Feet-Literally. Dare to Stand Out on the 103rd floor, with never before seen views. The 1,353 feet straight down, with a glass boxes extending 4.3 feet out from the Skydeck, providing never before seen views of Chicago. Enjoy 360-degree views spanning up to 50 miles and 4 states.

360 Chicago
875 N. Michigan Ave., (1.4 miles)
Soaring 1,000 feet over Chicago’s legendary Michigan Avenue, 360 CHICAGO is one of the city’s most unique attractions. Located at 875 N. Michigan Avenue on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center, 360 CHICAGO (formerly John Hancock Observatory) offers breathtaking views of Chicago’s lakefront, magnificent skyline and four neighboring states.

Lincoln Park Zoo
Cannon Dr. at Fullerton Parkway
See roaring lions, playful meerkats and majestic gorillas just minutes from downtown Chicago. Lincoln Park Zoo is free, open and amazing every day of the year.

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Areas of Interest

Gold Coast/Old Town
Between North Avenue south to Chicago Avenue, from LaSalle Avenue east to Lake Michigan (4 miles)

Old money and stunning lake views characterize this hot neighborhood that runs contrary to the Chicago phrase: “cooler by the lake.” The main commercial center for this neighborhood is Oak Street, the Rodeo Drive of the Midwest.

For more information, visit the websites for the Gold Coast and Old Town Neighborhoods.

Ukranian Village
Between Division Street south to Grand Avenue, from Western Avenue east to Damen Avenue, (4 miles)

Chic boutiques and trendy nightspots continue to pop up in this west town village south of Wicker Park. Decorated with beautiful, ornate churches, the neighborhood has preserved the cultural heritage brought to it by German, Polish and Ukrainian immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although most of its residents are not of Ukrainian descent, the Ukrainian food here is some of the best in the city, and visitors can still hear the language spoken on backyard stoops and in neighborhood businesses.

Hyde Park
Between 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard on the north, 59th and 60th streets on the south, Washington Park on the west and Lake Michigan on the east (8 miles)

Without question, one of the most famous residents is the 44th President Barack Obama. Seven miles from the Loop on the South Side of Chicago, you’ll find several of the country’s more prestigious institutions. The University of Chicago, renown for producing over 87 Nobel Prize laureates, including two 2013 award recipients for economics, is here. Chicago Blues legend Muddy Waters played the standing-room-only gig with the Rolling Stones at the Checkerboard Lounge in 1981.

For more information, visit the Hyde Park neighborhood website.

Chicago Lakefront Trail
East of the Palmer House to the coast of Lake Michigan, (1.3 miles)
Lake Michigan makes Chicago ever the more beautiful, and the city’s Lakefront Trail provides the greatest view of all. The 18-mile path stretches across multiple lakefront neighborhoods, and is the most scenic route you can take to Chicago’s hotspot destinations.

The Magnificent Mile
North of the Palmer House on Michigan Ave., (1.1 miles)
Aptly named, The Magnificent Mile is a mecca for tourists and business people, and bolsters Chicago’s claim as one of the great cities on the world stage. The Magnificent Mile is also the heart of Chicago’s dining scene.

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Sports

Baseball

Chicago Cubs
Wrigley Field (6.2 miles)
The Chicago Cubs will be home for baseball games over the course of the Clinical Conference. (The Chicago White Sox will not be in town.) Situated in the middle of the restaurants, bars and homes of the Wrigleyville community in Lakeview is legendary Wrigley Field, the second-oldest Major League Baseball stadium in the country. It’s a mecca for baseball lovers and true-blue Cubbie followers who visit from around the world.

For the cheapest and most convenient way to get to Wrigley, Cubs fans are strongly encouraged to use public transportation for games. The CTA Red Line provides direct service right to the stadium by train via the accessible station at the Addison stop. Fans can transfer to Red Line trains from all other rail lines and from most east-west bus routes as well.

Watch the game with the die-hard fans in the bleachers for a truly authentic Chicago experience. This lively section offers sweeping views of the stadium and gives you the chance to soak up the sun while following the game. Get there early though — seats are unassigned.

April 28: vs. Brewers
April 29: vs. Brewers
April 30: vs. Brewers
May 1: vs. Rockies
May 2: vs. Rockies

Bicycle Rental

Divvy Bikes
Short-term rentals; BYO Helmet.

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Nearby Places to Dine

Breakfast

Bongo Room, 1152 S. Wabash
Eleven City Diner, 1112 S. Wabash
Yolk, 1100 S. Michigan Ave

American Contemporary

Hub 51, 51 W. Hubbard
Park Grill,11 N. Michigan Avenue
Tavern at the Park, 130 E. Randolph

Asian

Oysy, 888 S. Michigan Ave.

Fast Food

Epic Burger, 517 S. State St.
Flaco’s Tacos, 725 S. Dearborn Street
Panera Bread Company, 501 S. State St

Italian

Café Bionda, 1924 S. State Street
Gioco, 1312 S. Wabash Ave.
Quartino, 626 N. State Street

Latin

Mercat a la planxa, 638 S. Michigan Ave
La Cantina Grill, 1911 S. Michigan Avenue

Pizza

Lou Malnati’s, 805 S. State St
Gino’s East, 521 S. Dearborn St
Pauly’s Pizzeria, 719 S. State St

Pubs/Bars

Bar Louie, 47 W. Polk
Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash
The Gage, 24 S. Michigan Avenue

Seafood

Hugo’s Frog Bar, 1024 N. Rush Street

Steakhouses

Chicago Firehouse, 1401 S. Michigan Ave
Gibson’s Steakhouse, 1028 N. Rush Street
Smith & Wollensky, 318 N. State Street

More dining options in the Chicago area are available here.

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Farther Afield—Beyond Chicago:

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road Glencoe, IL (24.4 miles)
In a big city like Chicago, skyscrapers and urban enchantment will likely take up the majority of your travel itinerary. But if you want clean air and a green getaway, the Chicago Botanic Garden might be just what you’re looking for. With 26 gardens and four natural areas to explore, you will see every type, color, and shape nature has to offer.

Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings
951 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL
Just outside of Chicago are more examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work than anywhere in the world, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust offers tours of his structures.

More options outside the Chicago area are available here.

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