Travel News

The 12 Best Things to Do in Chicago (Updated 2024)

The famous Bean in Chicago at sunset, near the towering downtown of the city

Posted: 5/13/2024 | May 13th, 2024

Famously known as “the Second City” (meaning second in population to New York), I feel like Chicago is often overlooked by travelers. It sees a fraction of the visitors LA and NYC receive, which is a shame, as it’s one of my favorite cities in the world.

Chicago is chock-full of world-class institutions, Michelin-starred restaurants, awe-inducing architecture, and verdant parks. There is a lot to do here and the city has a really rich history. I think more people should visit.

Sure, the winters are brutal. But, come spring, Chicago blossoms into a dynamic urban landscape of street life, outdoor cafés, and sunny parks when locals take over the outdoors to enjoy the few months of nice weather. (I don’t think you can really beat Chicago in the summer.)

To help you plan your visit, here’s my list of the best things to do in Chicago:


1. Take a Walking Tour

One of the first things I do when I arrive in a city is take a walking tour. They’re a great way to see the main sights, get the lay of the land, and connect with an expert local guide who can answer all my questions. Free Chicago Walking Tours hosts regular free tours that can introduce you to the city. You’ll get to see many of the coolest buildings in the city while also learning about the history of Chicago. The tour lasts a few hours. Be sure to tip the guide at the end!

For a more unique tour, try the Gangsters and Ghosts Tour. You’ll learn all about Chicago’s dark side and creepy past as you explore the Chicago Loop. The tour lasts two hours and really talks about one of the pivotal times in Chicago’s history. Even if you’re not a history buff like me, you’ll get a lot out of it.

2. Relax in Grant and Millennium Parks

Located downtown, these gigantic parks provide a great place to hang out, have a picnic, or go for a run. People play chess here when the weather is nice and, during the summer, there are a lot of free concerts and events here. The larger Grant Park stretches along Chicago’s waterfront, while Millennium Park is the subsection where the famous “Chicago Bean” sculpture is located. This iconic work of public art is a must-see. And, starting at noon on the first and third Saturdays from April through November, the Chicago Cultural Center hosts walking tours focusing on the art of Millennium Park. It’s really interesting. I love strolling through the park or just chilling here with a good book on a nice day.


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Nomadic Matt's Travel Site…