Chicago, Illinois is one of the largest and most exciting cities in the U.S. Whether it’s jetting up to the top of an observation deck to see the skyscrapers, or catching a baseball game at Wrigley field, Chicago is packed with thrilling things to see and do. If you are visiting the Windy City for the first time, here are some amazing sights that you absolutely must see. Let’s explore the three most popular attractions in Chicago.

Take a Stroll Down Navy Pier

Navy Pier is one of the most visited attractions in the entire Midwest and this beautiful boardwalk is a must see attraction when visiting Chicago. Navy Pier is situated right on the shores of Lake Michigan, and the lake views do not disappoint. Make sure to take a stroll along the pier and take in the breathtaking views, and all that the city has to offer. There are so many exciting restaurants and shops to see, boat tours, miniature golf, rides, gardens, museums, and even the iconic Centennial Ferris Wheel.

If you are feeling fancy, plan an evening at Navy Pier and jump on board a dinner cruise, where you will be whisked away to enjoy world class cuisine, with panoramic views of downtown and the lakefront.

Traveling with children? Grab an ice cream cone, or a slice of famous Chicago deep-dish pizza, and go for a ride on Centennial Wheel. This ferris wheel is an iconic part of the Chicago skyline, and soars almost 200 feet above the city, featuring unparalleled views for the whole family to see. Try catching a glimpse of Wrigley Field, or check out the artistic billboards in Chicago, all from the air.

If you live in the city and are looking for a casual night out, catch a movie at the IMAX theater, and then head over to the Navy Pier Beer Garden where you can enjoy outdoor live music performances while sipping on a local craft beer and eating some delicious Chicago barbeque.

Explore World-Famous Artwork at The Art Institute of Chicago

A trip to Chicago is not complete without a visit to the city’s #1 rated museum, the Art Institute. The Art Institute of Chicago is highly rated by museum-goers from all over the world, and is definitely a prime attraction to see in the Windy City. When walking up this museum, you will be greeted by an iconic pair of bronze lions, who will welcome you into the beautiful galleries of the institute. With a collection of over 300,000 pieces of art, the exhibitions and artwork at the museum will be sure to amaze you. 

Some of the most famous exhibits include artwork, statues, books, and writings from Andy Warhol, Grant Wood, Marc Chagall, Claude Monet, and Vincent Van Gogh. With everything from ancient Greek sculptures to modern Taiwanese prints, the Art Institute of Chicago is a cultural gem and a stunning spectacle to see. You will love spending the day here and discovering art from all over the world.

Be sure to plan your visit in advance and check admission prices on the museum’s website. 

Walk Through Millenium Park

Millenium Park is one of the most popular places to spend time outdoors in Chicago, and it is a must see if you are visiting Chicago for the first time. With a ferris wheel, an ice skating rink, and an outdoor music pavilion, it’s no wonder that Millennium Park is a top attraction. 

For your first stop, you must make a visit to The Cloud Gate and take a selfie with The Bean. Millennium Park is famous for this glistening archway, where visitors can walk under and see their reflections. Next, head over to the Plaza at Park Grill to grab lunch in Chicago’s largest outdoor dining venue. 

If you visit in the summer, make sure you take your kids to cool off and splash around in  Crown Fountain, before heading over to Lurie Garden, the park’s luscious landscape green roof. Tourists and Chicagoans alike, love walking through Lurie Garden and taking a break to sit and bird-watch, and take in the stunning sights and sounds of the city.

At night during some seasons, the park also hosts free movie screenings on a giant 40-foot outdoor screen, where audiences can enjoy classic films while sitting under the stars. 

Enjoy your time in the Windy City, and be sure to check out these top three attractions the next time you visit.