Are you looking to venture into the vibrant city life of Chicago? Look no further! In this guide, we will take you on a virtual tour of the city, starting with the iconic Willis Tower and branching out to the surrounding attractions. Whether you're an architecture enthusiast, history buff, or simply love exploring new places, this is the perfect adventure for you. So, put on your walking shoes and get ready to discover the wonders of the Windy City!
What You'll Learn
- Willis Tower Skydeck and Observation Deck - Chicago, Illinois
- The Art Institute of Chicago - Chicago, Illinois
- Millennium Park - Chicago, Illinois
- Navy Pier - Chicago, Illinois
- Magnificent Mile - Chicago, Illinois
- Grant Park - Chicago, Illinois
- Museum of Science and Industry - Chicago, Illinois
- Field Museum - Chicago, Illinois
- Shedd Aquarium - Chicago, Illinois
- Adler Planetarium - Chicago, Illinois
Willis Tower Skydeck and Observation Deck - Chicago, Illinois
|Observation deck in Chicago, Illinois
|Go to website
|Rating / Review count
|4.5 / 26,874
|233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606
|Monday - 9 AM–10 PM
Tuesday - 9 AM–10 PM
Wednesday - 9 AM–10 PM
Thursday - 9 AM–10 PM
Friday - 9 AM–10 PM
Saturday - 9 AM–10 PM
Sunday - 9 AM–10 PM
The Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, is an iconic skyscraper located in Chicago, Illinois. Standing at a height of 1,450 feet, it is one of the tallest buildings in the United States and offers breathtaking views of the city. The Willis Tower is not only a marvel of architecture, but it also serves as a hub of activity, offering a variety of things to do for both locals and tourists.
One of the main attractions at the Willis Tower is the Skydeck and Observation Deck. Located on the 103rd floor, this glass platform offers visitors the opportunity to see the city from a whole new perspective. Step out onto the transparent floor and feel like you're walking on air as you gaze down at the bustling streets below. On a clear day, you can see up to 50 miles away and catch a glimpse of four different states - Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The Skydeck also features interactive exhibits that educate visitors about the history and architecture of the Willis Tower.
If you're looking for more thrills, the Willis Tower has got you covered. The Ledge is a series of glass boxes that extend out from the Skydeck, allowing you to literally lean out over the edge of the building. Test your courage as you peer down at the dizzying drop below and capture some amazing photos to commemorate your visit.
Aside from the Skydeck, the Willis Tower is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Explore the Willis Tower's retail level, which features a wide array of stores selling everything from souvenirs to high-end fashion. Grab a bite to eat at one of the several restaurants located within the building, offering a range of cuisines to suit all tastes.
For those looking to learn more about the history of the Willis Tower and its impact on the city of Chicago, the building offers guided tours. Led by knowledgeable docents, these tours provide an in-depth look at the architecture, engineering, and significance of the building. You'll have the opportunity to navigate through different levels of the tower and learn about its construction, design, and its impact on Chicago's skyline.
Lastly, don't forget to take some time to appreciate the view from the ground. The Willis Tower is an impressive sight to behold, and its towering presence can be admired from various vantage points around the city. Take a stroll along the nearby Magnificent Mile and enjoy the architectural wonders that Chicago has to offer.
Whether you're a tourist or a local looking for something fun to do, the Willis Tower has something for everyone. From its awe-inspiring views to its educational exhibits, there is no shortage of things to do near the Willis Tower. So make sure to include a visit to this iconic landmark on your Chicago itinerary and get ready to experience the city like never before.
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The Art Institute of Chicago - Chicago, Illinois
In the bustling city of Chicago, there are numerous attractions near the iconic Willis Tower that are worth exploring. One such attraction is The Art Institute of Chicago, located just a short distance away.
Known for its extensive collection of artworks from various periods and regions, The Art Institute of Chicago offers visitors a chance to dive into the world of art. The museum houses over 300,000 works of art, representing cultures from around the world, making it one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States.
One of the highlights of The Art Institute of Chicago is its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including famous works by Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin. Visitors can marvel at Monet's Water Lilies series, explore van Gogh's iconic self-portraits, and appreciate Gauguin's vibrant depictions of Tahitian life.
Beyond its impressive collection of European art, The Art Institute of Chicago also boasts a significant collection of American art. From the iconic American Gothic by Grant Wood to the modern works of Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol, visitors can explore the diverse artistic expressions that have shaped the nation's artistic landscape.
Moreover, the museum also hosts rotating exhibitions that showcase contemporary artists and explore various themes and movements in art. These exhibitions provide fresh perspectives on the art world and offer visitors a chance to engage with new artistic expressions.
In addition to its extensive collection, The Art Institute of Chicago offers various educational programs and events for visitors of all ages. From guided tours to workshops, visitors can deepen their understanding of art and engage in hands-on activities. The museum also has a gift shop and multiple dining options, making it a perfect destination for a day of exploration and relaxation.
When visiting Chicago, taking a trip to The Art Institute of Chicago near Willis Tower is a must. Whether you are an art enthusiast or simply curious about the world of art, this renowned museum offers a captivating and enriching experience. So, grab your camera and get ready to immerse yourself in the world of artistic masterpieces.
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Millennium Park - Chicago, Illinois
Located in Chicago, Illinois, Millennium Park is a stunning urban park that offers a wide range of recreational activities for locals and tourists alike. Nestled near the iconic Willis Tower, the park serves as a hub for cultural events, concerts, picnics, and leisurely strolls, making it an ideal destination for visitors of all ages.
One of the park's most renowned attractions is the Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as "The Bean." Created by British artist Anish Kapoor, this massive reflective structure has become an iconic symbol of Chicago. Visitors can enjoy taking pictures with its polished surface, which showcases mesmerizing reflections of the city skyline.
Another must-see feature of Millennium Park is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, an outdoor concert venue that hosts a variety of events throughout the year. With its cutting-edge design and state-of-the-art sound system, the pavilion offers an unparalleled experience for music lovers. From classical music performances to popular concerts, there is always something happening at this remarkable venue.
For those looking to enjoy the outdoors, the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park is a beautiful oasis that displays a stunning array of plant species, including seasonal flowers, shrubs, and perennials. This serene garden is designed to reflect the natural landscape of the Midwest, providing a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. Visitors can take leisurely walks, spot vibrant butterflies and birds, or simply relax on one of the garden's many benches.
If you're traveling with children, Millennium Park offers the perfect opportunity for some family fun. The Crown Fountain, an interactive art installation, features two massive towers that project video images of Chicago residents. Children can frolic in the shallow reflecting pool at the base of the towers, enjoying the refreshing water as they marvel at the larger-than-life digital faces. This interactive experience provides endless entertainment for kids and adults alike.
After exploring the park's many attractions, visitors can grab a bite to eat at one of the park's numerous food vendors or enjoy a picnic on the spacious lawns. The park also hosts a variety of festivals and cultural events throughout the year, including art shows, jazz festivals, and film screenings, ensuring there is always something new to discover.
In conclusion, Millennium Park near Willis Tower is a must-visit destination in Chicago, offering a wide range of activities for all ages. Whether you're interested in art, music, nature, or simply relaxing outdoors, this urban park has something for everyone. So, plan a visit to Millennium Park, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and beauty of Chicago.
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Navy Pier - Chicago, Illinois
Navy Pier is a must-visit attraction located in Chicago, Illinois, not too far from Willis Tower. This iconic landmark is one of the top tourist destinations in the city, offering a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages.
One of the main highlights of Navy Pier is its stunning waterfront location on Lake Michigan. The pier stretches out for over half a mile and provides breathtaking views of the city skyline. Walking along the pier, visitors can enjoy the fresh lake breeze and take in the beautiful surroundings.
One of the most popular attractions at Navy Pier is the Ferris wheel. This giant observation wheel stands at a height of 196 feet and offers panoramic views of the city. Taking a ride on the Ferris wheel is a fantastic way to see Willis Tower and other iconic Chicago landmarks from above.
For those looking for a bit of excitement, Navy Pier also has an amusement park area called the Navy Pier Park. Here, visitors can enjoy thrilling rides such as the Wave Swinger and the Centennial Wheel, a larger version of the Ferris wheel. There are also plenty of games and activities for children, making it a great place for families to have fun.
In addition to the rides and attractions, Navy Pier is home to a variety of dining options. From casual eateries to upscale restaurants, there is something for everyone's taste. Visitors can enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the stunning views of the lake and the city.
For those interested in arts and culture, Navy Pier is also home to several theaters and exhibition spaces. The Chicago Shakespeare Theater, for example, offers a variety of performances throughout the year. There are also several museums and galleries where visitors can learn about Chicago's history and culture.
Lastly, Navy Pier is a hub for entertainment and events. Throughout the year, the pier hosts a range of festivals, concerts, and special events. From fireworks displays to live music performances, there is always something happening at Navy Pier.
Overall, Navy Pier is a must-visit destination near Willis Tower. With its stunning lakefront location, thrilling rides, dining options, and cultural attractions, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're looking for family-friendly fun or a romantic stroll along the waterfront, Navy Pier has it all. So make sure to add it to your list of things to do when visiting Chicago!
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Magnificent Mile - Chicago, Illinois
Located just a short distance away from the iconic Willis Tower, the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois is a must-visit destination for both tourists and locals alike. This bustling stretch of North Michigan Avenue is known for its world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment options, making it an ideal place to spend a day exploring.
As its name suggests, the Magnificent Mile is a mile-long stretch of street that is home to some of the city's most upscale shops and boutiques. Here, you can find everything from luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton to department stores like Macy's and Neiman Marcus. Whether you're in the mood for some high-end shopping or just want to window shop, the Magnificent Mile has something for everyone.
Aside from its impressive selection of shops, the Magnificent Mile is also known for its diverse dining options. From rooftop bars and casual cafes to fine dining restaurants and classic Chicago deep dish pizza joints, there is no shortage of choices when it comes to satisfying your cravings. Some popular dining spots include The Purple Pig, The Signature Room at the 95th, and Giordano's.
In addition to shopping and dining, the Magnificent Mile is also home to several popular attractions and landmarks. One of the highlights is the John Hancock Center, a towering skyscraper that offers unparalleled views of the city from its observation deck. Another must-visit spot is the Millennium Park, which features iconic landmarks like the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as "The Bean."
If you're looking for some entertainment, the Magnificent Mile won't disappoint. From live theater performances at the historic Chicago Theatre to comedy shows at The Second City, there are plenty of options to keep you entertained. The Navy Pier is also located nearby, offering attractions like Ferris wheel rides, boat tours, and fireworks displays during the summer months.
In conclusion, the Magnificent Mile near Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois is a vibrant and exciting destination that offers a wide array of activities for visitors. Whether you're looking to indulge in some retail therapy, savor delicious cuisine, or explore iconic landmarks, the Magnificent Mile has it all. Make sure to add this lively street to your itinerary during your visit to the Windy City.
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Grant Park - Chicago, Illinois
Grant Park is one of the most iconic and beloved parks in Chicago, Illinois. Located just a short distance from Willis Tower, Grant Park offers a variety of attractions and activities that make it a must-visit destination.
One of the park's most famous features is the Millennium Park, which is home to the world-famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as "The Bean." This massive mirror-like sculpture is a popular spot for visitors to take photos and enjoy the beautiful skyline views. Other highlights of Millennium Park include the Crown Fountain, a unique interactive fountain featuring LED screens with changing facial expressions, and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, an outdoor concert venue that hosts free music and cultural performances throughout the summer months.
Another major attraction in Grant Park is the Art Institute of Chicago. Considered one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States, the Art Institute is home to an extensive collection of artworks from around the world. Visitors can explore its vast galleries, which house everything from ancient Egyptian artifacts to masterpieces by artists like Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso.
Sports enthusiasts will also find plenty to do near Willis Tower in Grant Park. The park is home to several sports fields and recreational facilities, making it a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to engage in various outdoor activities. Whether it's a game of soccer, a leisurely stroll along the lakefront, or a picnic overlooking the city skyline, Grant Park offers something for everyone.
In addition to its cultural and recreational offerings, Grant Park also hosts a number of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Taste of Chicago, the world's largest food festival. This multi-day event showcases the culinary delights of the city, with food vendors from all over offering a wide range of cuisines to sample and enjoy.
Overall, Grant Park is a vibrant and dynamic destination near Willis Tower, offering visitors a mix of art, culture, sports, and outdoor activities. Whether you're looking to admire world-class art, explore beautiful gardens, enjoy a summer concert, or indulge in some delicious food, Grant Park has it all. So be sure to include this iconic park in your list of things to do near Willis Tower when visiting Chicago, Illinois.
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Museum of Science and Industry - Chicago, Illinois
|Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
|Science museum in Chicago, Illinois
|Go to website
|Rating / Review count
|4.7 / 26,367
|5700 S DuSable Lk Shr Dr, Chicago, IL 60637
|Monday - 9:30 AM–5:30 PM
Tuesday - 9:30 AM–5:30 PM
Wednesday - 9:30 AM–5:30 PM
Thursday - 9:30 AM–5:30 PM
Friday - 9:30 AM–5:30 PM
Saturday - 9:30 AM–5:30 PM
Sunday - 9:30 AM–5:30 PM
Located in the heart of Chicago, the Willis Tower is surrounded by a plethora of exciting attractions and activities. If you find yourself in the area and are looking for something to do near the Willis Tower, one of the top recommendations is the Museum of Science and Industry.
The Museum of Science and Industry is an incredible place to explore for all ages. It is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere and offers a wide range of exhibits and interactive displays that educate, entertain, and inspire. With over 400,000 square feet of exhibit space, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
One of the museum's most popular exhibits is the U-505 Submarine, which played a crucial role in World War II. Visitors can go inside the submarine and learn about its history and impact on the war. The exhibit provides a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience what life was like on a submarine during wartime.
For those who are interested in aviation and aerospace, the Museum of Science and Industry has an exhibit called "Transportation Gallery" that showcases various modes of transportation throughout history. From vintage planes to modern spacecraft, this exhibit offers a fascinating look into the world of transportation and its evolution over the years.
The museum also has a variety of hands-on exhibits that allow visitors to interact with science and technology in a fun and engaging way. From experimenting with electricity to exploring the human body, these interactive displays make learning about science an enjoyable experience.
In addition to its exhibits, the Museum of Science and Industry also offers special events and programs throughout the year. These include workshops, demonstrations, and lectures that cover a wide range of topics. Whether you're interested in chemistry, biology, physics, or any other field of science, there's likely an event at the museum that will pique your interest.
If you're visiting the Willis Tower and looking for something to do nearby, the Museum of Science and Industry is definitely worth a visit. With its fascinating exhibits, interactive displays, and educational programs, it offers an enriching and enjoyable experience for all. Explore the wonders of science and technology at this exceptional museum in the heart of Chicago.
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Field Museum - Chicago, Illinois
The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois is a world-renowned museum and a must-visit attraction for both locals and tourists. Located near the Willis Tower, it offers a wide range of exhibits and activities that are sure to captivate visitors of all ages.
The museum is home to an impressive collection of natural history artifacts and specimens, including the famous Sue T-Rex skeleton, one of the most complete and well-preserved T-Rex fossils ever discovered. Visitors can marvel at the size and detail of this incredible specimen and learn about the world of dinosaurs through interactive exhibits and displays.
In addition to its dinosaur collection, the Field Museum also houses exhibits on a variety of other topics, such as ancient Egypt, Native American cultures, and the history of Chicago. The Ancient Egypt exhibit takes visitors on a journey through the pharaohs' tombs, showcasing artifacts such as mummies, hieroglyphics, and intricate jewelry. The Native American exhibit provides a glimpse into the diverse cultures that have inhabited North America for thousands of years, featuring pieces from different tribes and exploring their traditions and way of life. The Chicago exhibit delves into the city's history and showcases its transformation over the years, from its humble beginnings to its present-day status as a global metropolis.
The Field Museum also offers numerous interactive experiences that engage visitors and give them a chance to get up close and personal with the exhibits. The Grainger Science Hub is a state-of-the-art learning space where visitors can participate in hands-on experiments and demonstrations led by museum scientists. The Crown Family PlayLab is an interactive play area designed for young children, offering a range of activities that encourage exploration and learning.
In addition to the exhibits and interactive spaces, the museum hosts various special events and temporary exhibits throughout the year. From educational workshops and lectures to cultural festivals and live performances, there is always something happening at the Field Museum.
After a day of exploring the museum, visitors can also enjoy a meal at the museum's on-site restaurants, which offer a variety of dining options to suit every taste. From casual cafes serving sandwiches and salads to more upscale dining options featuring gourmet cuisine, there is something to satisfy every palate.
Overall, the Field Museum near the Willis Tower is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in natural history, cultures from around the world, and the vibrant history of Chicago. With its diverse range of exhibits, interactive experiences, and special events, it offers a unique and memorable experience that is sure to impress visitors of all ages.
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Shedd Aquarium - Chicago, Illinois
If you're looking for things to do near Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois, one popular attraction that should be on your list is the Shedd Aquarium. Located just a short distance away from the iconic skyscraper, the Shedd Aquarium is a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists.
The Shedd Aquarium is one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world, housing an impressive collection of aquatic animals and habitats. From penguins to dolphins, the aquarium offers a unique opportunity to observe and learn about marine life from all around the world.
One of the main highlights of the Shedd Aquarium is its Oceanarium, which is home to a variety of marine mammals. Visitors can witness the grace and beauty of dolphins as they perform acrobatic tricks and interact with their trainers. The Oceanarium also features sea lions and beluga whales, providing a captivating experience for animal lovers of all ages.
Another popular exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium is the Wild Reef. This exhibit showcases a diverse array of coral reefs and the vibrant species that inhabit them. Visitors can explore this underwater ecosystem and discover the importance of coral reefs as well as the conservation efforts being made to protect them.
For those who are interested in exploring the incredible diversity of aquatic life, the Amazon Rising exhibit is a must-see. This exhibit allows visitors to navigate through a replica of the Amazon River and discover the unique animals and plants that call this region their home. From piranhas to anacondas, the Amazon Rising exhibit provides an immersive experience for nature enthusiasts.
In addition to its exhibits, the Shedd Aquarium also offers a range of educational programs and activities. From interactive presentations to behind-the-scenes experiences, visitors can learn more about the marine creatures and the efforts being made to protect their habitats.
To make the most of your visit to the Shedd Aquarium, it is recommended to plan ahead and check the schedule of animal presentations and feeding times. This will ensure that you don't miss out on any of the exciting activities taking place during your visit.
Whether you're a nature lover, a marine enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique and educational experience near Willis Tower, a trip to the Shedd Aquarium is well worth considering. With its impressive exhibits, captivating animal encounters, and educational programs, the aquarium offers something for everyone. Make sure to add it to your list of things to do when exploring the vibrant city of Chicago.
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Adler Planetarium - Chicago, Illinois
|Adler Planetarium Skyline Walk
|Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois
|Go to website
|Rating / Review count
|4.8 / 973
|517 E Solidarity Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
|Monday - 9 AM–4 PM
Tuesday - 9 AM–4 PM
Wednesday - 4–10 PM
Thursday - 9 AM–4 PM
Friday - 9 AM–4 PM
Saturday - 9 AM–4 PM
Sunday - 9 AM–4 PM
The Adler Planetarium, located in Chicago, Illinois, is an exciting attraction near Willis Tower that offers a variety of engaging activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you have a passion for space exploration, enjoy stargazing, or simply want to learn more about the universe, the Adler Planetarium is the perfect place to visit.
One of the main highlights of the Adler Planetarium is its state-of-the-art sky theater. Here, visitors can embark on a virtual journey through the cosmos and witness stunning displays of celestial bodies. The sky theater utilizes advanced projection technology to create an immersive experience that will leave you in awe of the vastness and beauty of the universe.
In addition to the sky theater, the Adler Planetarium features a variety of interactive exhibits and displays. From hands-on activities that allow you to explore the wonders of outer space to informative exhibits that delve into the history of space exploration, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to check out the museum's collection of artifacts and models that showcase the incredible achievements of scientists and astronauts throughout history.
If you're interested in stargazing, the Adler Planetarium offers several opportunities to observe celestial objects up close. The Doane Observatory, located on the museum's grounds, is home to a powerful telescope that allows visitors to view distant stars, planets, and even galaxies. The observatory holds regular viewing sessions, where visitors can join experienced astronomers who provide guidance and insight into the wonders of the night sky.
For those looking to enhance their knowledge of space and astronomy, the Adler Planetarium also offers educational programs and workshops. These programs cover a wide range of topics, including the science of astrophysics, the search for extraterrestrial life, and the mysteries of the universe. Whether you're a student, a teacher, or simply a lifelong learner, these educational opportunities can provide valuable insights and inspire a deeper appreciation for the wonders of space.
After a day of exploration at the Adler Planetarium, visitors can also take advantage of the surrounding area. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the museum offers stunning views of the city skyline and the lake itself. The nearby Northerly Island Park provides a peaceful retreat where visitors can relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
In conclusion, the Adler Planetarium is a must-visit attraction near Willis Tower. With its immersive sky theater, interactive exhibits, and opportunities for stargazing, the planetarium offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you're a space enthusiast or simply curious about the universe, a trip to the Adler Planetarium will surely leave you inspired and awestruck by the wonders of the cosmos.
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Frequently asked questions
Some popular attractions near Willis Tower include Millennium Park, Art Institute of Chicago, and the Skydeck Chicago.
Yes, there are several shopping options near Willis Tower. The nearby Magnificent Mile is known for its high-end shops, while State Street offers a mix of department stores and smaller boutiques.
Yes, there are many dining options near Willis Tower. The area is home to a variety of restaurants, ranging from casual cafes to upscale dining experiences. You can find cuisines from around the world, as well as classic Chicago deep-dish pizza.
Yes, there are several parks and outdoor spaces near Willis Tower. Millennium Park, located just a short walk away, offers beautiful gardens, art installations, and outdoor performances. Grant Park, known as Chicago's "front yard," is also nearby and features expansive green spaces and stunning views of Lake Michigan.
Yes, there are several cultural and historical sites to visit near Willis Tower. The Art Institute of Chicago, located just a few blocks away, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. The Chicago Cultural Center, located nearby, is another popular destination for art exhibits, performances, and events. Additionally, the Chicago Architecture Center offers tours and exhibits highlighting the city's architectural history.