9 Best Things To Do in Chicago in 20 22
Chicago, Illinois, is a major American metropolis, and everyone should visit this historic city at least once. But with so much to see and do, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when you first stroll down Chicago’s streets.
This is doubly true if it’s your first time visiting the Windy City. There are iconic foods like Chicago’s deep-dish pizza, green spaces like the Garfield Park Conservatory’s botanical gardens and Maggie Daley Park, art attractions like Cloud Gate, and so much more.
Not sure where to start your Chicago adventure? Let us help by breaking down the top nine attractions in Chicago in 2022.
1. Stroll the Chicago Riverwalk
Chicago is well known for its impressive river, which can be traversed by vehicles over a series of bridges. But you can also walk the Chicago River thanks to the Chicago Riverwalk, a 1.25-mile pedestrian pathway.
The riverwalk was recently expanded to make it even more comfortable. Today, it’s a perfect place for a scenic walk and a great way to check out the Chicago skyline from below. There are even beautiful Art Deco murals around Michigan Avenue, so feel free to snap a few photos on your stroll.
After walking the trail, check out the connected Lakefront Trail and consider taking a river cruise. It’s another great way to see Chicago without straining your feet on another walking tour.
2. See Millennium Park
The iconic Millennium Park is 24.5 acres in total, and it’s one of the city’s most popular public displays of architecture and art installations.
Located in the Loop, this is an urban park with limited greenery — but its modernist art more than makes up for that. Of special importance are the Cloud Gate sculpture (also affectionally dubbed “the Bean”) and Crown Fountain, both of which are prime spots for your Instagram or TikTok.
3. Sightsee at Willis Tower Skydeck
You and your friends can recreate the iconic scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off if you visit the Willis Tower Skydeck. It’s the perfect opportunity to get a view of the city and its skyscrapers from above, as it’s over 1300 feet high. Plus, the Skydeck has glass floors, and protruding glass boxes called the Ledge, so you can truly feel like you’re standing on top of the world.
Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower, is the second tallest building in North America, and the observation deck is situated on floor 103. The best time to check out this attraction is on a clear day. If you’re lucky, you might even see the Windy City’s borders with states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana.
Other popular attractions — such as the Navy Pier, the John Hancock Center, and more — are also visible from the Skydeck.
4. Visit the Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago’s Art Institute is one of the oldest in America, having been established in 1879. It’s a perfect place to check out on windy or rainy days.
Keep in mind, though, that the institute is truly massive, with over 300,000 distinct pieces of art and many different wings. For instance, there’s a medieval armory that’s perfect for fans of the Middle Ages.
There’s also a collection of pieces from Van Gogh and Monet for those who are more interested in Impressionism and beyond.
5. See the Lincoln Park Zoo
If you’re an animal lover, you have to visit the Lincoln Park Zoo. This old zoo was founded in 1868 and rests on 35 acres. Right now, it houses about 1100 distinct animal species, including Eastern black rhinoceroses, zebras, and much more.
There are also plenty of species from the nearby Great Lakes and especially Lake Michigan, making the Lincoln Park Zoo a one-of-a-kind zoo experience.
Naturally, this is a perfect attraction if you are traveling with young children. The Farm in the Zoo exhibit is especially nice, as it lets younger kids interact with barnyard animals like cows and goats. Or you can enjoy the Sea Pool, which provides an opportunity to see harbor seals up close.
6. Visit the Field Museum
Museum fans will also want to check out the Field Museum, which was originally opened to display biological and anthropological collections during the 1893 World’s Colombian Exposition. Today, it spans over 300,000 square feet and includes tons of quality exhibits, making it one of the world’s biggest natural history museums.
Whether you like to learn about dinosaurs, ancient Egyptians, or the natural world, the Field Museum will have you covered. There’s a restaurant inside the museum campus as well, so it’s perfect for families looking for appropriate excursions for their little ones.
7. Grab a Bite at Vito & Nick’s
Chicago is known for its food just as much as its attractions. If you want to get a proper taste of Chicago — literally — you’ll have to visit Vito & Nick’s pizzeria: a tavern-like eatery that is well known for having popularized ultra-thin Chicago-style pizza.
This Italian restaurant serves arguably the best pizza in the city. Among the best choices are their sausage pizza and pepperoni pizza, both of which are fan favorites. Remember that this place serves New York-style thin-crust pizza as well as classic Chicago deep-dish pizza. Chicagoans appreciate both types of pies!
This pizzeria is located near downtown Chicago, and live music sometimes plays here or at nearby venues. Consider visiting the Chicago Theatre or The Second City for a show afterward to enjoy the nightlife.
8. Get an Original Rainbow Cone
As for dessert, do your tastebuds a favor by buying an ice cream cone at Original Rainbow Cone, an ice cream shop that dates back to 1926.
This historical dessert destination serves award-winning ice cream, with some of its most popular flavors being pistachio, chocolate, strawberry, and Palmer House.
If you’re a fan of other frozen treats, you can also check out their milkshakes, sundaes, cakes, and more.
9. See a Game at Wrigley Field
Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, you can’t pass up the opportunity to see a ball game at Wrigley Field. Wrigley Field opened in 1914 and is the second oldest baseball park in the Major League.
This is an even more important pilgrimage site if you are a fan of the Chicago Cubs. Regardless, be sure to check out a ballgame here and eat a hot dog; it’s a fun way to enjoy American culture.
Other Attractions in Chicago
We’ve barely scratched the surface of what you can see in this city. Other great attractions include the Chicago Cultural Center, the Chicago Children’s Museum, the Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium.
Chicago history is deep, and you’ve got many options for exploring it — anything from strolling through Hyde Park to taking a full-on architecture tour.
If you’re interested in shopping, there are luxury fashion outlets and upscale shops in the Magnificent Mile commercial district. Or, if you’re looking to explore on a shoestring, there’s the breathtaking Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, one of the largest fountains in the world. Clearly, there’s something for everyone in this historic American city.
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The bottom line? Chicago is a city with a lot to offer, especially if you dedicate several days to exploring it from top to bottom.
Whether you go kayaking, sightseeing, or take a boat tour of local Chicago architecture, you’ll need to get there in style. Advantage Rent a Car is perfect for getting you the rental vehicle you need to journey to and from Chicago.
If you’ve recently sold your car or are just tra veling from afar and need a rented set of wheels, we offer lots of convenient pickup and drop-off locations. Check out our diverse fleet today, and contact us to make a reservation ahead of your next trip to Chicago!