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5 Best Things To Do In Chicago

5 Best Things To Do In Chicago

Christopher Parr | Pursuitist
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Pursuitist presents the Top 5 Best Luxury Hotels in Chicago. Read our review of the best of the best of Chicago’s leading award-winning 5 star luxury hotels.

Celebrating arts, dining, shopping, entertainment and sports, Chicago is a diverse luxury destination that presents unlimited adventures. The Gold Coast. The Art Institute. Alinea. Michigan Avenue. Soldier Field. There is so much to see, do, eat and drink in Chicago, that the list is virtually endless. As a major metropolitan city with midwest hospitality, you’ll discover the latest amenities, services, experiences and more in Chicago’s lap of luxury.

Pursuitist Presents The 5 Best Things To Do In Chicago:

1. Dine At The Best Restaurants In America. Alinea. Girl & The Goat. Fat Rice. Grace. Next. Spiaggia. The Purple Pig. Torali. Maple & Ash.

Dine At The Best Restaurants In America

22 Michelin-starred dining destinations await you in America’s best restaurant city. Chicago is home to amazing, award-winning restaurants, from Rick Bayless’s Topolobampo to Tony Mantuano’s Spiaggia. Chef Abe Conlon of Fat Rice was this year’s James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Great Lakes Award recipient. Stephanie Izard’s Girl & The Goat is a West Loop hot spot. Venture over to The Gold Coast to experience Danny Grant’s elegant steakhouse Maple & Ash.

While adventurous foodies can explore delightful culinary adventures with Chef Grant Achatz’s Alinea (three times named the Best Restaurant in America), you can also dine at Jimmy Bannos Jr.’s casual but wonderful The Purple Pig (offering adventurous small plates plus house-cured meats and a lengthy wine list in small, lively quarters on Michigan Avenue). A visit to Torali Italian-Steak at the new Ritz-Carlton Chicago at Water Tower Place is worth the elevator ride.

Oh, and we didn’t forget Chicago’s Pizza Pot Pie (read more).

2. Experience The Best Shows And Performances. Hamilton. The Book of Mormon. Hello Dolly. Tootsie. Justin Timberlake. Elton John.

hamilton chicago

From Broadway-worthy performances to amazing a-list touring musicians, Chicago is home to the greatest hits and new classics. I am not throwing away my shot — we just attended an amazing Chicago production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, which is as stunning as New York’s Broadway debut. From the original writing to the superb performances by the Chicago cast (and it was a pleasure to meet actresses Jamila Sabares-Klemm and Aubin Wise), visit the lovely CIBC Theater to experience this thrilling and excellent Tony-winning show.

Hamilton Chicago cast

From Lollapalooza to the annual Chicago Blues Festival (the city’s largest music fest), there are always rockin’ concerts, festivals and legendary tours to experience in Chicago. Justin Timberlake, The Eagles, Elton John and Ed Sheeran (just to name a few) are blowing into the Windy City in the next few months. 

2.5. Watch The World’s Best Sports Teams. The Bears. The Cubs. The White Sox. The Bulls. The Blackhawks. 

Chicago Bears

Pursuitist contributor Stacy Steponate Greenberg would never forgive me if didn’t mention Chicago’s legendary sports teams (and, “Go Wildcats!”).

Chicago sports fever is contagious. So whether you’re a baseball devotee, a soccer supporter, a football fan, a basketball junkie or a hockey hound, the Chicago sports bug is going to bite you. One of the best things to do in Chicago is to go see one of the famous Chicago sports teams in action, whether it’s The Bears at Soldier Field Stadium or The Cubs at the legendary Wrigley Field. 

3. Visit America’s Best Museums. Art Institute of Chicago. Museum of Science and Industry. The Field Museum. Shedd Aquarium.

The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is consistently voted the #1 Museum in the World. Some of its most famous pieces include Chagall’s “America Windows”, Grant Wood’s “American Gothic”, Matisse’s “Bathers by a River”, and Georgia O’Keefe’s “Black Cross, New Mexcio”. Visit The Museum of Contemporary Art, which houses one of the largest collections of modern art in the nation, including works by Jeff Koons, Ansel Adams and Roy Lichtenstein.

The Museum of Science and Industry itself is a part of Chicago history, having been part of the Columbian Exposition of 1893. It was also recently named one of the Top 25 Museums in the United States by TripAdvisor. Make sure to visit the new and interactive Pixar Exhibit, in addition to a restored U-505 German submarine, a simulated coal mine and a recreation of a Chicago street, circa 1910.

The Field Museum is Chicago’s premier natural history museum and one of the largest of its kind in the world. Next door, The Shedd Aquarium is home to over 32,000 aquatic species, and is a one-of-a-kind, top-notch marine biology institution.

4. Shop At The World’s Best Stores. Hermes. Dior. Louis Vuitton. Marc Jacobs. Burberry. Cartier. 

The Magnificent Mile is the stretch of Michigan Avenue from the river at the south end to Oak Street at the north. Shop til you drop at the best shops and world-class boutiques, located within Water Tower Place and the 900 North Michigan Shops.

Discover Jimmy Choo, Jil Sander, Paul Stuart, Vera Wang and Vince on Oak Street in Chicago, just west of Michigan Avenue.

Our favorite shopping destination is within The Gold Coast. Stay at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago and socialize with their luxurious neighbors, including Hermes, Dior, Barneys New York, Gucci and Marc Jacobs (and don’t forget to visit the nearby Sprinkles Cupcake ATM). 

5. Explore The Beauty of Chicago. Lincoln Park. SkyDeck Chicago. Architecture River Cruise. 

Uber to the vast Lincoln Park, home to the Lincoln Park Zoo, of course, and miles of beautiful gardens and amazing views. Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the United States and has been free to the public since its inception.

Millennium Park is located at the North end of Grant Park and features the famous sculpture by Anish Kapoor known as the Cloud Gate, which the locals call The Bean.

There’s so much to do at Navy Pier, including riding the Centennial Wheel and a handful of amusement park-type rides. It is also home to the Children’s Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, weekly fireworks, numerous eating options, live concerts and gardens.

The Chicago Architecture River Cruise is curated by the Chicago Architecture Foundation and takes guests on a tour of the Chicago river.

Touch the sky with SkyDeck Chicago, which is located at the very top of the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower. Go even higher with the Chicago Helicopter Experience, and explore the stunning Chicago skyline.

Lastly, Stay At The Best Hotels In Chicago. These hotels are the perfect hub to explore all that Chicago has to offer: The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, Waldorf Astoria, Chicago, The Peninsula, Chicago, Park Hyatt Chicago, and Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.

See Chicago In One Day:
Take a stroll to the Museum of Contemporary Art around the corner from all these hotels, window shop on world famous Michigan Avenue, take the Architectural Boat Tour and then bop over to Millennium Park to see “The Bean.” Keep strolling down Michigan Avenue and experience one of the world’s best art museums, The Art Institute of Chicago, for a luxurious fill of Picasso, Monet and Van Gogh, to name just a few. And what could be more fun than a quick visit at the Shedd Aquarium that boasts Beluga Whales and dolphins and a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline.