- By kevin
- On May 18, 2018
- North America
- Travel Tips
To find the top destinations in Chicago or take the bus from New York to Chicago to visit the city by our travel tips here. Chicago has all the offerings you'd expect from a major city: world-class museums, vibrant shopping districts and ample nightlife venues, just to name a few. If you're here to learn, plan to spend a fair amount of time in Grant Park: This area is home to such notable institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago and The Field Museum.
Top Destinations in Chicago:
Art Institute of Chicago
Home to one of the country's most impressive collections of impressionist and post-impressionist art (plus works from numerous other genres), the expansive Art Institute of Chicago features more than 300,000 works from all over the world in its permanent collection. You'll find pieces created in the Byzantine era, as well as paintings done just a few decades ago. The Art Institute's exhibits also include all sorts of intriguing artifacts, from European armor to the Thorne Miniature Rooms, which showcase interior design and furnishings in Europe and America from the late 13th to early 20th centuries. In addition to the permanent collection, the Art Institute hosts traveling exhibitions covering a variety of subjects and showcasing a diverse array of artists and genres.
The Art Institute of Chicago earns high praise from recent visitors, thanks in part to its impressive collection. Art enthusiasts particularly commend the museum's impressionist collection, which features pieces from famous artists like van Gogh, Monet and Renoir.
The Art Institute of Chicago sits just south of Millennium Park and next to Grant Park in downtown Chicago. The property is easily accessible via the Adams/Wabash, Monroe and Jackson L stations, or travelers can take one of several buses to a nearby bus stop. Driving to the Art Institute is not recommended due to the limited number of parking options available within walking distance. The museum is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Thursdays, the museum stays open until 8 p.m. General admission – which includes entry to special exhibitions, participation in guided tours and access to restrooms, several eateries and a gift shop – is $25 for adults and $19 for seniors and children between 14 and 17. If you have a Go Chicago Card or a CityPASS, admission into the museum is included with your pass.
Chicago Architecture River Cruise
A visit to 360 CHICAGO or Skydeck Chicago will give you a good overview of the city's layout. But if you want to learn more about Chicago's sky-high buildings, tag along on an architecture river cruise. During a river cruise, you'll gain great views and historical insight about well-known structures like The Wrigley Building, the Leo Burnett Building and the Fulton House.
Though several companies, including Wendella Sightseeing Co. and Chicago Line Cruises, offer architecture river cruises, most travelers recommend climbing aboard a Chicago's First Lady Cruises boat with a Chicago Architecture Foundation docent. You'll learn tons of information about the area's architecture, plus catch superb skyline photo ops.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago Line Cruises offer tours throughout the year, although they are not as frequent during the winter. (Chicago Line Cruises, Chicago's First Lady Cruises and Wendella Sightseeing Co. do not schedule any tours from December through February.) Architecture cruises from Wendella Sightseeing – which last roughly 75 or 90 minutes and are provided multiple times a day – start at $39 per person. Go Chicago Cards include 75-minute architecture river cruises provided by Shoreline Sightseeing. Tickets can be purchased online or at boat docks by DuSable Bridge or Ogden Slip. Docks at DuSable Bridge are within walking distance of The Magnificent Mile, several bus stops and the Grand L station, while Ogden Slip sits alongside Navy Pier and a few bus stops. A limited number of parking garages are also available in the area. Seats and restrooms are provided on all river cruises, and some boats feature food and beverage concessions stands.