Chicago has so much to offer from amazing food, to busy downtown streets to educational museums. With so many choices, its hard to narrow down your activities. Here are some of our favorite votes for best places to visit in Chicago!
If you are visiting Chicago as part of an RV trip, be sure to check out our RV safety tips.
Best Free Fun in Chicago
Navy Pier – This is one of the well-known places in downtown Chicago and its worth a stroll. (While there are plenty of places to spend money on Navy Pier, you can walk and sight see for free). Walk to the end to admire the views of Lake Michigan. Sometimes there is a band playing so you can enjoy the music and do some dancing. We have seen some huge fish while looking over into the water. If you have the opportunity to be on Navy Pier at night, looking at the lights of the city is amazing!
The Bean (real name is Cloud Gate) – This is another attraction that you see in many photos of Chicago. It will probably be busy when you visit but its fun to see at least once! Grab some photos of you looking in the mirror of the bean. While you are here, make sure to stroll around Millennium Park.
Lincoln Park Zoo – Did you say its a zoo and its free? Yep!! And not only is it free, its actually a neat zoo. When we have visited, I do get a kick out of the runners. Since it is free, you’ll see joggers taking their runs through the zoo. I suppose if I lived close (and was a runner), I would choose to run through the zoo too. Its a gorgeous fun path!
Maggie Daly Park – If you have kids, do NOT miss this! First of all, its free and good luck dragging your kids away. There are activities that have an expense but the free part is amazing. There is a garden to wonder down different paths. A sea to climb all over sea animals. A huge playground to run around, climb over the bridge and try your balance. Your kids will thank you for taking them here to play.
Best Paid Entertainment in Chicago
Architectural Boat Tour – So when I was first asked about taking an architectural boat tour, my thought was BORING! However, since it was family visiting that asked, I reluctantly agreed. Seriously. Best. Thing. Ever. I quickly changed my tune and always highly recommend an architectural boat tour to anyone visiting Chicago (and if you live there, you must also take a boat tour).
There are many companies that do this. You could search Groupon or a simple google search to find options. Here’s the thing. You learn so much about Chicago! The history, the buildings throughout downtown and the different architectural styles. In addition to the educational piece, who wouldn’t want to float down a river through the downtown of a huge city and admire the views. It is an all around great time!
Shedd Aquarium – This aquarium is amazing. You can spend hours wondering through all the areas. We loved the Amazon section and the 4D movie. There is also a live show with dolphins and belugas. Wait until they lift the screen and you get an incredible view of Lake Michigan. Don’t miss the blue lobster! If there is a chance that you will visit more than once, check the season passes price as it can be worth it.
Museum of Science and Industry – This is also a place to spend several hours exploring. It is a huge building and room after room of fun. Our boys especially love the submarine. We have only visited once and its a place that I can’t wait to visit again.
Best Food Places to Visit in Chicago
Deep Dish Pizza – Our favorite is Lou Malnati’s but Gino’s East and Giordano’s are also great. Don’t be surprised when the sauce is on top. Its one of the most delicious things but be prepared for a food coma afterwards.
Chicago Dog – When in Chicago, you must also eat a Chicago dog. We love Portillo’s (order a cake shake too!!) No ketchup on Chicago dogs.
Oberweiss – a local dairy with fabulous ice cream. Try some chocolate milk too!
Overall, Chicago is a fabulous place and the best places to visit in Chicago are highly debatable. Good luck narrowing down what you will visit and have fun! We can’t wait for our next trip to Chicago via RV travel.
If you are looking for a cool Illinois souvenir please consider checking out this Illinois shaped cutting board and serving tray on Amazon. It helps support our mission to become full time RV travelers.
P.S. Go Cubs Go!