Millennium Park and Grant Park
Chicago's Front yard, Grant Park, and its new neighbor, Millennium Park are the ideal location for a leisurely stroll. Millennium Park, completed in 2004 through the work of the City of Chicago and its philanthropic community, contains 24.5 acres of post-modern architecture. The prominently featured Jay Pritzker Pavilion was designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry and is touted as the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue in North America. Also highlighting the park are the popular Cloud Gate sculpture (known as ‘The Bean’ to locals), designed by Anish Kapoor and the Crown Fountain, designed by Jaume Plensa. During the winter months, lace up your skates for a glide on the McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink, open from mid-November to mid-March. During summer evenings, be sure to attend one of the free concerts taking place in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Grant Park is located on the shore of Lake Michigan and features shaded walking trails, as well as tennis courts and ball diamonds for public use.
Histroic Navy Pier is Chicago's lakefront playgroup. And it's the Midwest's #1 tourist and leisure destination, attracting more than 8.6 million visitors a year. Navy Pier is the place where all of Chicagoland and tourists from around the world have come together since 1995 to enjoy the beauty and the thrills of a day on Lake Michigan. From rides to restaurants, exhibitions to entertainment, shopping to dining cruises and tour boats, Navy Pier has it all - in a location unlike anyother! There is much to do in our 50 acres of parks, promenades, gardens, shops, eateries and attractions. Take a ride on the 15-story tall Farris wheel. Catch a movie at the IMAX Theater. Visit three floors of hands-on fun at the Chicago Children's Museum inside the Family Pavilion. Experience any one of the cruise boat rides departing from Navy Piers's South Dock. Or unwind to the sounds of live music at Landshark Beer Garden Wednesdays - Sundays, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Navy Pier also offers dining opportunities as diverse as Chicago itself. Dine at one of the fine restaurants or sample a variety of great tastes to be found at the food court in the Familty Pavilion. You can find everything from bikes to books and from souvenirs to sunglasses at the retail shops in the Family Pavilion open year-round.
See the city by sky and by sea
To best experience, a trip to the top of the Hancock Observatory is necessary.The city’s third tallest building, the Hancock Observatory allows you to feel the force of the wind at 1000 ft from its screened in viewing area.
Next, head south on Michigan Avenue for a 90-minute, narrated Chicago Architecture Boat Cruise. Experience the city from a new perspective while your guide points out 50 architecturally significant sites.