Chicago has a large number of tourist attractions, but there are undoubtedly a select handful that are by far the most popular with visitors. Here are some of the most popular tourist destinations in the Windy City.
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Opened May 26, 1927, the Buckingham Fountain is one of Chicago's most recognizable landmarks, and its hourly water show in the summer is fun for young and old.
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The Hancock Observatory in the John Hancock Center may not be as high as the Sears Tower Skydeck
, but at 1,000 feet up the view of Chicago is still breathtaking. It also has the added bonus of being able to enjoy a cocktail at the Signature Room on the 95th floor.
An oasis in the city, the Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the most beautiful in the country, featuring historical architecture and world-class wildlife exhibits. The zoo caters to the crowds 365 days a year, and has an admission price that can't be beat: zero! Zoo admission is free for everyone.
Still the source of controversy with some locals over its cost overruns and somewhat hodgepodge design, but the large crowds strolling about Millennium Park don't seem to care. The Bean
(officially known as Cloud Gate) is quickly on its way to becoming Chicago's most recognizable icon.
Located just east of downtown on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier offers scores of entertainment and dining options, boat cruises, and an excellent view of Lake Michigan, making it one of Chicago's top tourist attractions.
Soaring at 110 stories tall, the Sears Tower is the tallest building in North America and remains a huge tourist attraction, namely due to its Skydeck observatory offering a view of Chicago at 1,353 feet (412 meters).
With almost 2 million visitors a year, the Shedd Aquarium easily qualifies as one of Chicago's most popular attractions. And rightly so -- it's one of the premier aquariums in the country. A word to the wise: get there early, or you may be greeted with a long line snaking out the door and all the way down the aquarium's steps. Shedd Aquarium is part of Chicago's Museum Campus
Games at Wrigley Field consistently sell out -- and if you're familiar with the Chicago Cubs record you know it isn't because of the quality baseball being played there (unless you count the visiting team). More likely they come to soak in the history of the United States second oldest ballpark and enjoy the party atmosphere of the crowd, especially in the bleacher seats.