Top 5 Must Do's in Chicago

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1. Architectural River Tour

One of the things Chicago is most known for is its architecture. The best way to learn about and be able to explore the various styles of architecture in this city is by boat. With rivers and canals running throughout the city, the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) has made it possible for visitors to experience Chicago architecture at its best from its waterways. Lead by CAF-certified docents, the tour includes both historical and architectural accounts of some of Chicago’s most notable buildings. The tour lasts for a total of 90 minutes and takes place on any of the three vessels: Chicago’s Fair Lady, Chicago’s First Lady or Chicago’s Little Lady. Guests are encouraged to sit on the top deck to enjoy the views and be able to see what it is that is being spoken about as docents regularly point to their subjects. There is also a covered area where guests can sit and purchase beverages onboard if the weather gets too cold.

 2. John G. Shedd Aquarium

At one point, this aquarium was the largest indoor aquarium in the world. It is bordered by Lake Michigan as well as Chicago’s Museum Campus. There are five permanent exhibits at this aquarium. The Amazon Rising features a lush tropical rainforest which guests walk through. Beware as the humidity in this area has been controlled to match that of the actual Amazon. The Caribbean Reef houses a circular tank that allows visitors to walk around for maximum viewing pleasure. It is located near the entrance and appears to be the center of the aquarium. The Waters of the World exhibit contains various sea life from all areas of the world including a Mantella Frog. The Oceanarium is home to a number of dolphins, Beluga Whales and seals. The Wild Reef allows guests to experience a diver’s view of the deep ocean. With sharks, tropical fish and flora and fauna, this is a wonderful exhibit for all to enjoy.

3. Navy Pier

The Navy Pier has a host of family attractions including carnival rides, entertainment and shopping. The Navy Pier is also home to the Chicago Children’s Museum as well as the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows. Whether you’re looking to hang out in the sun or prefer to be indoors, the Navy Pier has it all. With the shops, restaurants and museums in the inside and the carnival on the outside, one can still have fun, rain or shine.

4. Experience the Food

Some say Chicago is home to best cuisine in the nation. Whether you're in the mood for pizza, Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago style Hot Dog, or tamales, Chicago cuisine is unique and delicous, to say the least. Ask a local (make sure they're a "real" local) for recommendations. The best way to experience the food of Chi-town is by attending the Taste of Chicago. The even is free to attend and the best place to taste all the Windy City has to offer, literally!

5. Magnificent Mile

What’s a vacation without a little shopping? Or in this case, maybe, a lot! Imagine an entire mile dedicated to shops. This is exactly what North Michigan Avenue is. From department stores such as Macy’s to local retail shops like the Gap, The Magnificent Mile has it all. Also located along this strip is an old firehouse signifying Chicago’s past before the Great Chicago Fire. After shopping, stop by the Hershey’s store for some one-of-a-kind cupcakes in their bakeshop. They will not disappoint.
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