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Top Rated Attractions in Chicago

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Art Institute of Chicago

From popular Rembrandt masterpieces to recent works by lesser-known artists, the Art Institute of Chicago houses one of the finest art collections in the world. Spanning centuries of human creativity, exhibits include a distinguished collection of prints and drawings, an internationally acclaimed collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, sculptures, photographs, Asian, African, and American arts, architectural drawings, textiles, and more. Many pieces are on loan from the famed Terra Foundation for American Art. Educational programs and guided museum tours are available. Artbooks, reproductions, postcards, and other items are available in the museum shop.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is one of the newest additions to Chicago's many wide-open urban spaces and is host to a range of indoor/outdoor activities for the entire family. You can listen to top musical events at the outdoor pavilion, or glide across the bustling ice skating rink come winter. For a bit of the park's history, be sure to take a peek at the Peristyle. While in the park one cannot afford to miss the Cloud Gate Sculpture, built with 110 tons (99,790 kilograms) of steel. It is called The Bean by the residents. Meandering through the park, you'll encounter the serene beauty of Lurie Garden, a breathtaking botanical haven. The Pritzker Pavilion and Crown Fountain are also to look out for. Whether you're a local seeking solace or a traveler eager to immerse yourself in the essence of Chicago, Millennium Park warrants a visit.

Bobby's Bike Hike

Whether a cycling enthusiast or not, Bobby's Bike Hike is a brilliant way to see Chicago's major attractions on an informative cycling tour. With a good variety of tours available, including the 'Lakefront Neighborhoods Bike Tour' and 'Chicago’s Ultimate City Bike Tour', there is something for everyone. These tours are leisurely paced, so you need not worry about being unable to keep up with the cycling group. Bobby’s Bike Hike provides a range of bikes to choose from and also offers helmets. People of all ages will enjoy these tours as it is a fantastic and informative way to experience the sights and sounds of the city.

Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate is an iconic Chicago sculpture located in Millennium Park. Designed by artist Anish Kapoor, its highly reflective surface appears to be seamless but is actually made up of 168 stainless steel plates that were welded together. Its legume-like shape has earned it the nickname "The Bean" among Chicago residents. It is interesting to note that a massive droplet of liquid mercury is the inspiration for this structure which tends to spark curiosity among visitors. The Bean is a must-see attraction while in downtown. Admire the unique structure and make sure you take a picture with this architectural marvel for social media.

Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures

Without leaving Chicago, you can see far-off and ancient civilizations thanks to the Oriental Institute Museum. The Institute Museum, a part of the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park, houses top-notch anthropological and archaeological displays regarding the first human civilizations that emerged in the East. Visitors can reflect on man's accomplishments as they examine rare artifacts from historic nations including Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, and Palestine. Afterwards, browse the "Suq" (Arabic for "market") for Eastern finds and unusual gifts. Guided group tours and workshops are available. Photography is permitted in the museum and galleries. Photographs can also be ordered from the photographic archives. Admission is donation-based, with a suggested donation of USD 10 for adults and USD 5 for children 12 and under.

Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry makes science fun with interactive, educational exhibits that stretch the imagination. Spend time in a 13-foot (4.0-meter) heart as you learn about how yours works. Find out how technology has influenced history by stepping back in time on "Yesterday's Main Street." Marvel at the life-size replica of the German submarine U-505 and also the command module of Apollo 8. Watch action-packed films in the museum's giant-screen Omnimax Theatre or take a ride down a coal mine. And don't leave without picking up some great souvenirs at The Big Idea museum shop.

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