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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.

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.

Chicago Cultural Center

Established in 1897, the Chicago Cultural Center is a prominent landmark that is operated by Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Every year, the cultural center features several programs and exhibitions covering a wide range of arts, including literary and visual. The magnificent art-deco building is attractive in and of itself, its interiors being equally ornate and regal. A particular architectural highlight is the two stained-glass domes within the building, which never fail to mesmerize visitors who pass beneath its massive expanse. Be it for the cultural program roster or simply its artistic beauty, the Chicago Cultural Center continues to be a tourist hot spot.

Chicago Riverwalk

The best way to enjoy the sights around the Chicago River is on foot. Walk along the promenade, from the south shore to the Lakefront Bike Path along with several other walkers. Immerse yourself in the captivating sights and sounds while you indulge in the mesmerizing architecture and breathtaking river views. Should you get hungry or thirsty on the walk, you'll be delighted to discover a multitude of enticing shops along the route, offering an array of delectable snacks and beverages. The most common sight here is people munching on a hot dog or sipping a cup of beer while strolling along the promenade.

360 Chicago

360 Chicago is what used to be John Hancock Observatory, atop the 94th floor of the skyscraper, John Hancock Center. A huge landmark in Chicago, the observation deck offers a glorious 360-degree panorama of the Windy City. 360 Chicago is also home to the city's only SkyWalk, and the amazing Tilt offers a unique view of the Magnificent Mile, titled at an angle of 30 degrees. There's an on-site cafe where you can retire for some snacks after the exhilarating experience, 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) up in the air. Open all week, from 9a onward, 360 Chicago makes for an unforgettable visit.

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