What to See or Do in Chicago
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Chicago Walking Tour

Chicago in 1 day
Walking Tour

Let's Start: Walking around downtown Chicago is one of the greatest pleasures in travel life. This city has it all readily available for patrons to enjoy. Talking a walking tour is a perfect way to see a bunch of different sites in one easy span of time. When you visit Chicago you want to take advantage of all the attractions, fantastic dining options, and gorgeous shopping boutiques. That’s just the start of what you can see and do in majorly exciting town!

To Begin the Tour: Grab an all-American breakfast at the International House of Pancakes on 20 East Chestnut Street for a stack of pancakes the size of your head. Smother them with syrup, and you’ll have enough sugary energy to get you through your walking tour for the day. Or at least until lunchtime.

Historic Water Tower: Built in 1869 this is one of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. This historic monument is made of Joliet Limestone. You can’t miss its towering presence on 806 North Michigan Avenue. It’s an iconic part of the Chicago skyline that is instantly recognizable to visitors and residents alike.

Michigan Avenue-” The Magnificent Mile”: As you walk down this bustling Chicago street, probably the most well known in the area for the many upscale shop and restaurants along the way, you’ll notice a faster pace here as many commuters are walking to get to their jobs. It extends from the Chicago River to Lake Shore Drive which is one of the most upscale living areas in the city. You’ve arrived if you live on Lake Shore Drive! The city planners who created the street back in 1909, Burnham and Bennett wanted it to look similar to the famous Champs Elysee in Paris. So this isn’t an ordinary street. If you are in the mood, pop into one of the many fabulous retail stores along the way like Neiman Marcus, or Ralph Lauren to pick up a trinket or two to take home as a souvenir.

Tribune Tower: Your next stop going South should be at the Tribune Tower, which is located on 435 North Michigan Avenue. Built in 1925, this neo-Gothic structure is 462 feet tall. Many other famous buildings in the world where modeled after the facade of this one such as the Great Wall of China, the palace of Westminster, and Notre Dame.

Wrigley Towers: Another iconic building on your tour is the Wrigley Towers which have a North and South Tower that were built in the early 20’s. 425 feet tall it was the original home of the Wrigley Company who still make chewing gum today, and were obviously the sponsors of the Cubs home, Wrigley Field.

Chicago Architectural Boat Tour: By now after walking all the way down Michigan Avenue, you might be ready for a little ride. Your next stop is the Chicago Architectural Boat Tour. You’ll be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the gentle movement down the river as you explore many of the famous buildings along the route. Cruises usually begin at 10:30 each day and run at various intervals through 6:00 pm. It usually lasts around 90 minutes, so it’s a good break off your feet to enjoy the lull of the water going by. The season runs April through November each year.

Michigan Avenue Bridge: By this point you are going to want to stop to grab a bite to eat for lunch after the boat tour. There are some gorgeous restaurants along the river over by the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Going west on Wacker drive you are going to find the Rivers Restaurant, which has a gorgeous outdoor patio that overlooks the river on 30 South Wacker Dr. It’s in the lobby of the Mercantile Building serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner of robust American comfort food. Treat yourself to a glass of wine at lunch, you’re on vacation!
The Bridge itself was built in 1918, and you’ll notice the gorgeous decorative work on this bridge has been copied many times in other cities.

Chicago RiverWalk: 156 miles long (you don’t have to walk that far!) the Chicago River links the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley. It’s fun to walk along the river, and if you are there during St. Patrick’s Day the city dyes the water a festive green to participate in the merriment of the Irish holiday.

Millennium Park: This new, but already famous Chicago park just recently opened in 2004. You are going to want to spend a bit of time exploring everything it has to offer. Its modern environmentally friendly vibe is popular with residents and visitors who are happy to enjoy the lush greenery in this busy urban area. During the summertime, there are free concerts to enjoy, but during other times of the year it’s just fun to walk around in to enjoy the scenery. If you are tired of walking, lay out a blanket, and take a little rest while you enjoy “people watching” as everyone goes by.

Wrigley Square: You’ll notice the Wrigley name on a variety of things all over Chicago. Wrigley Square is located in the Northwest part of Millennium Park. The Millennium Monument is there which is a full sized reconstruction of Roman Doric style columns. There is also a large fountain and lawn there, which is perfect for photo opportunities.

Cloud Gate: Next up on the tour you’ll visit the Cloud Gate or “the bean” as this interesting sculpture is called. It was designed by Indian-British singer Anish Kapoor as a tribute to the love of reflection. The 169 metal panels of the sculpture reflect the buildings all around the city in its facade. It’s pretty cool to marvel at this fascinating piece of artwork right in the city out in the open for everyone to love. You can even walk under the sculpture to check it out from all angles.

The Crown Fountain: This interactive work of public art is also right in Millennium Park for people to check out. It’s a black granite pool that holds a unique brick sculpture that is outfitted with LED panel lights, so the imagery of the installation changes all the time. Very hip and modern, you’ll want to spend a bit of time here looking at this one to see what it does next. It cost 17 million dollars to create it in 2004, and the water runs through it only during the warmer months of the year.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion: On the South Side of Randall Street in Millennium Park is this pavilion that was designed by famous architect Frank Gehry. It’s home to many musical festivals, and outdoor concert symphonies. The pavilion can hold up to 11,000 people who enjoy the only free outdoor classical music series in the country. If you are there during a rehearsal time you can even check that out at no cost to you. It’s just a cool structure to even see without the performances.

BP Pedestrian Bridge: Leaving Millennium Park, you can walk along the BP Pedestrian Bridge which is 935 feet long, and also the handiwork of Frank Gehry. The bridge is closed for safety reasons in the winter, but it’s the path that will lead you to the final stop on your walking tour of Chicago, which is the…

Art Institute of Chicago: Your last stop on your trip for a little indoor culture. The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the premier museums in the world that houses on 111 South MIchigan Avenue over 260,000 rotating works of arts in their permanent collection. Built in 1893, this historical site hold many works by famous artist like Renoir, Matisse, Manet, and Van Gogh. In 2009 they expanded the collection to include some modern works of art by Pollock, Warhol, and Rothko, among many others. As you end your day here, you’ll be enamored with all the beauty you’ve seen all around the city, but especially here in the art museum, you’ll find treasured works that aren’t anywhere else in the world. It’s a fitting end to an exciting Day 1 Walking Tour in Chicago.

Chicago Walking Tour Day 1

interactive walking tour, we tried to incorporate something for everyone, be it Architecture, Attractions, Parks, Art or Museums.

In order to facilitate your experience and help you find the most accurate information about opening hours and prices, we have linked the attractions to their main websites when available.

- During the winter and holidays some attractions could have shorter operational hours or not being available at all.

- During the high season, Museums, Theater, Concert and Sport tickets have a tendency to sell out quickly, so check regularly to be sure to secure tickets for your favorite events.



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