Explore Chicago

Explore Chicago

Chicago is a city known for its resilient spirit and inspiring comebacks — ever since the world’s first skyscraper rose from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire — and this same strength and determination have carried the city through difficult times. Chicago has been named the Best Big City in the U.S. for an unprecedented fifth consecutive year. This accolade recognizes the diverse neighborhoods, award-winning dining, iconic cultural attractions, and exciting events that make Chicago a city unlike any other.

Learn more about Chicago in the Chicago Visitors Guide.

Must Eat

Gourmet to street food, Italian to Indonesian, cheap eats to fine dining. The variety of Chicago’s culinary scene is astounding. Home to more than 7,000 restaurants, from Michelin star winners and James Beard Award medalists to world-famous cheese burgers and classic deep dish pizza.

Take a culinary tour of Chicago’s diverse — and delicious — dining scene. Don’t miss hot dining districts like “Restaurant Row” on Randolph Street and Fulton Market in the West Loop. The trendy area is home to some of the nation’s most celebrated chefs, including Top Chef alum Stephanie Izard and her many acclaimed spots, like Girl & the Goat.

Meanwhile, areas like Logan Square and River North continue to add buzz-worthy restaurants and bars to our bucket lists. Or eat your way around the world in our thriving international neighborhoods, like GreektownChinatownLittle ItalyPilsen, and so many more.

Must See

At the lakefront, Grant Park’s grand boulevards and landscaped lawns make it a must-see. Just north, Maggie Daley Park, is a whimsical 20-acre green space, complete with its own mini-lighthouse, a life-sized ship, two climbing walls, a quarter-mile long skating ribbon, picnic spaces, tennis courts, and more.

Theatre is the fearless soul of Chicago. Home to more than 200 stages, including five regional Tony Award-winning theatres (Chicago Shakespeare TheaterThe Goodman TheatreLookingglass Theatre CompanySteppenwolf Theater Company, and Victory Gardens Theater) — more than any other city in country. And with blockbuster hits from Broadway in Chicago, acclaimed touring productions, cutting-edge works from storefront theatres, there’s truly a show for everyone.

For an evening of laughs, turn to the comedy masters at The Second City or the iO Theater, watch stand-up at Zanies Comedy Club, or grab your ponchos an immersive evening with the Blue Man Group.

Must Do

Chicago is a city of green spaces — that’s why they call it “the city in a garden.” Whether you’re wandering the lakefront or venturing into the city’s diverse neighborhoods, you’ll find parks, gardens, conservatories, and more in every corner of the city.

The 606, the 2.7-mile elevated park and trail, cuts through hip neighborhoods like BucktownWicker ParkLogan Square, and Humboldt Park. It’s a favorite spot for locals, who come to bike, run, walk, and enjoy the various parks and public spaces scattered along the trail.

Millennium Park is an architectural and art-filled jewel, thanks to the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture (aka “The Bean”), the interactive Crown Fountain, and the soaring beauty of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

On the north side, scenic Lincoln Park is home to two popular attractions: Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park Conservatory. You’ll also find Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, a tranquil oasis filled with prairie plantings and birdsong.