Inspirational, Incredible Illinois

What is the first thing that comes to mind when someone says Chicago? In my mind, I think of Chicago, amazing views, Lake Michigan and skyscrapers galore. If you thought of any of these, you are absolutely correct. My husband and I took a trip to Chicago, Illinois for Labor Day weekend this past September. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved Chicago, even with how busy and packed it was. I am not someone who loves crowded places, but I loved every minute of my time in Chicago.

This city is now one of my most favorite cities in the United States. This city had a lot to offer and we jam packed a lot into just a few days. We spent time in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Below I will give you my top 10 things to do in Chicago, Illinois.

Top Things to Do in Chicago, Illinois:

1.) Sky Deck Chicago

The Skydeck is located in downtown Chicago in the Willis Tower, also known as the Sears Tower. This tower has some of the best views of the city from above. The lines are quite long to get up to the Skydeck. If you buy your tickets ahead of time you will save yourself some time in the lines. The lines, the time and the money are worth it for the views.

2.) Millineum Park

Millineum Park is located in downtown Chicago. The park is free to get into and walk around at your own leisure. There is plenty to see and do in the park, especially all the art such as the Cloud Gate Or Bean as some may call it.

3.) Magnificent Mile

Magnificent Mile is located in the heart of downtown Chicago and has tons of shopping places. This also provides for some of the best views from below.

4.) The Bean

The Bean or the Cloud Gate is your usual Chicago must see but it is absolutely stunning in person. I highly recommend getting there early in the morning to be able to get pictures and take your time seeing it. I was able to capture a little bit of the sunrise in my photos. This is located in Millineum Park, I definitely recommend going.

5.) Buckingham Fountain

This famous fountain is located near Millineum and is a beautiful sight. This fountain has been filmed in a few shows and movies, so you may recognize this from there. If you get there early in the morning beware of the wind blowing, I ended up soaked because the wind blew water on me.

6.) Guaranteed Rate Field

This field is where the Chicago White Sox play. This field was huge to what I was used to and the tickets were on the cheaper side compared to the Chicago Cubs tickets. The stadium had plenty to offer in the way of food, places to shop and things to look at. I definitely suggest going to a game while you are in Chicago, after all they do have 2 pro league baseball teams to choose from.

7.) Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk was by far one of my favorite walks we went on in Chicago. There were a lot of places to eat, see, get an adult beverage, take a river cruise or just simply stroll down the long path along the river. I highly recommend doing this when going to Chicago.

8.) Navy Pier

This is located in Downtown Chicago but on the opposite side of the street. This pier sits on Lake Michigan and has a lot to do and see. My husband and I went when they had a seafood festival going on, so it was jam packed with people. We did manage to walk all over the pier and see all it had to offer. There are plenty of places to eat, shop, get a drink, take a boat out and so much more. I definitely suggest going here while in Chicago.

9.) Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan still surprises me to this day. I never expected the lake to be as blue as it really is. The water was cold when we went, so I did not get a chance to take a swim in it. You can see Lake Michigan from Chicago in many spots.

10.) Walk around Downtown Chicago

Chicago is a beautiful city to walk around and explore. This city is easy to get lost in, so my GPS was my saving grace quite a few times. There is so much to see and do in downtown Chicago, you will need at least a couple days to see some of it. There are also dog statues all over the town, can you spot how many different ones there are?

As you can see, Chicago has a lot to offer. From what I listed this was not even half of what it has to offer to do, eat, see or explore. This city is definitely not one you can see most of it in one day. Chicago requires at least two full days to see at least some of the city. We spent part of the day Saturday and Sunday and most of the day Monday seeing the city. I felt this was a good amount of time to see some or most the city but I definitely did not see all it had to offer. When I do this, I feel like this always gives me a chance to come back and want to explore or do more than what I did the first time. Even if I had seen all of the city, I would still go back because Chicago is beautiful.

Stay tuned later this week for an article on San Juan, Puerto Rico. See what San Juan has to offer, do and see. In the next couple weeks I have some very excited news for the blog, so stay tuned for this as well. You won’t want to miss it!



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  1. Chicago is seeming more beautiful through the eyes of a globe trotters like you..Your vivid description of every small things make me feel like I am in Chicago and enjoying all these beauties myself..

    1. Thank you! Chicago is beautiful! If you ever get the chance to go, I highly suggest it. I’m glad to know I painted a vivid picture of Chicago. I appreciate your positive feedback!

  2. Chicago, Illinois looks amazing. I would like to see the Buckingham fountain, go to the sky deck and I would love to take a boat out onto Navy pier x

    1. Chicago is amazing and beautiful. I was surprised as to how much I truly enjoyed it there. If I go back I would love to take a boat out and see Chicago from Lake Michigan. Buckingham and the sky deck were amazing!

  3. Illinois is definitely one of the places I have wanted to visit. I hope i can get around to doing so next year. Really loved this post Ariel.

    1. Illinois is amazing! I hope you do get to go, I definitely highly suggest it! Thank you, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. 😊

  4. Chicago is definitely in my list of must visit places. I will surely make a visit to all the places mentioned above whenever I visit Chicago.

    1. Chicago has always been on my list of must visit places. I was amazed by it when I did go, I would love to go back. I hope you make it to Chicago one day, it’s stunning.

  5. Chicago is one of my favorite and beautiful place I visit. Lots of stunning scenery and buildings. Glad you share your personal experience here in Chicago.

    1. Chicago is definitely one of my favorites too! I don’t generally like places super crowded like this, but I loved every minute of my time there. I would definitely go back. Thank you for reading my personal experience! Truly appreciate it!

  6. I’ve always wanted to visit Chicago. It’s been on my bucket list for about a decade. This is a great list/itinerary for when I finally get there

    1. Same here! Chicago was on my bucket list since for as long as I can remember. I finally made it come true when Labor Day came around. Thank you so much! I hope you get to make it to Chicago one day! 🙂

  7. Wow this sounds so wonderful …
    My brother in law is going to chicago next week
    I will surely share this lovely information with him so that he can visit all this wonderful places.
    Lovely post and lovely photography…
    Thanks for such a lovely post.

    1. This place is definitely wonderful. Thank you for the positive and wonderful feedback, I really appreciate it!

  8. I would love to visit Chicago, it looks like such a beautiful city!

    1. It truly is a beautiful city! I hope you get to visit one day, I enjoyed every minute of my time there.

  9. I’ve been in Illinois Chicago this past few months and we really enjoy the incredible and stunning places and views. Chicago River walk is so fulfilling and worth to visit.

    1. Oh that’s so neat! It really is a beautiful place. The views are absolutely gorgeous. I had a hard time deciding which pictures to put in here because I loved them all. I definitely would love to go back one day.

  10. I love visiting Chicago and it is one of my favorite cities too in the United States! I’d also recommend Giordano’s Chicago-style stuffed pizza and it is a must for anyone traveling out there!

    1. That place sounds delicious! I wish I would have known about it. Thank you so much for sharing your recommendation. When I go back I will have to go there!

  11. I have always wanted to visit Chicago and its always been in my bucket list since I was 10! We might *fingers crossed* make a trip to the states next year and hopefully get to visit chicago!

    1. It’s an amazing city! I hope you do get to go sometime! It’s always fun to cross things off the bucket list, I’m always adding more the further I go along!

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