Nov 9, 2023



Travel Inspiration

5 of the Coolest Places Visit in Chicago: Fora’s Guide

Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


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Wondering about the coolest places to visit in Chicago? We’re breaking down five of the city’s coolest sights and attractions, from the Art Institute of Chicago to the Magnificent Mile.

Want to visit Chicago in style? Connect with Fora to plan and book your trip with an expert travel advisor who can score you awesome perks at the best hotels in Chicago, offer A+ itinerary suggestions and help you anytime you need travel support.

The 5 best places to visit in Chicago

Read on for five of our favorite places to visit in Chicago. 

1. Art Institute of Chicago: one of the USA’s most prestigious art museums

Near the top of the list of things to do in Chicago: perusing the exhibits of the Art Institute of Chicago. This prestigious museum boasts one of the most comprehensive art collections in the world, with centuries of works spanning dozens of cultures both past and present. It’s a must-see for art enthusiasts and casual enjoyers alike. And if you’re interested in checking out more museums, there are plenty of great options nearby, such as the Chicago Cultural Center

Want more intel on the Art Institute of Chicago? Plan your trip with Fora.

2. Lincoln Park Zoo: an excellent place to visit in Chicago for families

Among Chicago’s coolest free places to check out, the Lincoln Park Zoo features over 200 different species of animals, from aardvarks from Sub-Saharan Africa to increasingly rare snow leopards from Central Asia. 

(Wondering what else to do in the city with kiddos? Our 4-day Chicago family itinerary has you covered.)

3. Millennium Park & Cloud Gate: a scenic oasis hosting some of Chicago’s most iconic sights

One of Chicago’s most famous attractions, Millennium Park — home to Cloud Gate, colloquially known as the “Bean” — is a well-manicured, urban green space sandwiched between Lake Michigan and Downtown. There’s a (huge) ice rink, tennis courts, botanical gardens, gorgeous fountains and even an adventure park for little ones. 

The park regularly hosts concerts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion (a cool sight in and of itself), too. 

4. Garfield Park Conservatory: a lush and gorgeous botanical garden featuring thousands of rare species

Containing thousands of rare (and often threatened) plant species, the Conservatory at Garfield Park is easily one of the most impressive botanical gardens in the United States. Here, you’ll find a scenic mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits a few miles outside of Downtown Chicago, making for a lovely escape from the metropolis. 

Wondering where to stay in Chicago near Garfield Park? Connect with Fora for tailored recs.

5. The Magnificent Mile: the best place to visit in Chicago for upscale shopping & gastronomy

Image courtesy of InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile

If you’re looking for the best hotels in Chicago, luxe boutiques and an incredible variety of restaurants, the Magnificent Mile is for you. The stretch is also one of the best places to visit in Chicago to glimpse the city’s striking and varied architecture.

One of our favorite hotels on the strip is the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile. Here, guests can enjoy exceptionally lavish amenities and expansive rooms, plus immediate access to the Magnificent Mile.

(Looking for hidden gems? See our local’s guide to Chicago.)

Fora Perks at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • VIP status.

  • Upgrade & guaranteed late check-out.

Need more ideas for places to visit in Chicago? Connect with Fora

Obviously, there are a lot more cool places to visit in Chicago than these five options. Want tailored suggestions (like a boozy Chicago craft beer adventure or a gastronomy tour) and access to awesome hotel perks like complimentary meals and upgraded rooms? Plan and book your trip with Fora.

Or if you’re not sure Chicago is the right setting for your next vacation, check out these guides for more travel inspiration:

This article has been fact checked by Fora Advisor Elizabeth Coffey, an expert on travel to Chicago, Illinois.

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